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Six Word Stories

How I see it now

In this post, I’d like to share a project we worked on earlier today. I’d like to point out that it was not a single lesson but a block of four 45-minute lessons, in which a group of ten teenagers (12-15 year-olds, 8 girls and 2 boys) worked on their Six Word Stories.

Here’s what we did.

20160323_081226Portraits (icebreaker): First, I asked students to make pairs (some of them didn’t know each other very well, which was to the good). I gave each student a large piece of paper and I asked them to draw a portrait of their partner. When drawing, they faced each other and they were about 2 meters apart so that they couldn’t see each other’s pictures very clearly. When they finished, I asked them to walk over to their partners, show each other the portraits and talk about them for a few minutes. I…

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Practical activities for listening decoding skills – a collection of links

ELT stories

As a follow-up to yesterday’s post (the recording of a webinar on Practical activities for teaching listening decoding skills, which was part of last year’s Electronic Village Online session on teaching listening), here are some links to activities that I collected for the session participants. These were meant as highly practical resources that could help the session participants to try out listening decoding in class. There are three sections:

  • activities that could be adapted to a wide range of listening texts
  • video extracts from lessons
  • materials and excerpts from published books that you could try out.

practical activitiesSECTION A: activities that could be adapted to a wide range of listening texts

1. Fast speech frustrations by Olya Sergeeva (ET professional issue 112, September 2017)

Olya Sergeeva describes the lesson procedure that she uses in her Authentic listening courses with learners at B1 level and higher. The procedure could be used…

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Why I gave up on ‘fast finisher activities’

TESOL TOOLBOX

So I was delivering a short training session for teachers about lesson planning a few of weeks ago. One of the things that came up was ‘fast finisher activities’. We didn’t have time to go into it in the session, but I think it’s possibly one of the most misleading terms in TESOL.

The idea – as far as I can tell – is that you have an extra piece of material for any bright sparks who finish their classwork before others. I assume it’s a concept that has come from mainstream education (primary in particular). It’s often cited as a way to reduce ‘off-task behaviour’ and further challenge stronger learners in mixed-ability classes. Pinterest is full of colourful, fun-looking ‘fast finisher activities’, like these ones I collected:

So what have I got against them? Well…

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2Ts in a Pod Episode 8: Innovate ELT Conference

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Image credit: Mark Wilding

Follow us on twitter @RobbioDobbio + @2tspod

First of all, if you haven’t already, please consider making a donation to Mental Health Friendly’s crowdfunding drive aimed at increasing access to English classes for people suffering and recovering from mental health issues, follow the link below:

https://gogetfunding.com/shay-educational-consultant/

This is our 8th episode of 2Ts in a Pod and our first exclusively for teachers. Katy and I attended the Innovate ELT conference at Oxford House in Barcelona where we interviewed speakers and organisers and generally had a lovely time. Check out the episode below, you’ll find the timings of the different interviews further down along with links to the various blogs and projects of the different interviewees. Thanks a lot to Oxford House and ELT Jam for having us!

Jo Sayers – 8.00-25.00
Scott Thornbury – 26.30-30.30
Dirk Lagerward – 33.00-42.00
Shaun Sweeney – 44.00-49.30
Ollie Wood and Mary Whiteside – 51.30-58.30
Nicola Meldrum – 59.30 – 63.30
Melody Phillip – 65.00 – 76.00

Learn more about ELTJam and Oxford TEFL at their websites:
eltjam.com/
oxfordhousebcn.com/en/

Check out Scott Thornbury’s brilliant blog “An A-Z of ELT”
scottthornbury.wordpress.com/

Subscribe to Dirk Lagerwaard’s excellent Vlog “NovELTies”:
www.youtube.com/channel/UCaRobWmFB_TLkqGM8Dg3IRQ

More food for thought at Shaun Sweeney’s blog below:
teacherdevelopmentlab.wordpress.com/

Find the free course on using online games in ELT that Mary and Ollie talked about by following the link below:
eltjam.academy/p/example

Follow the link below to explore Nicola Meldrum and Mark Mckinnon’s blog on teaching pronunciation:
teachpronunciation.blog/about/

Check out Melody Philip’s blog “Seahorse English”:
seahorseenglish.wordpress.com/author/sea…seenglish/

Posted in 2Ts in a Pod: Podcast, Uncategorized

2Ts in a Pod at Innovate ELT

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2Ts in a Pod is coming to Innovate ELT at Oxford House in Barcelona on May 11th & 12th and you can join us there at a discounted price using the offer code ‘2TSINAPOD20’ when you buy your ticket from the link below:
 
 
We’ll be doing the rounds interviewing speakers and attendees. Take a look at the lineup, who are you most excited to see?
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Coursebook requests

Sandy Millin

This is not a post about whether coursebooks are a good idea or not.

This is a post from somebody who uses coursebooks every day.

This is a post from somebody who regular says ‘Why?! Why would they do that?’

It’s written to publishers and materials writers.

It’s a request for minor tweaks that would make using coursebooks just that tiny bit smoother.

And for occasional major changes that would make me more likely to use your coursebook (series) again and recommend it to other people.

I don’t believe many of them should cost that much extra money, just a little more thought. Do tell me which things might not work because they would be too expensive. It’s important for those of us who use your books to understand why certain things are or are not done/included.

They are borne out of both my own experience, and comments I have…

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