At Summit Prep, in Redwood City, California, every teacher gathers real-time data—daily. They do this to gain insight into their students’ needs, informing how they teach every day. They use a variety of tools ranging from a free online personalized learning platform to Google surveys, paper assessments, and quick and easy formative assessments, like counting thumbs up and down.
School 21 develops confident students who can articulate their thoughts and learning with strategies like discussion guidelines, discussion roles, and structured talk tasks.
Over the last few decades, the use of comprehension strategies to help students read has become increasingly popular. Unlike traditional reading skills that support word reading, such as phonemic awareness and vocabulary, comprehension strategies help students become active, self-regulated thinkers about the meanings of texts that they are reading.
Skilled readers regularly employ various cognitive strategies to understand what they’re reading, and teaching this set of strategies results in significant improvements in comprehension for struggling students (Brown et al., 1996; Brown, 2008; Duffy et al., 1988; Pressley et al., 1989).
I asked a dozen teaching colleagues (identified below by their initials) for reflections on the advantages and disadvantages of using authentic materials in the classroom. From their comments – many of which were generously long and thoughtful – three main ideas emerged:
1) We need to define the term ‘authentic’ and also include in the discussion the ideas of ‘adapted’ and ‘semi-authentic’ materials.
2) Authentic materials offer great advantage over materials written for the purpose of language learning.
3) There are also many disadvantages to using them.
In the first of a short series of posts, Unlock author Lewis Lansford looks at why we should be using video in the ELT classroom.
Skype was released in 2003 and YouTube followed in 2005. The iPad was unveiled in 2010. Internet usage has increased from 16% of the world’s population in 2005 to about 40% today (nearly 80% in developed countries). My own kids – aged 8 and 10 – routinely communicate with their grandparents via video chat. For Generation V (the V stands for ‘video’, in case you hadn’t guessed), video isn’t just a passive form of entertainment, it’s also the mode of delivery for interactive communication, and for information accessed on a daily basis. Our students are accustomed to using video, and we teachers can use that to our advantage.
Last month, we hosted Gareth Davies’ webinar, ‘Making the Impossible Possible: How to get your students writing’. During the webinar and on his previous blog post, we called for questions for Gareth that we could ask him post-webinar, to delve deeper into creative writing in the EFL classroom. Here’s the full transcript of this interview:
What is your opinion on teachers writing a sample text for students to get used to writing?
This is a good question, reading and writing go hand in hand and there is evidence to suggest that the more reading a student does the better their writing will become, so in general having as much exposure to different texts can only help students.
Across the world, an educational trend is becoming increasingly popular. Subjects such as Science, Maths, Geography and Economics are being taught through the medium of English – known as English Medium Instruction, or EMI.
My definition of EMI is: “The use of the English language to teach academic subjects (other than English itself) in countries or jurisdictions in which the majority of the population’s first language is not English”. (Dearden, 2015)
The future of higher education will be dominated by distance learning and at the heart of this process will be the cell phone. This will permit higher education to be offered in a cost effective manner throughout the world. Recorded at TEDxBaltimore January 2016. Kevin has has more than 40 years of experience in higher education administration. He has been the president of Stevenson University for 15 years, the third largest independent university in Maryland.