Education · Reform

What is education and what is it for?

This might seem like a stupid question on the face of it. We all know what education is, you might think. And I think to some degree that’s probably a fair claim. We all know what education is because we’ve all experienced it. We could all point to it and say, “Look, that’s education”. However,… Continue reading What is education and what is it for?

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Lesson Planning · Teaching & Learning · Techniques & Methodology

Teaching–Learning Structure for Productive and Receptive Skills, Part III

This is the final part of this short series of posts. The previous post focused on how to structure lessons focused on the productive skills, speaking and writing. In this post, I shall outline the same for receptive skills, reading and listening. Developing Receptive Skills There are many things different about receptive skills when compared… Continue reading Teaching–Learning Structure for Productive and Receptive Skills, Part III

Lesson Planning · Teaching & Learning

Teaching–Learning Structure for Productive and Receptive Skills, Part I

I have written before about Lesson Planning. I have talked at length about constructing learning objectives here and here, and I have given some ideas for a function-based approach to lesson planning. In that last article, I advocated for beginning the planning process with focus skills and practical functions in mind. In this short series, I… Continue reading Teaching–Learning Structure for Productive and Receptive Skills, Part I

Teaching & Learning · Techniques & Methodology

Your Students Will Forget What You Teach Them

And It’s Not a Bad Thing Occasionally, we can teach a lesson and come back to it later only to find that the students have forgotten it entirely. You might have felt that the initial lesson was a diamond—everything went well, the students were engaged, interest and participation were high, everybody left happy and wiser—and… Continue reading Your Students Will Forget What You Teach Them

Student-centred Learning · Teaching & Learning

Teach First, Ask Questions Later

How to get teaching completely backwards. As with many areas in life, often the things that seem most obvious, most instinctual, are in fact not right, and when we pause to look a little closer, we realise that the counterintuitive alternative is actually better. For example, people spend excessive energy trying to avoid making mistakes… Continue reading Teach First, Ask Questions Later

Teaching & Learning · Techniques & Methodology

On the Bicycle Analogy, Pt. II

Teaching To Do and Teaching About I recently wrote about what I called the Bicycle Analogy, comparing the process of learning to ride a bicycle with that of learning a language. I concluded that there is a strong parallel between the processes involved in learning to ride a bicycle and learning a language. In this… Continue reading On the Bicycle Analogy, Pt. II

Learner Autonomy · Teaching & Learning

Secondary Learning Objectives, Part III

Why Secondary Learning Objectives Might Be More Important than Primary Learning Objectives Lately, I have been writing about Secondary Learning Objectives. In my last post, I wrote about some examples and why they are an important element of the students’ classroom experience. In fact, I consider it quite possible that Secondary Learning Objectives are becoming,… Continue reading Secondary Learning Objectives, Part III

Teaching & Learning · Techniques & Methodology

Secondary Learning Objectives, Part II

What I Teach When I’m Teaching English I have just written about Secondary Learning Objectives. That post was a fairly general introduction to the concept. Here, I would like to give some specific examples of Secondary Learning Objectives within the context of my own field, English language teaching. Teaching Experiences EFL teachers find themselves in… Continue reading Secondary Learning Objectives, Part II

Teaching & Learning

The Mathematics of English Language Teaching

I often feel that one of the main obstacles or barriers that English teachers face is expectations. There are a number of reasons for this, but the two major causes of unrealistic expectations are basic underestimation of the difficulty of learning a language and the dishonest marketing of so many English language learning providers. Where… Continue reading The Mathematics of English Language Teaching