Tag Archives: ELT

Clines in Language Teaching

What is a cline? The British Council Teaching English website defines a cline as ‘a scale of language items that goes from one extreme to another, for example, from positive to negative, or from weak to strong’. Why are clines … Continue reading

Posted in Mains | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 79 Comments

Tweaking your Boardwork

What do you do with the vocabulary that comes up in a lesson? Where do you write it on the board? Many teachers keep an incidental vocabulary column at the side of the board and this can have many advantages. … Continue reading

Posted in Desserts, Sides | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments


Also known as a board jump, this versatile activity can liven up grammar and get students up out of their seats in a controlled TPR practice activity. This is good for language points which have two (or three) options to … Continue reading

Posted in Aperitifs, Desserts, Kids menu, Mains | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Getting to Know You with an Acrostics Poem

We have new courses starting this week at school so I thought I’d share my favourite getting to know you activity to use with a new class. The original idea of using an acrostics poem came from a session by … Continue reading

Posted in Mains | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments


This activity is variously known as kaboom, earthquake and typhoon, perhaps depending on which staffroom or hemisphere you are teaching in. It’s a good staple for kids courses; it’s gone down well whenever I’ve used it, even with adults. It’s … Continue reading

Posted in Desserts, Kids menu | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Tweaking Delayed Error Correction

One of the most difficult tasks for teachers is listening to the learners when they are speaking and finding appropriate things to give them feedback on. A common approach is to provide a delayed error correction slot when the learners … Continue reading

Posted in Desserts | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

M/F/P – Meaning, Form and ?

When analysing language and presenting it to students, we are often told on teacher training courses that we need to look at three areas: meaning, form and pronunciation (m,f,p). In many language lessons I have observed, the ‘p’ is the … Continue reading

Posted in Mains | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Something Authentic – My favourite song for hypothetical language – Young Rebel Set

I’m sure every EFL teacher has their favourite song to use when working on conditionals. Mine is by an indie rock band from the north east of England called ‘Young Rebel Set’ and the song is called ‘If I was’. … Continue reading

Posted in Something Authentic | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Something Authentic – ‘Flying’ by Seize the Day

A great song and video about the environment by a radical English acoustic band. The song’s lyrics talk about the effect on the environment that flying can have, while at the same time accepting that it would really be very … Continue reading

Posted in Something Authentic | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

One for the Kids Classes: Stepping Stones

This is good for practising word order in simple sentences with younger learners (8-12). It takes a bit of preparation though. It basically involves lots of pieces of paper on the floor, each one with a word written on it. … Continue reading

Posted in Kids menu | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

50/50 correction: My favourite error correction technique

A simple but effective technique for on the spot ‘hot’ correction. Look at these example classroom interactions: Student: I /laɪked/ Paris very much. Teacher: You /laɪked/ or /laɪkt/? Student: /laɪkt/ Student: I have never ate Chinese food. Teacher: ate or eaten? … Continue reading

Posted in Sides | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Starting with a Definition

An easy and surprisingly engaging way to lead into the topic or theme of a lesson can be to get the students writing a definition of the word central to the topic.  Many lessons and units in coursebooks have titles … Continue reading

Posted in Starters | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Warmer of the week: ladder race

Let’s start the ball rolling with a warmer. This is a good one for reviewing a recently studied lexical set (e.g. weather) or to introduce a topic by quickly brainstorming vocabulary connected to the theme of the lesson. It’s very … Continue reading

Posted in Aperitifs | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

My first blog post!

I’ve finally decided to join the 21st century world of ELT and start blogging. There are now dozens of blogs out there with the musings and reflections of EFL teachers around the world and I decided that if I were … Continue reading

Posted in About | Tagged , , , | 10 Comments