Posted in Uncategorized

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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Posted in 2Ts in a Pod: Podcast, Uncategorized

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?
Posted in Uncategorized

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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Posted in Conversation Classes, Uncategorized, Young Learners

After Christmas: Find Someone Who…

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Image credit: Odyssey

Follow me on twitter @RobbioDobbio

This is an activity designed with young, low-level teens in mind to get them talking about their Christmas holidays using the classic “Find Someone Who…” format. Download the worksheet below.

after-xmas-find-someone-who

After Christmas: Find someone who…

You may need to model some question structures on the board before students start mingling. Remind them to ask follow-up questions to get details of their classmates’ holidays.

  • Speak to everyone in the class.
  • Ask questions to find a person who did each activity, if they say yes, write their name and ask for details.
  • First write the questions.
Activity Person Details
Went on holiday

Did you go on holiday?

Details: Where did you go?

   
Tried some new food

___________________________

___________________________

   
Had a party

___________________________

___________________________

   
Ate McDonald’s

___________________________

___________________________

   
Got some new clothes as a present

___________________________

___________________________

   
Got an electronic present (tablet, console…)

___________________________

___________________________

   
Visited family in a different town/city

___________________________

___________________________

   
Went to the cinema

___________________________

___________________________

   
Went skiing

___________________________

___________________________

   
Played a board game

___________________________

___________________________

 
Posted in Uncategorized

Lessons you can watch online

Amazing collection of class videos covering lots of different ages, levels, needs and skills.

Sandy Millin

For a lot of teachers, it can be hard to find the time or the opportunity to observe and learn from other teachers’ lessons. If that’s you, hopefully you’ll find these videos useful.

I’ve divided them into loose categories, with a sentence or two to help you decide which are the most relevant to you. Within the categories, they’re just in the order I found them! I’d like to thank the many people who’ve sent me links to these videos over the years (though unfortunately I can’t remember exactly who sent me what!)

Please feel free to tell me about other videos I may have missed in the comments, as well as any broken links. I’d particularly appreciate any VYL, YL or teen videos that may be out there, though I know they may be hard to find.

P.S. I’ll admit that I haven’t watched all of these from start…

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