Vocabulary Profiling 1

How do you decide on the vocabulary to teach students?
Which vocabulary in a given text would you want students to learn and which items could you just gloss?

Read more

Literature Circles

Over the summer I explored Academic Reading Circles (ARC) with pre-sessional students and was impressed with the depth of reading comprehension and quality of discussion they prompted. The students found them both valuable and enjoyable.

Read more

CPD Course 5:: Teaching English through Literature

This is a free British Council course. It’s different from the graded reader course as it includes poetry and how to exploit literature to work on all four skills. There wasn’t much that was new to me but I got some good example texts to use.

CPD Course 4: How to use Graded Readers in the English Language Classroom

This is another short course by ‘Language Fuel’ and FutureLearn. It’s a good introductory course explaining Extensive Reading and giving practical ideas for using graded readers with students.
I researched this as a resources creator at British Study Centre 20 years ago and the activities were similar.
Nik Peachey’s course on ChatGPT opens up a lot of new, really interesting ways of using graded readers with students.

The Inner Voice

This phrase has come up a few times recently in different contexts and it’s one I’m interested in: a language teacher, you’d be forgiven for presuming, would tend to concentrate on the ‘outer’ voice. Read more

This is just to say… William Carlos Williams


This Is Just To Say

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox
and which
you were probably
for breakfast
Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold

Read more

Reading Aloud

Doing presentations with the pre-sessional students is difficult online. For an in-person presentation we could check the students’ notes. Online there is a greater temptation for students to read from a script. Read more

Academic Reading Circles (ARC)

This year we’ve started using Academic Reading Circles. They’ve really worked. Not just in training students to read texts more carefully but in giving them the opportunity to participate in seminar-type discussion afterwards. The students really enjoy them. Read more

Reading with Children

DSCN0542Everyone knows the benefits of reading to babies and toddlers, right? Health visitors hand out Bookstart packs in the UK almost as soon as your child is born, libraries run all-singing, all-dancing, glue & glitter sessions for families; Dolly Parton posts books monthly to children in the UK, the US, Canada and Australia. And the results from research is overwhelming: a child is never too young for a book. Read more

EFL Extensive Reading

Oxford BookwormsIn EFL we talk about two types of reading Extensive Reading and Intensive Reading. Intensive reading is what usually happens in the classroom: reading to answer comprehension questions or to teach ‘reading skills’ such as skimming and scanning. Extensive reading is reading for pleasure, often fiction at around or just below a learner’s language level. Ideally extensive reading texts should be 98% known vocabulary.
Read more