Tag Archives: teaching

My story with collocations

BlackboardEnglish.comThis is a guest post by Halima from BlackboardEnglish.com.

If you would like to publish a guest post on PurlandTraining.com, please do get in touch!

I used to teach vocabulary differently than I do now. I taught single words and grammar. I had taught in a classroom setting before I started teaching online. My students learnt all the new words well. I even had tests to help them remember new words. They always did well when they did the tests. However, when they tried to use the vocabulary during a speaking or written activity, they would sound so unnatural. That’s when I started my collocations journey.  I started researching, and reading and I found out about the Lexical approach by Michael Lewis. A new approach to teaching vocabulary and grammar. It was the most exciting thing I had read about as a teacher. I started implementing its teachings straightaway.

These are some of the points I found most useful:

  • The brain stores and retrieves word chunks quickly
  • Collocations are words that sound natural together to native speakers of English
  • Collocations help you produce natural English
  • It improves your spoken and written fluency
  • It helps you to build a larger vocabulary bank
  • Successful language is more important that accurate language

What should you do now that you know this information?

  • Use a collocations dictionary online and if you can buy a hard-copy (watch my video to help you learn how to use a collocations dictionary)
  • Start taking notes of new word chunks
  • Start listening and reading more
  • Learn the seven different types of collocations and examples and start noticing them (download the poster to stick on your wall)
  • Don’t be afraid to start using your English!

I hope this article helps. Send me an email and let me know what you think! HS@BlackboardEnglish.com

Written by Halima from BlackboardEnglish.com.

References:

Lewis, M. (1993). The lexical approach: The state of ELT and the way forward. Hove, England: Language Teaching Publications.

My video:

https://youtu.be/k0_a-C6Vqho

The free poster link:

http://eepurl.com/cWbw0j

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Slither.io

FREE Podcast! Episode 24 – Using Mobile Games to Practise Present Continuous Tense

It’s really fun using mobile games to teach grammar! 🙂

Download the games for free here:

Slither.io –
Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=air.com.hypah.io.slither&hl=en
iOS: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/slither-io/id1091944550?mt=8

High Risers –
Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.kumobius.android.highrisers&hl=en
iOS: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/high-risers/id1158640510?mt=8

Don’t forget to tell your friends about this podcast, and please leave a review for us on iTunes!

Thank you!

FREE Podcast! Advice for New Teachers of English

In this episode I was lucky enough to chat with the wonderful Daria Storozhilova from http://stordar.com.

Daria StorozhilovaDaria Storozhilova

I asked her what advice she would give to new teachers of English. Below are some of the tips that we discussed in this special podcast.

Advice for new teachers of English:

– Listen to advice from more experienced teachers. Don’t assume you know it all after a CELTA or Cert. TESOL course!

– Collaborate with your colleagues; learn from them; observe them; team teach. Don’t be an island!

– Use a wide range of materials – and no materials!

– Don’t just present the course book – this leads to a downward spiral.

– Brush up on your grammar; learn something before you teach it.

– Take students on trips to build relationships and your confidence; go the extra mile.

– Enjoy what you do. If you don’t enjoy teaching day-in day-out, you should consider another profession.

– Check the wage – what will it get you? What accommodation? What will be your costs. Be aware that language school teachers may want what is best for them, not for you!

– We don’t become teachers to become rich and famous! Or for the holidays! It’s a labour of love.

– Get further qualifications. CPD – continuous professional development will keep your teaching fresh.

– Go to training courses and conferences; get connected – use Twitter and social networks; get up to speed; keep reading and learning; learn by doing, e.g. by creating your own material.

– Teaching is about building relationships with people, not just imparting knowledge.

Daria Storozhilova is an English teacher who specialises in communication and student confidence. She currently teaches online and develops online courses. You can find our more about her courses here: https://stordar.teachable.com/ Don’t forget to follow Daria on Twitter too: https://twitter.com/stordarlearn

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Grammar tips

Fun and Unusual Ways of Teaching English Grammar in Elementary School

Guest post by Jack Milgram from Custom-Writing.org blog:

Teachers and professors all around the world often develop new methods of teaching grammar to ESL and EFL children.

Why? Let’s be honest—grammar is one of the most boring school things.

Dozens of rules, massive texts, pointless exercises… Even many adults can’t interest themselves in these usual topics and repetitive tasks.

To find an easy way to learn English grammar, you should bring creativity and innovations into a teaching process.

Custom-Writing.org collected some excellent tips and games that will help you to vary grammar activities:

  1. Use technologies

When we talk about innovative ways of teaching English grammar, the first thing we remember is technologies.

It isn’t only children who can’t live without their smartphones and iPads, these devices have become an integral part of our lives as well. That’s why you should get benefits from children’s love for technologies.

Grammar teaching will become more interesting if you let children do the things they like.

For example, send students on devices pictures of famous characters from cartoons and fairy tales. Then, ask them to describe whose pictures did they get or make up a story about these characters.

This exercise will definitely interest children. Moreover, they couldn’t be distracted by apps or the internet while preparing their stories.

More grammar tips

  1. Learn songs and audio books

Listening is one of the significant parts of learning a language. Make sure, your grammar English lessons include audiobooks, songs, or podcasts.

Moreover, this is an excellent opportunity to make learning interesting!

All children like an emotional approach to teaching. Why not listen to the story of Tom Sawyer?

This novel is a perfect choice to teach English grammar to children and make their pronunciation perfect by asking them to repeat after the readers.

Songs help hundreds of teachers around the world to make students focus on grammar lessons. Singing aloud is a lot of fun, and even adult students like to participate in such an activity.

This activity is useful because it’s easier for our memory to keep songs than texts. You’ll see—even at the end of the semester, your students will still be able to remember quotes from the songs they listened to.

  1. Watch videos and cartoons

Perfect conditions to learn basic English grammar is when you know what hobbies children have and use them for teaching purposes.

For example, you can know what cartoons are popular among the children and show them some fragments from them. Nowadays, there are a lot of short cartoons which are full of interesting vocabulary and easy to learn.

But usually, English grammar lessons in elementary school don’t last long. That’s why short YouTube videos can be perfect to use.

One of the best choices is Schoolhouse Rock! cartoons. Look at this short video about conjunctions in the English language. Children will be sure to like it!

  1. Use the Internet

How to learn English easily? The answer is—play a lot!

And the Internet can help you with this approach. There are lots of websites with ESL and EFL games which are absorbing and useful at the same time.

There is a great diversity of fun games to learn English—word search, crosswords, puzzles, and so on. These activities will not only help you with grammar but also improve your analytical and logical skills.

If your students don’t have access to computers—teach them what apps to download on their smartphones to develop language skills.

You can even make a competition between students. Make two or four teams and find out who can complete a grammar game in the shortest time.

  1. Play instead of studying

Grammar English games are important for learning, especially, when the learners are kids.

If you need to get children’s attention, use some activities in English teaching.

Custom-Writing.org prepared a list of games and activities which are easy to play in a classroom:

  • Hangman

Short and fun activity for grammar and spelling improvement. Everyone knows how to play this game—but how we can use it in the sake of learning? Ask children to guess difficult words to practice spelling of new vocabulary.

  • This weekend I…

Sometimes, it’s difficult to keep students’ attention. These times, you can start one interesting game which will help you to keep children focused and challenge their memory. Start the games with “This weekend I… rode a bicycle and…” The task of students to repeat the said sentence and continue it with a new action. The game lasts until one of the students forget a part of a long sentence.

  • Call my bluff

You can also play one of fun activities for ESL students–the game Call my bluff. Just ask students to write down three sentences—two of them must be true, and one must be a lie. Other students try to guess which one is false. This game is great to know each other and also helps to train syntax and conjugation.

  • No, I don’t

Another game from grammar practice activities is called No, I don’t. The task is to ask a teacher or other students questions. They get a point when the answer is “No, I don’t,” and no points when the answer is “Yes, I do.” The most interesting part in this game is when students imagine absurd questions like “Do you live on a tree?” or “Did you ever visit the Moon?”

Elementary grammar lessons shouldn’t be boring! It’s possible to turn any topic into a game—you just need to find the right approach.

To find more study tips visit the Custom-Writing.org blog—you’ll know how to study productively or how to choose a major.

Jack MilgramJack Milgram graduated from the University of Central Florida and can currently be found in his hometown of Jersey City, NJ. He has never found sitting in an office appealing, and that’s why freelancing was his career solution. He enjoys sharing his knowledge with others through blogging.

 

Patrice Palmer

FREE Podcast! Episode 10 – Teacher to Teacherpreneur – Interview with Patrice Palmer!

In this special episode, I spend a fascinating half hour chatting with educator Patrice Palmer about her life, work, and how teachers can go from teacher to teacherpreneur!

Check out Patrice’s websites here:

https://patrice-palmer.mykajabi.com/

https://www.teacherpreneur.ca/

You can also subscribe to her podcast here: Teacher to Teacherpreneur

Don’t forget to subscribe to my podcast and leave a review on iTunes!

 

Matt Purland – One of the First Teacherpreneurs!

Check out my recent interview with teacherpreneur (teacher/entrepreneur) Patrice Palmer here:

https://www.teacherpreneur.ca/blog/matt-purland-one-of-the-first-teacherpreneurs


Here is a sample from the interview:

Patrice:

What is your biggest challenge as a teacher?

Matt:

Sometimes it can be hard for teachers to remain interested in the subject that they are teaching, especially if, for example, it’s the hundredth time they have explained present simple tense that month! I get over this by having the students do most of the work in the lesson time. Instead of dictating to them what they have to learn, I encourage them to discover the language points by being active in the classroom, working in pairs and small groups, doing projects, and writing on the board. When students produce in class, rather than reading a dreary course book, every class is different, because every student is unique. I developed the teaching method You Are The Course Book recently, and this really helps to stop me from becoming bored or jaded in the classroom!

Read the whole interview here:

https://www.teacherpreneur.ca/blog/matt-purland-one-of-the-first-teacherpreneurs

Thanks, Patrice, for featuring me on your blog!


You can find out more about going from a teacher to a teacherpreneur with Patrice’s Advanced Skills Course here:

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/accidental-teacherpreneur-patrice-palmer-m-ed-m-a-tesl-ctdp