All language lessons need a context. Language must be learned and practiced in context. Without context, students cannot remember or use new vocabulary. You've probably heard these arguments before (possibly on this podcast), but are they true? We discuss the pros and cons of context with our friend and teacher trainer (and former many other things!) Diederik Van Gorp.
We speak with Carol Lethaby about what neuroscience can do for language teaching. We know more about how the brain works and how learning occurs than ever before, so why does so little of it get used? Carol is an English language teacher, teacher trainer, ELT consultant and author who has coauthored Just Right Second Edition (Cengage Learning) and English ID (Richmond Publishing) as well as articles on Neuroscience in IATEFL Voices and Neuromyths in the Teacher Trainer Journal.
Learning is one thing. Using what you learn is something else. We speak with Karin Xie about how to bridge the gap. Find out how to help students apply their learning, how teachers can apply what they learning on teacher training courses and what trainers and teacher educators can do to encourage teachers apply more of what they learn in professional development.
The second of our two-part special from the 2018 IATEFL conference in Brighton. We chat with our friends, fellow teacher trainers and returning podcast guests David Weller, Simon Galloway, Fifi Pyatt and new guest and DipTESOL candidate Will Ferguson about technology in the classroom, activities for teenagers, creating positive group dynamics in classes, native and non-native English teachers and effective practices in language teaching.
Cognitive biases screw up our thinking. They make us make bad decisions, come to wrong wrong conclusions and for the most part we're completely unaware of them. This week we speak with Trinity DipTESOL course Director Simon Galloway about cognitive biases for teachers, cognitive biases for trainers and cognitive biases for managers and how to avoid them and start thinking more clearly.
What are the real differences between "native" and "non-native" English teachers? How did we end up with these distinctions in our industry? And what should we be doing about discrimination? We meet with Dave Weller to discuss the issues surrounding "native" and "non-native" English teachers such as attitudes of parents and teachers, the responsibilities of language schools and how to change opinions.
Why don't we teach writing more? Is writing less interesting than other skills? Or less useful? Or just harder to teach? We (Ross, Tracy and Matt Courtois) speak to published author and ESL writing specialist David Tait about how to teach writing and the students who thrive when writing that we forget about when teaching speaking.
Testing is a huge part of learning, but most teachers don't know a lot about it. We ask test guru Dan Elsworth all about testing. What is a test? How is it different to an assessment? How Can you go about writing a test? How can you assess students for a learner profile? How do tests affect teaching? Yes, we asked him a lot of questions. Listen to hear the answers...
We talk with self confessed role play and ESL nerd Fifi Pyatt to look at how to take role plays from nerdiness to awesomeness and discuss how to help students get as much as possible from role plays and also go off on tangents about burning witches and dungeons and dragons…
Materials creation can be both an outlet for teachers' creativity and an opportunity to make lessons more relevant to students. On the flip side they can also be a giant time-drain and introduce uncertainty to students. Find out what you can use as materials, how to evaluate how useful they are and when it might just be better to stick to the course book.