Reflections from a presentation attended at the 40th TESOL Greece Convention.

I really like supporting my local TESOL association and after attending the 40th TESOL Greece convention once again on the 2nd-3rd of March, 2019. I was asked by one of the presenters whose session I followed to write a review about the speaker’s presentation and I thought I’d share it here with you too. Continue reading “Reflections from a presentation attended at the 40th TESOL Greece Convention.”

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Train your students to love creative learning.

I’m probably writing this because in class my students got me frustrated again. Supposedly, a small-class size should lead to a full class of motivated and happy students. Yet, there is always going to be this one student that always sets you back and lets you down. Does this scenario seem familiar? There is always this one student that is keeping you back from full class success. This one student that you feel that if they weren’t in your class your class would do much better. Everyone has got at least one of those such students. So what do you do when things get out of hand in your class? When you can understand no matter how meaningful you think the material you have prepared is, they seem to show absolutely no interest? Continue reading “Train your students to love creative learning.”

A demotivated classroom in which most learners are happy to not change…

After a short time period that I had to be away from my noisy and lively first-year junior-high school classroom, I returned only to find them with my substitute teacher being quiet and focused, almost like they were either completely immersed in an activity or in a state of trance.  At first, this sight of my class completely to themselves hit me like a ton of bricks because I thought, just maybe, it was my fault that I had made them into a noisy and active bunch not adhering to my classroom management choices, whereas the substitute teacher had them more under her control using more effective classroom management techniques.  Consequently, this got me thinking that I was the teacher with classroom management issues and couldn’t control class as good as other teachers did. Continue reading “A demotivated classroom in which most learners are happy to not change…”

Cultivating book reading in young learners

I recently had a teacher meeting at my school. However, before I begin with that, I really should say that I run a small language school situated on Lesvos island targeting young learners and some adults. Most of our classes are general English and we do have some EAP small group work or privates too. The most difficult part of having the school is CPD for myself and my staff. The distance between our island and mainland Athens is really translated into a cost which makes it difficult to travel often, without appending the cost of leaving the school and your family. Continue reading “Cultivating book reading in young learners”

TRUTH OR DARE (EltCation)

I’m a sucker for new activities, especially for activities which are engaging for students but do have learner outcomes. Truth or Dare is another one of those activities I would like to try in my new classes for this school year. Truth or Dare was a game we played at teenage parties, so I do have fond memories of this activity. I like to repost articles which interest me because there are many I read but few that I end up trying. Experience has shown that If I repost the activity I do end up trying it in class and eventually reflecting upon it.

ELT-CATION

Truth, dare, double dare, love, kiss, promise…You may have played and enjoyed this game as a teen. I sure did.

I stumbled upon this version of Truth or Dare shared by from Yulia in her Discover English Teaching  group the other day, and I loved the idea of using it in the classroom.

I am sure this fun game will work really well with teens.

Yulia kindly agreed to share it here.

How to Play

🗣 The players are grouped together sitting or standing in a circle.

🗣 One player (or the teacher) at a time has a turn to ask another player the question ‘Truth or Dare?’

🗣 The player should choose between Truth or Dare. Choosing neither or both options is not allowed.

🗣 If they choose Truth, they will have to answer any question relating to their life, hobbies, habits, past or any other question. The player must answer the question honestly…

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Journal Topics for Writing Class

Just what I was looking for, journal topics for writing in my ESL classes. I will try to implement getting students to write in their journal in class.

WordTraveler

As a writing teacher, I love having my students write in a journal for the first 5 minutes of class. It establishes a routine of how we will begin class each time and also gets them in the habit of writing. I find that the only time most students write is for formal assignments. Journal writing can help them experience writing their feelings and thoughts on papers, knowing there is no right or wrong answer and knowing that their grammar won’t be corrected. I have my students buy a composition notebook and only use it for journaling. I collect it every Wednesday (for a Monday, Wednesday, Friday class) and give 2 points for every journal entry completed. They can not make up journals once I have collected them for the week. (This saves me from grading 30 journal entries for each student at the end of the semester!) This is…

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3-2-1 Bridge: A creative warm-up and follow-up routine

This activity was reposted on FB by Onthesamepage.elt . I believe Chrysa Papalazarou has explained this warm-up and follow-up routine in detail and believe this will motivate my students to creatively and critically think about the topic at hand in our lesson. What attracted me to this activity was stage 3 where they repeated the 3-2-1 activity again after further investigating the topic at hand with a reading activity. I really believe this will be an interesting activity to try with my class. Have to let you know how it went!

Art Least

In this post I will talk about the 3-2-1 Bridge thinking routine. The word Bridge is used to indicate the routine has two related stages. I have found it an interesting and effective activity in prompting students’ creative thinking. This applies to a) activating their prior knowledge on a topic, b) fostering their readiness in generating ideas c) extending their thinking to new directions and d) facilitating reflection on this shift in their thinking. The routine works well as warm-up at the beginning and as a follow-up at the end of a topic.

Step 1
At the beginning of the topic ask students to generate
3 words
2 questions
1 simile

that quickly come to mind when they think of this topic. Students can work individually, in pairs or in groups. Explain that similes are connections we make, comparing one thing to another because they are alike in some way…

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16 ways to improve your whiteboard work

Great ideas for use of the whiteboard. Even though, I definitely need to improve my board work, I mostly use an interactive whiteboard. Idea! I will try to adapt this article to an interactive whiteboard multi-page template.

ELT Planning

I had my first lesson observation at the British Council Bangkok the other day. I still have a job, woohoo!

I got some very surprising feedback from my line manager: ‘your board work was a real strength’. Boardwork? Strength?! I did NOT expect that! However, I do think my whiteboard work has improved a bit over the last year for a few reasons.

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