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.
When preparing students for formal examinations, it’s important that we teach the task – and sometimes that means curtailing our students’ greater ambitions. Writing 500 words on an area of interest is not going to lead to a high grade when the rubric calls for 200 words on a clearly defined topic.