Although schools face similar challenges, each is unique in its own way. Your course needs to be relevant to your teaching context so we must consider your students’ learning environment, your teachers’ teaching context (including their skills, motivations and interests), and lastly your school objectives.
Below is a list of all the topics on offer. Those topics will be translated into sessions, but one topic won’t necessarily equate to one session. It will depend on the importance you assign to each topic. For short and intensive courses one topic may equate to as many as three sessions.
CPD is something that we all should be doing, probably are doing and may not know that we are doing! Developing as a teacher starts with you and your colleagues. We explore this vital area which underpins the success of any course, in-house workshop, or any other CPD activity.
Observing other teachers in the classroom is a vital step in a teacher’s development. For many, the word ‘observation’ may have negative connotations, but with a fresh outlook, and if they are managed in a certain way, they can be experienced as a positive contribution to your development – one that you will find very, and often surprisingly, rewarding. We show you how.
This session is related to ‘How to observe effectively’. We need to be able to give constructive feedback. Feedback starts with self-evaluation, where the teacher reflects and the lesson observer listens. This session also considers recording feedback, how to identify development needs and strengths and most importantly the language of feedback.
Observe our language teachers at the Lewis School of English from the back of the room, while they deliver a General English and/or exam courses to adult learners (17+). You will be provided with an observation form which will encourage you to observe approaches, methods, techniques and procedures relating to the skills explored on your course.
A proven and rewarding process. A brief 3-minute opportunity to teach your peers and your trainers something (not English). It will be a chance to use some of the techniques and ideas introduced during the course. It is also a great chance to practise observation and feedback processes.
During this session we introduce you to an internationally recognised qualification for English language teachers. We show you how this qualification can equip you with the most up-to-date practices in English language teaching, and how it can therefore aid your development.
Have a taste of what your students are experiencing! This is a chance to learn a ‘mystery language’ new to you. It gives you the opportunity to observe and comment on a language teacher in action. You’ll take away a variety of modern methods and techniques, and reconnect with the feeling of learning a new language. An insightful session.
We are often able to identify the good learners in our classroom and pick out those students who are struggling. However, what makes a good learner? And are we good learners? This session will focus on the traits of a good learner and encourage us to think about how we can both model these traits and advise our students on how to become better learners.
How do we acquire language? Is language acquisition innate or do we learn it? We will have an opportunity to reflect on first language acquisition and compare and contrast it to second language acquisition. All of this has implications on a number of methods in the classroom.
A fun introduction to the basic anatomy of the brain and learning. In this fascinating session you will discover the link between a crocodile, a rabbit and a ball of newspaper and its relevance to the learning process. We will look at a variety of learning theories and consider their application to the classroom, as well as to individual learners. We will also discuss classroom techniques that support learning.
The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is a wonderful tool for helping learners to correct their pronunciation. The English language spelling system is quirky. The IPA helps overcome the mismatch between spelling and pronunciation.
We all need to keep our English fresh and contemporary. This session gives you an opportunity to focus on the areas of concern as speakers and/or teachers of English. It also gives you a chance to revitalise your English lexis and ensure that you are not teaching old-fashioned language! Pronunciation often arises as a key area; however, the language focus for this session will be your choice.
Raising awareness and understanding of the impact of SLD in the classroom. How can you spot the learner with processing problems? Or the student with dyslexia? What do we do when we think there may be an issue with learning? Who do we involve?
We will demonstrate several different ways of teaching new language to learners. These methods will clearly contextualise the language and ensure that learners have understood the concept behind the language through fun and exploratory activities. Hint: starting with language rule explanations is not necessarily the best way.
An opportunity to look at how the same structure can have different meanings and functions. Think of the modal verb ‘can’ – does can in ‘I can play the piano’ have the same function as ‘You can smoke in this room’? Can we teach learners useful expressions without them knowing the grammar?
We consider the increasingly popular movement towards student-centred learning, drawing on the works of Carl Rogers, John Dewey, Jean Piaget and Lev Vygotsky. This illuminating introduction to learner-centred teaching challenges us to explore our own values and beliefs underpinning our teaching, and provides a compass by which to guide the decisions we make in the classroom and the behaviour we employ. Psychology lovers, take heed!
Encouraging the students to think and process, while making language learning active and fun is possible! With this popular topic we explore teaching techniques that will foster a more student-centred environment. This session often revitalises a teacher’s passion in what they do.
How can we apply a more student-centred approach in the classroom? How can we translate this seemingly idealistic notion into practical teaching with realistic objectives? Where do we start? One way is to explore a particular selection of techniques that can form the basis of this approach. We look at ‘popping’, echoing, eliciting, concept-checking, gaining consensus, and other essential techniques that we claim provide a gateway into student-centred teaching. Topics 21-23 look at these techniques and related areas more comprehensively.
‘Less teacher equals more student’. We consider how true this statement is by firstly defining the features of teacher talk time (TTT). The session will explore ways of managing both the quantity and quality of TTT during a lesson. You will be introduced to the powerful ‘PoP’ technique, as well as eliciting and echoing. We also consider realistic challenges teachers face while integrating such a technique e.g. student engagement and motivation.
Classroom management is about a lot more than minimising bad behaviour – it’s about creating an environment that is conducive to learning effectively. Concept-checking and gaining consensus are two essential tools that enable such an environment, encouraging students to learn in a procedural manner that considers ways in which the mind works. We’ll be looking at what they are, and where and when we should use them, as well as the all-important why.
Have you ever wondered why an activity hasn’t worked? Or a why lesson has been uninspiring? Could it be the way your classroom is being used? We will be introducing you to our very own ‘Chameleon Approach’, which will examine movement, dynamics and focus, in order to reignite your classroom and inspire your teaching!
This session is for teachers dealing with 25 students (or more) in one class. We explore lesson structures, activities, and classroom management techniques that will better engage students and create a more effective and collaborative class. We also consider some ‘do not try’ scenarios.
…within the same class. A harsh reality for many teachers! We explore ways of differentiating learning within the classroom, considering learning styles and individual language development pathways. We also look at how homework can be tailored to each student (if applicable).
The aim here is to apply classroom management techniques in order to minimise and control the use of L1 in a way that motivates learners. We will be looking at when to minimise it and how to do this effectively, as well as looking at when and how it could be used to our advantage as teachers.
What to correct? When to correct? How to correct? Who does the correcting? Should we correct? This session is an opportunity to discuss the pros and cons of this important topic. During the session you will be experimenting with a variety of error-correction techniques, including finger-correction, board focus, and using the IPA.
More than just words. What does the learner need to know about a word or expression? How can they store and retrieve the information? How do we make lexis memorable? The focus of this session is on helping learners who are encountering unknown lexis, by focusing on techniques such as identifying key words and deducing meaning from context.
Games and activities to develop pronunciation skills. This session will raise your awareness of the many aspects of pronunciation which we need to consider in our teaching. We will explore different ways of making pronunciation work accessible and fun.
We will take you on a journey through the main approaches and methods used in ELT, considering our understanding of them and their practical application in the classroom. We will then explore whether there is still a place for methodologies in the 21st century classroom.
Why is this an area of growing importance? What is it replacing? How can it be applied to different contexts? Why should it be considered? How can we find out if this approach works? We will discuss these questions as well as glean answers to them through live demonstrations where these principles are put into action.
The Communicative Approach has been part of the English language world for many decades. In this session we will briefly look at the history of the Communicative Approach and how it impacts on teaching today. We will try out a variety of activities and identify the features of the approach that aid learners’ language development.
Inspired by our very own Theatre Express, this session will show you some of the creative and dynamic drama activities which can be used both to build your students’ confidence and to improve their English.
A popular topic. We provide you with an opportunity to participate in activities which we have ‘lifted off the page of a course book’. We then challenge you and your peers to humanise the course book you use. This session ultimately aims to assist you in managing the course book and finding ways to use the material they contain more responsively. Humanising course books goes a long way towards engaging students more.
Often the course book just isn’t enough. This session encourages us to think about creating our own activities and materials to suit our students’ personal development needs. Let your creative thoughts flow.
Not everything that is online or published is necessarily suitable or appropriate for our students. We need to evaluate and develop the material to suit our teaching aims and students’ needs. This is a hands-on, creative session where we explore options for making materials work for our students.
Authentic materials include texts (e.g. magazines and brochures), videos, television programmes, and any other sources of language that have not been adapted in any way. They are naturally created, so to speak, for ‘real’ world consumption. We explore ways in which we can utilise these materials to engage students and help prepare them for this ‘real’ world of communication.
Are you creative? Can you imagine using a box of colourful wooden rods to teach anything from storytelling to grammar and from pronunciation to literacy skills? Intrigued? Then sign up for this session!
One of the big problems we all face, whether teaching English to children or adults, is maintaining learners’ interest throughout our lessons. Many consider songs to be one of the most motivating resources for the classroom, regardless of the age or background of the learners. Songs can develop the four skills, can help automatize the language development process; and are often excellent examples of colloquial English in action, so clear your throats in preparation for this session!
It is difficult to keep up with the amount of online material available and it is difficult to find suitable free materials or sites. We are fortunate to have a resident expert on teaching using the Internet who will share his secrets with you – you will be the envy of your colleagues!
Here we discuss the importance of functional phrases which enable natural dialogue in the classroom. We also look at how to make physical changes to the classroom to create an effective CLIL environment.
Learn about some of the main English language exams, the differences between them, and identify the appropriate exam for individual learners.
Our team of specialists are always researching new theories and practices within the modern world of language teaching. If you feel there is a topic missing please let us know so that we can continuously develop our courses for your benefit.