Translation: Tackling the Taboo part 2

In the first post on tackling the taboo that surrounds using any form of translation in the language classroom, I unpacked my own slow conversion, considered the roots of the English-only dogma, and explored why such positions were unsustainable. Today…

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Translation: tackling the taboo

As a native speaker teacher working in a multi-lingual teaching context in the UK, I am perhaps an unlikely convert to the cause of translation in language teaching, and it's been a long and winding road that's brought me here.…

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Complicating the coursebook debate: part 4

In this post, I'm going to look at how I would use the material from Outcomes Intermediate that I mentioned in my previous post. As I would generally tend to do, I am going to look at the material in…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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