First of all, a BIG thank you to all of you who have bought my new course Teaching Grammar Communicatively. I've been a bit overwhelmed (in a good way) by the positive response. If you haven't had a look yet, go and see what all the fuss is about :)
I hope that (for those of you in the Northern hemisphere, at least) you are enjoying the summer. It seems (here in the UK) that it's really beginning and I've decided to take a break for the holidays. I have a PhD that I really must do some work on, I'm moving house and I have plans for some long walks and some camping trips.... So, this will be the last newsletter for a little while. I'll be back in September - I promise.
I'm not done just yet, though - what delights do I have for you this week?
The most popular course on my site, with over 8,500 users, is the CELTA Toolkit (it helps that it's free, I guess, but I have other free courses, too!). I started making these videos ten years ago and it built up as a resource over time. There's material in there on classroom management, teaching language and skills, phonology and a whole raft more. If you are on a CELTA course, it'll definitely be useful, but you might find some of these things helpful, even if you're already teaching. This video, for example, describes an activity that Nicola Prentis calls 'Reverse Reading'. Like all good teaching ideas, it's simple, requires little preparation and gets learners talking and learning. Have a look and feel free to browse through the rest of the Toolkit to see what else you find that's helpful.
Jill Hadfield is a bit of an ELT legend. I've been using her materials since the very beginning of my career and she always has creative and interesting ideas. I caught a talk that she did recently and she mentioned this activity that I thought was a great idea. It's from her book Classroom Dynamics (1992) OUP) and practises past tense(s) but also has an important function in helping to build the cooperative, friendly atmosphere in a class which makes learning so much more likely. See what you think.
Finally, since we're talking about a creative approach, I thought that I'd draw your attention to this free book Creativity in the English language classroom from the British Council website. It's edited by Alan Maley and Nik Peachey, both wonderful teacher educators (IMHO) and has chapters by a whole host of ELT luminaries. That should keep you in summer reading until I get back!
So, that's it for a little while. Have a great summer and I'll see you in September.