On the over-use of concept-checking questions: part 1

There aren’t many things that I think should be comprehensively banned from EFL classrooms, but the use of closed CCQs (Concept-Checking Questions) for items of vocabulary is one! For those of you unfamiliar with CCQs, they seem to have come…

Read more

The best improvisation is prepared improvisation

One of the great delights of the annual IATEFL conference is seeing young teachers find their own voices and deliver confident, well thought-out presentations. One of the talks I enjoyed most in Birmingham this year was by Sebastian Lesniewski, and…

Read more

Asking more: why some questions are better than others

There's an old saying that claims questions are never dangerous - only answers are. Well, a recent presentation I saw by Jim Scrivener gave me pause to reconsider this received wisdowm and to ask whether some questions might be if…

Read more

Two-way translation in the multilingual classroom

I'm just back from Turkey, where I delivered a one-day workshop on teaching grammar through International House in Izmir. One issue that arose, as it often does with nonnatives, is whether or not translation should be allowed. My own belief…

Read more