I've been working from home for exactly a month now. I've left the house about five times in that period and during the day I'm on my own here. I've been inundated with emails from students and colleagues, and phone calls and online meetings, as you'd expect. But just over a week ago, I noticed … Continue reading Writing/Working at home – Less is more
Last week, we had the pleasure of welcoming Dr Betty Lanteigne from LCC Klaipeda as a guest lecturer at the university where I work. She gave a talk in our 'English Linguists Circle' with the title "Unscrambling jumbled sentences: An authentic task for English language assessment?" and it got me thinking about several questions... and … Continue reading Jumbled sentences: An authentic ELT task?
We've all been there, haven't we? We desperately want (or need!) to get something finished - an article, a manuscript, a set of materials, whatever we're writing - but our brain just feels bereft of any ideas or information. Either that, or our grey cells are buzzing, but shooting around so many random thoughts that … Continue reading Writers’ Block Busters
OK, I'll admit it. I'm a bit confused. I think my classroom practice and teaching materials reflect a Communicative Approach to language teaching. Prompted by some debates on Twitter, though, I've been trying to read up on TBLT and picture exactly what it would look like in the classroom, how TBLT-type lessons and courses would … Continue reading Reflections on my lesson: Is this TBLT?
I've recently read (am a bit slow) this post https://eltplanning.com/2018/08/03/materials-writer-elt/ and one point really stood out to me - about how being interested in lots of things is helpful for materials writers. And as I'm just going through the proof stage of a book I've co-written, it made me reflect on the interesting things I've … Continue reading Fun things I’ve learnt from writing one ELT coursebook
In the EAP context I work in, we've recently had a drive to push engagement with authentic English-language input, within the classroom and as self-study. In general, as self-study I encourage my students to do whatever they enjoy doing – but do it in English! One of things a lot of students choose to do … Continue reading 10+ Things to do with a podcast in ELT
How would you say these example sentences? a. I think that's the right answer, but I'm not sure. b. I think that's the right answer, no matter what you say! I'm guessing that "I" and "think" sounded different when you said these two sentences to yourself - and it is this difference that is interesting … Continue reading Perceiving Prominence – Part #1 (the “What?”)
I'm not convinced that avoiding PARSNIP topics at all costs makes for engaging materials. As I see it, it should be a case of considering HOW and from which angle, not just WHAT topic is covered. It's more important how you serve the parsnips!
Finally it is the last week of our semester here, which started in October. It's been a long, hard slog, but we've made it! But the final week of term is a weird one. We still have classes, most of which are revision sessions or tests, and we have to make sure we get all … Continue reading Revision Week for my Materials
A while back, I summarised an article for ELT Research Bites exploring the reasons why language teaching professionals rarely access primary research reports. The main findings were that practitioners may have negative perceptions of research as irrelevant, they may face practical constraints such as expensive pay walls and a lack of time to find and … Continue reading How to access ELT-relevant research