Teaching with Limited Resources? Make your own Visual Aids

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Stickmen drawingsTeaching English as foreign language can be a tough task. Teachers don’t always have the necessary tools at their disposal, especially if teaching abroad in countries with fewer resources and at schools with limited materials. Thankfully, there are various methods to improve the experience of TEFL for both teachers and students, even when teaching English with limited resources.

By thinking outside the box and getting creative, you can make the lessons great fun as well as highly effective for learning, even in classrooms with limited resources. Read on for some ideas on making your own visual aids when teaching English with limited resources. Continue reading

Portugal Song is First Non-English Eurovision Winner for a Decade

Portugal's Salvador Sabral wins Eurovision 2017

Salvador Sabral’s victory for Portugal in the Eurovision Song Contest this year is the first time that a non-English Eurovision song has won the coveted crown since 2007. Salvador performed Amar Pelos Dois (Love For Both) at the Grand Final in Kiev to an enraptured crowd. One of the most interesting elements of the singer’s performance was that the bossa nova was entirely in Portuguese, written and composed by his sister. Continue reading

Can the Gamification of Language Learning Boost Student Motivation?

gamification of language learningThe gamification of language learning is an important topic in the EFL teaching world. There is an increasing number of apps and learning technology that use games as a way of motivating and engaging with students. Gamification of learning in general has brought education and games together to create a fun hybrid – but is this a successful strategy for long term educational development?

Read on to explore the concept of gamification in education, its potential benefits, the concerns of critics and how the gamification of language learning could help to boost student motivation and engagement. Continue reading

The New Beginner ESL App from GITCS

Beginner ESL App from GITCSAmerican software company GITCS has developed a brand new learning app focused on helping students of English as a second language. The Beginner ESL app provides engaging content using a range of innovative features to help students with their reading comprehension. With beginner, intermediate and advanced levels of ESL lessons, this app can be used by all students to improve their learning experience. Continue reading

Forgotten First Languages Leave Imprint On Brain, Study Shows

forgotten first languages - baby learningYou never forget your first language – even if you have never spoken it, scientists have discovered. Babies develop knowledge of the language they hear in their first few months of life and will always retain that knowledge on an abstract level. It has been discovered that your brain retains the hidden ability to recall forgotten first languages decades on. The findings indicate not only that you never truly forget your birth language but also that language acquisition as a baby is abstract in nature and not dependent on experience. Continue reading

Baboon Study Reveals Early Evolution of Language

Scientists have discovered that baboons can produce five distinct vowel sounds, which are strikingly similar to our own human vowel sounds. This discovery suggests that language skills actually evolved tens of millions of years earlier than previously thought. It is now thought that our pre-human ancestors could have been using meaningful language over 25 million years ago. Continue reading

Exploring George Michael’s Careless Whisper

George Michael - singing live

The pop star and esteemed singer-songwriter George Michael sadly passed away on Christmas Day. As a tribute to his song-writing talent and philanthropic work we have taken one of his most famous tracks as inspiration for language learners. Careless Whisper contains many interesting phrases that are useful to English language students, so let’s consider this classic song and use George’s clever and evocative lyrics to help EFL learners get to grips with some new vocabulary and expressions. Continue reading

It’s Freezing Out There!

thermometer - cold weather vocabularyHave you been enjoying the cold snap? With the thermometer diving towards zero over the past few weeks, it’s time to think about winter vocabulary. There are many ways to describe a cold day – certainly useful when living in a northern climate! From cool to chilly to freezing, whether the wind is breezy, blustery or gale-force – with or without a downpour – cold weather vocabulary is always handy at this time of year. Read on to explore the English vocabulary you need to talk about the cold weather. Continue reading

Exploring Remembrance Day

poppy-dayRemembrance Day is an important day in British culture. This is the day everyone remembers the sacrifices made by the service men and women during the world wars. Traditionally there is a two-minute silence on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month – the moment in 1918 when the armistice became effective in Britain.

The main ceremony of remembrance takes place on the nearest Sunday, which means that this year it falls on Sunday 13th November. People wear red paper poppies at this time of year to show their support. Read on to learn more about this important day in British culture and explore new vocabulary through two famous war poems.
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Do the Monster Mash This Halloween!

monster mashHalloween is an exciting holiday occasion and the perfect time to learn some new vocabulary – so why not learn with a classic song! Monster Mash is a fun Halloween-themed pop song by Bobby ‘Boris’ Pickett and the Crypt Kickers, recorded in 1962. It contains lots of spooky vocabulary and is a great way to expand your knowledge of idioms – and enjoy some Halloween-flavoured language fun. This is great listening material for the EFL class. Will you do the Monster Mash?     Continue reading