If I am asked what language teachers should do to prepare students for a world full of uncertainties beyond the classroom, I will say without hesitation that we should help them become agentive learners. In other words, language teachers should create opportunities for students to enact and grow their agency, as we explain in our comprehensive guide to Learner Agency. Continue reading
I recently participated in a LIVE event on social media to discuss questions about Classroom management and group dynamics for teenagers with Montse Costafreda. This topic has always been important because of the challenges it presents, and opportunities for development it provides. Over the years the idea about our role as a teacher has changed in terms of classroom management, from a set of actions to maintain discipline, to ways of creating a positive atmosphere. Continue reading
What is Assessment for Learning?
Assessment for learning is a process where teachers seek and use evidence to decide where learners are in their learning, where they need to go, and how best to get there. The emphasis here is on using assessment practices to gather information, which can then be used to make judgements about teaching decisions and directly improve learning. The emphasis is on those assessments, which are used to directly help with learning. The term ‘assessment’ is being used in the general sense of ‘gathering information to make a judgement’. Much of this evidence will come from the daily classroom activities – an unexpected answer to a question may alert the teacher to a misunderstanding, puzzled looks on students’ faces may mean a need to clarify some instructions. Continue reading
Recently, there has certainly been lively discussion, and sometimes polarised opinions, over issues of crucial importance to individuals, societies and the planet. Aspects such as identity, nationalism, religion, sexual orientation, ethnic differences, the origin of life, environmental protection and climate change are all contested areas. Teachers, like other people, often have strong views on these issues; in their classrooms they have a platform to express these views and a more or less captive audience. Continue reading
The chances are high that you experienced a period of lockdown, of one form or another, in 2020. If so, did you value your surroundings more, perhaps you re-evaluated your surroundings? Did getting fresh air and walking outdoors bring you a new pleasure that you had never really appreciated before? The individual stress and difficulties of the pandemic have taught us to value our environment and it is this recognition of how important nature is to our mental health and wellbeing that we can build on during some of our English language classes. Continue reading