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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 skills, All categories

Giving Children Control over your Lessons

Think for a moment about how much control you have over your life. You decide who you socialize with, who you marry, where you work, what clothes you wear, how much TV you watch and where you live. Now think about how it feels when you lose control over a part of your life. Losing your job might make you feel angry. If you couldn’t leave your… All categories

12 'Get to know you' activities for ESL students

David Ausubel (1968) wrote that “the most important single factor influencing learning is what the learner already knows. Ascertain this and teach them accordingly.” But how can English language teachers learn what their students already know about English? And how can teachers learn what students already know about the world? In this blog post we… All categories

PPP Vs ESA: Staging Models for TEFL Teachers

One of the most confusing points for new teachers undertaking initial teacher training courses are the similarities and differences between staging models. In particular, the difference between Donn Byrne’s Present, Practice, Produce (PPP) and Jeremy Harmer’s Engage, Study, Activate (ESA) is something I have often found myself answering questions… All categories

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… 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… 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… 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… 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… 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… 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… 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… All categories, How to...