This week, I did a bit of a straw poll on Facebook to see how often I should be sending out this newsletter and the result seemed to be that people were happy to hear from me once a week, so here I am!
This week has been pretty good for me. Term is starting at Warwick Uni- new undergrads this week, new post grads next week and I've started an ESOL class online in Zoom. I'm again reminded that online teaching has great advantages but that everything takes so much loooonnnggger than face to face. Do you find this, too? Or is it just me?! :(
See me live this morning!
If you're up and see this in time, I'm doing a 10 minute talk at 10.40am UK time this morning (Sunday) for EFLTalks. It's about setting up an online teacher education website (basically, how I set up ELT-Training.com) and might inspire you if you've thought about doing something similar. You can access this live on YouTube at this link and the rest of the programme line-up (49 other speakers!) is available here. As I write this, I'm feeling a little nervous about sticking to 10 minutes!
If you are reading this after your Sunday morning lie-in and thinking 'wish I could have seen that', the video version will be available on the EFLTalks YouTube channel, too. It's a useful resource to know about. Hope you enjoy it.
Weekly sneak preview
I've got a nice free activity for you to try this week. It's a speaking activity that you can use online or face to face and it's called Liar, Liar and it's great for fluency and practising question forms. The idea came from a free worksheet on the Twinkl ESL site. You can find the video explaining all about this here and you can download the worksheet free here, too
A challenge for you!
We're all having to be quite adaptable at the moment and making changes can be uncomfortable. One of the best ways to reflect on your practice (rather than just coming out of a lesson as I did last week, wanting to bury my head under a pillow!) is to record yourself.
Now I know that it's not comfortable to watch yourself, but if you are teaching online, especially, it's really easy to do. Obviously, get your learners' permission and reassure them that it won't be put up on YouTube. Then record your lesson... And watch it back. You don't have to watch it all. Don't be too ambitious. How about 10 minutes? Or even 5 minutes? You might be pleasantly surprised at what you see. Think about the positives. What do you do well, what do the learners respond well to? You'll probably find one or two things that you'd like to do differently. Choose one of them and try it out in your next lesson.
If you're not teaching (at the moment, or yet), you can still do this, but with someone else's practice. Here's a nice example of an online lesson from a CELTA trainer friend of mine, Angelos Bollas. Try watching a part of this (or all of it if you have time) and thinking about what you like about it and what activities and techniques you could 'borrow'.
If you do this, drop me a line and let me know how you got on. I dare you!!
Well, that's enough from me for now. Hope that you have a fantastic week and that some of this is useful :)