Hello all. It is almost the Lunar New Year, so a huge congratulations to those readers from China and the Far East who will be commencing their celebrations soon. Today, we are looking at how to improve spelling with elementary or low-level learners, particularly if they are from an Arabic background.
It is notoriously difficult to improve or develop an Arabic learners. There are some important things you could consider incorporating in class such as unscrabbling letters to make the words, removing the vowels from words and students have to write them in words and, one of my favourite activities, using Scrabble tiles in class. Watch the video below to see how I use them in class by getting learners to review spelling and vocabulary.
As ever, if there is a video or something that you would like me answer please let me know I shall consider this. Hope this post helps and gives you some ideas on developing spelling with elementary learners.
The latest article published in Modern English Teacher focuses more on the latest filming that I have focused more in the past few months. Have a read to find out a bit more how teachers could film their classes for their own personal CPD as well as sharing ideas with out English teaching professionals from around the world.
Perhaps I should focus on a future article about how to edit and upload a video to a website which promotes video sharing such as YouTube. For example, I have to spend hours editing the video, rendering it, upload it to YouTube and then finally add effects and thumbnails. It takes a lot longer than you think but it is rewarding to see so many people deciding on watching some of the videos.
Have you ever recorded your lessons? What would you do with the material? Would you be happy to share your class with the world?
Happy New Year all! May I wish you all the very best of luck for 2017!
It has been a very busy few months for me. Unfortunately, I have not focused too much time on the blog. So apologies. It is always difficult juggling between a full-time job, getting videos uploaded on YouTube and dedicating time to this blog. I really appreciate your support and I thank you for your patience.
Anyhow, a new year and a new aim to get more and more videos up ready for my readers which focus solely on English language teaching! And to keep this promise, I have uploaded a new video which focuses on getting students to write. This was actually a Live lesson on the ELT Experiences’ Facebook Group. It has been edited and can be watched below. I hope you enjoy this lesson. If there is something that you would like me to focus on in a future video, let me know and I will consider this.
On 8 October 2016, I gave a workshop at the University of Brighton as part of the IATEFL PronSIG event. It was a great event and there were some wonderful talks. Unfortunately, I had to leave at 3pm. As has been requested, I have shared my slides for my talk. I hope that these are useful and I will be uploading a video of the workshop in the next few days. Many thanks for the kind words and don’t forget to ask any questions below.
Here is the video from the workshop.
It is the first time that I have attempted to do a book review via video before and I decided the lucky book would be “50 Activities for the First Day of School” by Walton Burns. Watch the video below to find out more about the book and whether it would be useful for teachers.
Again, please let me know what book reviews I should do in the future. Again, a huge thanks to everyone who has been supporting my YouTube Channel – I now have over 42,000 minutes of watch time and over 12,000 views on my Channel. So a huge thank you to everyone.
Last Friday, I was fortunate enough to observe one of my colleagues teach her Intermediate class with no material what so ever. She told me that she was going to get her students debating in class. I have always had difficulty getting my students to communicate and I thought it would be a great chance to see how another senior teacher encourages learners to communicate and debate naturally. It was the first time that I had been able to take away some ideas for teaching for next time. What made it even more valuable was that I recorded the lesson with my video camera – with her consent.
What I really found useful was the fact that the teacher did not use any worksheets or handouts and used all the students in class to elicit possible pros and cons for the debate. Here are the stages for preparing learners to debate and follow a similar lesson structure.
- Elicit possible statements for agreeing and disagreeing
- Board up these statements on one side of the whiteboard
- Choose a topic and divide the class in half
- One half of the class think of positives of the topic and the other half think of negatives
- Pair a student who focuses on positives with a student who focuses on negatives
- Get the learners to use the functional language on the whiteboard
- Monitor for feedback at the end of the lesson and prompt learners to use the functional language
- Stop the debate and then get students to decide who in their group won the debate and why
- Repeat the debate again but with a different topic and pair different students together
- Provide feedback and end the class
This is a great activity for Pre-Intermediate learners and above. Try it out next time and see whether you got your students speaking. A huge thank you to Lisa for allowing me to record her lesson.
Earlier this week, I was teaching a wonderful afternoon class of elementary adult learners who were really enthusiastic and engaged. Their enthusiasm and commitment to communicate made up for their lack of language ability. I decided, for their second lesson, to tell them a story and made a dictogloss activity. The main focus for a dictogloss is for students to listen to the story a number of times and then, in a group, to rewrite the story using any of their notes. I was so pleased with their progress and the amount that they had written from my story.
If you are unsure what dictogloss is, then the video below will help how to incorporate into your future lessons.
Have you ever tried dictogloss before? Do you have any questions? If so, don’t hesitate.