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Ken Robinson defines creativity as "the process of having original ideas that add value". A new school year begins, energies are renewed and teachers are full of enthusiasm for a new challenge ahead. It is in these moments that I always propose that creativity does not have to stop. Let us maintain the creativity we had when we were relaxed and with a clear mind, and let us not lose it as the frenzy of the year starts. I believe creativity is a fundamental pillar for teaching development, if not,...

There is a lot of talk about education in the 21st century.   There is talk… that we need to embrace the 21st century and become 21st century teachers. that we need to help students learn and develop skills and competences that are necessary for the new world. that we have to do so while embracing bilingual education as part of that new world.   New world. A multilingual world.   Bilingual Education is not a new thing… we all know that by now. It is not a trend. It is not going away. It is a way...

A challenge teachers frequently face is reducing the amount of L1 used by their students in class. For obvious reasons, we all want our learners to take the most of our lessons. They also like to feel challenged and to leave the room (or wherever you teach them) feeling that they have spent an hour or so only speaking English. In addition, all of us teachers tend to believe that every minute of communication in the target language is worth the effort. These arguments make complete sense, but...

When I was teaching teenagers, I frequently discussed online safety.  Cyberbullying, phishing scams and the typical 419 Nigerian prince scam were among our class topics and we would laugh hard at the absurd grammar errors in the spam email letters. However, I have recently learned that the gross grammar errors and the far-fetched stories featured in the 419 letters are actually meant to attract the most vulnerable and gullible and to repel those who are less likely to fall for a scam. So, it seems that scammers are...

As a teacher, I have often resorted to different methodologies and activities to make students more interested in my class. However, lately I have been curious about the learning processes of a language and I have been eager to understand in depth how especially teenagers go through such processes. Consequently, the following question has popped up: what if we can boost students’ language acquisition by sparking something in their brains? Much has been studied and said about neuroscience and how the brain takes in a language, but I have...

So, February and March have arrived, and with it groups have been assigned to many teachers around Language Schools. Let me tell you about my groups! I am so happy with what I have got, specially because I have been studying hard to deal with young teenagers, and this semester seems like the perfect opportunity to apply what I have been learning around. There’s this one group in particular which I am over the moon with, and they are the main topic of my post today! I believe what...

Yes, I have just invented that word. Technology use in the classroom is debatable when it comes to usability and rationale of tasks. We (Active ELTers) have been discussing this topic for a long time now and one feature I believe is worth mentioning is that, if you use interactive boards, chromebooks, padlets, projectors, etc you are already using technology in your classroom. So, what’s new about that, you ask? I have been learning a lot from Alice Turibio, my partner at circular.club and as she is a...

We hear about CPD, the acronym for Continuous Professional Development, all the time. Although CPD is not only about taking courses, they are certainly a prototypical concept and the number of courses aimed at teachers has been increasing steadily, or at least this is the impression I have. When it comes to courses, one of the most common questions we hear is “Is this or that course worth it?” or “Should I do this course or not?” The answers, however, are definitely not as simple as the questions....

Continuing with the reflection expressed in the post "Shall we go against nature" on January 22nd I would like to add an observation. Drama has an advantage over all other subjects whichis that the vast majority of students, not to say all of them, like it. Those students who are usually reluctant to participate, during Drama theyend up doing it and enjoying it. Throughout the school period from Kindergarten to Secondary, the student’s interest in Theatre and Arts vary. It is not difficult to engage children between ages 3...

Ten years ago, you were working as an English teacher at a school, and your worries were how to help students develop their productive and receptive skills. Your lesson was basically focused on reading, writing, listening, and speaking, even if you followed innovative trends, included different technologies and authentic materials. Then, something happened. You heard of CLIL. Every single aspect of your skills-based lesson changed when your coordinator, your colleagues and the publisher’s rep started to show you the integration of language and content. Everything was possible now. And you...