'I don't understand nothing!'

How many times have we hear this phrase coming out of one of our student’s mouth? The student who feels she can’t understand ‘nothing’ because she missed a word — or even a phrase — and so switches off completely for the rest of the listening activity, or of the whole lesson.
Recently, one of the tasks I have completed for Delta module 1 preparation asked me to suggest remedial strategies and activities to help such student, so here is what I usually do. Continue reading “'I don't understand nothing!'”

Book: the Road Ahead

DISCLAIMER: this is by no means a book review. I am not qualified to write reviews and would not know where to start. What follows are my very personal thoughts on an interesting book I came across by chance. Feel free to disagree or comment if you have read the book.

1681773724The Road Ahead — Fiction from the Forever War is a collection of short stories written by US army veterans and edited by Adrian Bonenberg and Brian Castner. If you had asked me a year ago to read a book written by army veterans I would probably have raised my eyebrows. After all, I used to think, I’m as far as someone can be from anything military — its discipline, its mindset, its macho culture. Continue reading “Book: the Road Ahead”

Exam preparation: a lesson plan

Today I’d like to share a lesson with you. It’s a lesson structure more than a lesson plan, as it is easily adaptable to many exams — I used it with all the Cambridge suite, but I’m sure you can adapt it with IELTS or TOEFL too. I generally use it as first lesson for exam preparation groups, but I have sometimes been able to adapt it for one-to-one students too.
The lesson usually takes about 90 minutes, but you can adapt it to make it shorter or longer depending on your students needs and time constraints. Continue reading “Exam preparation: a lesson plan”

Planning one-to-one lessons

Some time ago I wrote about how I (am required to) plan my lessons. What I wrote there actually only applies to groups. Apparently, I do not have to produce such an accurate plan for my individual students. To tell you the truth, nobody ever told me what I am supposed to produce for these courses, and that gives me freedom to organise my work as I see fit.
So today I’d like to share how I prepare for my one-to-one students, keeping in mind that all this is based on my personal choice and experience and does not have any sound methodological background (that I know of). Continue reading “Planning one-to-one lessons”

2017 Eaquals conference workshop: quality fallout

I am thrilled and terrified to announce that a colleague and I will be presenting a workshop at the upcoming Eaquals Annual Conference in Riga, Latvia, in April this year.
The idea for the workshop came as a result of some unpleasant and unforeseen facts that happened at our school following some changes in quality assurance procedures. We would like to explore the drawbacks and human as well as monetary costs of keeping high standards of quality, and to discuss with the participants whether it is actually worth to maintain high quality standards in language education.
I am not sure yet of what we are going to say or do at the workshop, we are still at a brainstorming phase; so if you have any idea or personal experience on the topic and would like to share it here, it will be highly appreciated. 🙂
Thanks for reading, and see you in Riga!