tesol

20 great video sites for the EFL classroom

I was asked on my FB page where I find good videos for class. I stumble upon them now and then (like here, thanks Lana), but I also find these sources pretty useful. Hope this helps!

Joseph’s Machines

If you’re doing anything related to inventions, processes, technology, and so on, Joseph’s Machines is great inspiration. His videos are really engaging and there are tonnes of them so it’s good for follow up work outside class.

 

Business Insider

Tonnes of (fairly) short business/tech/economics related videos on this You Tube channel. Not all videos have presenters, they are sometimes just text/subtitles and images – good for speed reading/gist reading/completion tasks/ etc. I haven’t used the video below in class as not that relevant, but thought I’d share this one for your general interest!

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Twist on a classic: Harry the Hippo

A nod to TESOLTOOLBOX here…

Harry the Hippo is a fun guessing game to use in the class. It can be adapted for practicing various grammar structures. I can’t remember where I first played the game or who taught it to me, but I’m sure it’s well-known by many TEFLers!

In its simplest form…

Practice language: love/like/dislike/hate

Find a good pic of a hippo. I used this one from a Google Image search. Explain to the learners:

Harry the Hippo likes a lot of things. Can you guess what they are? Ask me the question:

Does Harry like…?

Listen to the answers carefully. Make a note of anything Harry likes/dislikes. Do you notice any patterns?

(Answer: the clue is in the name ‘Harry the Hippo’. Harry likes any word that includes the same letter twice in a row, e.g. battery, butter, sheep, screen, apple, etc. Students guess items…)

Student: Does Harry like dogs?

Teacher: Not really

Student: Does Harry like fruit?

Teacher: (gives a sneaky clue) Well, he doesn’t like fruit, but he DOES like pineapples

Student: Huh?

Teacher: I know. Strange isn’t it?

Student: So, he doesn’t like bananas?

Teacher: No

Student: but he likes pineapples?

Teacher: Yes… and strawberries

Student: Huh? Does he like oranges?

Teacher: No

Students: Cherries?

Teacher: Yes, he likes cherries…

Etc (more…)

What I learnt from my first TESOL conference

Finally, some time to reflect on CamTESOL, which was held on 18-19 February. It was my first ever teaching conference (both attending and presenting), so thought I’d jot down a few reflections.

Presenting is tough but rewarding…

Teaching and presenting are not the same. I was really nervous about standing up and giving a short talk on using the internet for professional development. I’ve had a fear of public speaking for a long time, but I’m getting over it. I think. I co-presented with Kate Lloyd, and she was brilliant. She gave me training and tips beforehand, was very patient and supportive. Co-presenting was a really good stepping stone – I co-presented with Sarah Smith at Teaching for Success last year too and I definitely feel I’m gaining confidence.

As for the talk itself… Here are the slides

Personally, I was pleased with it. We pitched it at the right level for the conference and it seemed to go down well. There was a scramble for handouts at least…

I’m rubbish at networking…

I made some brilliant attempts to spark up conversation with other attendees, in classic Pete ‘socially awkward’ Pun fashion. These included…

  • A purposeful attempt at taking the last chocolate brownie from the tray at the same time as another participant which I thought might lead to an impromptu chat. It didn’t.
  • Sparking up a conversation with an attendee who was crocheting throughout the conference talks. We only spoke about crochet/knitting – I didn’t even find out which country she worked in
  • A weird moment when someone stared at my name badge, looked up at me, raised an eyebrow then walked off…

I managed to perfect a really good ‘gooseberry’ stance though. At one point I was chatting to a guy from a publishers (who I play football with back in BKK) and somebody rocked up, interrupted and said something that seemed to mean ‘I’m really important and you should speak to me’. I could tell that by the handshake. I wondered if I was supposed to be introduced but doubted it. I did a crab-shuffle towards the wine table, attempting to take the same glass as someone else hoping that it would spark up a conversation. It didn’t.

I should have planned ahead…

The conference programme for CamTESOL was pretty epic. Up to 25 talks happening at the same time, with 10 minute breaks in between. I should have worked out what I wanted to attend beforehand. I saw some good stuff, but missed some (possibly) interesting talks too. I also went the wrong room once, and ended up listening to a talk on teaching English humour to Japanese university students. It was interesting, it just wasn’t the most applicable for me.

camtesol1

A guy explaining about Japanese jokes. It was a laugh.

The best talk I attended was ‘Models of professional development’ by Peter Wells. He explained observation types (self-appraisal, student evaluation, peer observation, external inspection) and which are most beneficial. I got a photo of one of his slides along with someone’s head.

camtesol2

Peter Wells, interesting talk…

There are A LOT of coursebooks out there…

I forget this, just because I only use two different coursebooks. There were publisher’s stalls everywhere. Kate/Kris and I did a sweep to find the best book name. We came across a book for Young Learners called ‘Hats On Top’ – this led to a jovial five minutes imagining how the publishers arrived at this name.

I only flicked through a few books to be honest. But the Cengage range was certainly impressive, especially with the TED talk resources.

I should have made better notes…

I saw a dozen 30 minute talks during the weekend, but I don’t have many notes to show for it. I’ve got a few good handouts about grammar activities, and I jotted down some links. However, Kate clocked that when notetaking I tend to prioritise information that might appear in a pub quiz – as evidenced here…

camtesol3

‘What does TED stand for, and what’s the TED slogan?’… A definite pub quiz question.

Conferences can be expensive…

The conference on the whole was great for my professional development. However, I had to take unpaid leave at work in order to attend. Once you add up the cost of hotels, flights, registration fees and extras, conferences aren’t something I can afford every year. I spoke to teachers from Australia and Japan who said they received some kind of funding to attend from their organisation, so that might be something to ask at my next job interview.

Overall, I had a really good time last weekend. It was a really well organised event and I enjoyed being involved in it. Did anyone else attend?

Perceptions of the DipTESOL

If you’re about to finish the Trinity DipTESOL, prepare yourself. You’ll soon have one of the most poorly understood qualifications in ELT.dip1

I finished mine in late 2014. Since then, I’ve had 3 different DELTA-qualified teachers suggest that my next step should be to take their Cambridge-accredited course. At least a handful of teachers have commented that I took the ‘easy DELTA’. My old boss all but dismissed my qualification by stating that the assessment ‘does appear less rigorous than the DELTA’. I’ve come across a fair few job adverts where the requirements ask for ‘DELTA or equivalent’ – my qualification isn’t even mentioned by name!

I can’t honestly say which is a harder course, I haven’t taken both and I don’t intend to. I’ll soon sit down with a DELTA-qualified colleague and record a conversation comparing our experiences of the two courses, which should be pretty interesting. I’ll post it up once it’s done. In the meantime, here are some of the most common perceptions I’ve encountered about the Trinity DipTESOL in the last year or so, and my own thoughts on them. Feel free to comment, disagree, and share some of your own experiences of both courses. (more…)

Test your knowledge: the Sounds of English

Here are a few quizzes to test your knowledge of the phonemic chart. I’ve based the questions on information in Sound Foundations (Underhill, 2005) and The Book of Pronunciation (Marks and Bowen, 2012).

The quizzes are designed to help people revising for the DipTESOL phonology interview, but they are open to all. They are by no means comprehensive, so if you fancy making another one I can add it into the post.

Note: clicking on the picture links to the quiz. For some reason I couldn’t embed them into the post, which is really annoying!

quiz part1

quiz part 2