I have an exciting announcement for this newsletter and also an important bit of news for you (well, it is a newsletter…). The exciting announcement is the winner of my scholarship for the Video Creation for Educators group programme. There was really stiff competition and I found it very hard to choose, but the worthy winner is Linda Musatye Osuna García, a teacher and teacher educator from Mexico. Linda really impressed me because she's been working to empower other Mexicans to learn to teach Spanish online. Video will help her to develop this even further. I'm super-excited to be working with her (as well as all of the other participants).
There are just a couple of spots left on the VoiCE programme (we start in two weeks' time and the doors close next Sunday) so if you are ready to make some changes in your life and want to learn to make engaging video that will attract more students or if you want to make online courses that sell, just hit 'reply' (quick, quick!!) and I'll send you the details.
The other rather big news for this week is that I'm going to be having a bit of a break from the newsletter for the next few months. As I've mentioned before, I've been working on a PhD for some time and it's time to knuckle down and finish writing my thesis. I'm hopeful that I can do this in a few months if I put other things on hold a bit, so I really look forward to seeing you on the other side of this big challenge.
So this is the last newsletter for a while - let's see what I've got for you….
Last week, my something new was about ways to start a lesson well, so I thought it might be useful to remind you of some ways to end a lesson or fill in a bit of extra time with some great no-preparation speaking activities. Always useful to have up your sleeve!
A few weeks ago, the IATEFL committee approached me and asked if I'd make a video as an introduction to English teaching for their site. I've talked about IATEFL before - it's a great organisation (and their annual conference is coming up in May in Belfast - well worth going to) so I was delighted to be involved with this. You can see the final product on their website here if you're interested. While you're there, check out their webinar programme, short courses and the big annual conference coming up in May.
Something borrowed (x 2!)
Finally, as it's the last for a while, I've got two 'something borrowed's for you. Neither are hugely new, but they're both deserving of a mention.
The first is that Nik Peachey has just put out a free, demo version of his Teachers’ Classroom App. It’s fully functional and has a selection of materials from each section of the app - if you then subscribe, you get access to everything. Even if you don't, it's worth looking at. I think it's a brilliant resource that will make your lessons look so professional and give you great ideas. I even made a video about it a while ago.
My second recommendation for this week isn't at all new. In fact, I'd be astonished if you've never heard of this site before, because it's been around for a really long time and it's got such a wide range of resources BUT I often find there are sites and tools that you take for granted and so you stop looking at them and a re-visit can be very illuminating. The site I want to highlight is Onestopenglish. 'Oh yes' I hear you cry 'I know that one'…. (if you didn't say that, definitely keep reading but keep reading even if you did…)
I hadn't looked around Onestop for a while and I have to say that I was pretty impressed when I had a mooch around recently. It's a subscription site but the yearly fee is very cheap (£21 a year) and there is still a huge amount of material that you can access for free even if you don’t subscribe. Here are a few things (all free) that I found in only a short time:
- Reading lessons based on authentic news stories at different levels like this one about a man who accidentally started a website that catches people who want to murder their relatives (yeah - really!)
- Ideas for practical classroom activities like these using technology - you do have to register to read this but it's free to do so.
- Interesting articles on teaching methodology like this one on the history of EFL and different approachesThere's stuff there for teachers of adults, teens, children, all levels, Business English, ESP, exams, all skills, online teaching….
So off you go and have a look at these - hope that you find them helpful and I'll be back in a few months. Wish me luck!