If you teach EFL, especially in Europe, you're probably preparing at least one of your classes for an English exam, and probably a Cambridge exam. These exams are a necessary evil in TEFL, and usually students and teachers don't find exam prep useful nor fun.
It doesn't have to be that way
In this episode of the More Than English Podcast, we talk with Terry Lodge, an expert teacher, teacher-trainer, Cambridge exam coordinator and examiner, and he shares his insights from the other side of the exams. He also shares some of his most effective lesson ideas for you to prepare your students in exam-taking skills and psychology.
Jesse and Terry share language teaching and learning philosophy, and you can watch tutorials on how to give engaging English lessons for speaking, listening, reading, and writing. This will serve you especially well in the classroom because these activities will prepare them for the exams, but more importantly, they have a real-life English focus on them.
Watch the video version:
Modify and Adapt - Use these ideas as a guideline and adapt how you use them to your style and your individual classes. (For example, I have a smaller class of 6 students, and I brought in 3 tennis balls to have the students pass pack and forth.)
Routine - Do these activities on a regular or semi-regular basis so the skills will become automatic for what the students need them whether for an exam or real life.
Real Life English - Remember, the purpose of exams is to get the candidates to prepare to use English in real life. Train them for this in your lessons.
Easter Egg Lessons
Pressure - Get your students used to pressure (eventually) by stepping them out of their comfort zone with some of these ideas.
Learning without Learning - For many of these, the students don't feel like they're "studying", but they are improving these skills.
What else can you find?
Teens are not exactly the easiest group of students for an EFL teacher to have in front of them. Combining fact that everybody tells them what to do, their normal teenage insecurities, and the ever-present hormone issue, they often don't know which side is up, so something has to give. It's always good to add more tools to your EFL/ESL toolbox to be better equipped to go into battle and help build these young minds.
In today's episode of the More Than English Podcast, Jesse will talk to Harry Waters about how to reach and teach teens and have fun in your TEFL classes. You will listen to ideas to feel less stress in your teen classes, teaching philosophy, classroom management, and a few fun EFL game ideas for you to take and adapt to your style and your classes.
The three EFL games you'll learn about in this episode are:
You'll get much more than just these. Harry shares with us how to play these games in your classes, how to make the rules, and how to get the most language and personal growth out of these games. It truly is More Than English.
Watch The Episode
Contact Sweed Academy if you have any questions or comments about this episode.
If you are a teacher of young learners... I mean very young learners, you understand certain challenges that come with that job. It takes a lot of energy, love, and patience to teach a roomful of 4-year-olds, and on today's episode of the More Than English Podcast, you are going to learn THE ART of teaching kids a foreign language. Listen to the episode below or click here for the podcast homepage.
Jessica Yip is today's special guest teaching us the fundamentals of teaching very little kids. She talks to us about:
The main idea...
Make emotional connections with he kids. This is a principle that is consistent in being a good teacher no matter what age you're teaching. This also applies to little kids and babies. Jessica talks about teaching without teaching to make the students learn without realizing it.
Make the students feel powerful
By making the students feel powerful, you are helping them with more then English, you're helping them grow as people. In the episode, you will hear tricks like giving the students freedom and let them choose what they want to do, but within a set of boundaries.
One of the biggest messages from this episode is that positive reinforcement is your best friend. It will help you with class management, teaching your class material, and it will make the students look forward to your class time because you're making them feel BIG.
If you teach or have little ones...do yourself a favor
This episode is so full of great advice for working with kids in general because Jessica's tips are psychology tips for teachers of all ages.
If you teach older kids, teens, or adults, be sure to check out our FREE Lesson Resources that will help you lead dynamic and engaging classes with fun activities that will have your students practice real English.
If you live in Seville, Spain...
Jessica teaches in Seville center. If you're interested in signing up your students to learn from Jessica, visit Centro Norteamericano and find out how to enroll. Tell them Jesse sent you!
On the surface, teaching EFL/ESL is a straight forward subject. You help people with their English.
However, there's more to it.
The more you look, the deeper it goes. There are many moving parts in the EFL classroom, and if you want to be an effective English teacher, it's important to teach students the way they learn, and more importantly, teach English the way we use it!
We're going deep in this episode of the More Than English Podcast with Dr. Peter Crosthwaite Ph.D. in Applied Linguistics. Peter shares some ideas to remember in your LISTENING, WRITING, and CONVERSATION classes as well as introduces us to some CORPORA software that will revolutionize how we research words in English.
This episode is a bit longer and a little dense with information, but if you are interested in taking your EFL classes and teaching to the next level, this is full of insight into the EFL/ESL world. Not to mention, Peter roasts Jesse in a few parts.
So, what if...
- we looked at conversation classes differently and focused on LISTENING and SPEAKING together.
- we used Corpus software to teach vocabulary words IN CONTEXT?
- we taught HOW TO LISTEN in different ways for different situations?
To find out more about Dr. Crosthwaite, find his bio here.
Of course, we all know that the first impression is usually the strongest or most important. Sometimes students know us from past years, but each year is a chance to start over and surprise the students with a different slant on your teaching philosophy.
Don't start out the year with classroom rules.
If you're like me, you normally hear at orientations and opening teachers meeting to form your classroom rules in a positive way.
Instead of saying Don't speak your native language
Say Speak Only English
Instead of saying Don't do this and that
Say Respect Everybody
This is very good advice for creating classroom rules and setting a standard in the class. It is essential to phrase any kind of rule or command in a positive way, both for the students' confidence, but also it gives the best results.
But, what if...
... we didn't set class rules on the first day? The students have probably heard something like this every year in several different languages. They probably "know them".
... we focused on creating an environment for them "to practice" these rules that they know.
... we set the example and went first, and showed the students (sometimes undeserved) respect as an example of the behavior we want from them instead of just telling them.
If that sounds interesting...
That's what you'll hear about on the premier episode of the More Than English Podcast Season 2.
Along with talking about the points that are listed above, we will preview what you can expect on this season of the More Than English Podcast. Available anywhere you listen to your podcasts.
Classroom Management System
Join the conversation
If I were to ask you what the best question is, what would you say? Of course it depends on the information you're looking for, but are there any questions that are more useful to growth, learning, or growing?
Think of the W questions... and H question (Who, What, Why, Where, When, How)
In this episode, Jesse explores what the he feels is the best question and the reason for it being the best question.
SPOILER ALERT: It's "why" followed by "how".
This is the question that's fundamental to learning. If you want to know the reason somebody did something, you ask 'why'? If somebody says something hurtful, you want to know why. If you want to make good decisions or understand the reason you've made a bad decision, you ask yourself 'why?'
Why is fundamental to learning. Followed closely by "how". In fact, these question compliment each other perfectly. First, you ask 'why', and then you can ask 'how', as in, "How can I + verb"
Do you agree?
I'd love to hear from you and know your opinion to this question. What is the best question?- If you could only choose one
Bad news: Learning English is difficult. Good news: It's not as difficult as many people think.
Do you know what the key to improving at a language... or anything else is?
Time and times.
You need time to perfect your skill, and you need repetition (times) of doing it correctly. This is the key to improvement. Think of learning a new language in the same way you think of learning a new sport, instrument, or any other skill. It's NOT impossible, it just takes time and repetition to improve.
In today's episode, Jesse discusses this idea and shares some insight from his own life and path about how he's applying this to his progress is things he's learning. Experience is the best teacher... if you learn from it. This is why repetition is so important. Repetition is experience.
If you remember from Episode 33 of the More Than English Podcast, if you can dedicate just 10 minutes a day toward learning this new skill, you will be shocked at how much you can learn.
You will also be able to learn valuable expressions and phrases to become more fluent in English. Share this with somebody who is learning something new.
What about you?
What are your keys to learning something new? Share ideas and tips below to help out the community.
Get in touch and More Material
Do you have a high English level, but you have a difficult time with your listening? It can be frustrating, right?
Why is listening to a foreign language so difficult?
In today's episode, Jesse will explain strategic steps that you can take to improve your listening comprehension. Jesse will give you three tasks to do next time you're listening to an interview, a Ted talk, a YouTube video, or any other thing that you want to listen to. Follow this advice and these tasks and improve your foreign language listening immediately.
Steps to Improving Your REAL English Listening
1. Don't try to pick up every word.
Are you missing the forest for the trees? If you focus on a single word that you didn't catch, you might miss the bigger idea about what you're listening to. What do you do in your own language when you miss a word? You probably pick up the general idea from the rest of the message.
Ask yourself 3 questions:
a) Who is the intended audience of this listening?
b) What is the main idea of what I'm listening to?
c) What were some supporting points of that main idea?
2. Focus on what you know instead of what you don't know.
Too many times, we can become discouraged about the things we don't know. If we become discouraged from that, we'll be discouraged all the time because we'll always not know more than we know. That's the point of learning, isn't it? Sometimes, it's good to notice our progress as a bit of encouragement.
3. Have a notebook and write down new words or expressions.
This will help you out a lot. It will keep you focused and encouraged because if you will learn more about the things we don't know. By writing down new words and expressions in REAL context, you will learn them on a deeper level and have a visual record to continue to study from.
Contact and Follow
Do you have ten minutes a day to practice or improve something? At the end of six days, you will have practiced an hour. We can all find ten minutes a day to practice something.
First, decide something to improve.
Second, make 10 minutes a day to CONSISTENTLY practice this thing.
Third, once you are consistently practicing this thing every day, find specific areas to improve at this skill.
These are the steps to success.
Below, you can listen to the whole episode where Jesse outlines his method to learning something new.
Japanese philosopher Musashi said, "If you know the way broadly, you will see it in all things."
You're not going to become a master at something in one jump. Consistency is key. There are two things you need to learn and become proficient at something... Time and Times. You need to practice many times, and you need to give yourself time.
By the end of the week, putting 10 minutes a day of practice into something, by the end of the week, you will have put in an hour. And that's taking Sunday off!
Put away the excuses, and find out where to start. What do you want to improve at? Let us know!
Learning language isn't much different than learning a sport, an instrument, or how to do anything. Repetition repetition repetition. You will perform how you practice.
In this episode, Jesse talks about studying English in a different way. Focus on the muscle memory with your brain and your mouth to get used to doing it the right way.
Jesse gives some tips and examples for you to practice this on your own or with your teacher. If you would like to study with Jesse, visit sweedacademy.com and sign up for a lesson.
Listen to the full episode below and then answer the listening questions.
True/False Listening Quiz
Answer these True/False questions as you listen:
1. Jesse is a sports trainer.
2. Muscle memory helps in sports, playing an instrument, and language learning.
3. The way you brush your teeth is an example of muscle memory.
4. Repeating yourself is boring and unhelpful.
5. The phrase 'I would like' is followed by 'to verb'.
6. Repeating words in your mind is a great way to improve pronunciation.
7. If you say a sentence correctly once, you know it.
8. Drilling will help you improve in everything.
Why More Than English?
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