I delivered a talk at the 2020 edition of IATEFL Poland; if you would like to download a copy of the presentation slides, please feel free – they’re available right here.
This October I gave a workshop/talk at IATEFL Budapest on the idea of using etymology in the classroom to train our students in the ways of the autodidact. By giving them a toolkit based on this approach, we can help our students help themselves to the world of vocabulary, freeing us up to look at other areas in the classroom.
If you’d like a copy of the presentation, you can download it here. I want to take this opportunity to thank the International House World Organisation for their support – without them I wouldn’t have made it to Budapest to begin with!
I was lucky enough to be invited to speak at the SCELT Bratislava conference in late September. The focus of the session was on Special Education Needs (or SEN if you prefer acronyms). I ran a session on Supporting Teachers with Dyslexia, the powerpoint presentation for which you can download here.
I want to thank both the Chamber for having me, and for my school. International House Bielsko-Biala, for their support.
On Friday 20th September I was lucky enough to find myself in glorious Gdansk at this year’s IATEFL Poland conference. My 60-minute workshop was all about a simple framework for giving a creative writing lesson in the EFL classroom. We looked at how to find a ‘point of interest’, and how ‘motivated characters’ could interact with that point in order to give us the foundations for our plot.
If you’d like a copy of the presentation, feel free to download it here. I don’t mind if you use it in your own classes, or as an input session at your school.
Thank you to all who attended, and thank you also to my school, International House Bielsko-Biala, who sponsored me on this trip.
On March 16th I presented a short talk at the International House Torun Teacher Training Day, entitled ‘Zero Preparation Games’. The presentation covered a number of communicative, fun activities that could be used in the language classroom with no materials or advanced preparation required.
If you’d like a copy of the original ppt file used in the presentation, it can be downloaded here. Feel free to use this ppt in your own school – but if you do, please be so kind as to let me know how it went, and if there are any ways in which this file might be improved!
English grammar is not really all that difficult. Sure, some aspects take a while to master, but by the time you’ve been studying English for three or four years, you’ll have met all the grammar you’re ever going to need.
That’s not true with vocabulary!
English vocabulary seems to go on and on, and yet to be considered fluent you need to know a massive amount of it. How can anyone be expected to learn so much?
Well, that’s where my book, ‘Sixty-Six Lessons for Autodidacts’ comes in.
The book contains – you’ve guessed it! – sixty-six lessons, each of which looks at the words you might use when you talk about a particular topic. Then you’ll look at a selection of words that are related to the originals, and expand out from there. Pretty soon, you’ll find yourself learning ten words instead of one, and because they’re all logically related, they’re easier to remember.
The book is available as a paperback here:
And as a pdf digital download through the Closely Observed shop.
Read my article about the life and work of the Polish satirist and absurdist, Slawomir Mrozek, author of ‘The Elephant’ and other books and plays.
I was first introduced to Mrozek through my wife, who bought one of his books for me as a Christmas present – I have been indebted to her ever since, as Mrozek is in many ways just as fascinating a writer as Franz Kafka. His brilliantly dark absurdist tales are definitely worth reading if you are of an anti-establishment kind of bent, but if you are more into antidisestablishmentarianism, I’m not sure if his is the work for you. Well, it might be – I’m not 100% sure what the word rightly means…
Available both in paperback and for the Kindle, this short novel traces the story of a young girl and the mysterious things that happen around her. Get it here.
Are you an EFL teacher preparing students for one of the Cambridge Assessment English main suite of exams?
- B2 First & First for Schools
- C1 Advanced
- C2 Proficiency
In that case, you might be interested in my new book, available as a pdf download (with a complete Listening paper at C1 Advanced level as mp3 files) from my Shop for only 5 EUR.
The book looks in detail at every part of every paper in the exams.
The book, which runs to nearly 280 pages, contains a detailed break-down of all the different aspects of the various exams, and shows both how students can best approach each section and what you as a teacher can do to support them on the road to success.
The Appendices include a full Speaking paper at each of the three levels, Writing templates, and Writing feedback forms. These photocopiable worksheets will help you to make your Writing lessons more approachable, and will help to fix in your students’ minds the best approach to the different genres of writing.
Take a look at my Shop now to learn more.