Useful Online Resources

This is a (slowly growing) list of useful online resources for teachers & students, in no particular order. If you have any favourite sites, please let me know. Read more


Songs for Learning Vocabulary: Topics A to Z

A to Z of Song Topics

As I’ve spent the last month or so listing songs for learning English grammar, it seems to make sense to finish with a list of songs for topics to introduce or revise vocabulary. This list will grow as I remember/discover more, or people get in touch with suggestions. Read more


Songs for Learning English Grammar

I’m keen on the idea of songs helping students internalise, through repetition, the rhythm, sentence stress and grammatical structures or English. I don’t have much opportunity to use songs in most of my classes (mostly business, academic and exam classes at the moment) but am interested in the idea of encouraging students to use songs independently to practice shadowing, as one way of reviewing grammar structures. One advantage of using songs this way, with the lyrics available, is that the words of the songs don’t need to be quite as clear as they would if they were to be used to present structures and vocabulary. Read more

CPD Course 7: ChatGPT in the Language Classroom

The course I took on online teaching mentions as a good source of online tools and materials. I haven’t had much time to explore the site as I got distracted by this course it offers on teaching with ChatGPT. This has been a recurring topic in pre-sessionals and the course is only £40 so I signed up.

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CPD Course 6: Teaching English Online

Another FutureLearn course in association with Cambridge University Press & Assessment.  This one was really useful. It’s worth taking courses on online teaching regularly as everything online changes so quickly. The courses need to be updated regularly too. This one seems to be quite up to date although they do mention Edmodo at one point which is now obsolete (and I miss it – Google classroom is not the same).

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RefuAid is a really positive non-profit organisation which helps asylum seekers in the UK to access education and training to further or adapt their skills to the UK context.

De-mystifying the Phonemic Chart

When I started teaching the chart seemed practically incomprehensible to me. Even as I grew to understand it (and Adrian Underhill’s layout is the only one that seems to make sense) it felt like a great cognitive load to place on students (‘Think English spelling is hard? Now learn all these symbols!’). The DELTA, if anything, made it seem less accessible (unvoiced bilabial plosive, anyone?).

Adrian Underhill, though, strips all that away through use of gesture and mime, by focusing on the chart as a ‘geographical map’ of the mouth which helps locate the physical movements we make in production, using simple prepositions of place to describe movement. Read more


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

Performance: Humanizing the Classroom

On this course with Adrian Underhill we are preparing a poetry festival for the last class. Each day we start each session with a poem read by Adrian or another student.

I confess when I first read this on the course description I was a little wary. I love poetry but was unsure about its place in the classroom. It appeared to me perhaps as a bit of a throwback to those 70s EFL texts I was so obsessed with when I started out as an idealistic 19 year old – Mario Rinvolucri, Pilgrim’s, NLP in the classroom etc. All these years on I guess I’ve become more cynical and jaded.

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