Materials Development Task 8: Questions

This is a new series of blog posts for teachers looking to become materials writers. It aims to help future writers explore topics and issues in writing, encourage deeper insight into the content of published materials, and promote a principled approach to materials development.

Read this extract then answer the questions.

  1. What is the International Birdman?
  2. What does the competition involve?
  3. Why do birdmen attempt to fly off the pier?
  4. Where is West Sussex?
  5. When did the event first move to Bognor Regis?


  • What do you think of the above questions?
  • What’s wrong with Question 4?
  • How effective is each question for checking understanding?

12 conversation strategies worth teaching

One thing my CELTA course skimmed over was how to develop learners’ conversation strategies.

There seems to be a good amount of focus on conversation strategies in recent coursebooks. However, at times I find these can be problematic. Models of effective convo strategies/techniques can be naff sometimes. Where there are no models, and instead there are tip boxes for maybe using a convo strategy during a task, these can lack detail. They require the teacher to elaborate quite a bit. While the teacher notes can help, you might find (as I do on occasions) that there’s a bit of a mismatch. I.e. the language that is anticipated to come up during the task isn’t actually needed/is needed but is already known/needs to be built on. (more…)