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.

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.

Giving Your Teachers a Voice

It's no secret that being a teacher can be a frustrating experience. Most, if not all, teachers will occasionally go through spells of wondering why they chose this profession. When the frustration subsides, however, the answer is always because they love teaching. Giving your teachers a voice is one way to reduce their frustration. Give them clear outlets to change and improve the situations they find themselves in every day. Here are three steps that you can take to ensure that the teachers in your school have a voice in how the school is managed.

  1. Listen to Teacher Concerns - Have multiple channels in place for teachers to voice their concerns and ask questions. This includes staff meetings, one-on-one meetings, and an anonymous suggestion box. At staff meetings, always allow time for staff comments and questions. Schedule this time at the beginning or middle of the meeting, so that it doesn't get dropped if you run out of time.

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".