My bag of tricks

Today I’ve decided to open my bag of tricks, which is a small bag I used to take to my lessons when I taught at a language institute. Read below to find out what’s inside.

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New Girl: a video-based vocabulary lesson

Whenever possible I try to illustrate new language students come across with a video snippet. I believe it helps make the language more memorable and it’s also a great way to work on pronunciation features like connected speech.

So, last week, after using a text to talk about the protests in Brazil, I was looking for a video with the phrasal verb ‘fed up with’. The snippet I found had so many interesting bits of language (including not my cup of tea) that it ended up becoming a lesson on its own. Continue reading

In defence of idioms

A couple of weeks ago I read Damian Williams’ blogpost explaining the problems he sees with the way idioms are taught in English lessons. It got me thinking about why I do like teaching idioms but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it.

Fast-forward to this week when I was preparing a video activity and came across this scene in an episode of New Girl. It made me realize exactly why I think idioms are worth teaching.

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Conversation lessons and error correction

Last week I took part in my first BrELT Chat, the topic of which was conversation lessons. At the very end of the chat participants were asked to contribute a final thought and I said ‘aula de conversação também tem correção’ which translates to ‘there should be correction in conversation lessons’.

In a lot of ways, I think the same techniques can be used for error correction in both a conversation lesson and a ‘regular’ lesson. You can see some examples in my previous post on the same topic. What may change, however, is what I choose to correct, rather than how I correct it. Continue reading

Drug Testing Is Coming to E-Sports

I rarely play video games or online games these days, but as a teacher of people who do, I try to keep abreast of what is going on in that universe.

There was an article on the New York Times a couple of weeks ago that could be used to talk about the topic of online games and ethics in sports. The title ‘Drug testing is coming to E-sports’ hints at the fact that players are using PEDs to try to get an edge, just like athletes in professional leagues do.

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