Teaching skills

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… Teaching skills, ESL activities, Five ways 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… 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… 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… 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 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… 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,… 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 - Creating Classroom Materials with AI - Wednesday, 3 July Why… 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)… 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… Teaching skills, ESL activities, Five ways to

5 Fun Games to Teach Grammar

One of the biggest challenges young learner teachers struggle with is keeping their students’ attention when they present grammar. Not many six-year-olds want to listen to an explanation about prepositions or a description of how to use the continuous aspect. But, if you teach kids, your school will expect you to teach grammar to your students. So… Teaching skills, ESL activities, Five ways to

7 Practical Activities for Business English Classes

In task-based learning, students learn English by using English. The tasks are ideal for business English classes because they put students in realistic scenarios where they need to negotiate, solve problems, and communicate in English. In this post we’ll look at how to design activities for business English classes. I’ll share some of my favorite… Five ways to, ESL activities, Teaching skills, Theme based learning