Topic: Learning and Teaching

Using body language and gestures to teach grammar

Ways for teacher and students to use their bodies to present and practise grammatical forms such as tenses, modal verbs and passive voice

The most effective error correction games

Error correction activities that aren't a waste of class time.

The best picture books for ESL young learners, and what to do with them

The top children's books for practising typical EFL language points, with interactive classroom activities for each picture book.

The bluffer's guide to level checking

A quick guide to putting someone in the right level, giving a good impression, and finding out other vital information as you do so.

Fitting learner training into your syllabus

Making sure that students find out the best ways to improve their English outside the classroom without needing to diverge from your class's curriculum, with many ideas for interactive classroom activities on the topic of language learning.

21 negotiating in English games

Games for presentation, intensive practice and freer practice of useful phrases for this most difficult and critical of Business English skills.

15 ways to teach English with blocks and stacking games

Stacking blocks and other things like plastic kitchen sets to practise numbers, basic maths, times, days of the week, months, dates, the alphabet, phonics, colours, basic questions and answers, shapes, prepositions of position, requests and offers.

21 classic ESL card games

Well-known and "new classic" multipurpose card games for teaching English to adults and children.

Teaching English to Students with Learning Difficulties (LDs)

How to teach ESL to to students with Learning Difficulties

First lessons for Academic Writing classes

Starting courses for people who need to write essays and academic papers in English.

The ESP approach - Theory and reality of needs analysis and course design

Adapting the nice ideas of needs analysis and course design to the situations we actually teach in.

30 ways to get ahead in ELT publishing

Tips for getting an advantage in the very competitive field of writing about English language teaching.

70 easy TEFL articles that anyone could write at least one of

Suggestions for useful and easy to write articles that any teacher at all could write at least one of.

How to write and publish TEFL articles

The process by which you can go about writing and publishing articles on teaching English as a foreign language.

Getting published in TEFL - Why, what, where, and how

Reasons why everyone in TEFL should publish at least something, then how to choose what to do and to go about doing it.

Getting writing work from ELT publishers

Four ways of getting to the point of being paid to write for publishers of English language teaching materials, with a detailed examination of two of them.

How to Teach English for Engineers

A short guide to the why, what and how of teaching students studying or working in technical areas.

Brainstorming in EFL - problems and solutions

Making brainstorming more useful and fun

Boosting students' confidence in the teacher

Ways of helping students learn by helping them learn to trust the teacher.

Teaching Travel English

Tips for teaching learners who will be travelling

A well-balanced use of stand-up and sit-down activities in a kids' EFL Class

Here are some pointers to help you judge whether you have got the right balance of sit down and moving around activities in your classes, and then some tips on how to think about making changes.

A well-balanced use of warmers and fillers

Some tips on checking if you have got the use of warmers and fillers just right, and what you can do about it if you haven't.

Handling clashes in demands

What to do when the demands of the student and the person paying for the classes clash

The advantages and disadvantages of blind observations

What are the advantages and disadvantages of "blind observation"- when someone checks everything but the lesson itself?

A well-balanced use of pairwork

Some ways of spotting if you have been able to draw the fine line between too much pairwork and not enough, and ways of planning lessons that include whatever you decide is the perfect amount

Checklist for English Conversation Schools

A checklist for English conversation schools if you're teaching kids for the first time

Planning a kindergarten English first lesson

Factors to include and think about when planning your first pre-school English class

Preparing for your first preschool English class

This article gives some tips to make sure you are prepared and are able to go into your first preschool English class with the confidence of knowing that you are really ready.

Preparing for your first Business or ESP class

Although most people who become specialist Business English or ESP (English for Specific Purposes, such as Medical English or Financial English) teachers enjoy it and its professional benefits so much they never look back, the first time you face students

Very Young Learner First Lesson Problems and Solutions

How to start the new school year when teaching very young learners

The big list of ending the lesson language

Useful phrases to end ESL classes

The big list of classroom language for playing games

Useful words and phrases for using games in the ESL classroom

The big list of language for talking about lessons

This list could be useful for talking or writing about classes that are shared (e.g. between an Assistant Language Teacher and the regular classroom teacher), for writing handover notes, and for job interviews and initiation periods.

Video tasks for specific language points and skills

A selection of ideas for using video to teach specific grammar points and language skills

The advantages and disadvantages of eliciting in the EFL classroom

The advantages and disadvantages of eliciting in the EFL classroom… and how to exploit them

Why did my foolproof activity just fail with that class?

Why did my foolproof activity just fail with that class? … and how to make sure it works again next time.

Classroom language when doing listenings

Useful classroom language for teachers for doing listenings

Classroom language when using the board

Useful classroom language for teachers while using the board

Classroom Language

Useful classroom language for ESL teachers for starting lessons

Preparing to teach your first EFL exam class

What you should do before teaching an EFL exam class for the first time.

A well balanced use of L1 in class

Using students' first languages in the classroom

A well balanced use of error correction

Error correction in the EFL classroom

Drilling - Judicious Use of Brute Force in the ESL Classroom

How to use drilling when presenting or practicing new language, when preparing for an impending exam or to hammer out bad habits (including choral drills, interactive drills, substitution drills, transformation drills and drilling using flash cards)

70 characteristics of a good grammar presentation

An in-depth look at how to present grammar

Why your students don't want to do pairwork

Students are often less keen on pairwork than their teachers

The advantages and disadvantages of peer observations

What are the advantages and disadvantages of peer observations?

Things to put in a Self Access Centre or Student Library

Some suggestions for organising and equipping a Learning Resource Centre

Why do my students question me?

Who's in charge in the classroom?

Why your students have problems with listening comprehension

A look at why learners may find listening difficult

Why your students speak L1 in class

Some reasons why students speak their own language in English classes

Why your students don't do their homework

Reasons for students not doing their homework, with suggestions to deal with the problem

Setting up workshops for teachers

Some tips on how you can make workshops work well

Setting up a TEFL certificate course- Advantages & Disadvantages

The pros and cons of setting-up a TEFL certificate course from personal experience

Setting up a TEFL certificate course

Personal experiences in setting up a TEFL Certificate course

Teacher Training -Grammar Based PPP

How to prepare an English conversation lesson for a holistic, structural, four-skills syllabus: an article for new teachers or those unfamiliar with grammar-based syllabus or the PPP model of lesson planning (Present, Practice, Produce).

How to break into teacher training

Some tips on moving into teacher training

The perfect job reference for a teacher trainer

How to get a decent reference for a position as teacher trainer

The perfect CV and cover letter for an EFL exam class teacher

The CV for those specialising in ESL examinations

The perfect CV and cover letter for a TEFL young learners teacher

What you need to include if you are applying to teach young learners

The perfect CV and cover letter for an EFL manager

Tips for writing a CV for a Director of Studies position

The perfect CV and cover letter for a Business English teacher

What employers are looking for in a Business English teacher

Making textbook listenings manageable and fun

Tips for handling listening activities

The perfect CV and cover letter for a TEFL teacher

Tips for a CV for teaching general English to adults

Getting published in TEFL Part One- Choosing a route

A look at the options available to people wanting to publish in ESL

Career paths in ELT publishing Part Two

How an ESL teacher can get into publishing Part 2

Testing and reviewing new EFL materials

This article is based on a workshop entitled "Testing and Reviewing New Materials" given by Alex Case at the Tokyo Expo/ Tokyo ELT Book Fair

Tips for the automated teacher

Keeping your self-motivation up and the experience new as the years go by

Career paths in ELT publishing

How an ESL teacher can get into publishing

Teaching Abroad

Are you thinking about teaching abroad? If you are, then this article might just help you out.

Using songs with young learners

Why and how to use songs with young children

Motivational Orientation in English Language Learning

A study of Iranian undergraduate students' motivational orientation in English language learning

Japanese Passivity

A View of Japanese Student Passivity

Whose Needs Are We Serving?

How Is The Design Of Curriculum For English For Medical Purposes Decided?

Lesson Plan: How old are you? I'm a (number)

A lesson plan to teach young learners: How old are you? I'm a (number)

The other side of the mirror

ESL students offer their opinions of good language teaching.

Creating a quality language test

A look at how to write a good language test.

Quotations for Motivation in the ESL Classroom

A look at how quotations can be used in the ESL classroom to motivate students.

Rhymes and Crafts

Using rhymes and crafts in the ESL classroom

Teaching Speaking & Conversation

In what ways can conversation be regarded as a skill? How might this influence our approach to teaching it?

Teaching English for Specific Purposes (ESP)

How is English for Specific Purposes (ESP) different from English as a Second Language (ESL), also known as general English?

Technical Writing & Communication: What & Why?

A look at the importance of technical writing in the sciences.

Video in EFL Classrooms

How to develop video materials for EFL classes

Debate on Culture in English as a foreign language classrooms

What role does culture play in the foreign or second language classroom

Teaching English in Afghanistan

An article on the role of English language education in Afghanistan.

English as National Foreign Language

A look at the role of English in India.

Get PAID for Teaching in China

A look at how to secure a good salary in China.

Importance of the English Language

A look at the importance of English in India and the world.

Tips on using the Internet as a tool in TESOL

How to create an Internet-based lesson, with links to sample lessons.

Changing The Paradigm For Medical English Language Teaching

Medical English should be taught from the perspective of medicine and health care first and foremost while reinforcing vocabulary acquisition, grammar and structure secondly.

Not the best way to teach English

A look at the way English is taught in Pakistan.

Teaching with Photographs

Thoughts on the educational value of photography in English classes as a means to spark discussion and encourage students in producing language.

Teaching the dangers of intolerance

A lesson plan to educate high school students

The physical body speaks language!

Body movements are a wonderful tool to draw on to teach young learners English or anyone for that matter.


How and when to use realia, which consists of actual objects or items or facsimiles thereof, which are used in the classroom to illustrate and teach vocabulary or to serve as an aid to facilitate language acquisition and production.

Some more thoughts on the shadow side of teaching abroad

Culture shock! Whether you like it or not it's going to happen to you or it's happening to you at this moment.

Some thoughts on the shadow side of teaching abroad

My experience and personal thoughts and feelings on the matter of xenophobia

A reflection on lesson planning for young learners

Some colleagues had asked me for some tips on teaching elementary school children English as a Foreign Language. Here's what I said.

Hand made interview/conversational board games

A recipe for humanising language teaching