What we love…

Here are some of the articles, websites and books we love….

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Does PPP really make perfect sense? by Richard Smith

Taken from the blog: What do you think you’re doing? A critique of ELT teacher trainers

The Unapologetic Advocate: Why We Advocate by David Cutler

Taken from the TESOL International Blog

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eltresourceful  by Rachael Roberts

A website from a pre-eminent materials writer, researcher and presenter within the ELT & ESOL field in the UK. This blog is jammed full of hints, tips and really great advice and ideas – have a look 🙂

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By Mike Chick, ESOL SIG Committee Member:

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There are many books that have deeply influenced my understanding of the language classroom and the possibilities for how a teacher might manage and organise a class. This is just one that has had an impact on me and which I’d recommend getting hold of – “Understanding the language classroom” by Simon Gieve and Ines K. Miller. I love it because it focuses on the human element of classroom practice. I read it as a sort of theoretical underpinning for a dogme / teaching unplugged approach to language learning. Its twelve chapters are crafted by different scholars but the contributions by Dick Allwright and Tony Wright are the ones that left the greatest impression on me.


In memory of Earl Stevick’s contribution to our understanding of the language classroom,  this volume is a collection of accounts celebrating and exploring how Stevick’s work has 41MPw4MXNjL__SX331_BO1,204,203,200_influenced many well-known and respected teachers and researchers. Taking a humanistic approach to the organisation of teaching, the book focuses on the creation of classroom  environments and atmospheres that are conducive to learning – by emphasising the importance of understanding what goes on “inside and between people in the language classroom”. There are chapters by many eminent scholars such as Penny Ur, David Nunan, Adrian Underhill and Alan Maley. All are worth reading, however, Scott Thornbury discussing the importance of talk mediating learning, Leo van Lier on “languaging” and Donald Freeman looking at learning opportunities, are chapters that I particularly enjoyed. I have been delving into the book for years and always find something that makes me think afresh of how I view the classroom.

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film english

Film English

Most students love the use films or movie clips in class; however, it is difficult to find appropriate films that are not just for advanced or high intermediate learners. This site not only recommends appropriate films but also provides easily usable lesson plans to go with them.
TED Talks and TED-ed by Oya Karabetca, ESOL SIG Committee Member
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I tend to use a variety of resources in my ESOL classes from worksheets (which mostly I endeavour to avoid) to technology. As I mainly teach teenagers, keeping the interest and entertainment level high is crucial. Therefore, I always need motivational and interesting resources which would keep them focused but not bored. Also, authenticity is one of the things that I look for in a resource which TED talks are all about. In addition, TED-Ed provides us with a huge ocean of choices about any topic from history to mythology. The videos are not only fascinating but also emotionally and mentally engaging.

Besides the reasons I mentioned above, I think TED talks are great teaching tools because:

  • They are done by real and accomplished people who talk about their lives, experiences, and achievements
  • They are short, usually not longer than 10-15 minutes and come with transcripts as well to support differentiation if it is needed,
  • They are inspiring and thought-provoking
  • They promotes a lot of language use through discussions,
  • They promote critical thinking..etc.

Here are some of my favourite talks:

Ken Robinson’s Do schools kill creativity?

Scilla Elworthy’s ‘Fighting with non-violence’

From TED-Ed: To support GCSE English reading Shelly’s ‘Frankenstein’

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By Mike Chick, ESOL SIG Committee Member

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The teflology podcast is basically three teachers sitting around table (I imagine) and talking about their understandings of anything and everything to do with ELT, teacher development, teacher education, research, learners and so on. They have also amassed a mightily impressive range of interviews over the last few years with leading scholars such as Anne Burns, Paul Nation and Scott Thornbury, to name just a few. The podcast is highly accessible, and I love it because it offers a rare, reassuring glimpse of hearing others’ understandings of topics, issues and ideas that very often you have read and thought about alone. All their podcasts and interviews can be accessed here.


Have a review you would like to share – get in touch 🙂

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