Posts Tagged ‘EFL ESL mindmap’

Engaging YLs with content,language and learning skills

What a fantastic session with some great teachers in Lausanne, Switzerland on Saturday 8th Nov 2014.

Here is the presentation. I hope it impacts on your teaching and you found the ideas and activities useful.

My 3 takeaways (from a presenter’s point of view)

Some teachers really picked up on the little things I said, which weren’t planned or one of the aims. Remember that this happens in class too. Learners will acquire the language they are ready to learn, which might not be the same thing that you have intended to teach.

A teacher with an MA in TEYL said that she learned loads of new things. It doesn’t matter how much experience we have, or what qualifications we have there is always room for more learning.

Feeding ideas to teachers breeds more ideas. There was so much creativity going on. I love the thought that they will go on and share the ideas with their colleagues, which in turn will influence their learners. There is something to be said for cascading knowledge.

I look forward to returning to  ETAS one day 🙂


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Promoting learner Autonomy


Here is a power-point presentation summarising some sessions I presented recently

fostering learner autonomy

We all think to ourselves, and have an ‘innervoice’. To help or students improve their English encourage them to think about what  they could say to themselves. Set a home-learning task for them to  think in English for 5-10 minutes every day. They could do this while they are walking or travelling to work/college, while they are cooking, having a shower, or just before they go to bed! (Then hopefully they will dream in English…the ultimate goal!) 

Here is a handout you could use.

 Thinking in English jmhdr


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Recently I’ve been teaching adults at IH Newcastle…and after specialising in YLs for over 15 years, I never thought I would find the same enjoyment teaching adults. However, I’ve found that I use the same motivating techniques with  adults…singing, chanting, dancing, playing. etc. Admittedly, I’m the one who does most of the dancing but it does get them motivated, makes them laugh (which lowers the affective filter) and gives them something to talk about. I think if they see that you are prepared to make a fool of yourself, and act childishly, they are too and their inner child is unleashed. The advantage of this is regression is perhaps linked to first language acquisition, and students acquire the language being taught in a way that they learned their first language.

Samples of post lesson whiteboards

More board work

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Inspiration and Mindmapping

Inspiration mindmap

I have just been preparing my session for IATEFL in Glasgow, and reflecting on where I get my inspiration from.

When I was 14 I made a note of a quote from a book I was reading at the time. It was the first time I had done that, and the quote has stayed with me and motivated me ever since. Every time I think of it, I think of the person who wrote it and the situation they were in at the time of writing. It inspires me to think that this person could have such a positive outlook on life, when their situation was almost definitely doomed and they must have been surrounded with depression and worry. It was also written at a time when TV had hardly been invented, and there was certainly no such distractions as Facebook, Twitter, X-box, etc. I think this quote has even more significance now with all of the TV, DVD, Streaming options we have available to us…it’s not to say we shouldn’t watch things, just be selective and don’t let it dictate your life. Being productive, in any shape or form always leaves me with a strong sense of accomplishment which I can relish in.

‘Laziness may appear attractive, but work gives satisfaction’

Anne Frank (Aged 14)

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