ACEnglishteacher

All things EFL… A collection of practical ideas, resources for the classroom and thoughts on EFL today


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Look what you missed in 2017!

The end of a year/beginning of a new one is often a time for reflection when we look back at our triumphs and failures…

A common post I see around now is “My most popular posts in “insert year” “My top 10 posts of “insert year”
I thought about doing the same but then felt kind of sorry for the not-so-fortunate ones. So I’ve dragged my least popular posts of 2017 out of hibernation to give them another chance in 2018.

Here’s what you might have missed …

Word Art 23

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Increase productivity at school (and at home) with Google Keep…

It’s that time of year when we are busy making and breaking New Year’s resolutions.  I have to say that I have never been one for making resolutions only at the start of a new year,  I am constantly making (and breaking) them! However, there is one resolution I made a while ago that I try never to break… be productive and manage my time efficiently!

As a keen advocate of anything that can make life that bit easier and help me with my resolution, I added a page called Bright Ideas to my blog; a place to share these ideas and discoveries…

I found out about the latest Bright Idea whilst training to earn the Google Certified Educatator level 1 certificate. I learnt to use some Google tools that have made both my personal and working life more productive and helped me save lots of time. One of these is Google Keep, an online note-taking tool. Continue reading

Christmas tree


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3 ways to practise grammar at Christmas

Just because it’s Christmas doesn’t mean the grammar’s got to go…

In fact just after the end of term exams (now) is when I need to be going over content that students haven’t yet mastered.  Here are 3 ideas to spice up the grammar and give it a Christmas twist…

Adverts

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There are some great adverts around and the Christmas season sees a plethora of ads to convince you it’s their turkey and Christmas pud you want on the table.  Some of these ads we wait for with anticipation: Come November in the UK, small talk at the bus stop is no longer about the weather but what the new John Lewis Christmas ad will be like… Continue reading


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Collaboration: improving outcomes

After writing a post celebrating my first anniversary blogging and sticking (more or less) to my personal goals of posting every couple of weeks, I’ve since managed not to (albeit with good reason!)

I had the amazing opportunity to attend Bett Asia 2017 in Kuala Lumpur with Chatta English last week. Consequently,  most of my “free” time over the past few months has been spent preparing for it (hence no posts.) Given that it was amazing opportunity which transpired to be an amazing experience, I don’t feel too bad… Continue reading


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Flipped learning. And we’re off…

If you read my blog post back in February Why flipped learning has got me excited, you will know all about my new found enthusiasm for flipped learning.  After months of delving deeper, doing courses and webinars (including getting flipped learning certified) and connecting with people in the FL community, I’ve finally made a start 🙂

I decided to flip with one class to begin with as I neither have much free time nor much experience…

After getting the go-ahead from school in September, I started to plan out how I was going to introduce the idea of flipped learning to parents and students.

I had the idea of flipping from the off.   Continue reading


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Flipped learning meets cooperative learning: #1 the spider’s web

September, the start of the new school year and time for reflection.  What worked last year? What didn’t? What can I do to improve learning in my classroom? What can my students do to become better learners?  What innovations in education might benefit my students? What’s working for other teachers and students?  These are some of the questions I’ve been asking myself over the last couple of weeks as I’ve been getting my teaching head back on (not that we ever really get it off, par for the course being a teacher!)

Back in June after reflecting upon the year and doing some self/student evaluations, I decided that the protagonists of my classroom this year (apart from my students of course) will be flipped learning and cooperative learning. Flipping in earnest will be new for my students this year, however cooperative learning is something we introduced last year. Students are finally getting used to this way of working and starting to understand (and reap) some of the benefits…

After doing a couple of courses at school, most of the teachers in my department have engaged with cooperative learning methods and students are now familiar with various CL strategies.  So, I’ve been thinking about how to incorporate some of these strategies to make the best use of the extra class time I’ll have when I start flipping learning with one of my classes this September.  

spider´s web

One of my favourite cooperative learning activities is the Tela de Araña (Spider’s web). I’ve also heard it called the “web of understanding.”

To use this strategy you’ll need a ball of wool (and a bit of patience if you’re working with younger learners!)

Students sit or stand in a circle and the ball of wool is passed to and fro to create “a spider’s web.”

Although our course leader demonstrated the spider’s web as a team-building, getting to know you activity, it can used in many more ways, from storytelling to checking understanding to recalling facts, summarising… It’s as versatile as you are creative…

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Making videos: Flipped learning

Feeling inspired this week as I’ve just got my Flipped Learning level 1 certification (Flipped Learning Global Initiative) and I’m ready to take up the challenge offered at the end of the course. I know Why flipped learning makes sense, I know How to do it (the theory) now all that remains (the challenge) is to DO it!

I’ve already dabbled in FL Flip writing in the EFL classroom, Why flipped learning has got me excited but have yet to make my first video and flip in earnest. Although I have learnt that flipping is not all about the videos, they will be an integral part of flipping vocabulary and grammar in my classes.  My aim this summer then, is to get to grips with some of the video making options and tools, lose my inhibitions (!?) and make some videos…

Clapperboard

Apart from some great advice offered on the course, I’ve also been getting inspiration from other educators who are already flipping their teaching. Continue reading