If you need to write, write!

There are some funny thoughts that occur to us,  language teachers. We want our students to become fluent speakers, we want them to be proficient readers, we want them to become effective listeners, and finally, we want them to be great writers in a foreign language. All four skills neatly packed and delivered in a […]

Motivating Adult Students

One of the most difficult things I have been facing over the years is how hard it is to eager adult students to learn (and to stay at the Institution), especially, after the pre-intermediate level, when “the business start to get more serious”. At this level, they start to lack confidence in their ability to […]

Diary of a Freelance Teacher

Dear Diary, I haven’t written much on here for the last few months.  The two main reasons for this are a lack of time and  inspiration. The lack of time is never going to change, and I suspect this is the same for most people no matter what job they do, how big or small […]

Using songs in the classroom

If you had been my student at around 2010 on of your complaints would have been that I never used songs in my lessons. Earlier in my career I used songs quite frequently, in that gap-fill let’s-kill-some-time kind of way. However, as I became more experienced, I realised that this kind of activity is not […]

Teaching older people new tricks

One phenomenon I have noticed over the past two years is the noticeable rise in the number of ‘elderly’ people wanting to have English lessons (by ‘elderly’ I am using the US Census bureau’s definition of anyone over the age of 65). A combination of factors have probably led to this increase in interest. These factors are […]

Are you really teaching reading?

In an integrated-skills curriculum, reading and writing can be easily neglected if curriculum developers and teachers do not make a conscious effort to focus on them explicitly and to teach them as skills on their own right, rather than mere reinforcement of grammar and vocabulary or a springboard for speaking. I have already discussed the […]

What Students Can(n’t) Do with Tests

Much has been written and said about tests. A lot of teachers, students, and parents don’t see the point of tests, especially when all tests do is test discrete items of grammar and vocabulary , especially when it comes to summative tests, which assess what students have learned over a period of time. I myself don’t believe in […]

Basic Principles for Applied ELT Management in Brazil

According to ABF (Brazilian Franchising Association) there are currently 35 franchisors specialized in offering English teaching services. Some franchises have a staggering number of one thousand schools each. There are also countless independent teaching institutes in the market, employing a massive amount of education professionals. Yet, for all that, Brazil is still lagging behind the […]