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
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
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
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
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
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.