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

Exploring Vocabulary in 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

Will Brexit Stop the Dominance of English?

English dominance - dog shields earsThe English language has spread around the world so dramatically since the Second World War that there are now more non-native English speakers than native English speakers. The number of English speakers has risen from 400 million to 1.5 billion over the past 70 years. English dominates many conversations between speakers of other languages, simply because it is the only language many people have in common. But will English remain as important after Brexit? Continue reading

Anger as Uber Drivers Face New English Language Test

uber-londonHundreds of Uber drivers risk losing their jobs after London’s transport authority declared all private hire drivers will face new English language tests. From October, all private hire drivers applying for a new license or renewing their existing license will need to have passed a B1 English language writing, reading, listening and speaking test. Some people have welcomed the news, but others are disappointed and angry. Should Uber drivers need to pass a comprehensive English language test? Continue reading

How Will Brexit Affect Language Learning?

Brexit jigsawIn a startling result, the UK has voted for a ‘Brexit’. This means the wheels have been set in motion for the UK to leave the European Union. Some people are thrilled, while others are worried about the future of the UK and the EU. Apart from the concern over economic stability, international trade, European travel, residency rights for expats and much more, there is also a growing concern about the role of the English language in Europe and the future of language learning in the UK.

Will the English language become less important internationally? Will British people stop learning foreign languages altogether? We explore the consequences of Brexit for English and for language learning… Continue reading

‘Babel Fish’ Pilot Earpiece Will Translate Languages in Real Time

Pilot Earpiece1If you have ever dreamed about a handy real-time translation device as futuristically cool as the Babel Fish in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy then look no further. The Pilot Earpiece by Waverly Labs is set to be released this autumn and promises to translate your conversations in real time. Two people speaking different languages will be able to communicate easily with each other using this nifty little device that sits snugly in the ear. Sounds too good to be true? Let’s investigate… Continue reading

New Year’s Resolutions for Language Learners – Part 2

new-resolve2As we move through January, it is easy to lose a bit of motivation for our language-related New Year’s resolutions. The buzz of freshness has dissipated a little as we get back into our normal routines. But wait! Stay strong and focus your goals. If you keep on practising and stay true to your resolutions, you will continue to improve your language skills and see big changes in 2017.

We have some more interesting ideas for effective New Year’s resolutions for EFL which can help you push into new territory this year with your language learning. Whether you want to focus on your speaking or writing skills this year, or aim to improve all your areas of knowledge, there is a resolution perfect for you. Read on as we continue with the second part in our series of New Year’s resolutions for EFL learners! Continue reading