In reply to David’s rebuttal: the future of language learning part 2

Firstly, I would like to thank David Petrie for this opportunity to debate and discuss that has arisen out of his thought-provoking post for the British Council Teaching English site and equally well-written rebuttal of my response to that post. For me this is one of the magic things about blogging: the opportunity to engage […]

Classroom Activities

Here are some of the classroom activities I’ve tried out and posted about over the months/years. I have attempted to categorise them, so that you can look more easily for categories that are of interest to you. I will keep adding to it as I publish more posts. (More activities can also be found by […]

Experimenting with English (Part 2) – Activities for learners to do outside the classroom [26 and counting!]

In my blog post Experimenting with English: scaffolding learner autonomy, I discussed how I approached helping my learners to use English outside the classroom, drawing on learner autonomy theory and methodology (e.g. Benson, 2011; Oxford, 2003; Smith 2003). Central to that project, alongside the very important element of discussion, was a handout I created for […]

Innovation in education: looking for learning (British Council Associate blog post 3)

For my third blog post as a British Council Associate, I chose the topic of innovation in education. This was the brief: As learning technologies become more and more ubiquitous in our teaching, how can we ensure that pedagogy is at the centre of what we do to increase learning? What tools do you incorporate […]

Holidays, a song (“Brighton in the Rain”) and the good ol’ present perfect!

I first learnt about “Brighton in the Rain”, by Robert Campbell and Jonathan Dykes, from my CELTA tutor at Sheffield University, many moons ago. When I first used this song, I struggled to find a recording – lots of googling led me to a discussion thread/feed where it had been mentioned and emailing the person […]

IATEFL 2014 – “Chain Reaction” interview with Sandy Millin

In the lead up to the IATEFL 2014 Harrogate conference, Adam Simpson has started a ‘chain reaction‘ blog challenge: “I choose two or three of this year’s registered bloggers and introduce them on my blog. These bloggers then in turn choose other registered bloggers and interview them… and so it goes on until you all have […]

Consolidating narrative tenses: a storytelling lesson/lesson series idea

Level: Pre-intermediate but adaptable to higher levels by increasing the demands imposed in the collaborative writing stage. Time: +/- 45mins (but time increases with class-size) Materials: A story told in a series of pictures, all cut up. (E.g. a comic book story – blank out the dialogue, or leave it in to add reading to the […]

Extensive Reading (Part 3): The “Reading Project”

In part 1 of this series, I reflected on the benefits of reading extensively, from the point of view of my own language learning experience, and in part 2 I discussed the process I had used to initiate my “reading project” with my adult classes (pre-intermediate to advanced) at IH Palermo language school. Following on from my British Council Teaching […]

Webinar on Learner Autonomy: Information and References

Today, the 19th of February 2014, at 11 a.m. C.E.T., I had the privilege of leading a webinar on Learner Autonomy Development, courtesy of the British Council’s Teaching English website. I started with a discussion regarding the theory related to learner autonomy, inviting participants to offer their own definitions and images of learner autonomy, and using […]

Learner Autonomy

My interest in learner autonomy, and the links between it and motivation, emerged as a result of two of my M.A. ELT modules: 1) Multimedia and Independent Learning and 2) Materials Development, both of which I did between February and June 2013 at Leeds Met. Since completing these modules, and my degree, I have worked at […]