This is a lesson based around authentic texts from the eHarmony website. It is aimed at adult pre-intermediate level plus, but these texts are full of rich language so it would ideally suit intermediate level students.
· Share personal experiences and attitudes towards online dating
· Identify key features of an online dating profile
· Create a short online dating profile for yourself or a friend
· Evaluate the effectiveness of other online profiles (more…)
Another ‘how to become a materials writer’ article has popped up – Kirsten Holt’s article for ETPro offers some more good advice for budding writers. Every time I read one of these posts I’m itching to chip in. I really want to help others get into materials writing. My advice is always the same:
It’s easier than you think.
As with most things, it requires effort at first (unless you’re lucky!).
There is something missing from lots of the advice already out there.
I’ve read a lot about poor pay and working conditions in ELT recently. Keith Copley’s recent article in ETPro touched upon some of the many issues that influence working conditions in the industry – institutional power, neoliberal-romantic rhetoric that promotes certain other aspirations (freedom, life experience) above renumeration, and so on. I’ve read tweets about strikes over pay at ELT centres, discrimination of NNES teachers, university lectureship roles which require advanced qualifications yet offer relatively low financial reward, to mention just a few of the issues.
Obviously I fully support the push for better, fairer pay and conditions. Now that’s said, what I don’t read often are stories of good working conditions. I get why. I mean, no one wants to be smug and come across as ‘well none of this affects me, I’m doing quite well out of TEFL thank you very much’. The fact is though, jobs in TEFL with good working conditions do exist. Keith Copley knows this as well as I do; we work in the same institution where, overall, the working conditions are great.
Here are the benefits that our employer offers us here in Thailand. I consider this to be a working conditions WAGOLL. On balance, there are very good conditions in our organisation – you’ll find a lot of teachers at our school have been here a good few years, and it’s no surprise why. (more…)
It’s the penultimate week of term. State schools are on holiday, so the students have already requested something ‘fun’ and ‘light’ for lessons this week. The current topic is food. It’s lacked a creative task so far, and I don’t want to go over old ground (designing a themed restaurant, menus, crazy recipes, and so on). It’s time (I think) for the Bake Off…
As Rachael says, comprehension questions have their place but they also have their limitations. Tasks that develop meaning-building skills, which you could use alongside/instead of comprehension questions, encourage learners to engage with a text in a deeper and more personalized way. They also give teachers a better insight into how their learners process information in a text. This can highlight learner strengths or areas for development, hence inform practice.
Part of my remit as the co-author of Startup Level 8 (Pearson) was to create the reading skills lessons for each unit. The publisher had prioritized these meaning-building tasks at higher levels (this was C1+). They still wanted comprehension questions, but meaning-building tasks were the main focus.
I don’t know what the trends are. No facts here. Just my opinion. I’m interested – do you agree/disagree/take offence/think these are pointlessly general statements/etc? Please comment!
Key markets for most publishers seem to be China, Mexico, Turkey and Brazil.
In most cases, print still rules…
… apart from in China, where everyone is obsessed with adapting coursebooks for a ‘virtual market’.
Primary publishers don’t seem to fully trust a CLIL-based approach (to be highly profitable, I mean). They like to cater for more traditional (grammar/typical vocab) approaches in their range too, and the success of CLIL-based resources hinges on teacher training, which may mean more investment for publishers.
Wait. Just thinking more about that last point… (more…)
I made this activity up in class and it worked well! Really creative, loads of interesting language, and also a good way to practice ‘used to’ for describing past appearance.
Students work in pairs
Everyone has some scrap paper (or the back of their handout). Tell students they have 1 minute to draw their partner. 1 minute only.
So, Student A has drawn student B, right? Now, Student As swap drawings with each other. Student Bs swap too. They have one minute to add loads of random features onto each drawing. Random things like strange tattoos, unicorn horns (!), I don’t know… anything they want. Then they give the sketch back to the original artist.
Pause for some laughter
So, Student A now has a distorted sketch of their partner, Student B. Tell them that this is what their partner looked like 10 years ago. Back then, Student A and Student B were old schoolmates… They haven’t seen each other in ages!