What is reader-response theory? elt reader response theory reading rosenblatt transactional theory

By Dr Jeremy Koay

A limited view

In literature classes, a common focus for reading is aesthetic appreciation of a particular text. However, the focus of reading in an ESOL classroom tends to be on finding information. This focus in the ESOL context reflects an emphasis on the literal meaning of a...

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What are conversational skills? conversation elt speaking

By Dr Jeremy Koay

A limited view

Conversations are generally thought of as casual informal chats which are primarily used to build rapport. However, conversations can take place in a more formal context and can have a variety of purposes, including persuading, demonstrating expertise or...

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Songs in vocabulary learning elt music songs vocabulary

By Dr Jeremy Koay

Using songs in language classrooms is not a new idea. They are generally used to practise listening and spelling skills. For example, words from a song are left out and students are expected to fill in the blanks while listening to the song. Ideally, students write the correct...

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How to encourage critical thinking through storytelling children children's literature critical thinking elt extensive reading language teaching reading stories storytelling

By Dr Jeremy Koay

Critical thinking is widely agreed on as an important component in language classrooms. But what is critical thinking? Yang and Gamble (2013, p. 398) state that critical thinking involves at least four skills:

  • metacognition (awareness of one’s own thought processes)
  • ...
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How to enhance children’s imagination in reading creative creativity critical reading elt imagination story storytelling strategies

By Dr Jeremy Koay

Most of us would agree that innovation is a result of imagination and creativity. How can language teachers and parents encourage children to be more imaginative and creative when reading stories? Consider these six ideas.

1. Connect with your experiences

Go beyond comprehension...

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How useful is technology for language learning? digital technologies elt technology

By Dr Jeremy Koay

Technology is becoming more common in facilitating and promoting language learning. Online interactive language courses now allow both individual and group learning. Language learning apps, such as LinguaLift, Memrise and Duolingo allow individuals to learn and develop their...

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How do you make story time fun for children? body language children elt fun rhymes rhythm stories story story time storytelling

By Dr Jeremy Koay

Stories, either written or spoken, are part of our everyday experience. You have read or heard stories that make you laugh, that awaken your curiosity, that inspire; as well, of course as the boring ones!

Most parents and teachers are aware of the benefits of reading storybooks...

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Designing effective language learning materials ielts materials design teaching materials

By Dr Jeremy Koay

In most language teaching environments, one or more prescribed textbooks are available, and teachers are often expected to supplement these with their own materials. These materials are often more relevant or interesting for learners than the standard textbook resources....

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How to involve parents in children’s language development efl elt library parents reading reading time teachers

By Dr Jeremy Koay

In countries where English is not a mainstream language, many children learn English as a Foreign Language (EFL).

One of the challenges that some parents in EFL environments report is that they are not able to teach their children English due to their own limited English...

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What is portfolio writing assessment? elt portfolio portfolio assessment writing writing assessment writing portfolio

By Dr Jeremy Koay

A limited view

Traditionally, assessment has focused on testing students’ knowledge and skills. In this approach, teachers evaluate students’ learning based on end products, such as assignments and test answer scripts. This approach does not encourage learners to...

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What is plagiarism? elt plagarize plagarizing plagiarise plagiarism

By Dr Jeremy Koay

A limited view

Plagiarism is generally understood as copying words from a text without acknowledging its source. However, the working definition of plagiarism is less straightforward, and is influenced by both personal views of the concept, and institutional and disciplinary...

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What is fluency? elt fluency fluent reading reading fluency speaking speaking fluency

By Dr Jeremy Koay

A limited view

Fluency is often associated with the ability to perform a task quickly, smoothly and effortlessly, as Jiang (2016) summarises. However, this aspect of language should not be considered in isolation from other aspects, such as topic familiarity, vocabulary and the...

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What is the critical period hypothesis? age age and language learning critical period hypothesis elt

By Dr Jeremy Koay

A limited view

The Critical Period Hypothesis claims that an optimal period for language acquisition exists and that this period ends at puberty (Abello-Contesse, 2009). Studies that adhere to this hypothesis typically focus on pronunciation and grammar, as DeKeyser (2000)...

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What is blended learning? blended learning elt face-to-face learning online learning technology

By Dr Jeremy Koay

A limited view

Blended learning is often defined as the combination of traditional face-to-face learning and online learning experiences (Garrison & Kanuka, 2004). Some critics of this model say that there are risks involved when contact hours between students and teachers...

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What is politeness? culture elt politeness speaking

By Dr Jeremy Koay

A limited view

Viewing politeness as a universally accepted norm is an incomplete or even misleading understanding of the concept. In fact, research in the early development of politeness theory, such as that of Brown and Levinson (1987), has been criticised for its lack of...

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What is learner identity? elt identity learner identity

By Dr Jeremy Koay

A limited view

Discussions in Second Language Acquisition (SLA) tend to focus on variables that pertain to the individual rather than the social context (Peirce, 1995). This is seen in ways that learners are described: motivated or unmotivated, introverted or extroverted, or...

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Instructions that work classroom managment classroom practice elt giving instructions

By James Jenkin

The biggest headache for teachers is when students don’t understand instructions. Running around a class of fifty, clarifying what to do, is not fun.

The first step is to take instructing seriously. Clear instructions are the only way to ensure the class runs smoothly, and...

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What is reading anxiety? elt reading reading anxiety

By Dr Jeremy Koay

A limited view

Children who have issues with reading are sometimes described as poor, reluctant, or struggling readers (Jalongo & Hirsh, 2010). These descriptions tend to focus on children rather than their reading problems.

While it is important to focus on strategies to...

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Four techniques to give your lessons oomph elt engagement methodology motivation

By James Jenkin

Here are four easy ways to make lessons much more effective and engaging. They’re easy, and they work!

1. Bring visuals and realia to every class

Pictures and real objects are interesting and meaningful. They engage the senses, and bring the real world into the classroom.

...

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Some interesting language teaching methods elt language teaching methodology

By James Jenkin

We’ve all heard of ‘methods’: for example, the Berlitz Method, which aims to recreate the way we learn our first language through listening, repeating and speaking; and the Callan Method, which claims it can develop native-like language habits using...

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