ELT Experiences

Experiences for English Language Teaching

By - Martin Sketchley

Why I Quit My Last Job

There have been quite a few blog posts and articles regarding the working conditions for many private English language schools in the UK and abroad. Most of the constructive feedback regarding the private EFL industry revolve around remuneration, or the lack of it. I wanted to share my experiences of working in the UK EFL industry and what made me quit my permanent job.

I should say that this blog post is not a wholly critical look at the EFL industry but rather (I hope) a balanced view of my experiences and what led up to me leaving my last employers.

By - Martin Sketchley

What Book Do I Need For Online Teaching?

In my previous post, I recommended one book for online teachers which really helped me gain the confidence for online English teaching. In this post, I look at another book which will provide an opportunity for students to interact online via a platform which has been developed to coincide with either their digital online or face-to-face lessons. This book has been co-authored by Lindsay Clandfield and Jill Hadfield and is published with the support of Cambridge University Press, under the series of the Cambridge Handbook for Language Teachers.

By - Martin Sketchley

Teaching Tips Episode 10: Ten Reading Tips

One thing that can trouble teachers is how to teach reading skills in an engaging and interesting way. When I was learning French or German at school, my teachers would give us a block of text – not all that I could understand – some comprehension questions and let us get on with it. Fast forward 25 years, and I have created some techniques to ensure that reading is dynamic and exciting.

By - Martin Sketchley

Top Ten Tips For Observing Teachers

Observing teachers can be quite a challenge, especially if you have limited observation experience. However, it shouldn’t be too stressful and you can also help teachers with the whole process. There are of course different observations which are considered: pop-in observations (where a senior member of staff pops their head through the door to get a general idea of the class), formal observation (which is arranged by the Director of Studies or a senior teacher) and a peer-observation. Each have different objectives and this will be looked at in a future article. In this article, we shall look at ten tips for observing teachers and things to consider.

By - Martin Sketchley

Five Icebreakers in the EFL Classroom

Those dreaded first lessons do not have to be stressful. Watch the video below for some ideas on five icebreakers in the EFL classroom.

What activities or techniques do you incorporate in your first lessons? Have you tried any ideas in the video?

By - Martin Sketchley

Five Ways for Teachers to Talk Less and Students to Talk More

It can always be difficult in prompting learners to talk or respond to questions, particularly if they are not used to it. Teachers can try a number of things: games, rewarding behaviour or input, reminding learners of class rules, offering some form of carrot (a movie at the end of the week) or the threat of homework. For English teachers, it can become quite challenging particularly should one have the same students throughout the year.

There are some reasons why learners can be naturally quiet in the classroom, but encouraging them to interact can improve their progress However, the more the teacher talks, the less the students talk. What is more, you do not want your students to come to class just to listen to you. So Annabelle Fee offers some suggestions: five ways for English teachers to talk less and students to talk more.

 

By - Martin Sketchley

Story Cubes: Ten Teaching Ideas

img_3505

A few months ago, I decided to invest in some Story Cubes and have been trying them out with some of my classes. If you are unfamiliar with Story Cubes, they are a collection of nine dice with images printed on each side of the dice. They are stored in a convenient box which is super portable, with them being small enough to just place in your pocket. Anyhow, when using the Story Cubes in class, the students responded positively and created some very engaging and funny stories. If you want to find out a bit more information about these Story Cubes, you can check Rory’s website.

In this article, we look at ten teaching ideas for using Story Cubes in the classroom.

By - Martin Sketchley

Twenty Ideas to Make Your Lessons More Exciting

A teacher training session looked at 20 ways to make your lessons more exciting and engaging. Please find below a video of the training session, the PowerPoint slides as well as a Handout which was provided to each of the attendees.

By - Martin Sketchley

Making The Most of Conferences

IATEFL Banner

It is that time of year where a vast group of English teachers venture to the UK to continue their professional development for the IATEFL Conference. This year it was held at Glasgow. I believe it was five years ago, in 2012, when I went to the IATEFL Conference in Glasgow to give my talk based upon my research for my MA in Dogme ELT. You can read more about my dissertation and research in this post.

Anyhow, attending conferences can be overwhelming, challenging and intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. This post looks at the best ways to make the most out of conferences and how to make the most of your time.

By - Martin Sketchley

Why Should Teachers Blog?

The-Beginners-Guide-to-Blogging

Last week, I was inducting some new teachers into our school: preparing them for their teaching career for the year ahead. We looked at various areas about teaching: classroom management, get to know you activities, games in the classroom, etc. The final area we looked at was about continuing professional development (CPD). We looked at formal and peer observations, attending workshops, contributing to workshops as well as blogging. All teachers with varying years of experience, including a teacher who had just completed her CELTA (or equivalent), had only come across the mainstream websites related to English language teaching (TEFL.com, Dave’s ESL Cafe or Teaching English) yet had not really considered blogging a tool for CPD.