Vocabulary Revision with TABOO Cards: YL Starters, Movers, Flyers

/ A1, A2, Lesson tips, Pre-A1, Vocabulary training, Young Learners

Cambridge YLE preparation books scaffold vocabulary in an excellent way: they don’t only teach the words/expression, but guarantee that these lexical items are revised several times over the year. Before a progress test or before the final exam, you might find some revision lessons useful and – above all – fun. One engaging way to revise vocabulary is to play TABOO.

Cambridge Starter, Movers, Flyers Wordlist – Progress Checkers

/ A1, A2, Lesson tips, Pre-A1, Vocabulary training, Young Learners

If you prepare kids for YL exams (Cambridge STARTERS, MOVERS, FLYERS), then you are well familiar with the official wordlist. However, it is sometimes difficult to keep track of the taught lexical items. With some textbooks, you don’t have to worry about anything: they teach and revise the requested vocabulary. On the other hand, if you teach classes without a textbook and/or with your own materials, you might find these word checkers useful.

Appy Advent – Activities for Advent Time (Week 4)

/ Lesson tips, Young Learners

This is the final week of ELT-Tutor’s Appy Advent Scratch Challenge (See the Advent Calendar here). For another 7+2 days, you can discover a new animation, quiz or game, you can explore the code inside and create your own version with a video tutorial (if there is something new to learn) or an ‘edit’ version of the code (to put into the correct sequence and/or complete). Scratch is free online app (available also for download) created for kids to learn the basics of coding: algorithm, sequences, repetition, variables, etc. It’s a visual platform, so instead of memorizing code strings, kids

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Appy Advent – Activities for Advent Time (Week 3)

/ Lesson tips, Young Learners

Welcome to the third week of ELT-Tutor’s Appy Advent Scratch challenge (download the Appy Advent Calendar here). Just like in the first two weeks, you can discover a new animation, quiz or game every day, you can explore the code inside and create your own version with a video tutorial (if there is something new to learn) or an ‘edit’ version of the code (to put into the correct sequence and/or complete). Scratch is free online app (available also for download) created for kids to learn the basics of coding: algorithm, sequences, repetition, variables, etc. It’s a visual platform, so

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Appy Advent – Activities for Advent Time (Week 1)

/ Lesson tips, Young Learners

Looking for an alternative Advent Calendar? This year, I’d like to invite young and old explorers, creators, discoverers to spend the coming 4 weeks with a daily coding challenge. Every day, you can discover a new animation, quiz or game, you can explore the code inside and create your own version with a video tutorial (if there is something new to learn) or an ‘edit’ version of the code (to put into the correct sequence and/or complete). Scratch is free online app (available also for download) created for kids to learn the basics of coding: algorithm, sequences, repetition, variables, etc.

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In Urgent Need to Find Colourful Fun YL Activity Books?

/ Lesson tips, Vocabulary training, Young Learners

Teachers often face the hard reality that their students cannot purchase text books or their schools require self-made materials. Many of us continue teaching online and need some visuals they can screen-share and which then engage their sitting students. Most of the times we prepare for YL exams, but lack enough materials and books with only sample tests are really monotonous to teach. All this can be solved with these booklets covering relevant topics, with a great amount of visuals, engaging and fun activities and integrated exam tasks (Cambridge Starters, Movers and Flyers). Take a look!

Exit tickets in the digital age

/ Lesson tips, Young Learners

There are two delicate parts in every lesson: the lead-in and the wind-down. Of course, the main part is about the target language, but its success depends on how you introduce the topic. The same importance needs to be given also to the last five minutes of a lesson: if a student leaves your classroom excited, satisfied, their brain will connect the new grammar or vocabulary to previous knowledge – what’s more faster and with a great number of new connections. Whereas, annoyed and confused students block the new language in their brain and they will not be able to

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HALLOWEEN SLIDES FOR YL

/ Grammar training, Halloween, Lesson tips, Vocabulary training, Young Learners

In Italy, most language courses start in October, just before Halloween. This means that Halloween lessons are due to become grammar revision lessons. If you are teaching Young Learners at A1 level, you might need to revise nouns: 1) with indefinite article (a/an), 2) in plural forms,3) with adjectives (adjective-noun word order).Here’s a downloadable slide-show combining these grammar points with Halloween vocabulary for 6-10-year-old students.

Write a Story with these Scratch Story Prompts

/ Elementary, Intermediate, Lesson tips, Pre-intermediate, Writing Training, Young Learners

My children have received a toy which I find genial: it’s a story box where you can choose three variables of the story: the set (city, countryside, space, sea), the type of protagonists (animals, fantasy, jobs) and a situation (conflict, love, friendship, etc.). Once you defined the three categories, it tells you a story. Although the quality of the stories are not the highest, the idea is really good. So, it didn’t take long to find a way to adapt it to my English lessons – and my Scratch meetings. The idea was to provide inputs for a story students

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Revising clothes with a Scratch challenge

/ A1, Lesson tips, Pre-A1, Vocabulary training, Young Learners

Talking about clothes is always a great opportunity to revise not only vocabulary linked to fashion, colours and shades, but also to recap the word order ‘adjective + noun’. Last but not least, it is also a great opportunity to play. In this post, I’d like to show you one Scratch animation and one follow-up activity for both, online and classroom lessons. The animation (Scratch challenge): Instruction: Click onto the green flag and after a while stop the animation with the red button (or the space key). Describe what Daisy is wearing. For Teachers: You can play this game with

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Online English lessons and coding with YL (Part Three)

/ A1, A2, Lesson tips, Pre-A1, Young Learners

January 2021 – This is the last part of a three-post serie, giving suggestions on how to use Scratch codes in teaching English to Young Learners (above all in online lessons). In the first part, I describe simple animations to revise numbers and prepositions of place, while in the second post, mazes were proposed to practice giving directions and question-answer animations. This time, I invite you to adventure into the Scratch world of quizzes and stories.

Online English lessons and coding with YL (Part Two)

/ A1, A2, Lesson tips, Pre-A1, Young Learners

January 2021 – In my previous post, I suggested that teachers giving online lessons to YL try out some alternative tasks using the programming language Scratch. This coding program was customized for elementary school students to introduce them to the universe of algorithms, sequencing, variables and others. So the main aim of the Scratch project is to teach coding to pupils. However, Scratch could come in really handy when giving online English lessons to Young Learners. In Part One, you can read about how to practise numbers and prepositions of places with Scratch animations. In this post, I’d like to

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Online English lessons and coding with YL (Part One)

/ A1, A2, Lesson tips, Pre-A1, Young Learners

January 2021 – As many of my colleagues, I ended up teaching completely online nearly a year ago. With teen and adult classes, the switch to online lessons was surprisingly smooth. However, things were not as easy with Young Learners (YL). Mainly, because parents – among them myself – were worried about how much time their children spent in front of different screens and secondly, because my students were used to lessons full of movement and games. We desperately needed inspiration. It came from one of the many Future Learn courses.

ESL-BRAINS – B1-C1 video worksheets from Poland

/ B1, B2, C1, Lesson tips

December 2020 – When I started teaching online, I first stuck to the course books I had been using for years. I had been familiar with the online extensions, I had already worked on the Cambridge LMS and used all multimedia materials available to my favourite course books. I had even had experience with e-books. However, very soon I realized that online teaching offers way more possibilities than only a digital copy of a face-to-face lesson.

WUP: TWO THINGS WE HAVE IN COMMON

/ A2, B1, B2, C1, Lesson tips

December 2020 – THIS IS a Warm-up/Lead-in exercise you can print and use in your next grammar/conversation lesson. The task is to complete the questionnaire (by giving two answers to different questions) and then mingling around in the classroom to find someone who has these two things in common (which is not as easy as it seems).

SPICE UP YOUR LESSON WITH A SONG – Grammar & Vocabulary through Listening

/ A1, A2, B1, B2, Grammar training, Lesson tips, Listening training, Vocabulary training

November 2020 – Songs are an evergreen possibility to lead into a new topic or introduce a new grammatical structure, they can be an excellent exercise to wind down a lesson and even in between two exercises, they are good for making students relax and prepare for the next task. In this post, I would like to show you some interactive worksheets to do while listening to some great classics and also some newer hits – with embedded YouTube videos.

SPEED UP YOUR ONE MINUTE

/ Lesson tips, Resource Bank, Speaking and Conversation

Students often need to express their opinion in 1-2 minutes, by responding to some questions, analyzing problems and/or proposing their own ideas. They don’t only need to do this, but should do it with adequate fluency and accuracy. Still, they waste time by looking for a word or try to put together a complex grammatical form. More than ever before an exam they need to understand what it means that they need to analyze and comment about a topic while the clock is clicking.

IMPROVE YOUR VOCABULARY – EVERY DAY

/ Lesson tips, Resource Bank, Vocabulary training

Nobody likes long word lists to memorize, it is monotonous and demotivating. Nobody has time to set up word cards, nowadays. However, it is essential to improve vocabulary in some way on a daily basis. Reading anything is an excellent way to widen one’s vocabulary, but not everybody likes reading. Listening to songs might work, but they require background knowledge of the songwriter’s intention and might become tricky.So here is a quick tip to introduce a new lexical item every day to your students with explanation and comprehension check:

PRONUNCE WELL AND LISTEN TO VARIETIES

/ Lesson tips, Listening training, New to ELT, Resource Bank

Students often struggle with listening because of their pronunciation. Since they mispronounce words, they expect a different pronunciation and cannot recognize words because they are pronounced differently. It is not unusual that they don’t recognize words because the speaker’s pronunciation is different from the one they are used to (usually the teacher’s pronunciation). Students very often prefer one variety of the English language, e.g. British, only because they have had British teachers in English. However, English has many varieties.So, it’s essential that you approach pronunciation and varieties from the first lesson at A1 level.

LESSON TIPS – WHAT TO DO IF…

/ Lesson tips, New to ELT

Teachers are always supposed to write a lesson plan, to know what they are going to do in their lesson. However, the biggest part of the job is ‘on the stage’. Your authentic interest in your students, your skill to improvise, your sense of humor, your problem-solving skills will weigh more in your evaluation than the perfection of your lesson plan. However, to be good at problem-solving and improvisation, you need to prepare mentally (anticipating problems). Here are some questions for you:

HOW TO GET 5 MINUTES TO THINK?

/ All levels, Lesson tips, New to ELT

If you have back-to-back lessons or are sent to cover a sick colleague last minute, you might find yourself in the situation that you have your class in front of you, but you still haven’t cleaned up your materials from the previous lesson or don’t really know what to do in this class.

VOCABULARY – KEEPING TRACK OF THE CLASS VOCAB

/ All levels, Lesson tips, Vocabulary training

About a year ago, I started to use QUIZLET to keep track of all vocabulary items we discussed in our lessons and it turned out to be really useful for both, online or face-to-face lessons. Quizlet is a platform where you can create flashcards to help your students memorize lexical items. The site does not send you any marketing mails or newsletters, but the free version has some banners (for all ages) on its pages. So, I set up a simple Teacher account and started to create my sets, one for every course.

10 TIPS HOW TO PAIR UP STUDENTS

/ Lesson tips

The dynamic of a lesson depends very much on the variety of used social forms (individual work, pair-work, group-work, whole class discussion, etc.). However, students often get stuck with the same partner. Asking students to work in pairs is good, but without swapping pairs, it is not as efficient as expected. Here are 10 ideas how to put students into pairs: