Teaching Register: the forgotten component of English Language Teaching

Exposure to variation in English is something that all English teachers should try to encourage. But what happens when learners are only exposed to English through one source? It’s not as uncommon as you might think. There are Young Learners who are only exposed to gaming videos on YouTube. There are older learners who may only read a certain genre of books. Other learners may only be exposed to English through music. These learners are often unaware of differences in language register. Take… Teaching skills, ESL activities, Five ways to

Teaching Tenses in English: a complete guide

What is the difference if someone says ‘I have lived here for five years’ or ‘I have been living here for five years’? If you are reading a newspaper article and the writer states ‘an agreement has been reached’ rather than ‘an agreement was reached’, why did they make this choice? Why do we sometimes use the present tense to talk about the future (‘I fly there on Tuesday’)? Or the past (‘I go to the park and see this big dog and it’s chasing this man’)? All languages have methods to… ESL activities, Careers in TESOL, Teaching skills

Asking effective questions in your ESL classes

In this blog, we cover best practices for TESOL teachers to choose the right questions to ask in your ESL classes. Different questions have different qualities. These qualities influence student participation and involvement. Questions can be either:  Open or closed. Open questions have many possible answers. Closed answers have a limited number.  Display or referential. Referential questions are questions which the person asking the questions doesn’t know the answer to in advance. Display… All categories, Teaching skills, How to...

How to prepare for the Trinity CertTESOL - Tips from a trainer

So, you’ve been offered a place on the Trinity College London Cert TESOL course, paid the fees waiting to start the course and possibly completed the 20 hr TESOL Starter course. Wonderful. Now what? Should you just wait to start the course?  It never ceases to amaze me when trainees begin the Cert TESOL course, what little preparation many have done to provide themselves with the best opportunity of getting the most out of the course and being able to manage the demands. Why does this happen?… All categories, Certificate courses

5 ways to use photos in English language lessons

Why use photos?  I love using photos in language classes. Here’s why:  Photos are differentiated materials. Students of different levels can use their own language to describe what they see.  Good photos are engaging and a welcome change from reading and listening texts.  It’s easy than ever for us (teachers) to take photos. It’s also super convenient to show these to students.  Encouraging learners to bring in their own photos to class helps to personalize language learning.  Many… Teaching skills, All categories, Five ways to

Why you need to stop punishing your students: solutions for 3 common problems

In many of the young learner classes I watch, teachers try to control their students’ behaviour using punishment. In this article, I’m going to tell you   why punishment causes more behaviour problems than it solves  which punishments are the most destructive  alternatives you can use to stop negative student behaviour  how to prevent negative behaviour from reoccurring in the future.  Problems with punishment  I said at the start, I think you need to stop punishing your students.… All categories, How to..., Teaching skills

Turning your whole school into your classroom: a practical guide

Shakespeare once said that the whole world can be a stage. Well, I think your whole school can be a classroom. Unfortunately, in most of the schools I visit, learning (and teaching) seems to be anchored in the classroom. So why should teachers take classes out of the classroom and use the rest of the school for learning? Why get out of the classroom? It can be challenging to get learners to move in class, especially if: you teach in a small space. your classroom has furniture which can’t… All categories

Unlock real class discussions through information gap activities

It’s fairly easy to get students to talk. It’s a little harder to get students to talk to each other. Hardest of all is getting students to listen to each other. Teachers often ask students to “Discuss what you did on the weekend” or “Speak to your partner about your favorite foods”. Instructions like these work with motivated students. But if students are less driven, they might say a couple of things, then lapse into silence. And no wonder! They don’t have a reason to speak (or listen).… All categories

Managing Behaviour in the classroom for Young Learners

When teaching young learners, rewards and punishments often fail to reach the root of behaviour problems. Students misbehave for a variety of reasons. If you don’t know why a student is misbehaving, you can’t select an appropriate solution. Question: Why do my students keep misbehaving? I’ve tried using different rewards and different forms of punishment. For some students, it doesn’t make a difference. Answer: Because you treated the symptom, not the cause. In this article I’ll show you… All categories

Mastering breakout rooms: 7 common mistakes and how to fix them

It’s every online teacher’s worst nightmare: you set up the activity, things are going well in the first break out room, then you go into the fourth break out room and… silence. No one is talking. What went wrong? To solve any problem, you first need to understand the cause. What’s stopping your students from speaking in breakout rooms? In this post we’ll explore seven common teaching mistakes that result in silent breakout rooms. For each, we’ll explore the problem and look at potential… All categories, How to...

TESOL / TEFL Certificate options during the Coronavirus (Covid-19) Pandemic

2020 was a year of change for everyone. Due to the Covid 19 situation, all of the Trinity Cert TESOL courses at English for Asia are currently online. Saying this does cause some confusion and misunderstanding. Despite the change in delivery, the number of contact hours remains the same as when the courses are conducted face-to-face at the centre. The 130 contact hours on the Cert TESOL course does exceed the minimum requirements e.g. from the Hong Kong Education Bureau who require 100 contact… All categories, Careers in TESOL, Certificate courses

Top 10 Tips for Teaching English with Drama

Do you have any tips about teaching English with Drama? After experimenting and learning with English teachers from many different countries and cultures, here are 10 of my most useful tips. All of these tips are simple, adaptable and easy to implement while teaching English with Drama. Think of the skills, not just the performance A performance is a reflection of the preparation. Learners who spent time developing their skills: language skills, (body + voice), performance skills, and soft… All categories, Teaching skills, Theme based learning

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