Blog

Creating Worksheets with AI

Creating engaging and effective worksheets is a time-consuming process. Even if you download worksheets from a website, the process of searching for something suitable can be as onerous as making your own. In this blog post, we'll look at a different solution: using AI to generate worksheets. As well as saving you time, AI can add interesting twists to traditional worksheets. With AI assistance, you can personalise, target and differentiate your worksheets. In this post we’ll cover: adapting… How to..., Teaching skills, ESL activities, Theme based learning

Using AI in ESL Classrooms

In the summer of 2023, I ran a one-day workshop for recent graduates on writing effective emails (in English). Near the end of the day, I asked the participants to summarise what they had learned in an email. I walked around the training room, looking at what the students were typing and noticed one participant carefully copying and pasting from ChatGPT. Instead of reflecting on what she’d learned, this participant outsourced the activity to AI. This was the moment I realised that AI was… Teaching skills, ESL activities, Five ways to

Avoiding & reducing stress on the Trinity Cert TESOL Course

Nobody will disagree when I say that the Cert TESOL is demanding. There’s no denying that it is intensive, it does have high standards, it does need hard work. As with everything, whether it’s achievement in sport, any other skill or academic pursuit, you won’t be surprised to learn that it is stressful. This is especially so when embarking on something new. If you want to succeed, then you need to put in the work and it’s going to have its challenges. That’s the reality. The other realities… Certificate courses, How to...

Creating flashcards and teaching materials with AI Image generators

I can’t imagine my life without AI. I use Gemini, ChatGPT, and Claude every day. AI text generators let me write better and faster than I could before. But AI image generators are even more amazing. They let me create things which I could previously never have made myself. Now, all of us can be artists, cartoonists and graphic designers. But if you’re an English teacher, why would you care? You never commissioned any works of art for your lessons before. Why would you want to generate art now?… ESL activities, Teaching skills, Five ways to, How to...

Using AI for Assignments & Homework: Strategies for Students and Teachers

“How can I stop my students using AI or ChatGPT for homework?” That was the one question I was bombarded with in 2023. It’s understandable that teachers are, or were, worried about AI. Every time a disruptive new technology comes along, there is a fear that some students will use it to gain an unfair advantage. Over time, things change. No one today would expect their students to research something by visiting their local library instead of using the internet. It’s highly unlikely any teachers… Teaching skills, Five ways to, ESL activities, How to...

15 Map Activities for ESL Classes

You've probably used maps before in English classes. Many beginner-level coursebooks include map-based activities for giving directions. But there is much more we can use maps for than simply giving directions. Maps can promote critical thinking skills, such as analyzing and interpreting information. Maps can also be used to teach students about the geography and culture of different countries. This can help students develop a deeper understanding of the world and its diversity. Tasks using… ESL activities, Five ways to, Teaching skills

How to use AI to Generate Student Feedback

In 2022, Education Week published an article about how teachers spend their time. They listed over a dozen activities done by teachers on a weekly basis. The number one most time-consuming task? Giving students written feedback. What’s more, the authors noted how teachers spend their time fuels the ever-falling job satisfaction in the profession. Teaching has changed a lot over the past few decades, and while we can’t do much to alter salaries or the decrease in prestige, we might be able to… Teaching skills, All categories

Using AI to Create Texts for Classes

You open the coursebook. You read the text. And then you think, “I’m not using that!” And so begins the process of creating materials. There are usually two things you can do next. You might trawl the internet looking for a replacement. But it can be difficult to find an authentic text that matches what you’re trying to teach. If your search comes up blank, you only have one other option: write something yourself. This can be time consuming, and the results aren’t always great. But now there’s… Teaching skills, ESL activities, Five ways to

L1 Challenges and Opportunities for English Language Teachers

For English language teachers, few things are as frustrating as students using their first language (L1) in class. This not only hinders the learning process but stops students from immersing themselves in the English language. However, there are several strategies that teachers can use to reduce or eliminate the use of L1 in the classroom. Also, there are sometimes when students’ L1 can support language learning. In this blog post, we’re going to look at how teachers can manage students’ use… ESL activities, Teaching skills, Five ways to

How AI is Changing the TEFL Industry

Everyone is talking about AI. But why should you as a TEFL teacher care? Your EFL students get good grades, your boss thinks you’re doing a good job and you’ve got plenty of qualifications. Why would you want to spend more time learning how to use this new technology? Online Workshop - Beginner's Guide for Language Teachers - Thursday, 18 July Why should you care about AI? Your students are already using it. Last week I ran a one-day class about writing clear emails. At the end of the workshop… Teaching skills

How to Create Lesson Plans with AI

As a language teacher, one of the most important things you do is plan. It is difficult to overstate how important planning is for teachers. Most of what goes right and wrong in a lesson is down to planning. Planning is also one of the most time-consuming activities for teachers. If you’re anything like me, you probably spend as much (or more) time planning as you do teaching. Online Workshop - Beginner's Guide for Language Teachers - Thursday, 18 July But some kinds of planning are more useful… ESL activities, Teaching skills

10 Critical Thinking Activities for Young Learners

Critical thinking is one of the most important skills in life. It can help you better understand yourself. It can help you make better decisions. And it is vital for academic success. Yet in many schools, curriculums prioritise a culture of uncritical thinking. In English classes for example, students are taught to repeat what the teacher says and memorise language from coursebooks. Students get praised for giving correct answers and criticised for mistakes. In school exams, they need to… Teaching skills, ESL activities, Five ways to