Health & the body
Peter Snashall December 3rd (updated)
Some of the most interesting topics to teach with the aid of images are Christmas, body language and gestures, advertising and describing appearance. They are quite different topics but their commonality is that they all have strong visual elements. As a consequence, it has been really enjoyable creating teaching materials for these topics even though I have only scratched the surface of possibilities.
November 9th (updated)
The value of almost infinite image libraries these days is that you can find an image to match any kind of “grammar situation” you can imagine. It certainly makes teaching grammar more interesting to explore the possibilities.
Images are also great for illustrating almost every kind of health problem and treatment.
Vocabulary and language for describing graphs is a pretty essential component of any Business English or academically related language course. It’s also a pretty important testing topic in English language assessment tests such as IELTS.
I’ve always found cause/effect writing quite interesting to teach. This is probably because cause/effect can be applied to almost any topical social issue.
Opinion and argument paragraph writing is really enjoyable if you carefully organize the steps throught the writing process of brainstorming, outlining and sentence writing.
I’ve realized belatedly that the best way way to look through ideas and material is to scroll up and down through it. So I’m formatting most of my pages in this way.
If your students are at the right level, debate and discussion lessons about contemporary topics can be some of the most interesting classes you will ever have. That’s my experience. Discussing a topic such as automation with students who are just about to graduate is really fascinating as it is so relevant to their career paths and future lives. In fact, when you throw technology in the mix, many topics become more interesting.
I’ve realized it’s quite a head-spinning business choosing images to accompany teaching materials. There are quite a number of factors to be considered. An image has to have the right visual clarity and it also has to have a clarity of meaning. Sometimes it takes a while to get this right ( a year or two!). And a lot of classroom testing. Anyway here are the latest reviewed and improved pages:
Over the past year this website has been moved onto a new platform. Due the site’s size, there have been many problems. However, it seems finally we can get back to just focusing on improving the sites user-friendliness and teaching materials.
With the arrival of the new academic year I have found myself having some time to improve teaching materials posted on this website. Increasingly, technology is making it easier to produce better materials and I am trying take advantage of every technological advance. At present, I am trying to add answers to most exercises and improve the quality of the materials. I want to make it easier to search through the materials on mobile devices. Also, I have improved the download speeds on many PDFs. Below are some recent updates:
One of the most popular classroom topics at the beginning of each academic year for elementary ESL students is classroom language. Below is a compilation of classroom language exercises.
Also for the first day of class!
Recently, I republished a collection of present continuous worksheets. These have been on the site for some time but now have answers included and reduced file size for faster downloading or printing.
One thing I have noticed myself doing when preparing a class is running through a list of possible teaching alternatives. However, I often realize afterwards that I have forgotten something. So I have decided to make some lists of activities for certain skills and topics. My first list is:
After teaching for 30 years, I have come to the conclusion that the best classes are those are constantly providing fresh and topical content to students.
I am always struggling and experimenting with ways to do this.
And I have realized that it may not just be fresh content but that it can be a fresh format (sometimes in the smallest ways) that makes an exercise interesting. I am always trying to create new worksheets that help engage the students and also that help make the lessons flow better.
Here are a some recent experiments that have gone fairly well:
Of course, apart from trying to create fresh content and formats, there are multiple other factors to consider.
One of those other factors is teaching efficiency and fluidity. And if you are teaching large classes, teaching efficiency is really important.
One of the ways I manage my listening/speaking classes (I have been teaching 50 student listening/speaking classes!) is by using the latest technology which allows me to monitor individual students at the same time as I am managing the listening material for 50 students (see how I manage listening/speaking classes below).
NB: Sometimes I make errors in the worksheets. I put creativity ahead of accuracy (ooops!). If anyone wants to contact me about the content on this site, my email is email@example.com I welcome suggestions and can fix errors or any download problems really quickly.