Teaching Skills

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… 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… 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… All categories, Teaching skills, How to...

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… 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… All categories, How to..., Teaching skills

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… All categories, Teaching skills, Theme based learning

Debating: how to teach debate effectively

When teachers talk about debate and debating classes, it never ceases to make me smile and think, ‘Oh dear …’. This is both from a teacher training and a teaching perspective; where there’s always one enthusiastic trainee who wants to have ‘debate’ as the focus for their speaking lesson. Then there are those teachers that include ‘debate’ in their… All categories, Teaching skills, How to...

Why Grammar Matters: 3 Key Takeaways for TESOL Teachers

After 20 years of teaching English in Asia, my thoughts on teaching grammar have swung. When I started my teaching career, I honestly thought that we should not teach grammar to EFL/ESOL students. After all, many native speakers do not know grammar, so why would we expect our EFL/ESOL students to know it let alone be able to explain it. Surely, we… All categories, How to..., Teaching skills

Listening: the most important skill for teachers

We’re always encouraging our learners to listen for a purpose. But, how often is it that we focus on our own listening skills as teachers rather than maintaining that ‘instructional teacher mode’ and ‘tune in to the language and errors?’ Nothing’s wrong with identifying errors; it’s an essential part of our role as TESOL teachers, either in the… All categories, Teaching skills, ESL activities

When students say, we’ve done this before… Perfect!

How often have you heard a learner say, ‘I know this’ or ‘we’ve done it before’? I can sometimes raise a smile when a learner says it, but when a teacher says, ‘they know that’ or ‘they’ve done that’, I can only stop and ask myself, ‘do they?’ or ‘have they?’ When learners and teachers say they ‘know it’ or have ‘done it?’ They likely mean they’… All categories, ESL activities, Teaching skills

Breaking the Myths of Online Learning

Despite becoming more and more popular in recent years, there is still a certain stigma attached to online learning. Even in this digital age; the idea that face to face learning is somehow superior to e-learning is a commonly held view. “I much prefer being in a real classroom with other students and a real teacher” is something I’ve heard many… All categories, Careers in TESOL, Teaching skills

Answering the questions TESOL teachers fear most

‘We never follow maps to buried treasure and X never, ever marks the spot’, according to Indiana Jones. If you’ve ever wanted to be an Indiana jones type but thought it’s only some Hollywood fantasy and I’m only an English teacher, think again. We can all be language archaeologists and perhaps we should be; it might answer some of those seemingly … All categories, Teaching skills

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