ELT Articles

Curriculum Development

Our Curriculum Development articles provide you with ideas to keep your language program’s curriculum interesting and motivating. The ideas help you fine tune an existing curriculum, integrate different technologies, or build a curriculum from the ground up.

Cut the 'Time Wasting' from Your Courses

We live in a world where educators are expected to get better results from students without any additional classroom time. To make sure that your teachers can meet the objectives of the curriculum, it is important to recognize and remove the 'time filling' activities that teachers fall into every day. Here are some of the 'fluff' exercises that can be removed or assigned for homework.

Vocabulary Lists - The vocabulary list activity, in which students are given a list of words that they must then define is great in theory. But the reality is that the time spent on these exercises is rarely worth it. Students will often forget the definition right after they are finished the task. It is much better to spend time teaching vocabulary in context as questions arise. Teaching vocabulary in context is much more likely to lead to a student remembering what it was they learned because they have a memory of why they learned it.

Adapting your Curriculum for the Teenage Student

July and August are months in which many English language programs run summer camps for international teenagers. These programs are both educational and fun. Here are some tips for creating or adapting a curriculum to keep your teenage students engaged.

  1. Use Video Based Lessons. Videos are a great tool for motivating teenage students. Just make sure the videos are related to teenage interests. Use movie trailers, music videos, short interviews with cultural icons, or ‘how to’ videos. All of these are available on YouTube or similar video streaming sites. Three to five minutes is an optimum video length for teenage learners. It is also good to allow your students to choose the videos they want to see. Don't just have students watch the video. Make sure they watch it for a reason. After watching the video they can complete a quiz, hold a discussion, give a presentation, write a summary or create their own video.

Using Mind Mapping to Aid Vocabulary Acquisition

Vocabulary can be a difficult area for students to progress in. Despite the fact that students learning English are exposed to new vocabulary every day, it takes a great deal of repetition for students to internalize the new vocabulary and actually be able to use it successfully in their communication. One technique for helping students learn vocabulary is called "Mind Mapping".