Newsletter #7

Newsletter #7
Good morning

You may not be feeling quite as though it's a very good morning- with a new lockdown since Thursday in the UK and also in other parts of the world, things are not looking great. During the first lockdown, there was something of an air of Dunkirk Spirit and a lot of people (including me!) started getting creative and more active online. This time, perhaps, you might be feeling a bit less enthusiastic...but...maybe now is the time to grab the bull by the horns and decide to engage with something so that when we get to the end of this (yes, that WILL happen!) you'll be able to look back and say... That was the time when I .....(fill in the blank).

Now, if you'd like an idea for the 'fill in the blank', I think I can help you. I know that this is a hobby horse of mine, but one of the important aspects of being an EFL/ ESOL teacher (not the only one, but important nonetheless) is knowing about how language works, so if you are feeling a bit unsure in this area, now might be a great time to get to grips with it....

Grammar is the area of language teaching that teachers often feel under-confident about. It wasn't until I'd been teaching for a couple of years and did my Delta that I really got a good handle on it and it was a bit of a revelation. Feeling able to answer the questions that my learners asked off the cuff, (even if it these weren't directly related to the lesson content that I'd prepared for) was brilliant. I felt so much more confident in the classroom and amongst my colleagues - like a 'real' teacher, rather than just some imposter managing activities in the classroom.

I originally developed my Grammar for Language Teachers course for pre-CELTA trainees, but loads of people tell me that they find doing it when they have finished CELTA has been really positive for their planning and their teaching. If you've never looked at it before, there's an introductory unit on the site so have a look. You might also like my free Grammar Quirks series if you want a bit of extra grammar fun :)

Sneak Preview
As you probably know, because of CoVid you can now do CELTA fully online and with new lockdowns across the world, it looks as if this is here to stay. This week, I've been working hard on a new resource on the course that's designed to help anyone on the fully online course- it's called Fully Online CELTA Resources (yeah, I know, but hopefully does what it says on the tin....).

The course is free and it has videos about the differences between CELTA face to face and online, tips for teaching practice online, example online demo lessons taught by CELTA trainers, and a library of links to support you with assignments and your further development. I’ve also included a section on useful links for online teaching. Have a look and see what you think.

Website recommendation
Finally, my website this week is another one of my favourites. Russ Mayne's blog Evidence Informed ELT is a bit of a gem. Russ has a very thorough and research based approach and looks at lots of ELT chestnuts with clear sightedness and humour. He's not afraid to talk about the Emperor's new clothes and IMHO he's great! Personal recommendation -this post on Learning Styles is a bit of a classic.

Well, that's probably enough from me for this week. Hope that you have a good one and see you next Sunday.

Jo Gakonga

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