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Teaching Resources For The Oxford Student’s Dictionary

Oxford Student’s Dictionary key words: climate change, neurodiversity, gene editing, permaculture, gig economy and STEAMAre your students studying other subjects through the medium of English? Use the NEW Oxford Student’s Dictionary Fourth Edition in your lesson to build vocabulary, improve skills and broaden curriculum coverage, whilst also improving your students’ dictionary skills.

Updated with the latest vocabulary, NEW Writing and Speaking Tutor, and NEW Oxford 3000™ and Oxford 5000™ keywords, the Oxford Student’s Dictionary helps students learn the most important words in English, including the words needed to study other subjects such as Art, Computing, Science, Geography, History, Literature, Maths, Music and Sport. Continue reading


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How to get your students writing – your questions answered!

Teenagers writing in the classroomLast month, we hosted Gareth Davies’ webinar, ‘Making the Impossible Possible: How to get your students writing’! During the webinar and on his previous blog post, we asked you to send us all your burning questions for Garon teaching creative writing in the EFL classroom.

What is your opinion on teachers writing a sample text for students to get used to writing?

This is a good question, reading and writing go hand in hand and there is evidence to suggest that the more reading a student does the better their writing will become, so in general having as much exposure to different texts can only help students.  Having or not having a model is often cited as the major difference between process and product writing. In process writing the students study a sample text and use it as a model and is a good approach for students who are preparing for an exam or who need to write formulaic emails or reports. However, sometimes I think this can impose restrictions on students. So if I am doing a creative writing exercise I might avoid giving students a model at the start of the activity, to allow their creative juices to flow.

How could we use these ideas to writing for exams? I mean, IELTS, Cambridge exams?

Thanks for this question, let me try to give you an analogy. When someone trains to run a marathon, they don’t only run long distances. They do some gym work, some short runs, and perhaps they change their diet. For me, this is the same as preparing for an exam. You need to do some exam practice, but you also need to hone your skills and prepare in different ways. Creative writing tasks can allow students to practise their writing in an interesting way, but they are still using the skills they will need for academic purposes. When I was teaching an EAP course in the summer I did several storytelling and writing activities just to free the students up, and they found it very helpful.

How you would evaluate or share the poems?

This is a very interesting point. When I ask my students to do creative writing activities, I try to focus as much as possible on the content rather than the accuracy. I see it as a fluency activity. Therefore, on their first draft, I might comment on how the story or poem made me feel, how I enjoyed it, etc., and only point out errors where the meaning is confused. I might also ask the students to peer-correct each other’s work and ask me if they are not sure about something. As for sharing their work, I ask the students to decide if they are public or private and they mark the top of the paper. If they are public then I will ask them to read them out or put them on display. If the students have marked it as private then only I will look at it.

With creative writing, it is often personal, I don’t think it is fair to share the students’ work if they are not ready.

What do you think of beginning with more concrete descriptive language?

In one of my previous webinars, I talked about the following activity, which looks at descriptive language.

  1. Write a sentence on the board e.g. The boy walked up the stairs.
  2. Tell the student the boy was scared, ask them where they would put that word in that sentence. e.g. The scared boy walked up the stairs.
  3. Now ask them how he walked up the stairs. Elicit an adverb and ask them where it goes in the sentence. e.g. The scared boy walked quickly up the stairs.
  4. Next ask them to describe the stairs, (narrow? steep? dark?) and ask them where their adjective goes. e.g. The scared boy walked quickly up the dark stairs.
  5. Finally, ask them to think of a different word for ‘walked’, (ran? climbed? tip-toed?) e.g. The scared boy tip-toed quickly up the dark stairs.
  6. Now it is time to edit. You’ve gone from a simple sentence to a much too complicated one. Which words leave the best impression on the reader, which are not needed? e.g. Perhaps you don’t need scared because tip-toed and dark imply this.
  7. Put the students into pairs and ask them to do the same for other adjectives, excited, happy, sad, angry etc. You can help them with the words by translating or filling in gaps in their knowledge.

Which do you prefer? Poet or Teacher.

Actually, I love both and they are not that different. Both require you to plan and prepare carefully, both make you bring your personality to the work. Both encourage you to be creative. With both, you hope to leave a positive influence on your audience. And finally, with both sometimes things go wrong and you have to reassess and start again.

Watch Gareth’s webinar, ‘Making the Impossible Possible: How to get your students writing’!, free on the Oxford Teachers’ Club!

watch the recording

 


Gareth Davies is a writer, teacher, teacher trainer, and storyteller. He has been in the ELT industry for 21 years teaching in Portugal, the UK, Spain and the Czech Republic. Since 2005 he has worked closely with Oxford University Press, delivering teacher training and developing materials. Gareth joins us today to preview his webinar ‘Making the Impossible Possible… How to get your students writing’.


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Chinese New Year Activities for your EFL Classroom

shutterstock_222402865In recognition of the lunar new year on January 28th and to celebrate the Year of the Rooster, we’ve created some resources for your language learning classroom. Former contributors Vanessa Esteves, Julietta Schoenmann, and Christopher Graham have come up with a range of activities and tasks for young learners and secondary level learners through to adult learners that we hope you’ll enjoy. Happy New Year!

Young Learner Resources:

Lesson plan

Handout

Secondary Resources: 

Lesson plan

Handout

Adult Resources:

Lesson plan

Handout


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Back to School EFL Teaching resources and lesson plans

The new academic year is upon us! Are you ready? If you’re struggling for lesson plan ideas, we’ve got you covered.

To welcome you and your students back to class, we asked three of our former contributors Vanessa Esteves, Christopher Graham, and Julietta Schoenmann to devise a series of lesson plans and activity worksheets for your EFL classrooms. From adult through to primary, we hope you can find these resources useful in the year ahead.

Have a great year, from all of us at the Oxford University Press.

 

 

 

 

 

 

These resources are available to Oxford Teacher’s Club members. Not a member? Click here to register!


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4 Christmas Activities for your Classroom

Christmas ELT activities

The festive season is officially upon us!

To help you celebrate, we thought we’d share some Christmas ELT activities to get you and your class in the spirit of Christmas.

Our teacher trainer Stacey Hughes from the Professional Development team here in Oxford has prepared some multi-level Christmas ELT activities for you to use in your classroom. Enjoy a round robin writing activity, practice some seasonal vocabulary revision, and plenty more. The perfect antidote for any Scrooge!

ROUND ROBIN LETTER (Writing)
Level: pre-intermediate to advanced
Any age group

ADVENT CALENDAR (Vocabulary)
Level: any
Young Learners

12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS or 12 DAYS OF WINTER (Vocabulary revision)
Level: any
Young learners, teens, adults

CRAZY GAPPED TEXT (Grammar, collocation, text cohesion)
Level: pre-intermediate and above
Teens, adults


Stacey Hughes is a teacher trainer for Oxford University Press. She has written a number of articles for the OUP blog and Teaching Adult Newsletter. Stacey gives talks and workshops around the world – both face-to-face and via webinar.