One of our objectives at St. James is that students evaluate themselves. This will help them to develop their self-awareness which is one of the most important intrapersonal competencies in our Emotional Intelligence Programme. I’d like to share a simple routine regarding self-awareness which can be easily done in class: I give myself…

This is a simple, effective and engaging activity to introduce and revise vocabulary. It’s also a good activity to practise describing pictures using language for speculation, a task students face in many speaking exams. This is how I use these pictures with older children, teenagers and adults.

1. Choose a set of words you want to introduce or revise.

2. Take a close-up photograph that shows only part of the image.

3. Take another photograph that shows the whole image.

4. Arrange the students in pairs or 3s.

Most teachers like taking photos with their mobile phones and sometimes we don’t realise that these images can be a very engaging and effective resource in the classroom. The good news is that most teenagers and adults enjoy taking photos too. What they might not know is how these can help them to improve their English. In my experience the activity below is one of the most simple and effective ways of using photographs in the classroom.

One of our responsibilities as teachers is to help students to overcome their mistakes. Error correction is key to learning but not any correction will be effective. In this entry I’d like to reflect on how to help students improve in a supportive and effective way.

I remember years ago, in June, talking to a student about the grammar and vocabulary sections in the book….. when I realised that the student was not aware of the fact that his book had several sections after the last unit! Since then I always spend about 20 minutes at the very beginning of the year going through the book and other resources such as websites or links. This is what I do:

Sometimes it can be daunting to face a blank piece of paper when planning the first lesson after the summer. This first class is important. If it’s too easy the students might complain because “it’s too easy”. If it’s all games they might complain because “we didn't do anything”. If it’s too difficult… well, you know. These are the 3 kind of activities I usually do.

Una de las características en común que tenemos todas las personas es la capacidad de aprender idiomas, sea el que sea, y de comunicar. Sin embargo, a pesar de ser algo común, cada persona comunica de manera única. En la charla que daremos el jueves 17 de mayo trataremos de analizar 3 aspectos esenciales a la hora de comunicar y es que en la actualidad se habla mucho de “hablar en público” pero quizá no se hable lo suficiente sobre el origen de la comunicación.


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