ELT Articles

Teaching and Management Food for Thought

Welcome to the PD Exchange English Language Teaching Blog. Here, we'll discuss hot topics in the world of English language teaching, share teaching tips and techniques, and explore ideas to help you grow as an English language teacher or program manager.  Select from any of the topics in the side menu to the left, or browse recent posts from all categories below.

Temperature Check Your Language Program

No, the title does not refer to using a thermometer to make sure that your students are not sick. It refers to finding out how your students feel about their language program experience while they are in the middle of the program. Don't wait until your end-of-course or end-of-term surveys to find out what students are thinking. By then it is too late to change their student experiences.

Encouraging Teachers to be Adaptable

It is easy for teachers to get caught up in their own beliefs of what 'correct' teaching is. As a language program manager, it is important to encourage your teachers to be flexible and adaptable. Here are some good habits to encourage among your staff to keep them open to different ways of teaching.

  1. Constant Sharing - It is important for teachers to remember that no matter how experienced they are, there is always the possibility that their way of doing things isn't the best and there is always something for them to learn. Having open lines of communication, sharing and collaboration among teachers is a great way to ensure that they exchange ideas and learn from each other.

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.