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How to become more creative teacher?
The concept of teaching creativity has been around for quite some time.
Academics such as E. Paul Torrance, dedicated an entire lifetime to the advancement
of creativity in education. Torrance faced much opposition in his day about the nature
of creativity. Creativity was considered to be an immeasurable, natural ability.
Torrance called for explicit teaching of creativity. He advocated that it was skillspecific, requiring intentional instruction. His life’s work ultimately led to the
development of the Torrance tests and gifted programs throughout the world.
Most of the practice of creative methods is being done outside the traditional
educational institutions by consulting firms and by persons in companies who have
been trained in creative problem solving methods. In universities not much has
changed since 1950, when the distinguished psychologist J. P. Guilford in his
inaugural address as president of the American Psychological Association stated that
education’s neglect of the subject of creativity was appalling.
What are some ways then, as educators, that we promote creativity in our classrooms?
Embrace creativity as part of learning. Create a classroom that recognizes
creativity. You may want to design awards or bulletin boards to showcase
different ways of solving a problem, or creative solutions to a real world
Use the most effective strategies. Torrance performed an extensive metaanalysis that considered the most effective ways to teach creativity. He found
that the most successful approaches used creative arts, media-oriented programs,
or relied on the Osborn-Parnes training program. Programs that incorporated
cognitive and emotional functioning were the most successful.
Think of creativity as a skill. Much like resourcefulness and inventiveness it is
less a trait and more a proficiency that can be taught. If we see it this way, our
job as educators becomes to find ways to encourage its use and break it down
into smaller skill sets. Psychologists tend to think of creativity as Big-C and
Little C. Big C drives big societal ideas, like the Civil Rights movement or a
new literary style. Little C is more of a working model of creativity that solves
everyday problems. Both concepts can be included in our classrooms to promote
creativity in general.
Participate in or create a program to develop creative skills.Programs
like Odyssey of the Mind and Thinkquest bring together students from around the
world to promote creativity, design creative solutions, and bring them to
Use emotional connections. Research suggests that the best creativity instruction
ties in the emotions of the learner. In the “Odyssey angels” program students can
devise a solution to help their local community, such as helping homeless youth.
This topic is worthy of more discussion by itself. A blog postby fellow blogger
Julie DeNeen gives some valuable information about this type of teaching.
Research suggests that the best creativity instruction ties in the emotions of the
Use a creativity model. The Osborne-Parnes model is oldest, widely accepted
model. It is often used in education and business improvement to promote
creativity. Each step involves a divergent thinking pattern to challenge ideas,
and then convergent thinking to narrow down exploration. It has six
steps:Consider how classroom assignments use divergent and convergent
thinking. Standardized tests do a great job of measuring convergent thinking that
includes analytical thinking or logical answers with one correct
response. Divergent thinking considers how a learner can use different ways to
approach a problem. It requires using association and multiplicity of thought.
We should design assignments that consider both types of thinking
models.Creativity flourishes in a “congenial environment”. Creative thinking
needs to be shared and validated by others in a socially supportive atmosphere.
Researcher Csikszentmihalyi (1996) coined this term, to explain the importance
of reception from others. Others consider how to create social communities that
promote creativity to solve problems.
Mess-finding. Identify a goal or objective.
o Fact-finding. Gathering data.
o Problem-finding. Clarifying the problem
o Idea-finding. Generating ideas
o Solution-finding. Strengthening & evaluating ideas
o Acceptance-finding. Plan of action for Implementing ideas
7. Be aware during discussions. You know that student who often asks the question that goes a
bit outside the lecture? Well, engage him. Once a week, intentionally address those
questions. Write them down on an assigned space in the board to go back to later. Promote
creativity by validating students’ creative thinking.
8. See creativity in a positive light. In his blog in Psychology Today, Eric Jaffe
talks about research that suggests see creativity in a negative light. If we are
going to promote creativity, we need to embrace it too. Reward students for
thinking of problems in varied ways by recognizing their efforts.
9. Try the Incubation Model. E. Paul Torrance designed this model. It involves 3
stages:Use a cultural artifact. Research from experimental social psychology
finds that artifacts can enhance insight problem solving. Consider using an
ordinary object, such as a light bulb used in the study or a historical artifact to
have students think about living in a particular time period.Establish expressive
freedom. The classroom environment must be a place where students feel safe to
share novel ideas. Allow for flexibility and create norms that promote creativity.
1. Heightening Anticipation: Make connections between the classroom and
student’s real lives. “Create the desire to know”.
2. Deepen Expectations: Engage the curriculum in new ways. Brainstorm and
create opportunities to solve a novel problem.
3. Keep it going: Continue the thinking beyond the lesson or classroom. Find
ways to extend learning opportunities at home or even the community.
10. Be familiar with standards. Knowing the standards inside and out helps find
creative solutions in approaching a lesson. Teachers can adapt them and work
within the current framework. Some topics allow for flexibility and use of
creative approaches.
11. Gather outside resources. There are some great resources to read related to
creativity. The University of Georgia, provides an array of amazing
resources related to how to promote creativity in practical ways. It also gives a
list of programs and organizations that can help with the process.
12. Allow room for mistakes. Sir Ken Robinson said it best when he said, “If you’re
not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original.”
13. Allow space for creativity. Design some classroom space for exploration, such
as a thinking table, a drama stage, a drawing table, or a space for groups to
discuss ideas.
14. Give students time to ask questions. Organizations such as CCE (Creativity,
Culture, Education) suggest teachers incorporate opportunities for students to
ask questions. Intentionally design lessons that allow for wondering and
15. Creativity builds confidence. Students take ownership of their own learning.
Think of ways where students might design a project. For instance, for the
history requirement, I suggested students of both fifth grade classes create an
exhibition of their final projects. The students were so proud of their final work
and learned from others presentations. Parents and community members were
happy to see students take ownership of their learning.
16. Encourage curiosity.Consider what is important to students. Student interest is a
great place to start on what drives their own thinking tank. Find inspiration from
their world. Creativity is intrinsic in nature. Try to promote creativity by
stepping into their viewpoint to find what motivates them. Student interest are a
great place to start on what drives their own thinking tank. Find inspiration from
their world.
17. Structure is essential. Studies, such as a meta-analysis by Torrance suggest that
creativity instruction is best with clear structure. For instance, consider the
guidelines of the standard curriculum objectives and add these to the design. For
example, reading considers communication, comprehension, listening, writing
and reading.
18. Observe a working model of creativity. To get a better idea of how others
promote creativity, visit a creative classroom or watch a video about how a
creative classroom works. The “Case for Creativity in School” is an excellent
video that educators can watch to see how creativity might play out in a
classroom. This school adopted a school-wide approach to recognize students.
19. Consider the work of current experts in the field. Sir Ken Robinson is an
internationally renowed creativity and innovation expert. His work is used to
meet global challenges, renovating education, business, and government
organizations to implement his strategies. His books and TED talks are great
places to promote creativity in your own teaching.
20. Explore different cultures. Culture is an excellent vehicle for inspiring creative
thinking. In Thinking Hats & Coloured Turbans Dr. Kirpal Singhdiscusses how
cultural contexts are central to creative endeavors. You can discuss how
collaboration between cultures, such as in the space program, produces unique,
novel ideas.
21. Find ways to incorporate and integrate art, music and culture. A recent report
prepared for the European commission considered that creativity is a central
force that shapes our culture. With the changing times we live in, the report
suggested that society is enriched by cultural-based creativity.
22. Use a collaborative creative thinking model to solve classroom problems. For
instance, read a paragraph and then have groups discuss a list of questions.
Collaborative problem solving is catching on quickly. In fact, many business
schools have implemented creative thinking models into their curriculum.
23. Design multidisciplinary lessons when possible. When teaching geometry, I
designed a lesson called, “Geometry through Art”. It included works of Art to
show fifth graders their application to everyday geometric concepts. The result
was astounding. I never thought that the subject matter would be so successful. I
designed an entire unit that focused on how different concepts rely on geometry.
I even asked the Art teacher to help reinforce those concepts in class.
24. Tapping into multiple intelligences is key. Creativity requires us to use different
parts of our brain. We often bridge connections between seemingly unrelated
areas to make new concepts emerge. Allow students to use their strengths to find
new ways of approaching a topic or solving a problem. You might be surprised
with what they come up with.
25. Understand that creativity is important to students’ future in the job market. Paul
Collard for Creative Partnerships, discusses how 60 % of English students will
work in jobs that are not yet created. In today’s market, students must largely be
innovative and create their own jobs. Collard suggests teachers focus on
teaching particular skills or set of behaviors, rather than preparing students for
specific careers.
26. Teach creative skills explicitly. According to Collard, “Creative skills aren’t just
about good ideas, they are about having the skills to make good ideas happen.”
He suggests creative skills should include 5 major areas:
o Imagination
o Being disciplined or self-motivated.
o Resiliency
o Collaboration
o Giving responsibility to students. Have them develop their own projects.
The creative process requires time and collaboration, so creating time for creative
thinking activities is important. Using a flipped classroom approach for example,
where learners prepare content and do written exercises preparing for lessons in
advance at home, allows teachers to plan for higher-level creative thinking activities
during class time. Another approach that helps students to make connections across
topic areas and understand the discipline as a whole is spaced delivery of content in
lessons. This involves teachers revisiting related subject matter over a long time rather
than just teaching each topic as a separate entity.
Eight steps to becoming a more creative teacher
Step one: become a knowledgeable teacherToday, it's easier than ever before to learn about
teaching. There are lots of books, training courses, free online courses, online resources,
and university programmes that can help us develop as teachers.Learning about other things is
important too. Creative teachers bring more to class than just a knowledge of teaching. They
are educated in other areas, and can draw on their experiences and outside interests.I recommend
taking up an artistic hobby such as learning to play a musical instrument, or following a drama
course. As well as enjoying these things for their own sake, you can use them in your teaching to
great effect.Using songs in the classroom, for example, is very motivating for learners and can help
them process the language and improve pronunciation. Including drama techniques and integrating
them into your syllabus is another great way of allowing a hobby to enrich your teaching.
Step two: connect with other teachersAlthough formal training will help you develop as a teacher, it's
important to connect with others in your field. Inspiration can come from the big-name speakers
and writers, but just as often, it comes from teachers like you and me.It's never been easier to find
inspiring teachers to follow on Facebook, Twitter and in the blogosphere. Follow and read
their blogs, join a teacher’s association and attend talks and workshops live or online.Inspiration rubs
off and will create in you the desire to imitate these teachers in your daily teaching practices.
Step three: become a collector of teaching ideasIt doesn't matter if you don’t use the ideas you
collect straight away. The important thing is to collect and organise them in a way that makes it easy
to try them out when the right opportunity presents itself. It's these ideas that will nudge you along
the road to creativity, especially as you begin to adapt and experiment with them.When
discovering new ideas online, be sure to use the various bookmarking and curation tools available
today, and follow the curated collections or lists of others.Curation will also help you to be more
resourceful: you'll have ideas and activities at your fingertips in case things go wrong!
Step four: share your learningIn my experience, teachers (like learners) can pick things up from
others as they go along, but there comes a point when they find they have to make a commitment or
a contribution.If you have training days in your school, offer to lead a session and then research the
topic, so that you feel confident about sharing your knowledge with your peers. This can be a
daunting but momentous moment in the life of a teacher, and you'll be amazed by how much you
learn in the process.Start a teaching journal or a blog. The act of blogging and describing your
teaching ideas generates conversations with other teachers, and those conversations stimulate
more ideas; they are a great bridge to creative teaching.
Step five: remove the blocks to creative thinking. Many people are confident about their creative
potential and are not afraid to dip their toes in the pool, but lots of us at various times have felt we
cannot do it. In those moments, we might feel we lack the imagination, that we're not clever enough,
young enough or talented enough, and so on.No-one can claim that every person has the same
skills and abilities as everyone else, but all people have the potential to be creative. Look what we
do with language! Using a finite vocabulary, each of us creates original utterances, never articulated
in quite the same way before, every time we speak.Work on your self-esteem; be around supportive
colleagues who share the same interests and goals and make you feel good about yourself.
Step six: practise your creativityJust as athletes maintain their ability through continual training, our
brains also benefit from regular exercise. What do you do to exercise your mind? Do you
enjoy crosswords, Sudoku or jigsaw puzzles? These and similar 'brain-training' activities have
been shown to increase our concentration and boost creativity.We often tell our students
that practice makes perfect, but it's important that we apply this to ourselves. Skilled people in all
fields, from dancers to chefs to teachers, reach the highest levels through practice – they didn't get
there overnight. But practice takes discipline and patience.When practising anything, it's a good idea
to set your mind to the process rather than the goal. In other words, take satisfaction in what you're
doing in the present moment rather than worry too much about what you have yet to achieve.
Step seven: start experimenting and reflecting on your teaching. A sure-fire way to burn out as a
teacher is to stick to the same ideas and techniques without trying something new. This approach is
bound to demotivate your students at some point too.Learners respond positively to teachers who
don’t follow the same old steps in the same old way day in and day out. As much as learners like
teachers who are patient, tolerant and able to explain things well, they appreciate teachers whose
lessons have surprises and elements of fun.Try out new ideas or adapt old ones, but remember to
stop, think and evaluate the experience when done. Learn from your successes and your mistakes,
and try to make this a regular part of your teaching.
Step eight: make creativity a daily goal. Being creative can help you solve problems. This is useful to
teachers because problem-solving is what teachers do every moment of their working day, from
deciding on teaching materials, procedures and grades, to adapting an activity that learners are not
responding to, and helping individuals who are not progressing as they should.To keep developing
these skills, you need to make creativity part of your daily routine rather than an occasional
activity. Look at everything you do with a critical eye and consider how your lessons could be made
more motivating, productive and interesting for your learners.
2. http://www.cambridgeinternational.org/images/426483-chapter-4-innovation-and-creativity.pdf
3. https://www.britishcouncil.org/voices-magazine/eight-steps-becoming-more-creative-teacher
4. https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1119610.pdf
Questions for self-control
What are some ways then, as educators, that we promote
creativity in our classrooms?
Creative skills should include 5 major areas. What are they?
What should we do to be creative teacher?
According to Collard, “Creative skills aren’t just about good
ideas, they are about having the skills to make good ideas
happen.” Do you agree with this statement?
What was designed E. Paul Torrance?
Education 4.0 … the future of learning will be
dramatically different, in school and
throughout life
Global connectivity, smart machines, and new media are just some of the drivers
reshaping how we think about work, what constitutes work, and how we learn and
develop the skills to work in the future. The concept of a “100 year life” becoming the
norm, and the majority of that spent studying and working, means that learning will
be a lot more important, and different, for the next generations. Most people will have
at least 6 different careers, requiring fundamental reeducating, whilst the relentless
speed of innovation will constantly demand new skills and knowledge to keep pace,
let alone an edge.
Educationalists debate the many ways in which the content of education – at all levels
– and the process of learning, will need to change over the years ahead. Disruptive
innovation guru Clay Christiansen, for example, points to the dramatic unbundling of
education from its current forms so that it can be personalised, repackaging, peer to
peer and continuous. Whether it is classroom or workplace, online or offline,
structured or unstructured, taught or learnt, standardised or not, certificated or not,
then learning is likely to break free from our old mindsets in the coming years.
“Education 4.0” is my vision for the future of education, which
responds to the needs of “industry 4.0” or the fourth industrial revolution, where
man and machine align to enable new possibilities
harnesses the potential of digital technologies, personalised data, open sourced
content, and the new humanity of this globally-connected, technology-fueled
establishes a blueprint for the future of learning – lifelong learning – from
childhood schooling, to continuous learning in the workplace, to learning to play a
better role in society.
“Changing the game” is all about redefining the way an activity works. In general,
its about
who are the companies right now who are reshaping their industries, challenging
the old rules and creating new ones, new ways of working, new ways of winning
in my Gamechangers book I explored 100 of them – they are audacious,
harnessing the power of ideas and networks to be intelligent, collaborative, and
enabling people to achieve more.
taking the principles of how these companies change the game – how can we
apply that to the world of education?
future of education” is therefore a new vision for learning, starting right now
more important to know why you need something, a knowledge or skill, and then
where to find it – rather than cramming your head full … don’t try to learn
built around each individual, their personal choice of where and how to learn, and
tracking of performance through data-based customisation … whatever sits you
learning together and from each other – peer to peer learning will dominate,
teachers more as facilitators, of communities built around shared learning and
Among the many discussions, innovations and general shifts in the world of learning
– from school children to business executive – there are 9 trends that stand out:
Diverse time and place
Students will have more opportunities to learn at different times in different
places. eLearning tools facilitate opportunities for remote, self-paced learning.
Classrooms will be flipped, which means the theoretical part is learned outside
the classroom, whereas the practical part shall be taught face to face,
Personalized learning
Students will learn with study tools that adapt to the capabilities of a student.
This means above average students shall be challenged with harder tasks and
questions when a certain level is achieved. Students who experience difficulties
with a subject will get the opportunity to practice more until they reach the
required level. Students will be positively reinforced during their individual
learning processes. This can result in to positive learning experiences and will
diminish the amount of students losing confidence about their academic abilities.
Furthermore, teachers will be able to see clearly which students need help in
which areas.
Free choice
Though every subject that is taught aims for the same destination, the road
leading towards that destination can vary per student. Similarly to the
personalized learning experience, students will be able to modify their learning
process with tools they feel are necessary for them. Students will learn with
different devices, different programs and techniques based on their own
preference. Blended learning, flipped classrooms and BYOD (Bring Your Own
Device) form important terminology within this change.
Project based
As careers are adapting to the future freelance economy, students of today will
adapt to project based learning and working. This means they have to learn how
to apply their skills in shorter terms to a variety of situations. Students should
already get acquainted with project based learning in high school. This is
when organizational, collaborative, and time management skills can be taught as
basics that every student can use in their further academic careers.
Field experience
Because technology can facilitate more efficiency in certain domains, curricula
will make room for skills that solely require human knowledge and face-to-face
interaction. Thus, experience in ‘the field’ will be emphasized within
courses. Schools will provide more opportunities for students to obtain realworld skills that are representative to their jobs. This means curricula will create
more room for students to fulfill internships, mentoring projects and
collaboration projects (e.g.).
Data interpretation
Though mathematics is considered one of three literacies, it is without a doubt
that the manual part of this literacy will become irrelevant in the near future.
Computers will soon take care of every statistical analysis, and describe and
analyse data and predict future trends. Therefore, the human interpretation of
these data will become a much more important part of the future curricula.
Applying the theoretical knowledge to numbers, and using human reasoning to
infer logic and trends from these data will become a fundamental new aspect of
this literacy.
Exams will change completely
As courseware platforms will assess students capabilities at each step, measuring
their competencies through Q&A might become irrelevant, or might not suffice.
Many argue that exams are now designed in such a way, that students cram their
materials, and forget the next day. Educators worry that exams might not validly
measure what students should be capable of when they enter their first job. As
the factual knowledge of a student can be measured during their learning
process, the application of their knowledge is best tested when they work on
projects in the field.
Student ownership
Students will become more and more involved in forming their curricula.
Maintaining a curriculum that is contemporary, up-to-date and useful is only
realistic when professionals as well as ‘youngsters’ are involved. Critical input
from students on the content and durability of their courses is a must for an allembracing study program.
Mentoring will become more important
In 20 years, students will incorporate so much independence in to their learning
process, that mentoring will become fundamental to student success. Teachers
will form a central point in the jungle of information that our students will be
paving their way through. Though the future of education seems remote, the
teacher and educational institution are vital to academic performance.
These are exciting, provocative and potentially far-reaching challenges. For
individuals and society, new educational tools and resources hold the promise of
empowering individuals to develop a fuller array of competencies, skills and
knowledge and of unleashing their creative potential.
Indeed, many of the changes underway call to mind the evocative words of Irish poet
William Butler Yeats that, “Education is not about filling a bucket but lighting a fire.”
Technology has become integrated into virtually every aspect of work. And because
we spend so much time working, work really is the place where we most directly feel
the impact of developing technologies. From collaboration to productivity; from new
ways of approaching workspace design to the increasing ability to work from virtually
anywhere; and from hiring and recruitment to new skill set-sit is a time of
experimentation for companies and organizations as trends in technology converge to
change what it means to work.
1. https://www.thegeniusworks.com/2017/01/future-education-young-everyone-taught-together/
2. https://medium.com/learning-re-imagined/education-and-the-fourth-industrial-revolutioncd6bcd7256a3
Questions for self-control
What is it “Education 4.0”?
His advantages and disadvantages?
What is the new a new vision of teaching?
What kind of innovations and general shifts in the world of
learning do you know?
What do you think about mobility in education?
Do you use new educational tools and resources?
Innovations that have changed English
language teaching
English language teaching is evolving all the time, particularly alongside advances in
technology. But what changes have had the biggest impact on teachers in recent
years? I took the question to my global PLN (personal learning network – see the third
point below). Here are what appear to be the top ten innovations for teachers, in no
particular order.
Recent years have seen a transformation in language learning methodologies.
Reasons for this include developments in human sciences, social changes,
globalisation, the spectacular growth of intercultural relationships, different
ideologies in teaching, the various needs of individuals and societies, and emergent
and powerful technology, to name just a few. These factors accompany new styles of
learning and teaching languages which we need to adopt, not only to shape these new
societal features but also to respond to the needs of today's fast-changing world. All
these changes impact the teacher-learner relationship, where the teacher one-sidedly
transmits his or her knowledge to the learners. Different resources are at the disposal
of learners, mainly as a result of technology, such as new digital learning tools, which
make it possible for them to take charge of their own learning (for instance, flipped
learning). Learners can also acquire content and language in more than one
language (CLIL, multilingualism) and become active members of new scenarios (taskbased methodology). These changes will undoubtedly affect teachers, students and
other individuals involved in the learning and teaching of foreign languages.
The new era assigns new challenges and duties on the modern teacher. The tradition
of English teaching has been drastically changed with the remarkable entry of
technology. Technology provides so many options as making teaching interesting and
also making teaching more productive in terms of improvements. Technology is one of
the most significant drivers of both social and linguistic change.
1. Digital platforms
When we discuss innovation, we often immediately think of the internet and what we
can now do online. Facebook and especially Edmodo, which creates a safe online
environment for teachers, students and parents to connect, are popular with teachers.
Cloud-based tools like Google Docs have also become indispensable. For teacher
Tyson Seburn, it’s 'where I've moved so much of individual and (because of its
functionality) collaborative writing with students...'
The list of digital platforms is extensive and growing all the time. A multimedia
manual like Digital Video by Nik Peachey (nominated for an ELTons award for
innovations in teacher resources) can help teachers navigate the complicated, and
sometimes overwhelming, world of digital resources, enabling teachers to create
activities, lessons and courses from a range of digital tools.
2. Online corpora
The use of corpora – large text collections used for studying linguistic structures,
frequencies, etc. – used to be the privilege of lexicographers. But with most corpora
now available online, and quite a few for free, teachers now have access to
information about the way language is used in authentic texts and speech.
Teachers no longer have to panic when students ask them about the difference
between ‘trouble’ and ‘problem’. And it's not just teachers who benefit. To find out
if more people say ‘sleepwalked’ or ‘sleptwalk’ (for example), students can
simply search the words on Google, which uses the internet as its corpus.
3. Online CPD (continuous professional development) and the global staffroom
The advent of the internet and the growth of social media have certainly allowed
teachers of English from all over the world to form online communities that act like a
huge global staffroom. Twitter and ELT blogging, for example, have 'opened up a
network of people who can offer advice, support and ideas’, says Sandy Millin.
Participants who are generous with their time, ideas, and contacts find they receive
much in return.
4. Mobile learning and BYOD (bring your own device)
The development of mobile technology and the proliferation of smart phones have
enabled many of us to access the internet and a huge variety of apps on the go.
Learners benefit too, from apps like WIBBU, and podcasts like Luke’s English
Podcast – Learn British English with Luke Thompson – nominated for an ELTons
award in the category of digital innovation.
Teachers are also able to build on their teaching knowledge and skills by listening to
podcasts like The TEFL Commute or join 50,000 teachers from more than 200
countries and watch webinars or archived videos of talks by TEFL teachers on EFL
Talks. Both are nominated for an ELTons for innovation in teacher resources.
And if teachers and students are gaining so much from their mobile devices, why ban
them from classrooms? It seems that getting students to bring their own devices to
class is fast becoming a game-changer in ELT practice.
For teacher Ceri Jones, tools like WhatsApp and Padlet help build channels of
communication beyond the classroom. She says: 'I often don’t have the hardware or
the connectivity in teen classes to use internet, so students using their own devices is
great – and it means they have a record of the resources we've used to check back on
after class...'
5. Communicating with people online
The ability to communicate online with people outside the classroom via Skype and
similar tools has enabled students to meet and interact with others in English. In
monolingual classes (i.e., most English classrooms around the world), this could give
much-needed motivation to students who otherwise might not have the opportunity to
interact with anyone in English.
And as for teachers, the ability to converse with students face-to-face online has
opened up a whole new market for Skype lessons and online classes.
6. Online authentic materials
One of the biggest benefits of the internet for language learners is the sudden
widespread availability of authentic resources. As David Deubelbeiss points out, this
enables teachers to use 'content with messages students want to hear'. We can
now access the daily news, watch trending videos on YouTube, read the latest tips on
TripAdvisor… the possibilities are endless.
But with so much content available to us, choosing the right online materials is crucial
for efficient and effective learning. Keynote by National Geographic Learning, makes
use of TED talks to develop a pedagogically sound approach to language learning,
while Language Learning with Digital Video (Cambridge University Press) looks at
how teachers can use online documentaries and YouTube videos to create effective
lessons. Both resources are nominated for this year's ELTons awards.
7. The IWB (interactive white board)
The IWB started appearing in classrooms in the early parts of this century and has
now become a staple of many classrooms in Britain and around the world. It allows us
to save and print notes written on the board, control the classroom computer from the
whiteboard, play listening activities on the sound system, use the screen as a slide for
presentations, access the internet, and so on. The possibilities seem endless.
But the addition of an IWB to a classroom does not automatically make for a better
learning experience. Indeed, unless teachers use them skilfully to complement
teaching and learning, they are little more than a distraction.
As teacher David Dodgson explains, some people 'love the shiny stuff', believing that
simply standing in front of an IWB is effective integration of education technology.
It's not.
8. Dogme (or materials-light teaching)
For teachers like Matthew Noble, discovering the Dogme approach to language
teaching was 'galvanising'. A communicative approach that eschews published
textbooks in favour of conversational communication between learners and
teacher, Dogme signals a departure from a one-size-fits-all approach to classroom
For many teachers, this 'unplugged' approach represents a new way of looking at the
lesson content, and the chance to break free from self-contained language points and
give more time to student-generated language.
9. Students steering their own learning
Over the last couple of decades, learning has gradually been moving from a teachercentred top-down approach to a student-centred, bottom-up one. The trend has
accelerated rapidly in recent years with the growing quantity and quality of
information on the internet. In many respects, this has changed the teacher's role from
that of knowledge-transmitter to consultant, guide, coach, and/or facilitator.
One example is the 'negotiated syllabus', previously the domain of the business
English teacher, who would conduct a needs analysis before tailoring a course to suit
the participants. But we've come to recognise that there is nothing general about the
general English learner either, and increasingly, teachers involve students in decisions
about what to do in the classroom.
The ELTons-nominated Connections E-textbook (a project by Zayed University in the
UAE) takes this a step further and involves the students in the design of their etextbook, allowing them to make decisions on page layout and the clarity of task
10. Teaching soft skills and critical thinking skills
As English cements its position as the world’s lingua franca, many of our students are
now learning English to oil the wheels of communication in the worlds of business,
trade, education, and tourism. To enable our students to become better
communicators, we should perhaps go beyond grammar, vocabulary and
pronunciation, and look at helping them communicate effectively in international
Learner resources nominated for an ELTons award this year include Richmond
Business Theories (Richmond ELT), which features online resources that help
teachers and students with soft skills like problem-solving, presentation skills, time
management and decision-making. Academic Presenting and
Presentations (Levrai and Bolster) looks specifically at the communication skills
needed when making a presentation at college or university.
Another ELTons nominee is The Thinking Train (Helbling Languages), which
believes in starting young. It helps children develop critical thinking skills that could
support them not just in their English learning but in the learning of other subjects and
life skills.
And perhaps it is this ability to think and reflect that will enable us as teachers and
learners to take any innovation out there and make it work in our context for our
students. After all, as a wise teacher of mine used to say, 'It’s never the tool, but the
user that makes the difference.'
Teachers are starting to create materials in ways that would have been impossible
some years ago. Nearly every student now carries a powerful mini-computer, video
camera and audio recorder in their pocket (otherwise known as a mobile phone) and
teachers are finding new ways to use this technology in the classroom for learning
English. Teachers and their students have a lot to look forward to.
What has inspired your teaching and teacher development this
year? Chia Suan Chong, who will be blogging from the livestreamed ELTons awards on 18 June 2018, lists her top ten.
Blended learning
As teachers combine digital media with more traditional forms of teaching, their
course materials and resources reflect the trend. The Combined Pre-Sessional
Course offered by King’s English Language Centre (King’s College London)
combines face-to-face teaching and online lessons. For teachers who want to pepper
their everyday teaching with practical online activities, Lindsay Clandfield and Jill
Hadfield’s Interaction Online - creative activities for blended learning emphasises the
interaction between teachers and learners.
Mobile learning
Online resources are more accessible with a mobile app or a mobile-friendly
version. Wordable (Playlingo Ltd. with Cambridge University Press) turns
vocabulary-learning into a fun, competitive game you could play with your friends. It
has built-in, spaced repetition and active-recall learning to make new words stick.
Essential English (Oxford University Press) uses mobile technology to provide free
resources for teachers and students, including flashcards, phrasebooks, lesson plans
and activities. Meanwhile, Tri Pro English Website and Mobile Apps helps learners to
practise their listening through free, high-quality recordings divided into levels and
coupled with comprehension questions.
Appealing to football-lovers, LearnMatch (VE Vision Education GmbH) uses training
sessions, friendly matches, leagues and cup games to make vocabulary learning fun
for young learners. Get Set, Go! Phonics (Oxford University Press) uses chants, songs
and games to help develop pre-school children’s phonological awareness.
On an even more immersive scale, Learn Languages with Ruby Rei (Wibbu) plunges
the learners into an interactive adventure game. They have to use their language skills
to negotiate, collaborate and build friendships in order to escape from a forgotten
planet at the edge of the universe. Any learning that takes place is incidental.
Embodied learning
Embodied learning is based on the idea that learning is not just about remembering. It
involves using the mind and the body, collaborating, discussing and exploring.
Learners need to be emotionally, intellectually, physically and socially engaged.
Courses such as Doodle Town (Macmillan Education) use visual, audio and hands-on
activities to stimulate and inspire learning, getting young learners to draw, create, and
be inquisitive. Orbit (Richmond) develops the young learners’ socio-emotional and
cognitive skills through a language course that follows the story of a ferret and
children who go on adventures in multicultural environments.
Inquiry-based learning (or: 'learning in a complex world')
The scenarios that teachers come across in some course materials can seem simplified
and unrealistic, leading us to wonder if we are adequately training our learners for real
life in the 21st century.
Courses like Fast Track 5 (EF Education First Ltd) and Wider World (Pearson with
the BBC) use authentic video and audio content to bring the real world to teenage
learners. They encourage teenagers to practise the soft skills and communication skills
needed to take part in the global communities of the 21st century. Aimed at the adult
learner, Perspectives (National Geographic) uses real-life stories and TED talks to
motivate learners to think critically and creatively.
Danny Norrington-Davies’s Teaching Grammar: From Rules to Reasons (Pavilion
Publishing) is an alternative approach to teaching grammar. Teachers and learners
discover how writers and speakers use grammar to express themselves in real life.
Hugh Dellar and Andrew Walkley’s Teaching Lexically (Delta Publishing) combines
the teaching of grammar and lexis for more effective classroom practice, rather than
over-simplifying language into a more traditional ‘grammar + words’ view.
English as a lingua franca (ELF)
When the concept of English as a lingua franca was first discussed by teachers,
academics, writers and trainers, it was controversial. Many refused to consider how
the concept of English as an international language might fit into course materials and
language teaching. Today, we see resource materials like PronPack 1-4 (Mark
Hancock) taking a non-prescriptive approach to accent and instead focusing on
increased intelligibility as the objective. Using elements of blended learning and
gamification, this pronunciation course doesn’t help the learner sound British or
American, but instead prepares the learner to use English in the global arena.
Multi-literacies and trans-languaging
In global communities where English is a common language of communication
alongside other languages, knowledge of other languages is an asset. Rather than
diminish the learners’ first language (also known as subtractive bilingualism),
teachers are encouraging learners to use their own languages. This requires complex
social and cognitive skills. In contrast, strict English-only classrooms are slowly
becoming a thing of the past. Such linguistic diversity is celebrated in courses like
the Family Skills Toolkit(Learning Unlimited Ltd) that encourages parents and carers
of children learning English to see their bilingualism as a benefit.
Supporting learners of specific needs
As globalisation takes hold, 'glocalisation' (adapting an international product to match
what people want in their particular country or culture) becomes necessary. The more
we understand individual learners' needs, the more we can tailor our lessons to suit
them. Ros Wright’s book Learning English: English for Health and Social Care
Workers(Pavilion Publishing) provides learners not just with medical terms, but also
knowledge of policies and procedures in the medical and care industry. Study Legal
English – the world’s first legal English podcast includes online learning materials
and quizzes to gamify learning.
However, catering to learners with specific needs does not only mean English for
Specific Purposes (ESP). Imagine! (Silva Education Ltd) caters to Brazilian learners
from low-income families. EAP for Syrian Academics Projects provides online EAP
lessons and material support for Syrian academics exiled across Turkey. Supporting
Learners with Dyslexia in the ELT classroom is a teacher resource providing teachers
with both theory and practical ideas of how to ‘reach and teach’ students with
Creating and sharing content
While there’s much online content already out there for learners, some programmes
and apps allow learners to produce their own content and share what they have
created with others. Popular online sites like Quizizz and Socrative allow both
teachers and students to create online games and play games that are shared by users
from around the world. Websites like Canva allow teachers and learners to express
their creativity through posters, social media memes and banners. Then there are
mindmapping sites, comic-strip creation sites and movie-editing/movie-making sites.
Using content-creation tools like these allow learners to use language creatively, and
turn language practice into a fun and engaging activity. ELTons finalist Brick by
Brick(StandFor/ FTD Educaçāo) is one such course for younger learners that has them
creating and embarking on hands-on projects as they learn.
Learning and teaching management platforms
Learning management platforms (LMSs) like Edmodo are increasingly popular. They
give learners an online way to find handouts, continue classroom discussions and
submit homework. Now, online platforms are also used to communicate with parents
and other stakeholders, give teachers and administrators a better overview of the
curriculum, and help manage lesson plans and materials.
The Royal ABC (Prosper Education Pte Ltd) curriculum for four-to-six year olds
comes with a teacher platform that allows teachers to manage lesson planning,
complete administration, schedule homework and report to parents. This gives
teachers more time to work with children in the classroom.
1. https://www.britishcouncil.org/voices-magazine/ten-innovations-have-changed-englishlanguage-teaching
2. https://www.britishcouncil.org/voices-magazine/whats-new-english-language-teaching
3. https://www.britishcouncil.org/voices-magazine/ten-trends-innovations-english-languageteaching-2018
4. Ertmer, P and Ottenbreit-Leftwich, A (2010) Teacher technology change: How knowledge,
confidence, beliefs, and culture intersect. Journal of Research on Technology in Education
42/3: 255–284.
Questions for self-control
what kind of inventions do you use in your classroom?
What is Gamification? Do you use this activity?
What has inspired your teaching and teacher development
this year?
What kind of conceptual do you use from list?
What is Embodied learning?
The benefits of new technology in language
Just as technology plays a significant role in the advancement of medicine, business,
and in every aspect of our everyday lives, it also plays an equally significant role in
A variety of e-learning technologies is now available for use in educational programs,
as schools constantly improve their pedagogical process by exhausting all forms of
technology and incorporating them into the curriculum to meet the demands and keep
up with the ever-changing world.
These bring about endless benefits that help boost and maximize the whole teaching
and learning the process, for both students and teachers.
This is also helpful in achieving a school-life balance because students can choose
other options that might work better for them. Students with an over packed schedule
but still want to learn more about a certain language or enhance their native language
may prefer mobile applications or online learning than enroll in a traditional class.
In studying languages, for instance, technology fosters learning and provides positive
What can put teachers off using technology.
What is still sometimes an issue is the reliability of these technologies for classroom
use. This can discourage teachers from making use of technology as often as they
would want to. It's compounded by the fact that, if these teachers are working in
schools, they are faced with classes of learners who may, on the surface at least,
appear to be more digitally competent than their teachers are. Learners can therefore
challenge their teachers, in ways that put the latter off using the technologies that
could potentially make such a difference to what happens in the classroom.
The benefits of technology in language learning that is integrated with project
1. Easy and unlimited access to education
Students can have unlimited access to technology nowadays from computers to
handheld devices whether at home or in school, making it an important tool in the
learning process. The Internet provides a hundred of different options to students who
want to either enhance their native language or learn other foreign languages.
Students will get to enjoy the flexibility to learn languages when they want and where
they want and to get the immediate response or instant feedback anytime they need it.
Organizations and educational institutions take to Internet different approaches to
learning languages by means of online classes or free instructional videos uploaded on
their sites, Youtube, and the likes.
Programs that enhance literacy skills are also made available to students through webbased and mobile applications and software such as:
Rosetta Stone - One of the earliest computer-assisted languages learning software
that uses images, texts, and speech exercises to teach basic grammar, reading and
writing proficiency of a chosen foreign language.
Duolingo and Memrise - Duolingo and Memrise are mobile applications that
students can download in order to learn a foreign language whenever and
wherever they may be.
These free language-learning platforms aim to teach foreign language effectively by
using images, text, and speech exercises in a repetitive manner until mastery is
These practical tools are not restricted to any age groups and support learning from
the early stages to advance language training. Taking advantage of these tools will
enable them to manage their own learning by accessing online resources that teachers
may not be able to provide all the time.
2. Interactive and “blended” learning
Learning is an active process, and interactive learning is crucial and probably the best
way to study languages. Integration of technology in classrooms allows combination
or “blended” learning, which means that lectures are combined with technology to
facilitate learning, making it more efficient, effective and engaging to students.
Teaching and learning extend beyond the classroom, removing limitations that used to
hinder or delay the learning process. Teachers are now adapting to new technologies
to better equip themselves in teaching students new approaches to language learning.
Information Communications Technology (ICT)
ICT seems to be an indispensable part of the modern and contemporary learning
environment. It offers new opportunities to promote the quality and effectiveness of
foreign language teaching.
The utilization of ICT provides students more opportunities to communicate with
other learners in real time, work on projects and participate in blog discussions while
they improve their independent learning.
Digital games-based language learning
Digital games-based language learning creates language-learning opportunities
through the use of computer games within an educational context, which young
students may find more enjoyable.
Interactive fiction reading is a great example of this where students get to participate
in the storytelling process by playing the roles of the characters as they directly
influence the story by choosing how it will unfold. This motivates students to read,
which leads to better literacy results.
Practice of reading and writing through software
Early readers get to practice reading in a non-threatening, supportive environment and
get quality feedback that is beneficial in learning. People who are perpetually hungry
for knowledge or books can exploit the internet and use it as a “virtual library” rich in
valuable resources from around the world.
Budding writers can utilize web-based applications, sites, and software to enhance
their writing skills.
Distance learning programs
Technology allows distance-learning programs that provide teacher-student exchange
regardless of where they live.
3. Increased motivation
The interactive learning in classrooms also increases motivation among students by
being competitive as they participate in fun and games that help foster a more positive
attitude towards learning and a more effective knowledge retention.
For those who do not have enough funds for language courses will be motivated to
learn through various free online resources and other platforms.
4. Support from teachers and peers
Although most students prefer studying with a partner or a group over working alone
with a computer, collaboration and communication in learning activities can also be
done online. Technology allows people to connect and communicate online, which
also provide a venue for teachers and learners to get support from each other.
5. Opportunities to connect with locals and gain cultural appreciation
Language schools that offer online courses also provide students the chance to
connect with native speakers or locals by means of video chat or simply by trying to
immerse them in the community without the need to travel.
Long distance exchanges through e-mails, chats, or web-based conferencing allow
students to share cultural experiences especially those who might have few other
opportunities for authentic language learning in a cost-effective way.
It destroys barriers and bridges the gap in language learning world by creating an
online community of people wanting to learn the same language.
According to research, students who are able to have an authentic exchange using oral
language with the native speakers are more confident and appreciative of cultural
diversity. They grow up keen to global issues and with instilled enthusiasm to travel
and discover other cultures.
The range of technologies now available for teachers and students are great tools that
can support learning languages in the variety of ways both in the classroom and home
environment. Technological advancements have made everything better especially in
the educational sector.
Various innovative developments lead to a better language learning process for all
people of any age. The role of technology in language learning is crucial but should
never be the goal. Schools, teachers, and students should treat it as a valuable tool in
learning languages but should not rely solely on technology programs.
Analyzing Advantages and Disadvantages
Most of the above studies showed technology’s positive effects on language learning,
which answered the first question:Do we really need technology in language
classrooms? The answer, of course, is yes we do.
First, the advantages of using new technology in language classrooms can be
interpreted in light of the changing goals of language education and the shifting
conditions in our postindustrial society (Warschauer and Meskill 2000).New
technology was part of the social fabric at the turn of the century. So while we taught
foreign language studentsto write essays and read magazines a generation ago, we
must now teach them to write e-mail and conduct onlineresearch. Thus, integrating
technology into language classrooms is inevitable.
Second, technology integration in foreign language teaching demonstrates the shift in
educational paradigms froma behavioral to a constructivist learning approach.
Language is a living thing, so the best way to learn a language isin interactive,
authentic environments. Computer technologies and the Internet are powerful tools for
assisting theseapproaches to language teaching. Even though constructivism is not a
theory associated with using technology, constructivistassumptions are guideposts for
developing a vision for integrating technology into the language curriculum. The
following are summaries of these assumptions:
Another area that technology supports very effectively is project work. We have
always tried to encourage learners to learn about things through language. Getting
learners to do work about topics that are of interest to them, or topics that are taught in
other parts of the curriculum (sometimes called Content and Language Integrated
Learning or CLIL is a great way to improve their skills. Technology makes this
possible wherever you are in the world. Teachers and learners can go online to read or
listen to material about different areas of interest, and can then write or speak about
what they have discovered, telling others in the class or other classes elsewhere in the
We can definitely agree that technology has done a great job in helping language
learning, but this is just thebeginning of the age of technology-enhanced education. In
the future, wireless networks, videoconferencing andother multimedia-enhanced
communication methods will be more popular in the language classroom.
However,teachers should always remember that technology is just a tool, and
students’ learning achievement relies on appropriateand creative instruction. If you
are aware of the pitfalls of using technology to design creative activities,
technologywill work harder and better for foreign language education.
The teaching strategies based on educational technology can be described as ethical
practices that facilitate the students’ learning and boost their capacity, productivity,
and performance. Technology integration in education inspires positive changes in
teaching methods on an international level. Are you still wondering whether or not
you should start relying on different apps and tools? The following list of benefits will
help you come to a final conclusion.
1. Technology makes teaching easy!
Aren’t you tired of giving theoretical explanations your students cannot understand?
You simply cannot discover a way of presenting tough concepts that makes the
concept clear for each and every student in the class. Technology has that power!
Thanks to audio-visual presentations, your students will understand exactly how the
knowledge is applied in practice. You can use projectors and computer presentations
to deliver any type of lesson or instruction and improve the level of comprehension
within the class.
2. Technology helps you track students’ progress!
You are no longer limited to a plain-old diary and notes about every student. That
would only get you confused. Today, you can rely on platforms and tools that enable
you to keep track of the individual achievements of your
students. MyStudentsProgress and theTeacherCloud Progress Tracker are great online
tools that enable you to do that, but your school can also develop personalized
software that would serve that purpose.
3. Educational technology is good to the environment!
Can you imagine the amount of paper and number of trees that would be saved if
every school decided to introduce digital textbooks? Of course, that goal is far from
realistic at this point, but you can make a change when you start from your own class.
For example, you can instruct your students to take online tests and submit their
papers and homework through email. You can also encourage them to use eReaders to
go through the literature you assign.
4. Thanks to technology, students enjoy learning!
Students are addicted to Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Digg, and other websites
from a very early age. The internet can distract them from the learning process, but
you can also use their inclination to spend time online for a good purpose: Making
learning enjoyable. Use touch-screen technology and online presentations to make the
classes more interactive. You can also rely on technology when you want your
students to take part in discussions. Set up a private Facebook group for your class
and inspire constructive conversations!
5. Technology makes distance learning more accessible than ever!
Without the wonders of the internet, people wouldn’t be able to get access to any type
of information at the very moment they think of it. Today, distance learning is one of
the most trending learning methods. Virtual lessons are slowly taking the place of
traditional lectures. Students can organize their time in a way that works for them, and
they can easily gain the knowledge they are interested in. For example, let’s say one
of your students shows great interest in Astronomy, but the traditional curriculum
does nothing to feed that hunger for knowledge. You can recommend him/her to take
beginner’s course at Coursera, Udemy, or any other online service that offers highquality virtual lectures.
6. Students and teachers can access information at any time!
This is possibly the most obvious benefit of technology. When old-school teachers
were students, they had to spend hours in the library looking for the information they
needed. Today, technology integration makes everything different and simpler.
Students can easily access newspapers, scientific articles, studies, and any other type
of content online. They can write better, deeper academic papers because they can
support their arguments with more evidence. When you give a lecture the students
don’t understand, they can find simpler instructions and information with a single
Google search.
7. Technology makes collaboration more effective!
Think about the way collaboration looks like in a traditional classroom setting. You
organize groups, assign the projects, and suddenly the class becomes a complete mess.
Some students express their opinions too loudly and firmly, while others don’t get an
opportunity to be heard. Online tools and apps offer a unique setting for students to
engage in a group project. They can do the work from home; the team is connected
through the Internet and everyone is inspired by the focused environment.
Despite these advantages, potential drawbacks of using technology always
exist.Some of the main disadvantagesregarding technology integration in
language classrooms include:
A few common pitfalls of Internet use include objectionable materials, predators,
copyright violations andplagiarism, viruses and hacking, netiquette behavior, and
privacy issues. Teachers must be prepared to dealwith these issues as they use
technology in their classrooms.
Startup costs, which include hardware, software, staffing and training, are
expensive. Warschauer andMeskill (2000) indicate that intelligent use of new
technologies usually involves allocations of about athird each for hardware,
software, and staff support and training. It is often the case in poorly funded
languageprograms that the hardware itself comes in via a one-time grant (or
through hand-me-downs fromscience departments), with little funding left for staff
training, maintenance or software.
Technology may not be good for every language at all levels. For logographic
languages, computer typingmay not help improve efficiency in composition,
especially with lowerlevel learners. It also takes a longtime for students to become
familiar with computer typing; therefore, teachers should creatively use
technologybut not rely on it alone.
Spending too much time on computers is considered harmful to a child’s
development of relationshipsand social skills (Roblyer 2003). The American
Academy of Pediatricians calls for limiting children’s use ofmedia to only one to
two hours per day.
In 2018, almost all students (at least at the high school and college level in the US)
carry a smartphone with them at all times. Recording and storing speaking practice
with a smartphone (either individual or in dialogues) only requires unlocking a small
screen and taping a few times on it.
The latest technological innovation for smartphones, the mobile apps, further
accentuate the obsolescence of language labs as speaking practice places. Extempore,
for example, a recently developed learning app specifically designed for foreign
language educators, is unsettling the industry of technology-mediated speaking
practice by offering ease of use and real portability at a fraction of the cost of a
traditional lab.
What 100 years of technology in foreign language education tell us is: that technology
is an ever-present and powerful learning aid, that there will always be change-resistant
voices warning against the “ineffectiveness” of any new developments, and that the
success or failure of a particular new tool depends much on the way instructors and
students use it to serve their teaching and learning needs. As a final point, it
is possible to say that technology is not a purpose but only a tool for all humanistic
1. https://www.britishcouncil.org/voices-magazine/the-benefits-new-technology-languagelearning
2. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/suren-ramasubbu/how-technology-can-helpl_b_7489002.html
3. https://www.emergingedtech.com/2018/01/100-years-of-new-technologies-foreign-language/
4. Pegrum, M. (2014). Mobile learning: Languages, literacies, and cultures. London, UK:
Palgrave Macmillan
Questions for Self-Control
What is e-learning technologies? Do you use it? And how
What benefits have technology got?
Some of the main disadvantages regarding technology
integration in language classrooms include....What are they?
Technology makes collaboration more effective. Do you
agree? Is it true?
Can we increase motivation among students by using
Language Portfolio. What is Portfolio?
Language Portfolio as an innovative way of stimulating students to learning
foreign languages: the problems and perspectives.
What is an assessment portfolio? An assessment portfolio is the systematic collection
and evaluation of student work measured against predetermined scoring criteria, such
as scoring guides, rubrics, checklists, or rating scales. Because the contents of
portfolios are scored using specific criteria, the use of assessment portfolios is
considered criterion-referenced assessment. Portfolios can provide a continuous
picture of student progress, rather than a 3 snapshot of student achievement that
single-occasion tests provide. Depending on school or district requirements, portfolios
can include performancebased assessments, such as writing samples that illustrate
different genres; solutions to math problems that show problem-solving ability; lab
reports demonstrating an understanding of a scientific approach; or social studies
research reports demonstrating the ability to use multiple sources. In some cases,
multiple drafts of student work showing improvements are included. Portfolios can
also contain information about students’ educational backgrounds. In addition,
portfolios might include scores on commercially-developed, nationally normreferenced tests, such as the Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS) and the California Test
of Basic Skills (CTBS). Portfolios may also include results of criterion-referenced
measures such as the Maryland School Performance Assessment Program (MSPAP).
Language Portfolio. What is Portfolio?
a purposeful collection of student’s work that shows and demonstrates the
efforts or achievements in one or more areas
a record of the child's process of learning: what the child has learned and how he
has gone about learning; how he thinks, asks questions, analyzes, synthesizes,
produces, creates; and how he interacts – intellectually, emotionally and socially-with
a container of collected evidence with a purpose. Evidence is documentations
that can be used by one person or group of persons to infer another person’s
knowledge, skill, and/or disposition
a fusion of process and product. It is the process of reflection, selection,
rationalization, and evaluation, together with the product of those processes
systematic, purposeful, and meaningful collections of students’ work in one or
more subject areas
the assessment of some data about students’ skills in one or more areas in a
certain time period, regular collection of his studies and performances according
to predetermined criteria.
Portfolio assessment method also has many benefits for teacher, parents and
Portfolio provides multiple ways of assessing students’ learning over time
It provides for a more realistic evaluation of academic content than pencil-and
paper tests.
It allows students, parent, teacher and staff to evaluate the students’ strength and
It provides multiple opportunities for observation and assessment
It provides an opportunity for students to demonstrate his/her strengths as well
as weakness.
The purpose of portfolio
to improve the students’ learning and to diagnose his/her learning needs
to assess the student progress over an extended period of time, and to provide
evidence for grades
to strike a balance between product and process
Comparing to Portfolio Assessment with Standardized Testing
Portfolio Assessment
Occurs in the child’s natural environment
is an unnatural event
provides an opportunity for student to demonstrate his/her strengths as well as
gives hands-on information to the teacher on the spot
allows the child, parent, teacher, staff to evaluate the child’s strengths and
is on-going, proving multiple opportunities for observation and assessment
assesses realistic and meaningful daily literacy tasks
invites the child to be reflective about his/her work
invites the parents to be reflective of child’s work and knowledge
encourages teacher-student conferencing informs instruction and curriculum; places
child at centre of the educational process.
Standardized Testing
provides a summary of child’s filatures on certain tasks
provides little diagnostic information
provides ranking information
is an one-time “snapshot” of a student’s abilities on a particular task
assesses artificial task, which may not be meaningful to the child and knowledge
asks child to provide a singular desired response
provide parents with essentially meaningless and often frightening numerical
forces teacher-administration conferencing reinforces idea that the curriculum is
the centre of the educational process
Types of portfolios:
Personal portfolio
Record-keeping portfolio
Group portfolio
Thematic portfolio
Electronic portfolio
Multiyear portfolio
Three parts identified in a language portfolio:
The Language Passport section provides an overview of the individual’s
proficiency in different languages at a given point in time; the overview is
defined in terms of skills and the common reference levels in the Common
European Framework; it records formal qualifications and describes language
competencies and significant language and intercultural learning experiences; it
includes information on partial and specific competence; it allows for selfassessment, teacher assessment and assessment by educational institutions and
examinations boards; it requires that information entered in the Passport states
on what basis, when and by whom the assessment was carried out. To facilitate
panEuropean recognition and mobility a standard presentation of a Passport
Summary is promoted by the Council of Europe for ELPs for adults.
The Language Biography facilitates the learner’s involvement in planning,
reflecting upon and assessing his or her learning process and progress; it
encourages the learner to state what he/she can do in each language and to
include information on linguistic and cultural experiences gained in and outside
formal educational contexts; it is organized to promote plurilingualism, i.e. the
development of competencies in a number of languages.
The Dossier offers the learner the opportunity to select materials to document
and illustrate achievements or experiences recorded in the Language Biography
or Passport.
The Language passport
Describes language competence in terms of Common European Framework of
Reference (CEFR) levels
Records formal qualifications and intercultural learning experiences
Allows for self- and teacher-assessment
The Language Biography
Enables learners to plan and assess their learning
Gives learners a chance to state what they can do
The Dossier
Offers learners the opportunity to select written work (including projects) and
recorded materials (audio, video) to illustrate their achievements
Functions of Language Portfolio and their content:
Function of gathering (накопичувальна) – gives a possibility to create a
collection of the best student’s works
Function of modeling (моделююча) – is a way of forming the student’s
individual plan of learning
Reflexive and creative function (рефлексивно-креативна) – gives the
students a possibility of planning strategies and ways of their own learning activity
The strategy of six steps (after O. Karpjuk)
Forming the reflexive skills.
Getting acquainted with ELP.
Forming the skills of formulating the aim.
Forming the abilities and skills of student’s planning the individual learning plan
Providing the self-evaluation step-by-step
The support of student’s work over the ELP.
What are the challenges of using assessment portfolios with English language
learners? Assessment portfolio systems have lower reliability and comparability
than norm-referenced tests. Assessment portfolios are not without challenges as
school- or districtwide assessment tools.
First, state education agencies (SEAs) report that there is general public resistance
to performance-based testing, because it is perceived to diminish the accountability of
schools and districts. The public has become accustomed to single scores, like those
used to describe the results of standardized, norm-referenced tests, such as the CTBS.
Single scores are comparable across schools and districts, and from one year to the
next. However, many performance-based tests, including some portfolio systems, do
not easily or meaningfully translate into a single score or set of scores that can be
readily compared. Because some schools and districts report the results of
performance-based tests descriptively, using words rather than a numerical score,
stakeholders sometimes feel that the school system is less accountable for individual
Furthermore, it is difficult to implement assessment portfolio systems to meet the
reliability requirements that many school systems want. Achieving a certain degree of
reliability among raters or test evaluators (for example, .7 agreement or better) is
important, according to researchers at the National Center for Research on Evaluation,
Standards, and Student Testing. If high inter-rater reliability figures are not reached,
the usefulness of the scores as an accountability tool diminishes, because the results
cannot be used to compare scores reliably between schools and districts, or over time.
However, assessment portfolio systems can also be designed with the single-score
requirement in mind. For example, inter-rater agreement on Vermont’s writing
portfolios improved when scores on five writing subsections were averaged into a
single score . When assessment portfolio results are translated into numerical scores,
the benefit of richer information about student learning is lost.
1. http://www.languagelearningportal.com
2. http://edglossary.org/portfolio/
3. https://www.brown.edu/academics/education-alliance/sites/brown.edu.academics.educationalliance/files/publications/ass_port_ell.pdf
4. http://www.oup.hu/NEFportfolio_elem.pdf
Questions for Self-Control.
Language Portfolio. What is Portfolio?
What are the challenges of using assessment portfolios with
English language learners?
Three parts identified in a language portfolio. What are
What kind of benefits portfolio has got?
Comparing to Portfolio Assessment with Standardized
Testing. Which one is better and why?
Project work
Project work challenges students to think beyond the boundaries of the classroom,
helping them develop the skills, behaviors, and confidence necessary for success in
the 21st-century. Designing learning environments that help students question,
analyze, evaluate, and extrapolate their plans, conclusions, and ideas, leading them to
higher-order thinking, requires feedback and evaluation that goes beyond a letter or
number grade. The term “authentic assessment” is used to describe assessment that
evaluates content knowledge as well as additional skills like creativity, collaboration,
problem-solving, and innovation.
Project work creates connections between the foreign language and the learner’s own
world. It encourages the use of a wide range of communicative skills, enables learners
to exploit other fields of knowledge, and provides opportunities for them to write
about the things that are important in their own lives.
Project work allows students to consolidate the language that they have learnt and
encourages them to acquire new vocabulary and expressions. In addition, it gives
learners integrated skills practice. Throughout project work students have extensive
practice of the skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking. Using projects with
classes provides excellent opportunities for cross-curricular work. The topics should
be carefully chosen and have to be presented in a lively and up-to-date manner. It is
important to present a new project in an enthusiastic way and encourage the class
activity in a discussion about the key topic. The more students are engaged in to a
project, the more likely that the project will be a success. We know that the
worldwide interest in getting of competent knowledge of the English language is
growing. Language is the most recognized means of communication. The life and the
development of any human society are based on communication through language.
The vision of the world of a nation is conveyed by its language, which reflects the
moral code, relations between people. So language is the main tool in acquiring other
peoples’ lives, traditions. Language use is creative. The learners use language to
express what they think and what they want to say. To communicate better in a
foreign language they should have the ability to use language appropriate to a context.
Planning the project
To give learners an idea of what projects are and what they should be aiming to
produce, it is good to have examples of past projects: a photocopy of a previous
group newspaper or a photograph of a wall display.
After explaining the idea behind the project I ask learners to propose a scheme of
o What they want to include in the project
o What form it will take
o Who will be responsible for what
o An idea of the time it will take to produce each part of the project
o Any material or resources they might need
I would then sit down with each group for 10 minutes to discuss their proposals (a
copy of which both I and the learner would keep to refer to as the project
develops). At this point the evaluation procedures would also be explained.
Allocate an agreed amount of time for the project. For a summer 60 hour course of
3 hours a day I would dedicate 5 hours to project work so approx. 6 sessions of 45
minutes each with a round up session at the end. I would also have the sessions on
the same day each week - Wednesday, and Friday, for example, so learners know
to bring materials to class on that day.
Show the learners the space they will have for the project, it could be wall space or
a corner of the classroom, so they have some idea how much material they should
produce and can plan the layout.
Materials and resources
Provide the learners with materials they might need: card, scissors glue, paper etc.
It is fairly common now for learners to want to use the Internet to find information
for their projects. Encourage a keen student with Internet to do this at home! If
there is time and Internet available in the school make sure the students have
informed you of exactly what they're looking for - photos- or that they have
prepared a list of information they want to find. Simply giving the learners time on
the computers can lead to them aimlessly surfing the net. If the facility is available
learners often like to write finished drafts of their work on the computer.
Projects need to be seen, read and admired so schedule the last project session as a
presentation. Ask the group to prepare a task for the others in the class to do
connected to the project: it could be a quiz with questions for a wall display, a
crossword using vocabulary for the project or comprehension questions for a video
that learners have made.
As with any piece of work a project needs to be acknowledged and evaluated. It's
not enough to just say 'that's great' after all the work learners have put in. I use a
simple project evaluation report, which comments on aspects of the project such as
content, design, language work and also evaluates the oral presentation stage of
the project.
Some possible drawbacks to project work
Learners using their own language
If the class are monolingual they may use their L1 a lot (it often happens anyway
in YL classes) so you should decide whether the benefits of doing project work
outweigh this factor.
Some learners doing nothing
By giving more freedom to the learners you may also be giving them the freedom
to do nothing! If the project is planned carefully and roles decided at the proposal
stage this is less likely to happen.
Groups working at different speeds
One group may have 'finished' the project after a couple of hours and say they
have nothing to do. Remind them it is their responsibility to fill the time allocated
to project work and discuss ways they could extend the work they have already
The teacher tries to encourage learners to think of their own ideas, to produce
something new of their own. Before setting up a project it is essential to explain the
final outcome, this will help them to understand what they are doing and why. The
teacher explains the students that at the end of the project they will write or design a
small leaflet on the topic, a wall display, a poster... There are some stages in
presenting a project: – Initial discussion of the idea. – Decide a form of the project. –
Practicing language skills. – Collecting information. – Displaying the result of the
research. The project work “Countries, I’d like to visit” was done by the students of
the Intermediate Level. The students gathered information about different countries,
prepared video slides about the country they would like to visit, prepared role plays,
songs, costumes. Their reports were informative and creative, because information
was taken from different sources: Encyclopedia, Internet, magazines. Then all groups
worked on the “Question Quiz” “Countries and Cities”. (4) The song “It’s a Small
World” was performed by the whole class. So by this kind of activity we may say that
project work is a kind of investigation, active participation, which is held instead of
passive listening and memorizing. The role of a teacher becomes that of a facilitator,
provider of a feedback. The students of the Upper Intermediate Level prepared the
project “Space? What is it?” The class was divided into two groups. They described
their imaginary journeys to different planets, named the planets, wrote about the
adventures happened during their trips. (3) The second group presented their report
about the moon. They made a video film about the moon, the role play about the
adventures of the girl who “was caught by the alien”. Others described their trips to
the planet of dreams, showed slides of these planets. The models of the spaceships by
which they could travel to other planets were done by them. Project work is also used
to increase motivation and retention, to help students develop a positive image, to
develop critical thinking and problem — solving, it develops fluency in the use of
language features that they have learned.
Some advantages of project work are:
Increased motivation – learners become personally involved in the project.
All four skills, reading, writing, listening and speaking are integrated.
Autonomous learning is promoted as learners become more responsible for their
own learning.
There are learning outcomes – learners have an end product.
Authentic tasks and therefore the language input are more authentic.
Interpersonal relations are developed through working as a group.
Content and methodology can be decided between the learners and the teacher
and within the group themselves so it is more learner centred.
Learners often get help from parents for project work thus involving the parent
more in the child's learning. If the project is also displayed parents can see it at
open days or when they pick the child up from the school.
A break from routine and the chance to do something different.
A context is established which balances the need for fluency and accuracy.
Students really benefit from being given a model for the different structural elements
of a project. A basic structure is reflects the design cycle itself: plan, research,
develop, review. You may want to add in further elements as you see fit. Wellproduced dissertations, for example, typically include an abstract, introduction,
literature review, discussion and conclusion. Students may not be aware of what
counts as a good model for structure; timely advice from the supervisor can really
help them with the process.
For example
In my experience, most students are more comfortable writing about what other
people think, and they tend to be nervous about putting forward their own opinions. I
explain, though, that their project should contain their own ideas: they need to argue
for their own point of view. Once they have got past the research stage, I sometimes
use an interview, which could be a peer-interview, to help them work out their own
ideas. What is the central question in their project? What different answers do people
give? What is their point of view? How would they argue for it? Does the research
evidence support their viewpoint? What do they think is the strongest argument
against their view, and how would they answer it?
The disadvantages of project work are the noise which is made during the class, also
projects are time-consuming and the students use their mother tongue too much, the
weaker students are lost and not able to cope with the task and the assessment of
projects is very difficult. However, every type of project can be held without any
difficulties and so with every advantage possible.
The types of projects are information and research projects, survey projects,
production projects and performance and organizational projects which can be
performed differently as in reports, displays, wall newspapers, parties, plays, etc.
Though projectwork may notbe the easiest instructional approach to implement, the
potential pay-offs are many. At the very least, with the project approach, teachers can
break with routine by spending a week or more doing something besides grammar
drills and technical reading.
The organization of project work may seem difficult but if we do it step by step it
should be easy. We should define a theme, determine the final outcome, structure the
project, identify language skills and strategies, gather information, compile and
analyse the information, present the final product and finally evaluate the project.
Project work demands a lot of hard work from the teacher and the students,
nevertheless, the final outcome is worth the effort.
Snow, C. and Wong-Filmore, L. (in press). What teachers need to know about
language. Washington, DC: Center for Applied Linguistics.
Questions for Self-Control
What projects are and what they should be?
Some advantages of project work are...?
What is the strongest argument agains of Project?
What should we do for planning the project?
Total physical response TPR
1) TPR is based on the theory that the memory is enhanced through association
with physical movement.
2) It is also closely associated with theories of mother tongue language
acquisition in very young children, where they respond physically to parental
commands, such as "Pick it up" and "Put it down". TPR as an approach to teaching a
second language is based, first and foremost, on listening and this is linked to physical
actions which are designed to reinforce comprehension of particular basic items.
3) TPR is also based on the premise that the human brain has a biological program
for acquiring any natural language on earth – including the sign language of the
deaf. The process is visible when we observe how infants internalise their first
The secret is a unique "conversation" between the parent and infant. For example, the
first conversation is a parent saying, "Look at daddy. Look at daddy." The infant's
face turns in the direction of the voice and daddy exclaims, "She's looking at me!
She's looking at me!" Dr. Asher calls this "a language-body conversation" because
the parent speaks and the infant answers with a physical response such as looking,
smiling, laughing, turning, walking, reaching, grasping, holding, sitting, running, and
so forth.
Notice that these "conversations" continue for many many months before the child
utters anything more intelligible than "mommy" or "daddy." Although the infant is not
yet speaking, the child is imprinting a linguistic map of how the language works.
Silently, the child is internalising the patterns and sounds of the target language.
When the child has decoded enough of the target language, speaking appears
spontaneously. The infant's speech will not be perfect, but gradually, the child's
utterances will approximate more and more that of a native speaker.
Children and adults experience the thrill of immediate understanding when you apply
this powerful concept in your classroom.
Successful with children and adults learning any language. It works, because...
1) It imitates the way a baby learns its first language. (hours of listening, decoding
through body movements, delayed speech, no formal grammar)
2) The language enters the brain through the right hemisphere where understanding
of language is stored. (Speaking is stored in the left hemisphere)
It is low stress
All language input is immediately comprehensible, often hands-on, and allows
students to pass through a silent period whereby they build a comprehension base
before ever being asked to speak. Once language is internalised, production emerges,
thus setting TPR apart from traditional "listen-and-repeat" methods.
In a TPR lesson, teachers model actions which students then mimic as they
simultaneously hear vocabulary words and commands in the target language. As a
particular action is associated with each vocabulary word or phrase, students rapidly
and naturally acquire language while establishing long-lasting associations between
the brain and the muscles.
There are 2 phases in the TPR learning process.
1) Modelling by the instructor
2) Demonstration by the learner
The above examples, however, also illustrate some of the potential weaknesses
inherent in the approach. Firstly, from a purely practical point of view, it is highly
unlikely that even the most skilled and inventive teacher could sustain a lesson stage
involving commands and physical responses for more than a few minutes before the
activity became repetitious for the learners, although the use of situational role-play
could provide a range of contexts for practising a wider range of lexis.
Secondly, it is fairly difficult to give instructions without using imperatives, so the
language input is basically restricted to this single form.
Thirdly, it is quite difficult to see how this approach could extend beyond beginner
Fourthly, the relevance of some of the language used in TPR activities to real-world
learner needs is questionable.
Finally, moving from the listening and responding stage to oral production might be
workable in a small group of learners but it would appear to be problematic when
applied to a class of 30 students, for example.
Variations of TPR : TPR-B, TPR-O, TPR-P, TPRS
So the basic idea of TPR is that a language learner hears something in the language
and physically responds to it.
However, TPR is not just limited to whole body commands such as walking, turning
around, and pointing to your nose. In fact, there are four major types of activities that
can be done using the TPR mindset. I like to refer to them as TPR-B, TPR-O, TPR-P,
and TPRS. (TPRS is the only one of these expressions that is widely known, the
others are terms I've made up.)
I refer to TPR-B for "TPR with body", which includes everything that can be done
with general body movement: stand up, sit down, turn around, turn right, turn left, lift
up your arm, touch your nose, etc. This is best done in a room with some space to
move around.
TPR-O stands for "TPR with objects". This is best done sitting a table that has some
objects on it. For example, one day you could raid the produce stand and then sit
down with your Turkish friend to a table of fruit. That day you could not only learn
the words for "apple", "banana", "orange", and so on, but also, "give me", "take",
"put", "smell", "bite", "roll", "peel", and "show me".
For this activity, your friend could start off with: "This is an apple. This is an orange.
This is an apple. This is an orange. Where is the apple? (You would point) Where is
the orange?" Once again new words can be fairly quickly built up one at a time.
TPR-P stands for "TPR with pictures". Pictures are extremely effective language
learning tools. Let's say that you're actually living in England and have gone around
and taken 150 or so pictures of people doing different things and then arranged these
pictures in an album. Your English friend could go through and say "This is a man.
This is a boy. This is a man. This is a boy. Where is the man? Where is the boy?"
Gradually both background and foreground objects in the pictures could be learned, as
well as verbs: "The carpenter is hitting the nail with a hammer," leading to requests
such as "show me the man who is hitting something". Even verb tenses can be
incorporated by asking your friend (or tutor or teacher) to talk about all of the pictures
as if they happened last week, or now, or next week. The actual physical response
with pictures is fairly basic–pointing at something–but the opportunity for vocabulary
acquisition is a broad as the types of pictures you can use.
In addition to taking your own pictures, you can probably find some children's picture
or story books that are also useful for this kind of learning. Newspaper and magazine
pictures work well too.
TPR-S -was developed by Blaine Ray and is being used in classrooms throughout the
United States. It involves the teacher (and eventually the students) acting out simple
stories as a means of understanding the story and internalising vocabulary. The last
section of this article gives an internet link for more information about this approach.
You'll find more information at: http://www.tprstorytelling.com/story.htm
What about Speaking?
If you are just starting your language learning and are using TPR, at some point you
are (hopefully!) going to feel the urge to start speaking. Don't push it, but at some
point you can begin saying things for your friend/tutor to do, from "stand up" to "turn
the volume down" to "show me the man who ate fish yesterday". You can also speak
about a table of objects: "This is a ball. This is a key. This is a book. The pen is on the
book." And finally, you can describe pictures in any tense: "The man ate fish. The boy
read a book."
Assessing and Testing TPR
Assessment is constant. You don’t move on to the next step until you know that most
of your students understand the current commands.
For formal assessments, …..
Matching pictures with statements
Match actions with commands. You say a command and either you or another
person acts out a command. If the action matches the words, the students check
YES or RIGHT on an answer sheet.
You say a command and the students write it out in English. (Asher said that this
type of assessment produces lower results)
You say a command and the students draw it out.
You say a command and the students act it out. (This is time consuming)
Logical/Illogical sentences: You say a command and the students need to
determine if the command is logical or not, i.e. Turn the blackboard around.
(This one my students find extremely difficult.)
1. http://www2.vobs.at/ludescher/Ludescher/LAcquisition/total_physical_response.htm
2. https://www.fluentu.com/blog/educator/total-physical-response/
Questions for self-control
What is TPR?
There are 2 phases in the TPR learning process. Wht are
Some Benefits and Weaknesses of these methods are?
How often do you use it?
What are the formal assessments of this method?
The communicative approach
The term "Communicative Language Teaching" (CLT) means different things to
different teachers. To some teachers, it simply means a greater emphasis on the
use of the target language in the classroom, and in particular, a greater emphasis
on orality. To other teachers, communication entails the exchange of unknown
information between interlocutors. And finally, some teachers understand
communication in the most global, anthropological terms, that is, as a culturalbond system for making meaning. Despite their various definitions of CLT, all
the module instructors seem to advocate for a communicative approach.
hat Is The Communicative Approach?
The Communicative Approach is an idea that to learn English successfully, you have
to communicate in the language, in meaningful situations, in order to see the value of
your work. The communicative approach is a tried and test method for helping a
student to acquire valuable communicative English skills, which they see true value
When a student is involved with real life communication, which is also meaningful to
them, they see value in their work. This can help a student to develop a natural
approach to language learning and vocabulary acquisition moving forward, outside of
the classroom.
The communicative approach is not just limited to real life verbal communication. It
is an approach to language learning in general. For example, a class utilizing the
communicative approach could also include the study of “authentic texts” – texts
written in the target language for a purpose other than your language studies. By
adopting the communicative approach in your English studies, you will be able to
improve on your fluency, enabling you to be more confident when interacting in
The Communicative Approach is not new, it is said to have originated in Britain in the
1960s. So, with more than 50 years of usage as a tried and tested approach to
language learning, the Communicative Approach is a proven success.
Practising question forms by asking learners to find out personal information about
their colleagues is an example of the communicative approach, as it involves
meaningful communication.
In the classroom
Classroom activities guided by the communicative approach are characterised by
trying to produce meaningful and real communication, at all levels. As a result there
may be more emphasis on skills than systems, lessons are more learner-centred, and
there may be use of authentic materials.
What Is Communicative Language Teaching?
Communicative Language Teaching adopts the communicative approach in order to
educate a student with real meaning. Communicative Language Teaching allows
learners to get involved with real communication, which will benefit their natural
approach to learning a language. Communicative Language teaching has a very
important role. This approach to language learning enables a student to use their newfound skills in a meaningful way, showing value from what they are learning.
When teaching communicative English, teachers can get rather creative with their
approach. This is an excellent way of learning as it makes for more exciting classes, a
nice change from the typical classroom and textbooks. For example, a teacher might
give you an activity where the class has to come up with a role play scenario between
two people. This is great because not only does it help to improve your English with
creativity, but also puts pressure on you to have a real time conversation with each
other in English.
The quality of Communicative Language Teaching is all dependent on the teacher. A
teacher will need to make their material as motivating and as creative as they can, so
that learners find their tasks meaningful, and see the value.
Another way in which a teacher might try to use the communicative approach within
their classes is via cultural understanding. Having the right knowledge of a culture for
the countries where your target language is being used is key to communicative
language teaching. Make sure that you cover different, important cultural factors that
are essential to communicating in English speaking countries. For example, in
England, many people are taught to be polite and courteous, and even sometimes
apologize when they are in the right, in certain situations. Knowing details like this
will make it much easier to communicate with a native English speaker, or another
learner also studying the language.
Language learning is learning to communicate using the target language.
The language used to communicate must be appropriate to the situation, the
roles of the speakers, the setting and the register. The learner needs to
differentiate between a formal and an informal style.
3. Communicative activities are essential. Activities should be presented in a
situation or context and have a communicative purpose. Typical activities of
this approach are: games, problem-solving tasks, and role-play. There should be
information gap, choice and feedback involved in the activities.
4. Learners must have constant interaction with and exposure to the target
5. Development of the four macroskills – speaking, listening, reading and
writing – is integrated from the beginning, since communication integrates the
different skills.
6. The topics are selected and graded regarding age, needs, level, and students’
7. Motivation is central. Teachers should raise students’ interest from the
beginning of the lesson.
8. The role of the teacher is that of a guide, a facilitator or an instructor.
9. Trial and error is considered part of the learning process.
10. Evaluation concerns not only the learners’ accuracy but also their fluency.
Main Features and Techniques:
Meaning is paramount.
Dialogues, if used, enter around communicative functions and are not normally
3. Contextualization is a basic premise. (Meaning cannot be understood out of
context. Teachers using this approach will present a grammar topic in a
meaningful context. Example: If the new topic to teach is Present Continuous,
the teacher will not mime the action of ‘walking’ and ask: What am I doing? I
am walking. Instead, the teacher will show, say, pictures of her last trip and tell
the students something like: I have pictures of my vacation. Look, in this picture
I am with my friends. We are having lunch at a very expensive restaurant. In this
other picture, we are swimming at the beach.
4. Language learning is learning to communicate and effective communication is
sought. (When learners are involved in real communication, their natural
strategies for language acquisition will be used, and this will allow them to learn
to use the language.)
5. Drilling may occur, but peripherally.
6. Comprehensible pronunciation is sought.
7. Translation may be used where students need or benefit from it.
8. Reading and writing can start from the first day.
9. Communicative competence is the desired goal (i.e., the ability to use the
linguistic system effectively and appropriately).
10. Teachers help learners in any way that motivates them to work with the
Students are expected to interact with other people, either in the flesh, through
pair and group work, or in their writings.
Why Is Communicative English Necessary?
If you have already been exposed to the communicative approach, then it is likely you
already know the benefits this approach can have on your English language studies,
and the value it can provide. Communicative English is important as it can help a
student to see value in their studies, in a meaningful way.
Strengthening your communication skills in English is necessary, and is a powerful
tool that can be used for business, travel or simply to have a conversation in a
different country. By improving on your communicative English, you are enabling
yourself to not only hold a conversation in your target language, but you are also
developing the required skills to go forth and develop a natural approach to language
learning and vocabulary acquisition moving forward, on your own.
With more than 1.5 billion people speaking English as either their native or second
language, we will leave it up to you to decide whether communicative English is
really necessary.
A Communicative Approach opens up a wider perspective on language. In particular,
it makes us consider language not only in terms of structures (grammar and
vocabulary), but also in terms of the communicative function that it performs. In other
words, we begin to look not only at language forms, but also at what people do with
these forms when they want to communicate with each other. For example, the form'Why don't you close the door?' might be used for a number of communicative
purposes, such as asking a question, making a suggestion or issuing an order.
Communicative Approach makesus awarethat it is not enoughto teachlearners to
manipulate the structures of the language. They mustalsodevelop strategies forrelating
these structures to their communicative functions in realsituations and real time . In
the language classroom, the language teacher as Littlewood(1981:xi) suggests must
provide learners with ample opportunities to use thelanguage themselves for
communicative purposes. We must remember that we are ultimately concerned with
the learners' ability totake partinthe process ofcommunicating through lan guage,
ratherthanwith their perfect mastery ofindividual structures (though this may still be a
useful step towards the broader goal). Hence, with this approach, it is possible to
provide language students with meaningful task practices, to improve their motivation
in language learning, to encouragenatural learningin the language environment, and to
create a context that supports learning. As Maurice puts it : If communication is to be
the product of language teaching, then it seems reason able that it needs to be included
in the process as well. To avoid doing this, is to surrender before the battle, to
withdraw from a solid approach before even giving it a try.
1. https://ontesol.com/communicative-approach/
2. https://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/article/communicative-approach
3. https://blog.tjtaylor.net/method-communicative/
Questions for sel-control
What Is The Communicative Approach?
What Is Communicative Language Teaching?
Why Is Communicative English Necessary?
What are Main Features and Techniques?
Typical activities of this approach are?
Grammar Translation Method
In the Western world, “foreign” language learning in schools was synonymous with
the learning of Latin or Greek. Latin, thought to promote intellectuality through
“mental gymnastics”, was only until relatively recently held to be indispensable to an
adequate higher education. Latin was taught by means of what has been called the
Classical Method: focus on grammatical rules, memorization of vocabulary and of
various declensions and conjugations translation of texts, doing written exercises. As
other languages began to be taught in educational institutions in the eighteenth and
nineteenth centuries, the Classical Method was adopted as the chief means for
teaching foreign languages. Little thought was given to teaching oral use of
languages. After all, languages were not being taught primarily to learn oral/aural
communication but to learn for the sake of being “scholarly” or, in some instances, for
gaining a reading proficiency in a foreign language. Since there was little if any
theoretical research on second language acquisition in general, or on the acquisition of
reading proficiency, foreign languages were taught as any other skill was taught. In
the nineteenth century, the Classical Method came to be known as the Grammar
Translation Method. Grammar-Translation Method began in Germany, or more
accurately, Prussia, at the end of the eighteenth century and established an almost
impregnable position as the favored methodology of the Prussia Gymnasien after their
expansion in the early years of the nineteenth century. The origins of the method do
not lie in an attempt to teach languages by grammar and translation, these were taken
for granted anyway. The original motivation was reformist, the traditional scholastic
approach among individual learners in the eighteenth century had been to acquire
learners a reading knowledge of foreign languages by studying a grammar and
applying this knowledge to the interpretation of texts with the use of a dictionary.
Most of them were highly educated men and women who were trained in classical
grammar and knew how to apply the familiar categories to new languages. However
scholastic methods of this kind were not well suited to the capabilities of younger
school pupils and, moreover, they were self-study methods which were inappropriate
for group teaching in the classroom. The Grammar-Translation Method was an
attempt to adapt these traditions to the circumstances and requirements of schools. Its
principal aim was to make language learning easier. The central feature was the
replacement of traditional texts by exemplary sentences. Grammar-Translation was
the offspring of German scholarship, the object of which, according to one of its less
charitable critics, was “to know everything about something rather than the thing
itself” .
At the height of the Communicative Approach to language learning in the 1980s and
early 1990s it became fashionable in some quarters to deride so-called "oldfashioned" methods and, in particular, something broadly labelled "Grammar
Translation". There were numerous reasons for this but principally it was felt that
translation itself was an academic exercise rather than one which would actually help
learners to use language, and an overt focus on grammar was to learn about the target
language rather than to learn it.
As with many other methods and approaches, Grammar Translation tended to be
referred to in the past tense as if it no longer existed and had died out to be replaced
world-wide by the fun and motivation of the communicative classroom. If we
examine the principal features of Grammar Translation, however, we will see that not
only has it not disappeared but that many of its characteristics have been central to
language teaching throughout the ages and are still valid today.
The Grammar Translation method embraces a wide range of approaches but, broadly
speaking, foreign language study is seen as a mental discipline, the goal of which may
be to read literature in its original form or simply to be a form of intellectual
development. The basic approach is to analyze and study the grammatical rules of the
language, usually in an order roughly matching the traditional order of the grammar of
Latin, and then to practise manipulating grammatical structures through the means of
translation both into and from the mother tongue.
The method is very much based on the written word and texts are widely in evidence.
A typical approach would be to present the rules of a particular item of grammar,
illustrate its use by including the item several times in a text, and practise using the
item through writing sentences and translating it into the mother tongue. The text is
often accompanied by a vocabulary list consisting of new lexical items used in the
text together with the mother tongue translation. Accurate use of language items is
central to this approach.
Generally speaking, the medium of instruction is the mother tongue, which is used to
explain conceptual problems and to discuss the use of a particular grammatical
structure. It all sounds rather dull but it can be argued that the Grammar Translation
method has over the years had a remarkable success. Millions of people have
successfully learnt foreign languages to a high degree of proficiency and, in numerous
cases, without any contact whatsoever with native speakers of the language (as was
the case in the former Soviet Union, for example).
There are certain types of learner who respond very positively to a grammatical
syllabus as it can give them both a set of clear objectives and a clear sense of
achievement. Other learners need the security of the mother tongue and the
opportunity to relate grammatical structures to mother tongue equivalents. Above all,
this type of approach can give learners a basic foundation upon which they can then
build their communicative skills.
Applied wholesale of course, it can also be boring for many learners and a quick look
at foreign language course books from the 1950s and 1960s, for example, will soon
reveal the non-communicative nature of the language used. Using the more
enlightened principles of the Communicative Approach, however, and combining
these with the systematic approach of Grammar Translation, may well be the perfect
combination for many learners. On the one hand they have motivating communicative
activities that help to promote their fluency and, on the other, they gradually acquire a
sound and accurate basis in the grammar of the language. This combined approach is
reflected in many of the EFL course books currently being published and, amongst
other things, suggests that the Grammar Translation method, far from being dead, is
very much alive and kicking as we enter the 21st century.
Without a sound knowledge of the grammatical basis of the language it can be argued
that the learner is in possession of nothing more than a selection of communicative
phrases which are perfectly adequate for basic communication but which will be
found wanting when the learner is required to perform any kind of sophisticated
linguistic task.
The positive and negative views on the Grammar Translation Method
Duff, unlike the behaviorists, has a positive view of the role of the learner’s mother
tongue in second language acquisition. He says that our first language forms our way
of thinking and, to some extent, shapes our use of the foreign language (choice of
words, word order, sentence structure, etc.). Translation helps us understand the
influence of one language on the other, e.g., areas of potential errors caused by
negative transfer from the first language. Fully aware of the interference, students will
try to avoid making such errors when performing in the second language. When errors
do occur, the students will be able to explain why and try not to make the same
mistakes again.
There are also disadvantages of this method. The first disadvantage is less
participation from the pupils. This method is teacher-oriented. The teacher has the full
authority to control the class. So, the inputs of the learning are given by the teacher
from the beginning of the lesson until the end. The pupils' job in the class is to hear to
the teacher's instruction without questioning anything. They are like silent learners.
There is no discussion or sharing opinion occurs during the lesson. As a result, the
pupils' cognitive skill and critical and creative thinking will not develop. Not only
that, the teacher also is the one to decide whether the pupils' answers are correct or
not. If the pupils do not manage to get the correct answers, the teacher will give the
correct answers to the pupils. The teacher does not even try to give the pupils another
chance to answer to the questions. They will not become autonomous learner. This is
one of the teacher-centred methods in the learning process. These skills are required
for the pupils to develop so that they will be able to understand their learning better
and manage to do well in their study. Not only that, the other disadvantage is little or
no attention given to the speaking skill. According to Brown (2001), it does virtually
nothing to enhance a student's communication ability in the language. This is because
they only do the reading and writing during the class. The pupils are not exposed to
any other skills in learning like listening, speaking and writing. These skills are vital
for the pupils in their learning. By learning a lesson with these skills, they will be able
to understand the lesson and manage to complete all the works given by the teacher. If
this situation continuously happens, it will promote to the boredom to the pupils. This
is because they keep on doing the same thing during the lesson. Primary school
children always like to have fun and doing fun things. When they are doing the same
thing during the lesson, the tendency for them to withdraw from the lesson is higher.
As a result, the lesson process will not progress well. The disturbance that occurs will
interrupt the learning process. They will also disrupt other students who wanted to
3 Compelling Reasons Why the Grammar-translation Method Still Deserves a
Place in Your Classroom?
1.It’s a good starter kit for language learning
For all its admitted limitations, the grammar-translation method is still a good way to
start the journey of any language learner.
Why? Because of its central casting of the learning of vocabulary.
2. It takes out the guessing game
The good thing about grammar rules is that they can be applied to a whole array of
contexts and situations. Sure, there are exceptions, but the rules allow you to see the
bigger picture.
The grammar-translation method, because of its focus on the rules, takes much of the
trial-and-error out of learning. Instead of needing to be divined from numerous and
varied contexts, the regulations are placed on a silver platter, where they await
They stare your students in the face and let them know if an error has been committed,
allowing them to immediately self-correct. Knowing the rules provides a certain
rationale for your students of why this word form and not the other one is used.
3. It supports that all-important reading skill
The slide of the grammar-translation method has to a certain extent had a negative
effect on the view educators and students hold of reading and writing in the target
language. Speaking and conversation skills have more often received the attention
they deserve, but sometimes this has been to the detriment of engaging with a
language’s written form.
To be able to converse in a language is definitely important, no question about that.
But the ability to read and comprehend its written form is just as
imperative – especially in today’s world. Having that ability just makes everything
easier. Imagine a tourist pushing to no avail a door that clearly says, “Pull.” But
written language isn’t just for tourists who need to look at road signs or scan a menu,
it’s for every language learner.
The most relevant principles of this method can be summarized as follows:
– It emphasizes the study and translation of the written language, as it is considered
superior to spoken language.
– Reading and writing are the main language skills.
– The student's native language is the medium of instruction and used as well to
compare with the language studied.
– The structural patterns of two languages are compared and this comparison makes
learning more clear and firm.
– The fundamental principle of proceeding from known to unknown is followed
– Successful learners are those who translate each language into the other, though
they cannot communicate orally.
– Students have to know verb conjugations and other grammatical paradigms.
– The knowledge of rules helps the learners to avoid any types of mistakes.
– Teachers play an authoritarian role in the classroom and the predominant interaction
is between teacher-student.
The Grammar-Translation Method focuses on the teaching of the foreign language
grammar through the presentation of rules together with some exceptions and lists of
vocabulary translated into the mother tongue. Translation is considered to be the most
important classroom activity. The main procedure of an ordinary lesson follows this
plan: a presentation of a grammatical rule followed by a list of vocabulary and,
finally, translation exercises from selected texts.
Other activities and procedures can be the following: answering comprehension
questions on the text; students find antonyms and synonyms words in the text;
vocabulary is selected from the reading texts and memorized; sentences are formed
using new words; fill-in-the-blank exercises; writing compositions on the topic.
This method has a number of advantages given below:
1. By telling the meaning of the word or sentence in mother tongue, the teacher can at
once make the students understand.
2. The students are able to learn many items of English by comparison with mother
3. The comprehension of the students can be tested very easily.
4. Knowledge is acquired gradually, by traversing the facts of language and the
syntactic mechanisms, going from simplest to the most complex.
5. Learning grammar, the students examine the texts developing awareness that
language constitutes a system which can be analyzed.
There are some very obvious disadvantages of this method:
1. No account of present-day language usage is presented. Norms are imposed from
the great literary authors.
2. Secondary grammatical points, lists of forms and examples receive a lot of
attention; some definitions and explanations are often incoherent because of their
heterogeneous criteria. Thus, facts about the language are confusing for the students.
3. It gives a predominant place to morphology but neglects syntax. Therefore, rules
enabling the learners to construct systematically correct complex sentences are not
4. Translations are often unsatisfactory as they are done word by word.
5. Students have to learn a lot of grammatical terms and too much weight falls on their
memories. Frustration on the part of students and lack of demands on teachers are the
effects of this method.
1. http://www.onestopenglish.com/methodology/methodology/teaching-approaches/teachingapproaches-the-grammar-translation-method/146493.article
2. https://www.ukessays.com/essays/english-language/the-grammar-translation-methodcommunity-language-learning-english-language-essay.php
3. https://www.talktocanada.com/blog/tag/grammar-translation/
Questions for self-control
Why the Grammar-translation Method Still Deserves a Place in Your
The positive and negative views on the Grammar Translation Method are?
This method has a number of advantages there are...
The most relevant principles of this method can be....
What is the background of this method?
Teaching Listening skills
The importance of listening in language learning can hardly be overestimated.
Through reception, we internalize linguistic information without which we could not
produce language. In classrooms, students always do more listening than speaking.
Listening competence is universally "larger" than speaking competence. So, the
teachers consider some specific questions about listening comprehension:
What are listeners "doing" when they listen?
What factors affect good listening?
What are the characteristics of "real-life" listening?
What are the many things listeners listen for?
What are some principles of designing listening techniques?
A. The Importance of Listening
1. Listening is the most common communicative activity in daily life: "we can expect
to listen twice as much as we speak, four times more than we read, and five times
more than we write." (Morley, 1991, p. 82)
2. Listening is also important for obtaining comprehensible input that is necessary for
language development.
B. What is involved in listening comprehension?
speech perception (e.g., sound discrimination, recognize stress
patterns, intonation, pauses, etc.)
word recognition (e.g., recognize the sound pattern as a word, locate
the word in the lexicon, retrieve lexical, grammatical and semantic
inforamtion about the word, etc.)
sentence processing (parsing; e.g., detect sentence constituents,
building a structure frame, etc.)
construct the literal meaning of the sentence (select the relevant
meaning in case of ambiguous word)
hold the inforamtion in short-term memory
recognize cohesive devices in discourse
infer the implied meaning and intention (speech act)
predict what is to be said
decide how to respond
Conclusion: listening is not a passive process. It involves both bottom-up and topdown processes and requires the use of non-linguistic as well as linguistic knowledge.
C. Principles of Teaching Listening
1. Listening
should receive primary attention in the early stage of ESL instruction.
2. Maximize the use of material that is relevant to students' real life.
3. Maximize the use of authentic language.
4. Vary the materials in terms of speakers' gender, age, dialect, accent, topic, speed,
noice level, genre,
5. Always ask students to listen with a purpose and allow them to show their
comprehension in a task.
6. Language material intended to be used for training listening comprehension should
never be presented visually first.
A. Listening
and Performing Actions and Operations
1. drawing a picture, figure, or design
2. locating routes of specific points on a map
3. selecting or identifying a picture of a person, place, or thing from description
4. performing hand or body movements as in songs and games such as "Simon Says"
or "Hokey Pokey"
5. operating a piece of equipment, such as a camera, a recorder, a microwave oven, a
pencil sharpener
6. carrying out steps in a process, such as steps solving a math problems, a science
experiment, a cooking sequence.
B. Listening and Transferring Information
1. listening and taking a telephone or in-person message by either transcribing the
entire message word-for-word or by writing down notes on the important items
2. listening and filling in blanks in a gapped story game (in order to complete the
3. listening and completing a form or chart
4. listening and summarizing the gist of a short story, report, or talk
5. listening to a "how to" talk and writing an outline of the steps in a sequence (e.g.,
how to cook something, how to run a piece of equipment, how to play a game)
6. listening to a talk or lecture and taking notes
C. Listening and Solving Problems
1. word games in which the answers must be derived from verbal clues
2. number games and oral story arithmetic problems
3. asking questions in order to identify something, as in Twenty Questions
4. classroom versions of password, jeopardy, twenty questions in which careful
listening is critical to questions and answers or answers and questions
5. "minute mysteries" in which a paragraph-length mystery story is given by the
teacher (or a tape), followed by small group work in which students formulate
6. a jigsaw mystery in which each group listens to a tape with some of the clues, then
shares information in order to solve the mystery
7. riddles, logic puzzles, intellectual problem-solving
D. Listening, Evaluation, and Manipulating Information
1. writing information received and reviewing it in order to answer questions or to
solve a problem
2. evaluating information in order to make a decision or construct a plan of action
3. evaluating arguments in order to develop a position for or against
4. evaluating cause-and-effect information
5. projecting from information received and making predictions
6. summarizing or "gistizing" information received
7. evaluating and combining information
8. evaluating and condensing information
9. evaluating and elaborating or extending information
10. organizing unordered information received into a pattern of orderly
relationship – chronological sequencing, spatial relationships, cause-and-effect,
E. Interactive Listening and Negotiating Meaning Through
Questioning/Answering Routines
Question Types
1. Repetition: Could you repeat the part about ...?
2. Paraphrase: Could you say that again? I don't understand what you mean by...
3. Verification: Did I understand you to say that...? In other words you mean.... Do
you mean ...?
4. Clarification: Could you tell me what you mean by ...? Could you explain...? Could
you give us an example of ...?
5. Elaboration: What about ...? How is this related to...?
6. Challenge: What did you base ... on? How did you reach...? Why did you...?
F. Listening for Enjoyment, Pleasure, and Sociability
listening to songs, stories, plays, poems, jokes, anecdotes, teacher chat.
Developing Listening Skills
The aim of listening comprehension activities is to enable learners to understand
natural speech.
Spoken language differs in a number of respects from written language: there
is greater redundancy; it is more repetitious (a feature of interactional type speech in
particular); it contains more fillers; there is usually less cognitive content than in a
similar passage of written discourse (although there may be considerable interactive
and attitudinal content); the discourse is less structured, (e.g. discontinuous and
fragmented structures, changes of direction); cohesive devices are more difficult to
identify, there may be ungrammatical forms and unimportant words may be slurred or
Difficulties may also be caused by such features as the rate of delivery,
unfamiliar rhythm and stress patterns, the number of speakers, different registers,
strong regional accents, poor articulation, overlapping speech, emotional speech and
background noise.
Some Listening Activities
While teaching listening comprehension the following well-known activities are illustrated as follows:
Pre listening activities
While-listening activities
Post-listening activities.
While-listening activities
These activities are carried out right at the time of listening to the text. Some are
summarised and illustrated as follows:
following instructions
using a transcript
The Tape Gallery
It is a variation of jigsaw listening.
Find about ten interesting short jokes, stories, advertisements or poems (not more than
a minute long) and record yourself reading them, each onto a different cassette or CD.
Borrow two or three extra tape recorders/CD players and place them at different
locations around the room. Put two or three of your cassettes/CDs next to each
machine. Make sure learners know how to operate the machines. Then invite learners
to wander freely around the different places, changing tape/CD or location at will,
with the aim of choosing their favourite recording.
Live listening
One activity that has grown in popularity in recent years is ‘live listening’. The basic
idea is straightforward: students get to listen to real people speaking in class, rather
than to recordings. Here's a way of trying this:
When you find that your course book has a fairly dull listening text coming
up, instead of using the recording, invite a colleague with a spare five minutes
to come into your class.
Make sure the class has a clear task while listening, e.g. to note down the
main points that each speaker makes.
Sit in front of the learners and have a live ‘ordinary’ conversation on the
same topic as the book.
Guest stars
Prepare notes for a short monologue in character. In class, announce that a
guest star is coming today, but don't say who is. Go out of the room and return 'in
character' (or invite another colleague in). The 'guest' then chats naturally for a minute
or two in character, about her/his life, a typical day, feelingss, etc.The learners should
listen to and not shout out who they think he/she is, but instead write down their
guess. At the end of the monologue let them compare their guesses in small groups
(giving reasons) and then check with you. When they know who the guest is, they
could briefly ask a few more interview questions to the character. Repeat the activity
with different ‘guests’ as a regular slot in your lessons (Maybe students could play the
‘guest’, too).
2. http://www.tesol.org/docs/books/bk_ELTD_Listening_004
3. https://busyteacher.org/14411-how-to-teach-listening-skills-best-practices.html
Questions for self-control
What is involved in listening comprehension?
What are some principles of designing listening techniques?
What are Principles of Teaching Listening?
The aim of listening comprehension activities is....
What kind of problems can listeners have?
Teaching Speaking Skills
Teaching Speaking Skills
Communication involves the use of four language skills:
listening and speaking in oral communication
reading and writing in written communication.
The sender of the message uses speaking or writing skills to communicate ideas, the receiver uses
listening or reading skills to interpret the massage. The skills used by the sender areproductive and
those used by the receiver are receptive (or interpretive).
Developing Oral Communication Skills
Developing oral communication skills attention should be concentrated on the following main
syllabus requirements
language and speech
physiological and linguistic characteristics of speech
ways of creating situations
prepared, unprepared and inner speech
types of exercises.
Language and Speech
Language refers to the linguistic system. It is a system of forms, which any speaker
possesses. It enables him to produce meaningful sentences.
Speech is the activity of using a language system for communicative purposes in real
situation. We should seek methods of teaching not language so much, as
communication through the language.
Psychological Characteristics of Speech
Speech must be motivated.
The speaker should have inner motivation, a desire, a necessity to say sth. to someone.
Motive is the factor, which incites a person’s will to do or say sth. When we speak we
want either to say sth to someone or get information from someone about sth.
important. Pupils should have a necessity, desire to express their thoughts and
feelings, to inform the hearer of sth. Interesting, important or to get information. Their
speech should be stimulated (by the teacher).
Speech is always addressed to an interlocutor.
We don’t speak when there is no one to address the speech. Teaching oral language
pupils should address, speak to someone, to their classmates, to the class, to the
teacher. They should interact.
Linguistic Characteristics of Speech
Oral language as compared to written language is more flexible. It is relatively free
and is characterized by some peculiarities in vocabulary and grammar. We don’t teach
pupils colloquial English. That’s why oral language taught in schools is close to
written language standards and especially its monologic forms.
Linguistic peculiarities of dialogue are as follows:
The use of incomplete sentences (ellipses) in response: e.g. Where do you live? - In
Yerevan. How many books do you have? – One.
The use of contracted forms: doesn’t. won’t, haven’t, can’t
The use of some abbreviations: lab, bike, math’s, fridge, comp, etc.
The use of conversational tags. These are the words the speaker uses when he/she
wishes to speak without saying anything: e.g of course, perhaps, surely, etc.
Prepared and Unprepared Speech
Pupils’ speech whether it is a monologue or dialogue may be of 2 kinds: prepared and
When the pupils are given enough time to think over the content and form of his
speech. it is prepared speech. He can speak on the subject following the plan made
either independently at home or in class under the teacher’s supervision. His speech
will be more or less correct and sufficiently fluent since plenty of preliminary
exercises had been done before.
When the pupil speaks without any previous preparation, his speech is unprepared and
he can:
speak on a subject suggested by the teacher
speak on the text read (summarize or give content)
discuss problems touched upon in the text read or heard
help a “foreigner”, e.g. to find the way to some place.
1. Principles for Designing Speaking Techniques
2. Techniques should be intrinsically motivating.
3. Provide appropriate feedback and correction.
4. Capitalize on the natural link between speaking and listening.
5. Give students opportunities to initiate oral communication.
6. Encourage the development of speaking strategies.
Types of Classroom Speaking Performance
Transactional (dialogue)
Interpersonal (dialogue)
Teaching Two Forms of Speaking
There exist two forms of speaking: monologue and dialogue: Each form has its peculiarities,
which should be taken into consideration.
In teaching monologue 3 stages are distinguished:
1. The statement level
The smallest speech unit is sentence. No speech is possible until pupils learn how to
make up sentences in the foreign language and how to make statements on the topic or
situation suggested.Pupils are given sentence patterns to assimilate. The sentence
pattern is filled with different words, so that pupil assimilates it:e.g. I can see a …
(blackboard picture)
I am fond of… (the pupils repeat + music) Teaching
Dialogue Dialogue is a conversation between 2 interlocutors. It is always situational
and emotionally coloured.
Dialogue is generally unprepared. Sometimes it can be both prepared and planned as
To carry on a dialogue pupils need words and phrases to start a conversation, to join
it, to confirm, to argue, to reject, to invite, to comment and so on:I’d like to tell you;
and what about; I hope; I mean to say; thank you; I’m sorry; don’t mention it; good
luck etc. – These phrases make dialogues more lively and emotional.
2. Organizing Communicative Activities
One virtual component of communicative ability is strategic competence, which
requires suitable classroom activities. The activities should be developed in situation
where the learner must whish and be able to engage in communication.
Real satisfaction and confidence are achieved through successful communication. So
the learners must be involved in tasks suited to their interest and linguistic
development. and facilitated by the proper game activities.
A variety of activities to promote the development of speaking skills: dialogues, role
play, simulation, the learner can speak personally in the classroom situation, to know
each other better. They exchange information, express feelings and values through
interviews, surveys, games etc and this way they become involved in discussions,
story telling and different projects.
Here are examples of some popular general types of communicative activities. In
every case, we are primarily concerned with enabling and encouraging
3. Picture difference tasks
In pairs, one student is given picture A, one picture B. Without looking at the other picture, they have
to find the differences (i.e. by describing the pictures to each other).
Group planning tasks
The first example is 'planning a holiday'. Collect together a number of
advertisements or brochures advertising a holiday. Explain to the students that they
can all go on holiday together, but they must all agree on where they want to go.
Divide the students into groups of three and give each group a selection of this
material. Their task is to plan a holiday for the whole group (within a fixed budget per
Allow them a good amount of time to read and select a holiday and then to prepare a
presentation in which they attempt to persuade the rest of the class that they should
choose this holiday.
When they are ready, each group makes their presentation and the class discusses and
chooses a holiday.
List sequencing tasks (also known as 'Ranking tasks’) Prepare a list of items that learners can
discuss and place in a particular order according to their opinions, e.g.
What's the most useful invention?
What's the best improvement that could be made to our town?
What are the worst programmes on TV?
Who's the most important person of the last 100 years?
What are the qualities of a good language course?
Pyramid discussion
A Pyramid discussion is an organizational technique that works particularly well
with simple problem-based discussions and especially with item-selection tasks, e.g.
'What are the four most useful things to have with you if you are shipwrecked on a
desert island?', or list sequencing tasks, e.g. 'Put these items in order of importance'.
Here's how to do it:
Introduce the problem, probably using a list on the board or on handouts.
Start with individual reflection – learners each decide what they think might
be a solution.
Combine individuals to make pairs, who now discuss and come to
an agreement or compromise. If you demand that there must be an
agreed compromise solution before you move on to the next stage, it will
significantly help to focus the task.
Combine the pairs to make fours; again, they need to reach an agreement.
Join each four with another four or – in a smaller class – with all the others.
Role Play, Real Play and Simulation
The term "Role play" is generally used to refer to a wide range of practice and
communicative activities. Some of the controlled or guided dialogues, especially cued
dialogues, might be considered as an introduction to role play These prepare learners
to take part in role play activities which require greater spontaneity and fluency. Role
play activities vary in the degree of control over how learners act and speak. The
interaction may be controlled by cues or guided by a description of a situation and a
task to be accomplished. The result may be very predictable or an open-ended
scenario may allow learners to negotiate the outcome in the course of the activity.
Simulations may involve learners in imaginative activities, for example how to
survive on a desert island in the face of various dangers and difficulties, or, more
realistically, in accomplishing a task such as preparing the front page of a newspaper,
a publicity campaign, or a radio/TV programme. Participants may also be placed in a
situation of conflict where teams take on roles to defend or oppose a proposal before a
decision is taken, e.g. whether or not to build a nuclear power plant, to abolish beauty
contests, and so on.
Real-play. In this case, situations and one or more of the characters are drawn not
from cards, but from a participant's own life and world. Typically, one of the learners
plays him/herself. This person explains a context (e.g. from his/her work life) to other
learners, and then together they recreate the situation in class. The real-play technique
allows learners to practise language they need in their own life
1. https://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/article/teaching-speaking-skills-1
2. Gudu, O. Benter, (2010). A study of The 2002 Integrated Approach to Instruction of Speaking
Skills in English: A Case of Secondary Schools in Eldoret Municipality- Kenya. Unpublished
Masters Thesis, Moi University Press.
3. A. Heba, (2015). Improving Students’ English Speaking Proficiency in Saudi Public Schools.
International Journal of Instruction Vol. 8, No. 1 Jan 2015.
Teaching Reading Skills
What is reading?
Reading is one of the main skills that a pupil must acquire in the process of mastering
a foreign language in school. Reading is about understanding written texts. It is a
complex activity that involves both perception and thought. Reading consists of two
related processes: word recognition and comprehension. Word recognition refers to
the process of perceiving how written symbols correspond to one’s spoken language.
Comprehension is the process of making sense of words, sentences and connected
text. Readers typically make use of background knowledge, vocabulary, grammatical
knowledge, experience with text and other strategies to help them understand written
text. Through reading in a foreign language the pupil enriches his knowledge, of the
world around him. He gets acquainted with the countries where the target language is
spoken. Teaching reading is very important, because it helps to develop others skills:
speaking and writing. This theme is very relevant, because sometimes in school
teachers don’t develop this skill right way, and spare a little time for.
How to Teach Reading Comprehension – Video & Lesson Transcript | Study.com
The content of teaching reading.
Reading is a complex process of language activity. As it is closely connected with the
comprehension of what is read, reading is a complicated intellectual work. It requires
the ability on the part of the reader to carry out a number of mental operations:
analysis, synthesis, induction, deduction, comparison.
Reading in the classroom has the following stages:
Pre-reading to activate their knowledge;
While-reading to develop their strategies such as deducing meaning, locating
specific information, understanding relations between sentences;
Post-reading to check comprehension.
The following are some of the many uses of pre-reading activities:
Motivating and setting purposes for reading;
Activating and building background knowledge;
Relating the reading to students’ lives;
Pre-teaching vocabulary and concepts;
Pre-questioning, predicting, and direction setting.
Sample pre-reading activities:
Brainstorm (When? Where? Who? What? Why?)
Discuss the type of text (if it is a newspaper article, spend considerable time
discussing facts and opinions)
Predict based on the title, later confirming their guesses during the while stages of
Read the first line of each paragraph and try to predict a title or theme for each one
Ask students to relate the phenomenon to their personal lives, to provide examples
activating personal knowledge
Activating prior knowledge on news consumption habits in the form of a class
discussion or group work. Sample beginning questions: How do you get the news
– from radio, TV, newspaper, Internet?
Predicting what the text is about according to the external text features: the
picture, the title in the bold, the subtitle, the type of the text.
Using the title, subtitles, and divisions within the text to predict content and
organization or sequence of information.
Looking at pictures, maps, diagrams, or graphs and their captions
Talking about the author’s background and usual topics
Skimming to find the theme or main idea and eliciting related prior knowledge
Reviewing vocabulary or grammatical structure
Reading over the comprehension questions to focus attention on finding that
information while reading.
Pupil’s mistakes and ways how to correct them.
In teaching pupils to read the teacher must do his best to prevent mistakes. We may,
however, be certain that in spite of much work done by the teacher, pupils will make
mistakes in reading. The question is who corrects their mistakes, how they should be
corrected, when they must be corrected.
Our opinion is that the pupil who has made a mistake must try to correct it himself. If
he cannot do it, his classmates correct his mistake. If they cannot do so the teacher
corrects the mistake. The following techniques may be suggested:
The teacher writes a word (e. g., black) on the blackboard. He underlines ck
in it and asks the pupil to say what sound these two letters convey. If the
pupil cannot answer the question, the teacher asks some of his classmates.
They help the pupil to correct his mistake and he reads the word.
One of the pupils asks: What is the English for “черный”? If the pupil
repeats the mistake, the "corrector" pronounces the word properly and
explains the rule the pupil has forgotten. The pupil now reads the word
The teacher or one of the pupils says: Find the word ”черный” and read it.
The pupil finds the word and reads it either without any mistake if his first
mistake was due to his carelessness, or he repeats the mistake. The teacher
then tells him to recollect the rule and read the word correctly.
The teacher corrects the mistake himself. The pupil reads the word correctly.
The teacher asks the pupil to explain to the class how to read ck.
The teacher tells the pupil to write the word black and underline ck. Then he
says how the word is read.
There are some other ways of correcting pupils' mistakes. The teacher should
use them reasonably and choose the one most suitable for the case.
Another question arises: whether we should correct a mistake in the process
of reading a passage or after finishing it. Both ways are possible. The
mistake should be corrected at once while the pupil reads the text if he has
made it in a word which will occur two or more times in the text. If the word
does not appear again, it is better to let the pupil read the paragraph to the
end. Then the mistake is corrected.
A teacher should always be on the alert for the pupils' mistakes, follow their
reading and mark their mistakes in pencil.
Silent reading. In learning to read pupils widen their eyespan. They can see
more than a word, a phrase, a sentence. The eye can move faster than the
reader is able to pronounce what he sees. Thus reading aloud becomes an
obstacle for perception. It hinders the pupil's comprehension of the text. It is
necessary that the pupil should read silently. Special exercises may be
suggested to develop pupils' skills in silent reading. For instance, "Look and
say, read and look up." (M. West) To perform this type of exercises pupils
should read a sentence silently, grasp it, and reproduce it without looking
into the text. At first they perform such exercises slowly. Gradually the teacher limits
the- time for the pupils' doing the exercises.
Assessment of classroom reading and writing skills
Understand validity, reliability, and normative comparisons in test design and
Identify varied purposes and forms of assessment (e.g., group comparison,
measurement of progress, program evaluation, informing classroom instruction,
individual diagnostic assessment)
Interpret grade equivalents, percentile ranks, normal curve equivalents, and
standard scores
Administer several kinds of valid instrumentsInterpret student responses in
comparison to benchmark cognitive and linguistic skills appropriate for age and
a. graded word lists for word recognition
b. phoneme awareness and phonic word attack inventories
c. a qualitative spelling inventory
d. measures of fluency and accuracy of oral and silent reading
e. a structured writing sample
f. inventories of graded paragraphs for comprehension
Use information for instructional planning and classroom grouping. Use several
kinds of assessment to measure change over time.
Conclusion 1: Successful beginning readers possess a set of foundational skills that
enable them not only to continue growing as readers but also to progress in all
academic subjects. A variety of instructional approaches that address these
foundational skills can be effective when used by teachers who have a grounding in
the foundational elements and the theory on which they are based.
The importance of those foundational skills supports conclusions about what is most
important in the preparation of teachers of reading:
Conclusion 2: It is plausible that preparation in the nature of the foundational reading
skills and research-based instructional approaches would improve teachers’ practice to
a degree that would be evident in learning outcomes for their students. However, there
is currently no clear evidence that such preparation does indeed improve teacher
effectiveness or about how such preparation should be carried out.
Conclusion 3: There are very few systematic data about the nature of the preparation
in reading that prospective teachers receive across the nation. The limited information
that exists suggests that the nature of preparation of prospective teachers for reading
instruction is widely variable both across and within states.
Conclusion4: Little is known about the best ways to prepare prospective teachers to
teach reading. Systematic data are needed on the nature and content of the coursework
and other experiences that constitute teacher preparation in reading.
Systematic data would make it possible to monitor and evaluate teacher preparation in
reading and to conduct research on the relative effectiveness of different preparation
approaches. The kind of data collection and effectiveness research we envision would
be focused in particular on preparation related to the foundational reading skills and
the instructional approaches that have been shown to be effective in teaching reading.
Examples of the sorts of research that are most needed include
Suggested Citation:
investigations of the development of teachers’ knowledge and skills as they
progress from novices to accomplished reading teachers;
expansion of the array of tools for investigating the relationship between features
of teacher education and teachers’ preparedness to teach;
efficacy studies and scale-up studies that use experimental or quasi-experimental
methods and measures; and
investigations of outcomes for teachers exposed to particular coursework and
Camborne, B. (2000). Conditions for Literacy Learning – Turning Learning Theory into
Classroom Instruction: A Mini Case Study. The Reading Teacher, 54, 4, 41–417.
5. Keehn, S., Harmon, J., & Shoho, A. (2008). A study of readers theater in eighth grade: Issues
of fluency, comprehension, and vocabulary. Reading & Writing Quarterly, 24(4), 335–362.
6. Young, C. J. (2013). Repeated readings through readers theater. In Rasinski, T., & Padak, N
(Eds.). From fluency to comprehension: Powerful instruction through authentic reading. New
York, NY: Guilford Press.
Questions for self-control
How can divelope and improve reading skills?
What is it reading?
Pupil’s mistakes and ways how to correct them. In a few
words how we can do it?
How to reach good reading comprehension? Your ideas...
How we should assessment of classroom reading and
writing skills?
Teaching Writing Skills
Writing is becoming an increasingly important skill in today’s
Good writing conveys a meaningful message and uses English well, but the message
is more important than correct presentation. If you can understand the message or
even part of it, your student has succeeded in communicating on paper and should be
praised for that. For many adult ESL learners, writing skills will not be used much
outside your class. This doesn't mean that they shouldn't be challenged to write, but
you should consider their needs and balance your class time appropriately. Many
adults who do not need to write will enjoy it for the purpose of sharing their thoughts
and personal stories, and they appreciate a format where they can revise their work
into better English than if they shared the same information orally.
Two writing strategies you may want to use in your lessons are free writing and
revised writing. Free writing directs students to simply get their ideas onto paper
without worrying much about grammar, spelling, or other English mechanics. In fact,
the teacher can choose not to even look at free writing pieces. To practice free writing,
give students 5 minutes in class to write about a certain topic, or ask them to write
weekly in a journal. You can try a dialog journal where students write a journal entry
and then give the journal to a partner or the teacher, who writes another entry in
response. The journals may be exchanged during class, but journal writing usually is
done at home. The main characteristic of free writing is that few (if any) errors are
corrected by the teacher, which relieves students of the pressure to perform and allows
them to express themselves more freely.
Revised writing, also called extended or process writing, is a more formal activity in
which students must write a first draft, then revise and edit it to a final polished
version, and often the finished product is shared publicly. You may need several class
sessions to accomplish this. Begin with a pre-writing task such as free writing,
brainstorming, listing, discussion of a topic, making a timeline, or making an outline.
Pairs or small groups often work well for pre-writing tasks. Then give the students
clear instructions and ample time to write the assignment. In a class, you can circulate
from person to person asking, "Do you have any questions?" Many students will ask a
question when approached but otherwise would not have raised a hand to call your
attention. Make yourself available during the writing activity; don't sit at a desk
working on your next lesson plan. Once a rough draft is completed, the students can
hand in their papers for written comment, discuss them with you face to face, or share
them with a partner, all for the purpose of receiving constructive feedback. Make sure
ideas and content are addressed first; correcting the English should be secondary.
Finally, ask students to rewrite the piece. They should use the feedback they received
to revise and edit it into a piece they feel good about. Such finished pieces are often
shared with the class or posted publicly, and depending on the assignment, you may
even choose to 'publish' everyone's writing into a class booklet.
Tactful correction of student writing is essential. Written correction is potentially
damaging to confidence because it's very visible and permanent on the page. Always
make positive comments and respond to the content, not just the language. Focus on
helping the student clarify the meaning of the writing. Especially at lower levels,
choose selectively what to correct and what to ignore. Spelling should be a low
priority as long as words are recognizable. To reduce ink on the page, don't correct all
errors or rewrite sentences for the student. Make a mark where the error is and let the
student figure out what's wrong and how to fix it. At higher levels you can tell
students ahead of time exactly what kinds of errors (verbs, punctuation, spelling, word
choice) you will correct and ignore other errors. If possible, in addition to any written
feedback you provide, try to respond orally to your student's writing, making
comments on the introduction, overall clarity, organization, and any unnecessary
Consider the following ideas for your writing lessons.
Types of Tasks. Here are some ideas for the types of writing you can ask your
students to do.
Format – clarify the format. For an essay, you may specify that you want an
introduction, main ideas, support, and a conclusion. For a poem, story, list, etc.,
the format will vary accordingly, but make sure your students know what you
Copying text word for word
Writing what you dictate
Imitating a model
Filling in blanks in sentences or paragraphs
Taking a paragraph and transforming certain language, for example changing all
verbs and time references to past tense
Summarizing a story text, video, or listening clip (you can guide with questions or
Making lists of items, ideas, reasons, etc. (words or sentences depending on level)
Writing what your students want to learn in English and why
Writing letters (complaint, friend, advice) – give blank post cards or note cards or
stationery to add interest; you can also use this to teach how to address an
Organizing information, for example making a grid of survey results or writing
directions to a location using a map
Reacting to a text, object, picture, etc. – can be a word or whole written piece
Model – Provide a model of the type of writing you want your students to do,
especially for beginners.
Editing – Consider giving students a checklist of points to look for when editing
their own work. Include such things as clear topic sentences, introduction and
conclusion, verb tenses, spelling, capitalization, etc.
Correction – Minimize the threatening appearance of correction. Instead of a red
pen, use green or blue or even pencil, as long as it's different from what the student
used. Explain to the students that you will use certain symbols such as VT for verb
tense or WO for word order, and be very clear whether a mark (check mark, X,
star, circle) means correct or incorrect as this varies among cultures.
Check out these tips and ideas to encourage your teenage learners to improve their writing skills.
Before writing.
Having something to say
Writing in any language is so much easier if you have something to say. When it
comes to getting our teens writing, that means helping them to think of ideas and
shape these ideas into a plan before they begin writing. Here are a few activities to
help your learners come up with ideas before they write.
Before starting a piece of writing such as an opinion essay or a ‘For and against’
essay, it can be useful for learners to argue different points of view about the topic.
Learners work in two groups (a ‘for’ group and an ‘against’ group) and come up with
a list of reasons for or against a particular topic in their respective groups. Then, in
pairs, they talk to someone from the other group and try and convince them of their
opinions. In this case, they may be putting forward opinions they don’t necessarily
share, but this will help them think of both sides of the argument and produce a more
balanced piece of writing.
Roleplay is also effective before story writing. Learners act out a roleplay between
two or more of the characters from the story. This will help them to shape the
character, think of details about their situation, opinions and what happens to them in
the story
Speedwriting helps learners jot down all the ideas and information they have about a
subject. They write continuously about a certain topic for three minutes. The aim is to
get ideas down on paper, rather than worrying about the accuracy of their writing.
After three minutes, learners stop writing, read what they have written and summarise
it in one sentence. This helps them think about how to write topic sentences. A topic
sentence is the first sentence in a paragraph that introduces the main idea of that
An alternative speedwriting task is the ‘Chatroom’. Learners work in pairs and write
to each other as if they were chatting online about a certain topic. They write a line or
two of text on a piece of paper and when they’ve finished they say ‘Send!’ and hold it
up in the air. The teacher then ‘delivers’ it to their partner who then responds by
writing a response on the same piece of paper and then says ‘Send!’ and sends their
response to their partner via the teacher. The process is repeated as often as necessary
for a few minutes. Then learners stop chatting and read through their dialogue
together. They should have generated ideas between them and then they can read
through again and focus on their accuracy. In a big class, a more practical way of
carrying out the activity is for each learner to write to someone sitting near them and
they ‘deliver’ their own dialogue to the person they’re chatting to.
Images can help learners think of ideas for different kinds of writing tasks. If learners
are going to write a story, images can help them think about the setting and the
characters as well as the storyline. Learners work in pairs to describe pictures using as
much variety of language as possible. To encourage them to think of related words
and synonyms, one learner says a sentence to describe the picture and their partner has
to say the same thing in a different way or has to add extra detail to the sentence.
Perhaps the image represents two of the characters in the story. Learners could
imagine the conversation between the characters and begin their story with the
dialogue or build it into the story.
Images can help learners think of ideas for an opinion or a ‘for and against’ essay. As
well as thinking about vocabulary related to the image, learners could think of all the
good and bad points about a situation in a certain image or series of images.
A story mountain
Before writing a story it is useful for learners to plan their storyline. A story mountain
can help them do this by giving them a basic story structure. Find an example of a
story mountain
At the beginning of the story they set the scene and introduce the main characters.
Then, there’s a problem and tension builds up gradually until the story reaches a key
moment. This key moment should be full of suspense and excitement and is followed
by a solution to the problem. The solution will take things back to how they were at
the beginning of the story and the experience may have taught the main characters
important lessons.
Improving writing
One of the best ways for learners to improve their writing and make it more
interesting to read is to use a wider range of lexis. Here are a few ways of extending
their vocabulary.
Madlibs is a fun activity you can use to extend learners’ vocabulary and also heighten
their awareness of parts of speech and syntax. First elicit lists of different types of
parts of speech such as nouns, adjectives, verbs and adverbs. Take some words out of
a short text and number and categorise the gaps in the text, for example 1 = noun, 2 =
adjective, 3 = verb, etc. or you may need to be more specific and say what kind of
noun or adjective is missing, for example 4 = body part (plural), 5 = colour.
When learners have completed their lists, they read the short text and complete the
gaps with their selection of words. The results are often very comical. You can also
focus on the word order, for example the position of the adjective in the sentence etc.
Learners can compare their completed texts with their peers’ and decide which one
works best or is the funniest.
Synonyms/antonyms page
Encourage your learners to keep a synonyms/antonyms page in their notebooks and to
add to it regularly. For example, adjectives of personality could be recorded as
opposites to help learners remember the meaning:
generous – mean
sociable – shy
talkative – quiet
hardworking – lazy
Word cards
Word cards are a great way of building up and recycling vocabulary in class. All you
need is some small index cards and a bag. On one side of the card learners write the
new word and part of speech, e.g. waiter (n), and on the other side they write a
definition or draw a picture, e.g. It’s a person who works in a restaurant and brings the
food to your table. Word cards can be used to play lots of games in class to recycle
vocabulary such as pictionary, charades or taboo. Find our more
here: http://learnenglishteens.britishcouncil.org/exams/grammar-and-vocabularyexams/word-cards
Dictogloss can also be used in class to help teens improve the quality of their writing
as it encourages them to focus on communicating key ideas clearly and accurately.
The teacher dictates a text and the learners write down key words and information as
they listen (not every word!). Then, in groups, they reconstruct the text so that the
meaning is the same as the original text. Find our more here:
As the reconstructed text doesn’t have to be the same as the original text, but should
express the same key ideas, dictogloss helps learners to develop their paraphrasing
skills and extend their vocabulary. Use short texts with familiar language on a topic
the learners are later going to write about. So, for example, before they write an
opinion essay about advertising, you could do a dictogloss activity based on a short
text about advertising.
After writing
Having an audience – reader response
Learners will be more motivated to write interesting content and think about accuracy
if they know their writing is going to be read by someone other than their English
teacher. In my experience they enjoy reading their peers’ writing and I encourage
them to write comments as if they were leaving comments on a blog or other social
networking site. They rarely leave accuracy-related comments, but give a reader
response to the content.
It’s motivating for the teacher to give learners feedback as a reader too, not just focus
on accuracy.
Correction codes
This is by no means a new idea, but I find it very effective with teens, particularly as
they often have to write in exams and need to be able to evaluate their own writing
and correct their own mistakes. Learners become more conscious of the mistakes they
make if they correct their own. There are various ways of using correction codes, but I
find the following to be the most effective.
Learners make a glossary of the correction codes you use in their notebooks (sp =
spelling, wo = word order, vf = verb form, p = punctuation, etc.). They also assign a
section of their notebook to track the mistakes they make in each piece of writing.
This way, they can see which mistakes they regularly make and consciously look out
for these particular mistakes when reviewing their work.
I indicate the part of the text where the mistake has been made and use the code to
categorise the type of mistake. I give the learners time in class to correct their
mistakes, either individually or in pairs, and I monitor and check their corrections. If
their corrections are still wrong I usually correct it for them, or give them a lot more
guidance to correct the problem. I also correct any mistakes made which I think they
won’t be able to correct themselves.
However, with higher level learners you may decide to simply indicate the sentence
which contains the mistake and see if the learner is capable of identifying and
categorising the mistake themselves.
Oh, and it’s always motivating to give positive feedback on language the learners
have used well. If they know the language they’ve used is good, they’re more likely to
use it again.
Many of us with English as our first language will remember doing spelling tests at
school, going home with a list of words to memorise. I find this an effective
technique, especially for commonly misspelt words with my teenage learners. You
can also select misspelt words from their assignments, and memorising a few words
each week on a regular basis can really help improve their spelling. Instead of
traditional spelling tests you can play games such as spelling tennis or a class spelling
bee. Learners work in pairs to play spelling tennis. The teacher says a word and they
take turns to say one letter each until they spell the whole word correctly. A spelling
bee is a class spelling competition where learners take turns to spell complete words
correctly and win points. Also, learners could make wordsearches or write anagrams
for each other.
Alison Baverstock, Publicity, Newsletters, and Press Releases, Oxford: Oxford
University Press, 2002, pp.96, ISBN 0198603843. How to generate publicity
and promotional materials through effective writing. Covers email, letters, press
releases, newsletters, and company reports.
Bailey. S. 2015. Academic Writing : A Handbook for International Students.
London and New York: Routledge.
Murray, N. 2012. Writing Essays in English Language and Linguistics,
Cambridge University Press.
Questions for self-control
What does it mean good writing skill?
What is it Correction codes?
How students can divelope writing skills?
What does it mean Dictogloss?
Advantages and disadvantages of using
games in language teaching
Teaching is the most important thing in learning process. Through teaching a
teacher can help the students to understand about the lesson given. The word
“teaching” according to Brown is “showing or helping someone to learn how to do
something, giving instruction, guiding in the study of something, providing with
knowledge causing to know or understand” The use of games in teaching English is
not, however, appropriate at all times. Using various games can help students
memorize vocabulary or grammar; it can eliminate the anxiety aroused from using a
foreign language or uncertainty about the correctness of the output. As Demes da
Cruz also states: ‘While playing language games, students can be exposed to the
target structures. However, because this is done in a context of a game, they relax and
forget that they are being watched. They often become so involved in the game that
they stop feeling anxious about their mistakes.’
At the same time overuse of games may take away the time the students can use
to be working individually, having the matter explained properly or simply working
with the language seriously. It can also create the overall class atmosphere in such a
way that it is not a real learning, making it more difficult to concentrate on studying
for serious purposes, like exams. The last consequence of overuse of games in
language teaching to be mentioned here is the fact that the students might get bored
with all the play. The reason is that students, especially students of higher secondary
schools or adults, usually do not like to be treated like little children. The teacher must
place challenge before them too, they need to have the feeling of having accomplished
something more difficult than a good game result. Having said the above, experience,
however, confirms that abandoning games in the classes of the older group age would
deprive the teaching-learning process of enjoyment, which enriches and motivates the
students. To be complete, it is also necessary to mention the teachers’ need to enjoy
their work, enjoy the classes and activities realized. ‘
Games have been applied broadly in instructing English, especially in teaching
grammar. When conducting grammar lessons, teachers utilize games or gamelike
activities to develop students‟ motivation and make the learners relaxed and eager to
take part in the lessons. The advantages of games in teaching grammar have been
demonstrated in several previous studies. Furthermore, there are many articles which
supply adequate games and activities that can be taken into consideration when
instructing grammar. This research will continue studying about four innovatory
reasons of using games in teaching grammar. First of all, games provide good
opportunities for students to use target language in real life contexts. According to
Yolageldili & Arikan students are engaged to the learning environment of target
language when participating in games. The students tend to use various language
sources to complete the given tasks, for instance, solving a problem. Moreover, games
are often designed within certain real life situations. It is true that when teachers hold
whatever games with clear objectives, students are able to get many advantages. Firstyear students are not confident enough to communicate or express ideas in English.
They are accustomed to do exercises and take note when teachers are giving
instructions. Therefore, using games is a good solution to provide students real life
contexts in which they have to interact with others in English. By this way, teachers
can use games to engage students in implementing the target language within all skills
like speaking, reading, listening and writing. Games can be easily applied whenever
necessary and appropriate, for example games can be used for warming up,
instructing new structures or revising previous language points, and even using as
follow-up activities to end a lesson. This implement supports students a lot in learning
like memorizing new words, or practicing new grammar structures effectively in
Games or game-like activities build up interpersonal relations among students.
According to Lee, games promote more interaction and group work not only among
students, but also between the teacher and students. As a matter of fact, most classes
are often divided into small groups or pairs when teachers conduct whatever games.
In this way, students have many chances to communicate with others naturally in
order to finish the games. Hence, students‟ social and emotional development may be
encouraged in the light of such positive collaboration and companionship.
Games are a great way to practice new vocabulary. They provide students a
great context in which to use their target vocabulary. Instead of going home and
memorizing word lists, they actually get to use them, which, in turn, helps them
remember more.
Games help students get rid of inhibitions when it comes to actually speaking
the language, which is a problem for many students. They find it hard to
communicate even though they know a language well enough. Games help them
be more creative and spontaneous when using the language, helping them
overcome shyness.
Games help students enhance their communication skills in general.
Communication is at the core of games. Many people think that adult students
especially should have much less trouble communicating when compared to
children, but that isn’t really the case. In facts, in many cases adults are even more
nervous to children when it comes to communication and trying new things. In a
friendly competitive environment, they become less afraid to ask questions or
reframe their own thoughts. As a result, games help them better convey their
thoughts and intentions to their teammates.
Games help keep up the levels of energy and motivation. Learning isn’t all
about learning new grammar and vocabulary, then trying to quietly decipher the
meaning of a new text. Playing a game is a nice break from that routine. The
competition boosts energy levels and sort of pushes students to make a cognitive
effort in the spirit of winning without them realizing it.
Although games are a great tool in improving oral communication skills, there may
also be some disadvantages to this method of learning.
The first thing to remember is that games should be fun, controlled fun, to be
exact. The instructor should be monitoring the progress of the game carefully in
order to ensure that the students are indeed getting all the benefits intended by the
game. Otherwise, it can become simply horseplay – too noisy and out of control.
Another thing to consider is that some students may not like games at all and
prefer other activities instead. It’s the instructor’s job to take into account the
student preferences and choose games that will benefit all participants.
So, there are many advantages of using games in the classroom’:
Games are a welcome break from the usual routine of the language class.
They are motivating and challenging.
Learning a language requires a great deal of effort. Games help students to make
and sustain the effort of learning.
Games provide language practice in the various skills – speaking, writing,
listening and reading.
They encourage students to interact and communicate.
They create a meaningful context for language use.
Through fun and apparently less demanding practice, ames increase learners‘
motivation and promote learning
Group and peer work may induce teamwork and enable successful interaction
By lowering the affective filter, games provide favourable conditions for effective
language acquisition
Through a meaningful context, students are provided with a comprehensible input
Let's classify the benefits as follows:
games lower the affective filter
they encourage creative and spontaneous use of language
they also promote communicative competence
games are both motivating and fun
games reinforce learning
they both review and extend learning
games focus on grammar in a communicative manner
Class Dynamics:
games are extremely student centered
the teacher acts only as facilitator
games build class cohesion
they can foster whole class participation
games promote healthy competition
games can be easily adjusted for age, level, and interests
they utilize all four skills
games require minimum preparation after the initial development stage
However, some of the disadvantages may be:
1) discipline issues, learners may get excessively noisy
2) straying away from the basic purpose of the game-play activity, perhaps, due to
inadequate rules instruction, resulting in playing too much and the lack of learning
3) if games are already familiar or boring, students might not get equally involved
4) some learners, especially teenagers, may find games unnecessary and childish
Games can be a very worthwhile teaching element. A successful game is successful
because for the reason that it is based on specific time allocation, it has clear
relevance to the material, there is appropriateness to all members of the class, and
ultimately, the enjoyment of the learners is increased through their actively engaging
with the language.
1. Brown, H. Douglas. 2000. Principle of Language Teaching and Learning. New York: Pearson
2. Riedle C. Web 2.0: helping reinvent education / C.Riedle, 2008. – Available
at: http://www.thejournal.com/articles/21907.
3. https://www.quora.com/Which-are-the-advantages-and-disadvantages-of-using-games-todevelop-oral-communicative-skills
Questions for self-control
The disadvantages of using games are....?
The advantages of using games are....?
How can we adapt games at our class?
What kind of games can help for memorizing vocabulary
or grammar theory?
Listening games
Listening games
These types of games concentrate on one of the crucial and most difficult parts of language learning.
Listening is usually viewed as a passive part of the lesson. In fact, it is quite the contrary. Listening
requires being very attentive and active, should it bring the desired result. In schools, listening is
often carried out in a boring and uninteresting way, using only the exercises offered by the book. To
make students enjoy listening, the teacher needs to bring it closer to them. A good way is choosing a
topic they would like to listen about or a song they like. We can use many activities using listening
not as an aim of lesson, which makes it always more stressful, but as a means to accomplish a
different task, be it completing the lyrics of a song, getting correct instructions for playing a computer
game or obtaining information about interesting people or places. In a similar way, listening games
can be used in order to maintain the students’ attention and interest. To ensure the effort put into the
listening is exploited in full, the teacher can partner the listening game with consequent postactivities.
There are hereby enclosed two examples of games aimed at improving listening skills.
Make a story
This game is best suited to small groups. While sitting in a small circle, participants are asked to
construct a story by each participant adding one line at a time (e.g. As he got off his horse, he saw a
big rabbit). This continues with each additional participant adding another line until everyone has
contributed at least two lines.
There are many variations to this game but it highlights the value of listening to others.
(from http://www.eflclub.com/elvin/publications/highmotivationlistening.html)
Draw the grid on the chalkboard (as shown on the picture above). The best way to do this quickly is
to draw the five columns of horizontal lines first, and then the vertical zigzags. Then write a different
letter of the alphabet in each hexagon.
Divide your class into two teams and nominate a student to choose a letter. From a previously
prepared word list, choose a word whose first letter matches the student's choice, and explain this
word to your class. The first team to guess the word correctly claims the hexagon and chooses to
continue either vertically or horizontally. (Mark the hexagon with a squiggle of colored chalk
corresponding to the team's color). One team must go horizontally and the other team must go
vertically. To win the game, a team must connect all the way from top to bottom, or from side to side.
The ensuing conflict as teams vie for a winning route is what makes the game so fun and exciting.
Customized lists of words can be used; textbook words from present and previous years, words that
students have written and passed to the teacher, incidental words that have come up during class
and topical or useful words that may be fun to use. If an end-of-term test is drawing near, the present
textbook words can be used, because this is most useful for review. This list also includes a
reference to the unit from which the word was taken, as occasionally students may to scan their
textbooks for the answer. This is good reading practice, it helps students remember and relate to the
word, and it helps the teacher get a feel of where more review might be needed.
English Whispers
Age/Level: Any Time: 20 minutes Players: Equal teams Preparation: A written conversation for
each team
Aim: To listen and repeat sentences
This is an adapted version of the classic game 'Chinese Whispers'. You can use this listening game
to teach a variety of vocabulary, language structures and topics. This game also helps to improve
your students' listening skills.
Put the students into equal sized teams and have each team sit down in a row.
The students sat at the back of each row are given a different conversation.
The students at the back whisper the first sentence of their conversation to the student in front of
That student then whispers the sentence to the next student, and so on down the line.
When the sentence reaches the person at the front, they stand up and write the sentence on the
If the sentence is incorrect, the sentence is whispered down the line again.
The game continues until one team has written all the sentences on the board correctly.
The student at the back of each row chooses when to whisper the next sentence. He or she could
say each sentence quickly or wait until the sentence has been written on the board.
Try to make sure that the conversations are of equal length. Five to eight sentences are ideal.
For younger learners, you can play this listening game using individual words.
It's not Musical Chairs
Age/Level: Any Time: 20 minutes Players: Individual Preparation: Audio conversations,
scripts and prepared questions
Aim: To listen for the answer to a question
For this listening game, you will need some audio conversations, audio scripts and some prepared
questions about the conversations. The conversations can come from the course book you use in
class. You may wish to use one long conversation or several short ones. This game is similar to
musical chairs.
Organize the chairs into a circle. There should be one less chair than there are students in the class.
To begin the game, ask the students a question. Then start playing the audio conversation.
The students walk around the chairs listening to the conversation.When a student hears the answer
to the question on the audio, they sit down. There may be one or several students who sit down.
At this point, pause the audio.
If it is just one student who sits down, ask them for the answer to the question.
If it is a few students who sit down, ask them to whisper the answer to you individually.
If a student's answer is correct, they remain seated.
Next, ask another question that can be answered in the next part of the audio conversation.
The students who have remained standing start walking around the chairs again until they hear the
answer to your new question on the audio.
Carry on like this until there is one student left standing. That student is out of the game.
Remove a chair from the circle. Everyone stands up and the game continues until there are only two
students competing for one chair to become the ultimate winner.
Odd One Out
Age/Level: Young learners Time: 10 minutes Players: Individual Preparation: None
Aim: To listen for words that don't belong and review vocabulary
You can use this fun listening game to practice a variety of vocabulary.
Ask the students to stand in a circle.
Explain to the students that you are going to say lexical sets of words. If they hear a word that does
not belong to that set, they must stop what they are doing.
Ask all the students to do an animal action, e.g. hop like a frog, dance like a monkey, jump like a
kangaroo, etc.
As the students are doing the action, they listen to you call out sets of words, e.g. run, speak, hear,
read, look, banana.
When the students hear a word that doesn't belong to the set, they stop doing the action, so all the
students should stop when they hear the word 'banana'.
The last person to stop is out of the game.If a student stops on the wrong word, they are also out of
the game.
Repeat with different lexical sets, e.g. nouns, adjectives, prepositions, etc.
The last student left standing wins the game.
It is a good idea to play an example round with the students before they begin the game.
To make the game harder, you can use similar sounding words.
You could also ask the students why the word doesn't belong to the lexical set when everyone has
stopped, e.g. Banana is a fruit. The other words are verbs.
Throw a Question
Age/Level: Any Time: 15 minutes Players: Individual Preparation: A ball
Aim: To listen and answer questions
This is an enjoyable listening and speaking game. You can use this game for lower-level students as
practice or with higher-level students as a review. For lower-level students, you might want to cover
the questions and answers before you play the game. For more advanced students, this game can
be used as a review of what they have studied in past lessons.
You will need a ball for this game.
Sit the students in a circle.
Tell the students that they are going to practice some questions and answers they have been
studying in class.
Start by throwing the ball to a student. When the student catches the ball, ask him or her a question.
The person who catches the ball must answer the question appropriately.
Then, that student throws the ball and you ask another question to someone else, and so on.
This game helps students with their listening skills, because they are always in suspense not
knowing who will go next.
Therefore, they have to pay attention and listen to each question.
Questions for self-control
What two ways are there for improving listening skills?
What kind of games do you use?
Which activity is the best ?
The aim of listening comprehension activities is....
What kind of problems can listeners have?
Kinetic games
Kinect is a motion sensing input device used in the Xbox 360 console consisting of
four major components: an RGB camera, 3D depth sensors, a multi-array microphone,
and built-in processing cores (Kinect for Windows, 2014). Users can employ gestures
or voice commands to operate the Xbox system interface without having to use a
handheld remote or pedal controllers. In recent years, Kinect has been applied in
numerous fields such as elderly care (Ejupi, et al., 2015; Erdoan, & Ekenel, 2015;
Doyle, Caprani, & Bond, 2015; Ofli, et al., 2016; Zhang, Conly, & Athitsos, 2015;
Zhao, Lun, Espy, & Reinthal, 2014; Zhao, & Lun, 2016), digital learning (Chye, &
Nakajima, 2012; Lee, et al., 2012; Yang, et al., 2014), etc. By applying Kinect to
digital learning, Too, et al. (2016) proposed an alternative learning method via
Microsoft Kinect. The framework proposed by them included new alternative method
of delivering subjects to physically disabled students rather than the current method.
Tsai, Kuo, Chu, and Yen (2015) focus on developing the Kinect sensorassisted gamebased learning system with ARCS model to provide kinesthetic pedagogical practices
for learning spatial skills, motivating students, and enhancing students’ effectiveness.
They conclude that the Kinect sensor-assisted learning system promotes the
development of students’ spatial visualization skills and encourages them to become
active learners. Cheong, Yap, Logeswaran, and Chai (2012) designed a cost-effective
technology (including a multi-touch interactive whiteboard and a teaching station) to
enhance the learning environment of a classroom. Their innovative use of a Kinect
camera was based on Kinect’s ability to send a fixed speckle pattern to a plane, track
the reflected infrared light sources, and carry out the necessary processing to achieve
an interactive multi-touch surface. Preliminary test results of the system indicated
superior operability and interactivity compared with those of traditional computers.
Kinetic games are very popular among all age groups. They provide for refreshment
in the class and teaching-learning process, especially at times when students are
getting tired and find it difficult to concentrate. Certainly the kinetic games need
always be joined with another activity too, be it reading, listening or speaking.
 Create environments in which learners are encouraged to discover and explore
concepts and skills;
 Adopt an approach which recognises the need for cognitive development, through
encouraging thinking, problem solving, fantasy and creativity;
 Accept that learners are all different, that they prefer a variety of ways of learning
and expressing themselves, and that merely listening to the teacher does not work for
many learners;
 Develop ways for learners to be active, physically, cognitively and emotionally by
creating activities that are fun, challenging and relevant to their lives in the real world
outside of the classroom;
 Encourage motivation in learners through their own enthusiasm and involvement,
and through creating activities which are naturally engaging.
Let's look some of them:
Jumping onto sheets of paper
This game can serve as practice opportunity of various pieces of vocabulary. In its
simplest form the students may jump on coloured sheets of paper according to the
colour the teacher shouts out. It may however practice more advanced parts of
language – spelling of letters with letters written on the sheets, words if pictures are
used, or even phrases if pictures of situations when the phrases are used are printed on
the sheets.
Pictures on the walls
The teacher places pictures on the walls; each picture has also a letter on it. The class
is broken into small groups, each of which receives a sheet of paper with brief
descriptions of pictures which bear letters needed for completion of a word they need
to practice. To make the activity straightforward, the descriptions are in the same
order as the letters in the target word. However, they may also be in random order to
create more of a challenge for the students. In such case, though, they should receive
more information about the target word, to be able to complete it.
Each group completes a different word so their actions do not interfere. Nevertheless,
they use the same pictures if they are looking for the same letter.
The game may be adapted by using the whole words instead of letters, in which case
the aim is to complete a sentence or a phrase. Another rule which may make the
activity more difficult might be, that each team has its assigned base with a sheet of
paper and they may not take it with them, they have to remember all they need.
For children, also real items with a letter stuck on it may be used, making it more
‘hands on’ and fun. It may help if they are in boxes so they are not seen from afar.
This game is not only kinetic, it practices reading at a large degree, vocabulary and
communicative skills.
Though it has the potential to facilitate natural interactions, Kinect needs to be
situated in combination with software and other hardware in order to fabricate
meaningful classroom interactions. Compared with IWBs (price ranges from about
US $800 to US $2,500), Kinect is relatively cheap as it costs around US $149. If the
classroom is equipped with a projector and a computer, Kinect can be regarded as an
inexpensive add-on. So far the applications for Kinect in education are still in a
developmental stage. Recently, a German company, Evoluce, utilizes Kinect depth
sensor and develops a software program, WinandI, to enable gesture control over
Windows 7 desktop, browsers, Microsoft Office and other applications. With
WinandI, teachers are flexible in terms of their positions to computers because Kinect
can actively track their movements and gestures within four meters to the screen. If
WinandI or similar software programs can be made easily accessible, most things that
can be done with IWBs can essentially be done with Kinect. However, similar to the
case of IWBs, the facilities of Kinect are largely dependent upon the software used.
So far there have been few handy software programs for teachers to create Kinectenabled contents. If Kinect comes with software for teachers to design the control
over computers, it would surely become a powerful interactive educational
technology. Based upon its facilities and preliminary applications, the following
analysis intends to depict Kinect‟s potential in two broad categories: a tool to enhance
teaching and a tool to support learning.
A Tool for Learning
As a tool to support learning, the affordances of Kinect can be analyzed in three major
aspects. First, it is a stimulating tool. One major advantage claimed in the IWB
literature concerning the benefits of learning is motivation and affect [24]. Kinect can
be integrated into simulated environments and greatly enhance their verisimilitude. If
lesson plans and interactions are carefully designed, the Kinect-enabled classroom
should have the affordances to create enjoyable and interesting interaction types to
boost student motivation. Second, another feature of Kinect to promote learning is its
multimedia and multi-sensory capacity. Kinect facilitates kinesthetic interactions and
is able to coordinate with visual and auditory information to reinforce student
learning. they are able to interact with contents physically, students can make use of
kinesthetic memory to assist recall. Not only does more information become
available, the ideas and concepts become more tangible and easier to grasp. Third,
Kinect can be used with software programs to enhance its role as a learning tool. The
idea of a learning tool aligns with constructivism, which emphasizes building
external, sharable artifacts and personal relationship with knowledge in the process of
learning [25], [26]. Educational software is designed to promote the construction of
personal representations of knowledge. Due to the fact that Kinect can gather
information from users, students can add creativity to their multimedia works by
feeding the information into the programs. In this way, Kinect can extend the varieties
of interaction types supported by the software programs and bring new features to the
multimedia works created by students. Two creativity tools, Scratch and
Mikumikudance, are demonstrated in regard to their application of Kinect.
The above analysis suggests that Kinect has great potential to enhance classroom
interactions and to ignite student creativity. Kinect technology, however, can not
stand alone in the classroom setting but needs to be integrated with a computer,
projector and software. Customized software to facilitate classroom interactions and
to create Kinect-enabled contents seems to be missing in the picture of current
technology integration. Therefore, the evaluation of Kinect as the focal classroom
technology largely depends on the future development of Kinect software. Software
needs to incorporate the design of interactive pedagogy in order to exploit its technical
interactivity. Judging from the preliminary applications, Kinect is capable of being a
tool to enhance teaching and a tool to support learning. This paper draws the
connections between Kinect and IWBs and believes that Kinect can provide better
interaction types and fulfill most of the facilities offered by IWBs. One advantage that
is absent in IWB literature is that Kinect has the facility to gather information, which
can later be fed, into student creativity tools. Its application in Scratch and MMD
serves to diversify student representations of International Journal of Information and
Education Technology, Vol. 1, No. 5, December 2011 369 knowledge. Future studies
are needed to address student creativity enabled by Kinect. In addition, due to the fact
that researchers are not yet clear about how the application of haptics and gesturebased computing improves learning, Kinect needs strong empirical evidences to
support its legitimacy as an adequate classroom technology.
Alhazbi, S. (2015). ARCS-based tactics to improve students’ motivation in
computer programming course. 10th International Conference on Computer
Science and Education, ICCSE 2015, 317–321, September 9.
Chang, Y. H., Lin, Y. K., Fang, R. J, & Lu, Y. T. (2017). A Situated Cultural
Festival Learning System Based on Motion Sensing. Eurasia Journal of
Mathematics, Science & Technology Education, 13 (3), 571–588.
Chao, K. J., Huang, H. W., Fang, W. C., & Chen, N. S. (2013). Embodied play
to learn: exploring Kinect-facilitated memory performance. British Journal of
Education technology, 44 (5), E151–E155.
Questions for self-control
What kind of kinetic games do you like?
What kind of tools should we use?
Are there any disadvantages?
Are there any benefits?
Speaking games
Speaking games
Used as a follow-up to the previous listening, it is an excellent way to re-enforce vocabulary and
expressions heard earlier. However, speaking games can be used at any time. The teacher must,
nevertheless, make sure that a form of game is maintained. That means, the main focus is not put
on the grammar (at the same time, it is an opportunity for the teacher to gather information about
what parts of grammar the students have not acquired so far), the main aim is to make speaking
and expressing ideas orally enjoyable and stress free. Once students get familiar with the
principle of speaking games, it facilitates for ability to speak also in other parts of the lesson. As
with the listening games, also in speaking ones, the teacher should concentrate on topics which
are close to the students, their environment or interests. For instance, it serves its purpose well if
the teacher avoids making students describe what they had for breakfast or describing a person
without putting it into a game-like context.
Taboo is a word game, in which one player gets the other(s) guess a certain word using verbal
explanation; there may also be a list of other words which the “explainer” must not mention. For
example, “ladder” might be the word to describe, but without saying “climb, rungs, or fire truck”
or any forms of those words. Having such a list of words makes the game more difficult,
therefore such a restriction would be used in more advanced classes.
Much like with crossword puzzles, students get practice explaining words in different ways, and
the taboo words make it more challenging and interesting. It is also easy to incorporate an
element of competition, though it may be wise to do some kind of trial run to see how your
students do; I’ve found that even relatively easy words often defy time limits, even with more
advanced students. And it can of course be de-motivating for students to keep missing the time
limit. A method of two teams working at once can be used, seeing how many words they can get
through in a set time period, rather than, say, one minute for one person to explain.
Find someone who
This is a well known language learning game where students mingle and ask each other
questions to find for which person the fact they have on their worksheet is true. This activity is
good for waking students up by getting them out of their chairs and is also good practice for
“Nice to meet you” and introductions. It can be done with real information, or, if the students
know everything about each other already, the teacher will need to give each person a role-play
card with some personal information about their “new” self, plus one worksheet with the
information they should be searching for. The ‘Find Someone Who’ worksheets can be the same
for each student or different for each person. They then stand up and go round the class asking
questions until they find out that this person is Chilean, this person is 79 years old, this person is
a seven year old film star etc, then sit down when they think they have found all the information.
As can be seen from these examples, it is possible to add a little humour by the choice of role-
play sentences. More speaking can be added to the game by students passing on all the
information they have found out so far to the person they are speaking to.
Descriptive Drawing Activity
Pair up the students and give them each a picture face down. They must describe the picture for
their partner to draw.
"Secret" Word
Students are given a random topic, and a random word completely unrelated to the topic. The
student must hide the word in their speech, without the other students in the class guessing their
"secret" word. The other students in the class must listen carefully to the speech, in an attempt to
discover the secret word.
Give each student a piece of paper with “agree” written on one side, and “disagree” on the other
side. Read aloud a controversial statement, and have each students hold up his/her paper stating
whether they agree or disagree. Choose one student from each side to explain his/her position
and participate in a short debate.
Storytelling Activity
Bring four students to the front of the classroom. Three students should sit down in a row, and
one of the students should stand behind them acting as a controller. The controller should have a
stack of cards in his hand containing nouns. The controller will hand a noun to one of the three
students who will start to tell a story. The student will continue telling the story until the
controller decides to hand another noun to another student who will then take over the story.
Face Game
If your students do not know already then first teach them the following parts of the face:
forehead, chin, ear, eye, nose, mouth. Now, ask the students to make fists with both hands and
touch their ears. On the first round, you play the role of the leader and say: ear, ear, ear –
forehead (or a different part of the face from the list above). The third time that you say ear, say
it more slowly, so that other players know that you are about to switch. When the new part is
called out (in this example, forehead), everyone must quickly move both of their fists from ear to
forehead at the same time. If anyone, including the leader, touches any part of the face other than
the forehead is the loser and takes over as the new leader. As punishment, the loser must share
their views on any subject of your choosing with the class.
Fast Food Role Play
This role-playing exercise requires two students. Ask for volunteers or select from the class. One
student will act as the manager of a fast food restaurant. The other will act as a student looking
for a part-time job. The restaurant has advertised a part-time vacancy, so the student has come
for an interview. The two should try to develop a lively yet formal conversation of the job duties,
employee benefits, and the student’s qualifications and experience before the manager reaches
his/her decision. Some useful supplementary vocabulary includes: wages, salary, personality,
official duties, and position in a job.
TV Discussion Panel Role Play
This role-playing exercise requires any number of students. Ask for volunteers or select from the
class. Each student will select and play the role of a current or historical political figure such as:
Barack Obama, Abraham Lincoln, the Dalai Lama, John Lennon, Arnold Schwarzenegger, etc.
You will acts as the host of a TV discussion panel in which each of the famous political
personalities participate. Begin the discussion by asking one of the students what they think
about the future of America. After the first student has answered, each of the other students can
give their opinions. The students should try to enliven their answers by using the person’s typical
mannerisms and accent if possible. Some useful supplementary vocabulary includes: improve,
capitalism, free market economy, thoughts, peace, and get along with one another.
Piece Together a Narrative
Copy each sentence below on a card, and give each student one or two cards in random order. The
students must memorize the sentence on their card(s) and then hand the cards back to you. The
students take turns to recite their sentence(s) to the class. After all students have spoken, the whole
class must work out the correct sentence order to make the completed narrative.
Everyone says exercise is good for your health,
but I really don’t like doing exercise.
No matter if it’s basketball or football,
all types of ball sports are just running around a field.
Think about it, after every time you run and jump, don’t you feel hot and thirsty?!
I also don’t understand why so many people like watching sports games.
Besides, does it really matter who wins and who loses!
There’s also swimming.
Of course, you won’t get hot from swimming,
but as soon as you’re not careful then you could swallow water.
The conditions aren’t good and you could die!
Perhaps it’s only dancing that’s good.
You can listen to a good song and dance at the same time;
If you want to go fast then go fast,
if you want to go slow then go slow,
it’s so much better!
Shorten or lengthen the narrative according to the number of students you have in your class.
Celebrity Name Game
Before class, prepare cards with names of well-known celebrities on them, one per student. The
names should be easily recognizable to the students. Give each student a card and ask them to
describe the person on his/her card to the class. Ask the students to add humor to their description
by using the celebrity’s mannerisms. Their description may begin with statements such as: I’m male
and over 6 feet tall. I have blonde hair. I recently married a famous singer. The rest of the class will
guess the person’s identity. Split the class into two teams to add some healthy competition. Some
useful supplementary vocabulary includes: bald, belly, blonde-haired and blue eyed, and wear
1. http://www.tefllogue.com/in-the-classroom/tefl-word-game-courtesy-of-hasbro.html
2. http://edition.tefl.net/ideas/games/speaking-games-false-beginners/
3. https://www.edutopia.org/discussion/12-fun-speaking-games-language-learners
Questions for self-control
What kind of speaking games do you know?
What is it TV Discussion Panel Role Play?
Are there any disadvantages?
Do you use Storytelling Activities?
Experiential Learning
Universities and colleges are undergoing an era of unprecedented change. Students
are dissatisfied with the old lecture style of teaching; they are the interactive
generation, used to games which require high engagement levels. Students want an
interactive, online and experiential education, one in which they can engage their
curiosity and receive feedback as to their progress.
Traditionally in institutions of higher education, learning consisted of lectures and
application of knowledge through assignments or activities. In organizational training,
seminars and modular learning components were the norm. However, we are seeing a
game change occurring, today’s generation is more experiential in their learning
approach, they are used to learning in virtual learning environments whether it be in a
video game or working with others online. There are several learning approaches that
align with today’s need for experiential learning such as active learning, problem
based learning, informed learning, discovery learning, group learning, and
collaborative learning.
Games and simulations are the natural way for humans to learn, children learn
through games and so do adults. Games provide students with an irresistible appeal to
engage with the game, to strive to improve and to desire to learn. When the game
element is included in a simulation, engagement rates of students increase.
Traditionally the closest we had to experiential learning in schools of business were
business cases.
The Use of Cases
In schools of business cases are widely used, cases have two major issues: most cases
only have 1 decision point, in other words, students read the case and make
recommendations and then, perhaps, the professor discusses the results. Cases do not
have a series of decisions that need to be made with a learning cycle between each
decision. Where each decision impacts the decision possibilities in the next decision
turn. A learning cycle between each decision increases the students learning level. As
well, students quickly learn that traditional cases do not have – a correct answer – thus
making grading of the case problematic for the professor as students can argue that
their suggested answer is as valid as the one recommended by the case author.
Simulations can be considered as the 21st century case approach. Simulations can
have multiple decision rounds with a learning cycle between each decision round.
And decisions impacted by prior decisions. In addition, simulations have metrics that
can quantifiably measure student results providing a definitive grade.
The simulation metrics can be compared with other student results providing
information as to student ability on a global scale, thus providing professors the
ability to create a world class learning environment and distinguish their courses. This
provides a clear link between learning objectives and metrics to grade student
Games and Simulations?
They align with learning objectives,
They have quantifiable learning accomplishments,
They increase engagement and desire to learn,
They provide the environment to see theory in practice,
They give students the ability to be recognized for achievement on a world basis thus
providing critical personal resume content,
They can require little or no effort additional effort by the instructor, and,
Today’s generation is already tuned to learning by playing.
What is experiential learning?
Broadly speaking, experiential learning is learning through doing – the learner is an
active participant in the educational process, not a passive witness to it. The content,
idea or concept being pursued must be largely relevant to the learner, which is why
English teachers argue for hours over which novels will be best for their individual
mix of students. Any activity must also invoke a strong emotional reaction on the part
of the learner (how strong must the emotions be for a child who finally commits to
falling off their bike another 20 times so they finally ‘get it’?). This whole process
then prompts reflection, change and action - in the form of new skills, attitudes,
mindsets or practices.
By nature, experiential learning can happen everywhere, but is perhaps most
recognisable to parents of young children. This might be in the form of a tour through
a national park or zoo, a science centre or library with a hands-on section or time
spent with a grandparent in the garden. All of which are experiences we have all
connected our children with, and through which action prompts the acquisition of
skills, knowledge and emotions.
Experiential learning activities can help students:
Remain focused — Students who are engaged and learning actively are less likely to become
bored and disinterested.
Learn differently — When students are involved in the learning process they are more engaged
emotionally, helping them experience learning in a dynamic, new way.
Learn faster — Learning firsthand requires deep problem-solving and critical thinking. These
processes boost student engagement, accelerating learning and improving content retention.
Traditional learning activities
Experiential learning activities
Learning outcomes are prescribed to a fixed rubric or
scoring system
Learning outcomes are flexible and op
Aim to explain knowledge and/or skills
by transferring information
Aim to develop knowledge and skills
through experience
Fixed structure, high degree of facilitation
Flexible structure, minimal facilitatio
How can schools promote experiential learning?
There are many ways in which schools promote intellectual change by having
students engaged in hands-on learning:
Mock-trials or debates
Organising business internships
School camps or a boarding component to campus life; here, students are
responsible for some aspects of their daily life such as cleaning, time
management and study
4. Undertaking drills to develop specific physical skills in PDHPE (Personal
Development, Health and Physical Education)
5. Community service opportunities, such as work trips to support disadvantaged
6. Study tours to international universities where students experience on-campus
life and undertake undergraduate study
7. Every film or novel study in English, where a student enters the world of the
story and lingers on the complexities of the perspective of the protagonist
8. Simulations, such as in a Business Studies class examining the factors behind
stock market fluctuations
9. Scientific experiments or open-ended inquiries to determine cause and effect
10. Case studies of urban development in Geography
11. Role-playing influential historical figures in order to understand personal
motivations in a History class
12. Interactive classroom games, such as Kahoot or Socrative
How to tell if experiential learning is being applied
Next time you’re visiting your child’s school or classroom, or are simply talking with
them about their learning while doing some homework, take a few minutes to really
observe what is happening. You may even want to use the points below as a checklist.
You’ll be surprised to see how intrinsic this approach is in what a teacher actually
Has an environment been created which is safe and comfortable, where a learner
can be confident to take bold intellectual risks in the pursuit of self-directed
2. Are students encouraged to make discoveries for themselves?
3. Are students challenged to take responsibility for their own learning?
4. Is feedback to teachers encouraged?
5. Do students understand why the lesson is beneficial to their personal lives?
6. Are extensions of both content and process sought?
7. Are the chosen learning activities relevant to the interests, lives, values,
perspectives and experiences of the individuals?
8. Is there a sense of connectedness between the classroom and the global
9. Are opportunities for quiet, contemplative reflection, where students can muse
self-criticism of one’s own learning, available?
10. Can learners be emotionally invested in what they are doing?
11. Are the learners extended beyond their personal comfort zones, whether they be
physical, social or cultural?
12. What is the class’s attitude towards intellectual risk-taking? Is failure seen as an
important part of the learning process?
Educators have long known that formal learning can often evoke limited emotional
investment in a learner, and that learning is a deeply personal experience. What takes
one learner a lesson to figure can take another an entire week to come to terms with –
or longer, depending upon the complexity of the content being taught. Coupled with
the need to prepare students to be part of a highly global workforce, good schools will
instruct students through hands-on learning activities which allow them to develop
their physical, social, cognitive, imaginative and emotional capacities.
1. http://www.experiential-learning-games.com/successfulexamples.html
2. http://www.queensu.ca/teachingandlearning/modules/active/12_exmples_of_active_learning_
3. https://www.tsc.nsw.edu.au/tscnews/how-is-experiential-learning-applied-in-the-classroom
Questions for self-control
What is it Experiential Learning?
What kind of Experiential Learning do you use?
How Experiential learning activities can help students?
Do students understand why the lesson is beneficial to their
personal lives?
How to tell if experiential learning is being applied?
Various types of games in language teaching
Almost everybody loves playing whether they are young or old. From early childhood
playing is an enormous part of most children‟s lives and it plays a big part of their
development as well. Children start playing as early as infancy but as they develop
throughout their childhood they keep playing, and as they grow up and mature the
nature of their play changes. When children enter middle childhood (6–12) their play
starts to change into games which are different from play in the sense that they are
more organized and planned, and they usually include a variation of rules and a
specific objective (Rixon. 1981. p. 3). When playing most games participants are
almost forced into communicating with each other in order for the game to work. The
need for communication during games, and the informal setting games provide
encourages students to be unafraid to talk, which practices their fluency, a valuable
communication skill. The national curriculum for foreign languages in Iceland
emphasizes the importance of learning languages and especially the importance of
communication. Because of this fact it is vitally important for teachers to create a
positive learning environment, and to try to spark interest amongst their students both
in the foreign language and culture because that is important to a successful language
learning process. Games help achieve these goals as they help satisfy the requirement
of the national curriculum that language learning should be enjoyable for students.
Various types of games in language teaching
There are many types of games the teacher may make use of. They are aimed to train different
kinds of skills desired for students to be acquired. Over the time, it is profitable to keep changing the
types of games to ensure the novelty and a surprise effect for the students. This way it is ensured
that the outcome will have the highest possible impact. An experienced teacher is also able to
recognize situation when a game is needed to be introduced to change the classroom atmosphere,
therefore has several games on hand at all times. There are many types of games the teacher can
make use of. In the following part, some of the types will be introduced, coupled with examples of
games, using the particular type of activity. However, it needs to be mentioned that no game uses
only one type of activity or practices only one skill. There are make a story, blockbusters, taboo, Find
someone who, Shouting dictations, Role-play discussion, Memory training and etc.
It is advisable to distinguish between classes we cater for when using games. Each and every class
is very specific and the teacher needs to take its characteristics into consideration when preparing
and realizing a game, in the same way the whole teaching process is (or should be) tailored to a
specific group of learners. However, it is impossible to reflect on all existing classes; therefore we
will take a closer look at using games in different types of classes, based on several criteria –
language level, age group and class size.
Using games in the process of teaching languages is not restricted for any language level classes. It
is a great tool for all levels, though it may serve different purposes and may be used in different
ways. As seen in above paragraphs, games will always help students of all levels to feel comfortable
and therefore more confident in the process of acquiring a new language. Language learning is a
difficult task and requires adopting various skills. Games are a priceless support which a teacher
may take an opportunity to use in order to help the students to succeed.
Classification of the games:
Movement games: the type of game when learners are physically active (e.g. Find your
partner). All children can be involved and the teacher usually just monitors the game. Movement
games have clearly given rules and they can be either competitive or cooperative; it depends on the
concrete game or how the teacher designs it. It is the same with the materials, for example you do
not need any material for movement game called “Direction game” (one child tells a blindfold child
how to get to a specific place). Whereas the game “Find your partner” (see page 24) requires
prepared cards. While playing movement games children practise all skills.
Board games: games played on the board in this case (e.g. Hangman). Teacher needs
whatever kind of boards (black, white or interactive board). They can be played in all types of
grouping and teacher needs to prepare some material in most of board games. Learners can
practise all language skills and they are expected to obey given rules. This type of the game can be
either competitive or cooperative; it deals with the type of grouping. Teacher can operate as a
controller, organizer, participant and facilitator.
Guessing games: based on the principle when one holds the information and another tries to
guess it (e.g. Back writing). There exists a wide variety of guessing games with teacher as a
participant or facilitator. Teacher needs to prepare none or some material and learners practise their
speaking and listening skills while cooperating. Learners follow given instruction and rules which do
not have to be strict.
Matching games: games involve matching correct pairs (e.g. Vocabulary Scramble). They need
to have material prepared. Learners cooperate to reach the goal of the game. The goal of the game
and the type of grouping can make the game cooperative (learner in pair, learners of one group,
whole class) or competitive (pair/group vs. pair/group). Reading and speaking games are practiced
the most. The teacher’s role is to be a facilitator.
Card games: familiar game with board game. The cards have an important value in the game
(e.g. What is that card?) so material is required in this case.
Desk games: these games can be played as an individual work game (e.g. puzzle) or pair and
group game (e.g. scrabble). Desk games need material and they can work both competitively and
cooperatively. For example scrabble or memory game (pexeso) are competitive games whereas
puzzle is cooperative game. It can be the competitive game thus (the rule for puzzle as a competitive
game is: the winner is who finishes the puzzle first). Teacher can be a controller and facilitator.
Role-play games: it can be either the game itself or an element of other games. It needs active
performing of the learner (e.g. At the shop) cooperating in pairs or smaller groups. Material is not
necessary but can be useful. The teacher is a controller and facilitator, he gives the instruction but
strict rules are not necessary. They practise speaking writing and listening skills.
Task-based games: belongs to popular games nowadays, especially because of its connection
with cooperative schooling. Usually pairs or groups work on meaningful task in the way they enjoy.
Learners obey clear rules and they have got a chance to practise all language skills. Teacher is an
organizer and facilitator. Teacher pre-prepares material for the game or learners prepare it
themselves later.
Computer games are a very popular type of the games nowadays. It can be played either at
school or at home. It requires individual or pair work and learners practise their reading and writing
skills. The teacher can be tutor or play none role. There are usually given clear rules and the
computer is necessary here.
When using games, teacher performs in different roles then. Each teacher has an opportunity to
involve games into their lesson and find out how it works. They can experience pros and cons of
various types of games and try out various roles of their profession as a teacher. Using games is a
difficult task but teachers could feel it like a challenge.
1. Video example / Board Race
Why use it? Revising vocabulary; grammar
Who it's best for: Appropriate for all levels and ages
How to play:
First, watch this helpful video of real teachers using this game in the classroom by BridgeTEFL:
This is best played with 6 students or more – the more, the better. I’ve used it in
classes ranging from 7–25 years of age and it’s worked well in all age groups. Here's a
step by step explanation:
Split the class into two teams and give each team a colored marker.
If you have a very large class, it may be better to split the students into teams of 3
or 4.
Draw a line down the middle of the board and write a topic at the top.
The students must then write as many words as you require related to the topic in
the form of a relay race.
Each team wins one point for each correct word. Any words that are unreadable or
misspelled are not counted.
The positive influence of the games on learning language skills is well documented.
The advantage of the game is that it can focus on more than one aspect of language.
Games can focus either on grammar, speaking, listening, and pronunciation,
vocabulary, etc. or complex of them. Philips says that “the focus should continue to
be on language as a vehicle of communication and not on the grammar….You can
give them tasks in which they discover for themselves simple grammatical rules, or
you can focus their attention on the structure of the language in order to help them
formulate an ‘internal grammar’ of their own.”
Both McCallum and Lindsay and Knight grasp the benefit of games when talking
about their usefulness because of their ability to liven up a lesson. McCallum also
highlights the informal atmosphere as one of the advantages of using game when he
says: “Students, in the informal atmosphere of game play, are less self-conscious and
therefore more apt to experiment and freely participate in using the foreign language.”
Wright, Betteridge and Buckby support the advantage of using games with their
opinion that “the essential ingredient of a game is challenge.” Krystýnková points out
another important fact; children enjoy playing games and they do not have to notice
that they clear a difficulty during playing. Kožuchová and Korčáková emphasize the
game as an element of socialization. Children have to obey the rules; they can find
their own abilities during the work on the game and compare them with other learners
what helps children with self-appraisal.
Let's summarized the advantages of using games as follows:
“Games add variety to range of learning situations.
Games can maintain motivation.
Games can refresh learners during formal learning.
Games can encourage an interest of those students whose feel intimidated by
formal classroom situations.
Games can make a teacher-student distance less marginal.
Games give an opportunity for student-student communication and can reduce
more usual student-teacher communication.
Games can act as a testing mechanism, in the sense that they will expose areas of
Group games
An example of a group game is the game “Fruit basket” which emphasizes listening,
memory and reflexes, all of which are good and necessary skills to possess. The rules
of this game are that participants sit in a circle and they all get a name of a certain
fruit to “be”. One participant does not have a chair and has to stand in the middle. He
then calls out a name of a fruit, for example an orange, and then all the students who
are oranges have to stand up and switch seats. The one in the middle has to try and
“steal” a seat while the others are switching and if he succeeds someone else will be
left alone in the middle and gets the task of calling out the name of a new fruit (Ingvar
Sigurgeirsson. 1995. p. 38). This game could easily be augmented to suit different
situations or to train some other vocabulary just by using other categories of words,
for example clothes, names of relatives, or different types of food instead of fruits.
Physical games
An example of a physical game is “Walking the line” where participants have to walk
a line and perform various types of tasks at the same time, for example walking
backwards, or balancing a book on their heads. In order to make this game more
fitting in a language classroom the teacher should give the instructions in the target
language, for example “everybody has to walk backwards”. Another example of a
physical game could be the game “Simon says”, where someone plays Simon and
gives the others orders, for example “Simon says jump” or “Simon says clap your
hands”. I categorize this game as a physical game because of the fact that the Simon‟s
orders are usually physical.
Scavenger hunt games
Savage hunt games are especially fitting in the language classroom because the clues
can be written in the target language, which forces the participants to read and fellow
team members to listen and test their understanding. Also within the scavenger hunt
could be puzzles, which the students would have to solve, such as crossword puzzles,
word searches and/or questions. The possibilities are almost endless and teachers are
only bound by the limits of their own creativity.
Educational games
The “mail game” where participants have to deliver “mail” and make sure it gets to
the right places works as an excellent example of an educational game. For languages
a good idea would be to work around a theme of a certain place, such as the home.
The first thing the teacher has to do is to make the envelopes and the “mail”. The
envelopes should be labeled with a specific genre, which in this example would be
“kitchen”, “bedroom”, “bathroom” etc. The mail should then be letters with words on
them that fit into specific envelopes, for example the word “knife” or the word
“refrigerator” would match the envelope labeled “kitchen”. Each student should then
get a certain amount of “mail” that he has to write his name on and then get to work
delivering. The first one to deliver all of his mail would win if it turned out he
delivered correctly
Bransford, J. D., Brown, A. L., & Cocking, R. R. (Eds.). (2000). How people learn: Brain,
mind, experience, and school. Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education.
2. Ellis, R. (2005). Principles of instructed language learning. Asian EFL Journal, 7 (3), 9–24.
Retrieved February 12, 2006
3. Ersoz, A. (2000, June). Six games for EFL/ESL classroom. The Internet TESL Journal, 6 (6),
retrieved February 11, 2005 from http://iteslj.org/Lessons/Ersoz-Games.html
4. https://www.gooverseas.com/blog/10-best-games-esl-teachers
Questions for self-control
What kind of Group games do you know?
Classification of the games are...?
Educational games are...?
Name some types of games in language teaching....?