22 subject/verb agreement songs

Before you scroll down for the two videos, here’s some food for thought.

Students of all ages and levels often get the third person S wrong, and it seems important to understand why this happens and think of how we can intervene. Here are a few issues to keep in mind:

Continue reading 22 subject/verb agreement songs

In defense of Demand High Teaching

What is Demand High Teaching?

I first heard of Demand High Teaching in March 2012, when Jim Scrivener and Adrian Underhill launched a low-key, no-frills blog containing a brief introduction to the concept. In their words:

“Demand High asks:

Are our learners capable of more, much more?
Have the tasks and techniques we use in class become rituals and ends in themselves?
How can we stop “covering material” and start focusing on the potential for deep learning?
What small tweaks and adjustments can we make to shift the whole focus of our teaching towards getting that engine of learning going?

Demand High is not a method and it is not anti any method. We are not anti-Communicative Approach. We are not anti-dogme. We are not anti-Task Based Learning. We are simply suggesting adjustments to whatever it is you are already doing in class – ways of getting much greater depth of tangible engagement and learning.”

A few months later, I attended a lively plenary by Scrivener himself in which he managed to pull off the nearly impossible: get me truly excited about yet another ELT trend – except that Demand High is not really a trend, but essentially a way of looking at teachers’ / learners’ roles and classroom processes, as he makes clear in this video. Continue reading In defense of Demand High Teaching

4 tips to help you teach advanced students

I don’t think I have ever taught or observed an advanced lesson that went seriously wrong. I mean cringe-worthy wrong. Which is hardly surprising.

After all, advanced students have been in the game long enough and know enough English to ensure that most of our lessons run – at worst – relatively smoothly.

But I have often walked out of lively, fun, seemingly trouble-free C1 lessons, wondering deep down how much learning had really taken place.  And this has bothered me at least since 1996, which is when I began to take a  hard look at advanced students and their ever-so-overlooked needs. Here are some of the things I’ve learned:

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