This week, I'm quite excited because I've finished a project that I've been planning for a long time and seriously working on for the past two or three months...more of that later. I've also had a couple of days away camping (first time this year), and that always makes me happy (even though we got a bit wet)...so all in all, a good week. I hope you've had a good one, too.
Let me tell you what I have for you this Sunday:
I started off the resource 'Communication Activities' last year and it's been slowly growing over the months. These have all made an appearance in the newsletter at some point, but you might not have seen them all. There are 17 activities in there now and they're all designed to take very little time for you as the teacher to prepare, but give your learners plenty of opportunity for engaging practice. And it's free. What's not to like?! Have a look through and see if there's an activity that you could use in your class this week.
OK, this is the exciting bit - at least for me (drumroll, please!). This week, I launched a new course and I think it might just be the best thing I've done so far. The idea came to me because when I talk to in-service teachers (novice and not-so-novice) they often tell me that the aspect of teaching that they find hardest is teaching grammar without it turning into a bit of a lecture. So, to address this, I've developed a new course called 'Teaching Grammar Communicatively'
I hope that the (rather long-winded) title is reasonably self explanatory but to give you a bit more information, it includes some thoughts about why teaching grammar is important, an overview of useful frameworks and thoughts about the three principles that I feel are most important when you are teaching grammar. These are: including a Context; Asking, not telling; and ensuring lots of Meaningful Practice... (CAMP - see what I did there? I told you I was a tent-enthusiast..). I wanted to include principles and practical ideas and there are over two hours of video tutorials in short manageable chunks (with transcripts) and useful downloadables with great activities to take to the classroom. There's a free welcome unit online so that you can have a look first and see if you like it, and as with all my courses, there's a 7 day money back guarantee if you decide it's not for you. I'll be interested to see what you think - do let me know.
Finally, since we're on the subject of methods of teaching language, I recently came across this talk by Scott Thornbury called 'My Seven Favourite Teaching Methods' and I thought that I'd share it with you. Scott Thornbury is such a legend - I've never watched a talk of his that I didn't enjoy and he's always able to give interesting insights (especially with a historical perspective) and make you really think about your practice (well, that's how it works for me!). I hope it gives you some of food for thought.
That's it for this week. Have a good one and I'll see you next Sunday