"I play,you play,he play..."

“I play, you play, he play, she play…………”

Ideas, questions, suggestions, doubts? If you have anything to ask or say related to teaching, then this is the place to do it!

Repetition in language teaching

Repetition can be a good thing! Here’s a video of Scott Thornbury talking about repetition in language teaching…

Task based learning (TBL)

The traditional way that teachers have used tasks is as a follow-up to a series of structure/function or vocabulary based lessons. Tasks have been ‘extension’ activities as part of a graded and structured course.

In task-based learning, the tasks are central to the learning activity. Originally developed by N Prabhu in Bangladore, southern India, it is based on the belief that students may learn more effectively when their minds are focused on the task, rather than on the language they are using.

In the model of task-based learning described by Jane Willis, the traditional PPP (presentation, practice, production) lesson is reversed. The students start with the task. When they have completed it, the teacher draws attention to the language used, making corrections and adjustments to the students’ performance.

Here’s a video (made by a Brazilian, I think) introducing TBL…

Some Tips on Getting Shy Students to Speak

1)       Give SS time to prepare or rehearse what they want to say and how they are going to say it


2)       Do a lot of ´closed´ pair work where SS communicate in ´private´.


3)       Seat the SS in a ´horseshoe´ arrangement or in a circle


4)       In open class, get the SS to address each other and not the teacher


5)       Give SS a reason to speak and listen to each other


6)       Put on background music


7)       Be friendly and non-judgmental


8)       Use scripted dialogues


9)       Bribe the SS with sweets


10)   Find out what motivates your learners, what they are interested in, etc, and then design activities and tasks that suit your students´ profiles


11)   Ask them lots of questions and give them time to respond


12)   Use delayed correction rather then on the spot correction


13)   Play shouting games


14)   Talk to the student


15)   Talk to their parents


16)   Create a non-threatening atmosphere in which mistakes are tolerated


17)   Give the SS the language THEY need to express themselves, NOT what the coursebook dictates


18)   Teach a lot of vocabulary and provide the SS with ways to record vocabulary


5 responses to “Teaching

  1. hi – my name is hugo baracho, i’m based at cultura inglesa ilha do leite (recife)and this is my first contribution to this blog.

    this is a simple reading activity I picked up from my own experience as a student with the bbc learning english website. you may find it useful as a quick warmer or let it grow into a whole lesson with some help from your learners.

    it’s called ‘read & tell’ and I try to do it with my students (true, some are more willing than others!)as a weekly project.

    during the learner training bit at the start of each term, I make the bbc learning english – words in the news archives (http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/newsenglish/witn/archive_2008.shtml) availiable to the students. each student must pick something out to read from and report to their groups/whole class on their findings. A lot of conversation generates from the texts but I often get them started by asking simple questions like:

    – what did you read about?
    – did you like it?
    – what made you choose this particular article?
    – can you tell us something new or interesting that you’ve learnt from it?
    – did (and this is the fun bit!)you notice any grammar, words or expressions which might be useful to you while reading?

    The lesson as a whole benefits a lot from this last question as students can take a lot of control over what they want to look at rather than being spoon-fed by me. what’s more, I’ve learnt that most of them will have often done some research before coming to class in order to contibute more in the discussions which, lets face it, it’s almost unheard of!

    once that’s finished, students must be encouraged to create opportunities to use some of the language they picked up in future lessons.

    by doing this I hope to expose my students to as much variety and good examples of english as possible by taking on short reading activities at least once a week.

    on top of that, they will also become more indepent about what they learn by choosing articles around different topics or looking for ones on a particular topic they like.

    but more importantly, hopefully try to get them into them habit of reading, of all things – I think we can all agree there’s no need to explain why =)you’ll be happily surprised by how many will have kept up with their reading when you meet them again the next semester.

    see you

    hugo baracho
    cultura inglesa – ilha do leite

  2. This is for everyone in Joao Pessoa.

    The following two articles cover student interaction and role play..

    Here are some more ideas for student focused activities

    To download flashcards go to:


  3. Hi guys,

    are you interested in learning vocabulary? Teaching vocabulary? Putting the lexical approach into practice?

    Collocations might be a way to go. There is a very good free concordance site where you can find some of the most frequently used collocations in the English language.

    Go to:


    Happy hunting!!


  4. Hi Dominic,

    Thanks a lot for the recommended sites for the teachers of João Pessoa! We´ll make good use of them!


  5. Hi everyone,

    here´s a great site for all those e-board addicts out there…


    Once you´ve logged in you can download all kinds of wonderful material.


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