Should we use Board games in the classroom? I say hell yeah we should! Why not? They are fun, interactive and help students to practise a variety of skills that don’t always get the attention they deserve. Obviously there is a time and a place for them, and a suitable age range, however, we have used with them adults and teenagers and found that once the initial feeling of ‘why are we doing this’ wears off, the students embrace it, and don’t even realise that they’ve just spoken English for a whole class without a care in the world.
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We moved back from Spain last year to England, and when we landed we were fresh out of ideas, but we settled down to a new job in Oxford, and have come across a fantastic website, that we have found very useful for students.
https://writeandimprove.com/ is a really useful tool for helping students with their writing both in and out of the classroom:
Continue reading “Help your students write with ‘write and improve’”
Guest blogging for us today are Kat and Mark from High Level Listening (HLL), a listening and speaking practice website for students and teachers. Continue reading “Guest Blog: High Level Listening”
Quizlet is a flashcard website/ application that can be used for learning, practising and testing vocabulary or grammar in teaching English (or any other language!). It offers games and other fun learning tools as well, that can be easily used in the classroom. It works for every level and is an incredibly customisable tool for the classroom. You can cover them all and it makes a great interactive addition to your teaching repertoire. I have been using it in the classroom for several months now and the students really enjoy it and it offers a break from the traditional Spanish chalk board classrooms and brings the class into the 21st century. It’s free to use (you only need a computer and Internet connection) and very straight forward with a wide range of options to suit lots of needs.
Below are listed some advantages and disadvantages to Quizlet so you can better decide whether it’s for you or not:
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Before I came to Spain I only had a vague knowledge of conversation classes and it was not a point that was really focussed on during my CELTA. However after arriving in Spain i soon realised how popular they were and all the problems that can come with this interesting concept of solely speaking for an entire lesson.
I’m not entirely sure where this idea of everyone must have a conversation class comes from , as improvement in all areas of language is valuable and as the skills are interlinked it seems in my opinion quite strange to focus and be obsessed only with one. I can’t see a conversation class being effective for anyone under B2 level (free to disagree). Below this level, speaking can be incorporated into any lesson and specific focus on pronunciation and fluency can also be done here. For higher levels a conversation has the benefit of focussing purely on speaking for the whole class time and within that you can focus on very specific student speaking problem1s or the more wider overall fluency and it gives students enough time to switch their minds into English mode and really test what they know and how they can express themselves.
Either way, in Spain (and most of Europe) you will be asked to do them so here are some pointers that might help you. Some are common sense and some might just make the difference between a successful class and unsuccessful one. Continue reading “Conversation classes 101”