ELT by M Amin Gental


Extensive Reading and Language Learning — January 11, 2017

Extensive Reading and Language Learning

Oxford University Press

oup_54206Dr. Richard R. Day is a Professor at the Department of Second Language Studies, University of Hawaii. He has authored numerous publications, particularly on second language reading, including Bringing Extensive Reading into the Classroom (co-author).

Extensive reading is based on the well-established premise that we learn to read by reading. This is true for learning to read our first language as well as foreign languages. In teaching foreign language reading, an extensive reading approach allows students to read, read, and read some more.

When EFL students read extensively, they become fluent readers. But there is more. Studies have established that EFL students increase their vocabulary, and become better writers. We also know that reading extensively helps increase oral fluency—listening and speaking abilities. Finally, students who read a lot develop positive attitudes toward reading and increased motivation to study English. So there are some excellent reasons for having EFL students reading…

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Making the ‘Impossible’ Possible – How to get your students writing — January 9, 2017

Making the ‘Impossible’ Possible – How to get your students writing

Oxford University Press


Gareth Davies is a writer, teacher, teacher trainer, and storyteller. He has been in the ELT industry for 21 years teaching in Portugal, the UK, Spain and the Czech Republic. Since 2005 he has worked closely with Oxford University Press, delivering teacher training and developing materials. Gareth joins us today to preview his webinar ‘Making the Impossible Possible… How to get your students writing’.

Writing’s a Chore?

When I was on a recent short-term teaching assignment in Northern Spain, I decided to ask my students to do some creative writing. I gave them some prompts and asked them to write a story. Far from being a joyous activity, the students rolled their eyes. There was a lot of grumbling and sighing and the finished versions were no more than four or five lines long. They had written stories, but they had not written creatively. Why did my students have such…

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Back to School Activities for your EFL Classroom — January 5, 2017

Back to School Activities for your EFL Classroom

Oxford University Press

shutterstock_275971190Happy New Year! To celebrate another successful year ahead of language learning, and to welcome you and your students back to class, we asked three of our former contributors Vanessa Esteves, Christopher Graham, and Julietta Schoenmann to devise a series of lesson plans and activity worksheets for your EFL classrooms. From adult through to primary, enjoy these mixed-level and mixed ability free resources as a gift from Oxford University Press this January.

Have a productive, fun and inspiring year!

Primary Level

Lesson Plan

Activity Worksheet

Secondary Level

Lesson Plan

Activity Worksheet

Tertiary/Adult Level

Lesson Plan

Activity Worksheet

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21st Century Skills and the Path to Fluency — December 15, 2016

21st Century Skills and the Path to Fluency

Oxford University Press

Students Talking In A ClassroomKathleen Kampa and Charles Vilina are American ELT authors and teacher-trainers who have taught young learners in Japan for 25 years. They are co-authors of Magic Time, Everybody Up, and Oxford Discover, courses for young learners published by Oxford University Press. Kathleen and Charles are active teachers who promote an inquiry-based approach to learning, where students develop English language fluency as they discover the world around them.

The Partnership for 21st Century Learning in Washington D.C. strongly endorses the development of 21st century skills in modern education.[1] This coalition of educators and business leaders has created a framework of skills considered to be essential for a student’s future success in the 21st century.

Along with strong content knowledge and interdisciplinary themes, the Partnership stresses the need for the following “learning and innovation skills” among students to prepare them for the future:


Though originally…

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The AppVent Calendar 2016: All The Best Educational Apps From The Past Year. — December 9, 2016

The AppVent Calendar 2016: All The Best Educational Apps From The Past Year.



AppVent Calendar 2016 - Best Educational Apps Of The Year


6) ThingLink lets you add interactivity to an image with ease.  Choose a picture and then mark hot-spots.  When the hot-spot it is tapped, the video or text you have input will pop-up.

16) Canva – simply the most amazing app for graphic design.  Posters have never looked so good!

13) Bossjock supports pupils with sound recording and editing clips.  Easy-to-use and intuitive, the app is fantastic for making podcasts and radio shows.

23) Paper and Pencil by 53.  Simply an excellent art app in which sketches, paintings and image editing can be completed.


22) Padlet is such a great way to promote co-operation in the classroom.  A virtual wall is set up by the teacher and then the link shared.  Children can post questions, answer questions, submit work, comment on peers’ achievements; the possibilities are endless.

18) Google Docs has allowed for easy but…

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Chatting in the academy: exploring spoken English for academic purposes (Mike McCarthy) — December 5, 2016

Chatting in the academy: exploring spoken English for academic purposes (Mike McCarthy)

Lizzie Pinard

Another addition to my collection of write-ups based on the talks recorded by IATEFL Online and stored on the website for everybody to access. What a wonderful resource! This one is by Michael McCarthy, and, as you would expect, is based on corpora and vocabulary – this time in the context of academic spoken English… 

MM starts by saying it is easier to study academic English in its written form and much more challenging in its spoken forms. His main point is that there is no one single thing that we can call Spoken Academic English. His talk will draw on information from corpora and show how it can be used in materials. He is going to use a corpus of lectures, seminars, supervisions and tutorials from the humanities and the sciences, the ACAD, and a sub-corpus the Michigan Corpus of Academic Spoken English, MICASE. He is also going…

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Using YouTube as a corpus: inviting everyone to my IATEFL BESIG workshop —

Using YouTube as a corpus: inviting everyone to my IATEFL BESIG workshop

ELT stories

Hello everyone!

This Saturday I’m doing a workshop for IATEFL BESIG on using YouTube as a corpus of spoken English. 

Below is the abstract – if the topic seems interesting, you’re very welcome to take part! You’ll find the link to access the workshop on the BESIG website here.


Abstract. YouTube is a vast source of subtitled spoken English ranging from general to business to ESP, and it has long been an extremely valuable source of authentic video in the business English classroom. Moreover, as technology develops, there appear new ways of using this resource for language learning, and so its pedagogic value keeps growing.

In particular, recently there have started to appear tools that, to a certain extent, allow to access YouTube as a corpus, i.e. find examples of use of specific lexical expressions and grammar. In this workshop I will overview some of these tools and then…

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Receptive grammar practice using TubeQuizard — November 28, 2016

Receptive grammar practice using TubeQuizard

ELT stories

As readers of this blog probably know, one of my great passions is research into teaching listening skills and, in particular, listening decoding skills. In this post I’ll

  • briefly recap what listening decoding skills are and why I think they need to be focused on in grammar lessons
  • share with you a tool that makes it quite easy to create listening decoding quizzes based on subtitled Youtube videos
  • share some tips on using this tool to incorporate listening decoding work into your grammar lessons
  • show how to use the tool to look for videos that contain a lot of examples of a grammar features you’d like to present, and share six key questions that I ask myself when deciding if the video will provide good input for my learners.

What are listening decoding skills and what do they have to do with grammar?

So to start with, if the term ‘listening decoding skills’ doesn’t sound familiar…

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Does pronunciation matter? — November 24, 2016

Does pronunciation matter?

Oxford University Press

shutterstock_297003296Robin Walker is a freelance teacher, teacher educator, and materials writer. He has been in ELT for over 30 years, and regularly collaborates with Oxford University Press and Trinity College London. Today he joins us to preview his upcoming webinar ‘Pronunciation Matters’, on December 6th and 7th.

At first glance it would seem that it is not really possible to question the idea that pronunciation matters. How can you learn a language without learning its pronunciation? Who will understand you if your pronunciation is poor? And will you understand them? Yes, the case for teaching pronunciation seems pretty solid, but the reality in classrooms around the world is often very different. Time and time again, when I give talks and workshops on pronunciation, teachers confess to me that what I’ve said has been enlightening, but that sadly they don’t have time for pronunciation in a syllabus that is already…

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Why teach values in the Primary classroom? — November 22, 2016

Why teach values in the Primary classroom?

Oxford University Press

shutterstock_408187930Susan Banman Sileci is an American ELT author. She has written materials for pre-primary, primary, secondary, and adult levels, including textbooks, activity books, graded readers, resource packs, and digital practice materials and is the author of Everybody Up, Super Stars, and Shine On.

I’m an American living in Brazil and I’ll be honest: it’s been a rough year. Brazil is going through a corruption scandal that included the impeachment of a president and, of course, there was this month’s presidential election in the United States. The world has seen just how much Americans don’t agree and how ugly the discussions can become.

It’s been hard and the adults have been fighting. But guess what? Now more than ever we need to teach values to the little ones. That doesn’t mean that we impose our political views on our students, much as we might want to. School is about…

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