What is a speech act? clt communication elt speaking speech act speech function Oct 22, 2021

By Dr Jeremy Koay

A limited view

The central tenet of speech act theory is the idea that humans use language to perform a communicative action, such as to greet or invite someone, or to offer something (Searle, 1969).  However, traditional approaches to language teaching tend to focus on...

Continue Reading...
Your first lesson with new students classroom managment elt first lesson lesson planning Oct 22, 2021

By James Jenkin

There are teachers who, even after many years in the classroom, still experience nerves before a new class. It’s the fate of a great teacher, because they care if a lesson works or not.

So how can we make our first class a success?

What do learners want?

It’s worth...

Continue Reading...
What is a syllabus? curriculum elt syllabus Oct 22, 2021

By Dr Jeremy Koay

A limited view

In the most general sense, a syllabus is a document that provides an outline of the teaching content of a course. Therefore, a teacher’s understanding of and familiarity with the syllabus is important because learner assessments will be based on the...

Continue Reading...
What is action research? action research celta elt teacher research Oct 22, 2021

By Dr Jeremy Koay

A limited view

A misunderstanding of research in general is that it is reserved for researchers; that is, teachers do the teaching and researchers do the research. This perception, however, is not accurate because most teachers are constantly looking for ways to improve their...

Continue Reading...
Strategies for handling small talk conversation elt oral communication small talk strategies Oct 22, 2021

By Dorothy Cleary

On the face of it, small talk looks simple. Conversations tend to be short-lived, topics are fairly predictable and repetitive, and most workplaces provide lots of incidental practice in this essential workplace skill.

However, small talk is extremely complex and difficult. It...

Continue Reading...
What is needs analysis? elt learner's needs learning goals needs analysis student's needs Oct 22, 2021

By Dr Jeremy Koay

A limited view

Do teachers always know what learners' needs and learning goals are? In the traditional model of education, teachers decide what learners need to learn. This is because some teachers and parents assume that learners are not aware of their own learning needs.

A...

Continue Reading...
I can’t have a conversation in English adult learning background knowledge conversation culture elt esol teaching cultural information Oct 22, 2021

By Dorothy Cleary

I could not count the number of ESOL learners, many of whom were competent high-level English speakers, who have looked hopefully at me and said, “I want to improve my speaking. I don’t know how to have a conversation.”

My heart always sinks, because at their...

Continue Reading...
What is intensive reading? elt intensive reading reading reading comprehension Oct 22, 2021

By Dr Jeremy Koay

A limited view

As the name suggests, intensive reading refers to reading short texts thoroughly and with clear goals, such as to answer reading comprehension questions or to identify how sentences are linked. Unlike extensive reading, the goal of intensive reading is not to read...

Continue Reading...
Giving students space elt preferences Oct 22, 2021

By James Jenkin

There’s a dilemma. Enthusiastic ESOL teachers want their students to enjoy class, to participate, to speak. But can our enthusiasm inhibit learners?

We do these things with the best intentions:

- stand close to and over students
- use big gestures
- give a thumbs-up while a...

Continue Reading...
English in the workplace - using the Careers New Zealand jobs database authentic materials elt english for the workplace resources Oct 22, 2021

By Dorothy Cleary

In my previous blog, I included a list of places to find authentic materials, both online and paper-based. The Careers New Zealand website is one easily accessible and varied resource for English in the Workplace (EWP) classes. It provides information about possible careers...

Continue Reading...
What is collaborative writing? collaborative writing elt writing Oct 22, 2021

By Dr Jeremy Koay

A limited view

In most conventional writing tests, test candidates are expected to write their essays independently. As a result, in an exam-oriented education system, in-class writing activities typically involve producing a piece of individual writing. Although there should be...

Continue Reading...
Designing a reading lesson in five minutes elt lesson design reading Oct 22, 2021

By James Jenkin

Students should read more. Reading has a significant impact on learners’ English in general: it seems to raise proficiency in other skills, such as writing and speaking (Waring, 2006).

Studies such as Ro (2016) report that extensive reading has a positive effect on...

Continue Reading...
What is code-switching? code switching elt Oct 22, 2021

By Dr Jeremy Koay

A limited view

According to the online Oxford Dictionaries (2017), code-switching is ‘the practice of alternating between two or more languages or varieties of language in conversation’. Traditional approaches to language teaching and learning typically frown upon...

Continue Reading...
Five reasons to write your own TESOL blog blog elt tesol writing Oct 22, 2021

By James Jenkin

Writing a TESOL blog is a valuable endeavor for anyone serious about teaching. It will help you think deeply about your approach to teaching, and connect you with the wider TESOL community. And it’s fun.

Here are some examples of creative and inspiring blogs:

...

Continue Reading...
Three current TESOL controversies controversies course book eliciting elt reading aloud tesol Oct 22, 2021

By James Jenkin

Course books: Yes or no?

Many teachers and students are fans of course books. Most are professionally written and provide teachers with ready-made material. Their alignment with international proficiency levels, such as CEFR, is useful for schools. And, more importantly, they...

Continue Reading...
What is oral assessment? assessment elt oral assessment Oct 22, 2021

By Dr Jeremy Koay

A limited view

The goal of standardised assessment in general is to test learners’ knowledge and ability to perform a particular task. In the context of language assessment, some countries tend to focus on reading and writing skills. This focus has negative consequences....

Continue Reading...
Catching a glimpse into the future of learning Oct 22, 2021

Comprised of twelve key insights with accompanying graphics, the Catching A Glimpse Into The Future of Learning Infographic points the way toward a diverse learning ecosystem in which learning adapts to each child instead of each child trying to adapt to school.

A glimpse into the future of...

Continue Reading...
What is dynamic assessment? assessment dynamic assessment elt the zone of proximal development vygotsky zpd Oct 22, 2021

By Dr Jeremy Koay

A limited view

The most common assessments are those that seek to measure candidates’ abilities. High-stakes language assessments, such as IELTS and TOEFL, are typically highly-standardised, and examiners usually display a ‘neutral and disinterested stance’...

Continue Reading...
What is plain English? academic writing elt plain english teaching writing technical writing Oct 22, 2021

By Dr Jeremy Koay

A limited view

The concept of Plain English is commonly understood as being a style of writing that is easy to understand and that uses simple vocabulary. Although this understanding captures the core concept of Plain English, it is problematic because easy and simple are...

Continue Reading...
The dreaded tag question elt grammar question tag question Oct 22, 2021

By James Jenkin

tag question (or question tag) is a question added to a declarative sentence: You like grammar, don’t you?

Course books force students to learn tag questions – and usually all forms and uses at the same time. But learners find them immensely...

Continue Reading...