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 →

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 →

‘I don’t understand nothing!’

How many times have we hear this phrase coming out of one of our student's mouth? The student who feels she can't understand 'nothing' because she missed a word -- or even a phrase -- and so switches off completely for the rest of the listening activity, or of the whole lesson. Recently, one of the tasks... Continue Reading →

Exam preparation: a lesson plan

Today I'd like to share a lesson with you. It's a lesson structure more than a lesson plan, as it is easily adaptable to many exams -- I used it with all the Cambridge suite, but I'm sure you can adapt it with IELTS or TOEFL too. I generally use it as first lesson for... Continue Reading →

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