Storytelling with YLs

Last year I worked with a group of ten eight-year-olds in an afternoon, after-school class. I met the children once a week for one hour and a half, the idea behind it being to reinforce what the children were already doing at school using children's books as a base for the lessons. At the time... Continue Reading →

Re-engaging teenage students

This is a follow-up to my previous post about a student who completely switched off during my first lesson with his group. I had another (the third) lesson with the group today, and here's what I did to improve the situation. How I tweaked my lesson After the first couple of lessons, during which I "studied"... Continue Reading →

Students switching off

I have recently started a new course with a small group of 17-18-year-olds in a school. The course is aimed at supporting the work their classroom teacher is doing, with a possible outcome being to then prepare the students for a certification. I had my first lesson last week, and as usual I prepared a... Continue Reading →

What keeps you motivated?

Yesterday I was talking about motivation with one of my students, and so I started asking myself: what makes me invest time (and sometimes money) in CDP, in writing this blog, in reading and reflecting on my teaching? I guess the main motivation for me comes from seeing students go out of my lessons smiling,... Continue Reading →

Journalling and setting goals

I've recently purchased a journal (affiliate link) that is designed to help the user improve themselves and get things done by setting goals and reviewing them periodically. I've been journalling since I was something like 9 or 10, and I still find it helpful, so I decided to try this new experience starting from this new... Continue Reading →

About dress codes (and monks)

Around here we say l'abito non fa il monaco (lit.: robes don't make the monk), but apparently Italians do judge books by their covers, or monks by their robes -- and people by the clothes they wear. A few days ago at work we were encouraged to dress appropriately in order to be taken seriously,... Continue Reading →

My beliefs as a teacher #1

Today I'd like to start to share a series of ideas and reflections on my own teaching practice and 'theory'. Why After reading Techniques and Principles of Language Teaching and How Languages are Learned* for my Delta Module 1 preparation course, I started reflecting on my own practice, trying to pinpoint what theories or beliefs... Continue Reading →

Self-observation in the classroom

I don't know if this word even exists in ELT, it's probably called 'self-reflection' or something similar. Terminology aside, this is what I've tried to do more consistently in the last few months: consciously noticing and if possible reflecting on the on-the-spot choices I make as a teacher in the classroom. When and how I... Continue Reading →

About mindfulness in ELT (again!)

Last year I wrote a blog post about what I perceived as a commodification of an amazing Buddhist concept: mindfulness, or sati. Today, I would like to go back on the topic, after I've recently attended: a one-day Vipassana meditation retreat; a two-hour training session on mindfulness for teachers. I now feel I have familiarised with both... Continue Reading →

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