In it for the long haul: Managing ‘long’ lessons

During my career I have taught lessons of varying lengths. The smallest time I had was a single 30 minute lesson per week in a tokenistic compulsory second language program, teaching Japanese to Australian primary school students. I’ve also taught five-hour intensive lessons to adult English learners. The length and frequency of learning is important in […]

Human Sentences

‘Human Sentences’ is a sentence scramble activity which involves collaboration with the whole class, or a whole group. This activity works well with young and/or beginner learners, although it could work with older and intermediate students when introducing new grammar structures. I’ve had particular success using this strategy with young beginner learners of Japanese (as per my example photos), who […]

Background music for speaking activities

Background music sits in the background and isn’t paid much attention to. However, over the course of two years I have begun to realise the important role that background music can play in my communication classes, particularly as I try to build a supportive classroom environment where students feel comfortable enough to take risks. My use of background […]

Poster presentations for building opportunities for ‘unplanned’ speaking

In an oral communication class, it is always at the forefront of my mind how to maximise students’ speaking time. This is a challenge in my current role because I have limited time with my students each week, and often have large classes (more than 50 at times). There are also challenges because many of my students […]

Quotes for language teachers

This post brings to you a range of quotes relevant to language teaching and learning that might provide inspiration and food-for-thought for you and your students. I have taken some of the quotes and created classroom posters using black text on white background with a simple colour image which will hopefully allow teachers with limited budgets to print the […]