How to Improve your Listening Skills in English through Conscious and Subconscious Learning

Having trouble understanding spoken English? … More How to Improve your Listening Skills in English through Conscious and Subconscious Learning

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A Success Story of English Language Mentoring Support in UK Schools…

These past few months have been possibly some of the most rewarding in my 20+ years of classroom teaching experience. I may not have been overly-complimentary about the Government’s handling of Modern Languages provision in British schools both in the recent past and currently, but I feel credit is due to the Government in the … More A Success Story of English Language Mentoring Support in UK Schools…

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Brave New World or Emperor’s New Clothes? An EAL book with a difference?

After teaching a recent EAL course in which my students were using quite possibly the dullest and worst put together coursebook I have ever seen in my 25 years of teaching EAL, I finally had a ‘road to Damascus’ moment and decided to do something I had been meaning to do for a while…….write my … More Brave New World or Emperor’s New Clothes? An EAL book with a difference?

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Not too long to go before my 1st EAL Skills book is ready!

Hi Readers! I’ve been slowly working behind the scenes this last week doing the rather unspectacular part of writing my 1st book – ie. editing, making sure all the bits tie up, etc. I’ll be printing out my final draft before long to make one last check and then it’ll be off to the printers … More Not too long to go before my 1st EAL Skills book is ready!

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Beyond Graded Readers …How Short Stories can Stimulate Classroom Language Learning (Skills).

In my 25 years of teaching I have encountered more than my fair share of language course books. Some were excellent whilst others left little to be desired. One recent book left me so uninspired that I even decided to write my own book at the beginning of Lockdown. As a source of inspiration, one … More Beyond Graded Readers …How Short Stories can Stimulate Classroom Language Learning (Skills).

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Teaching Strategies for Teenagers with Ever-Decreasing Attention Spans…… Conscious v Subconscious Learning.

Every minute counts! Given that the average teenager will probably only be able to concentrate for 10-20 minutes of ‘conscious learning’ within a standard 50 minute / 1 hour lesson, it is important that this short amount of time is used to good effect. As the clock starts to tick, teacher-talking-time needs to be kept … More Teaching Strategies for Teenagers with Ever-Decreasing Attention Spans…… Conscious v Subconscious Learning.

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Having difficulties mastering pronunciation in English? Try using a metronome with your EAL students to further develop their sense of rhythm of English sentence stress to sound more fluent….

Most of us know about or are aware of the difference in word stress between different languages but another area that has traditionally been overlooked in teaching is sentence stress patterns. English belongs to a group of languages (eg. Dutch, German and Russian) which are stress-timed, (ie. the stress patterns are governed by the stress … More Having difficulties mastering pronunciation in English? Try using a metronome with your EAL students to further develop their sense of rhythm of English sentence stress to sound more fluent….

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Have you ever considered how your personality might be affecting your language skills and development….

Whether you are an introvert or an extrovert, the way you speak and choose your words may help or hinder your linguistic progress. Research indicates that introverts are said to use language whch is more precise whilst extroverts tend to be more vague. Perhaps this is why introverted linguists are said to convey a higher … More Have you ever considered how your personality might be affecting your language skills and development….

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Why using songs in the language classroom can be so beneficial if used properly

Everybody loves a good song but have you really thought about how much your students could benefit from using the contents of the song for various linguistic purposes? Below are just a few examples in which you might want to consider using songs in your classroom in terms of their resourcefulness and their overall educational … More Why using songs in the language classroom can be so beneficial if used properly

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How understanding stem formation and etymology of words in one language can help you with others…..some practical examples

I practised the attached word formation exercise with a fairly able Year 9 French set last year and, as they were also studying Latin and Spanish, they really started to get excited about, (in so much as Year 9 boys can!), and see the significance of being able to understand and insert similar words based … More How understanding stem formation and etymology of words in one language can help you with others…..some practical examples

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How to Befriend Grammarphobes with Grammar in Pictures

For all those of you with a phobia towards grammar and who may have endured torturous hours at school struggling to ‘make heads of tails’ of it, there may be a simple solution…. Why not try learning grammar through a different context – pictures. A picture may say say a thousand words and for those … More How to Befriend Grammarphobes with Grammar in Pictures

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Why the Brits can’t Rap, Sentence Stress and how to Improve Listening and Pronunciation Skills through Music.

Every language has its own rhythm and music. The English language is a stressed-timed language which means that the rhythm falls on individual, dominant syllables within a sentence and there is a reduction in many of the vowel sounds. Other languages that follow this pattern include German, Dutch and Russian. This compares with syllable-timed languages … More Why the Brits can’t Rap, Sentence Stress and how to Improve Listening and Pronunciation Skills through Music.

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Challenging the Educational Status Quo on language provision in schools and in the classroom.

Whatever your feelings are on the current state of language learning in schools, the rather pitiful reality is that in January 2021, the UK has quite possibly never been in such a dire situation. The fact is that we in the UK are languishing near the bottom of the pile in the national league of … More Challenging the Educational Status Quo on language provision in schools and in the classroom.

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December 2020 Blog

Hi. I hope you’re all safe and well. From a personal pont of view, I’ve found this Coronavirus pandemic to be both a revelation and a nightmare. Although I lost my job recently and have undergone big lifestyle changes, this period has allowed me the time and space time to think and reflect, which I … More December 2020 Blog

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