Spicy Tooth

ESOL – Literacy – Numeracy

Why I prefer Zoom for English language teaching

Here in the UK, we’re a few weeks into remote teaching and learning and many of us (teachers and students) have been trying to get to grips with online classes. At the place where I work, Teams is being heavily pushed onto us by the senior management as a platform that is easy to use….

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Book review: Understanding Teenagers in the ELT Classroom

I have to admit that I don’t always enjoy teaching teenagers. They are unpredictable and often there are one or two students in the class whose behavioural issues spoil what would otherwise be a good class. Too often I find myself focusing my attention on bad behaviour at the expense of the rest of the…

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Quizizz – Not Just A Kahoot! Clone

Quizizz is an up-and-coming real-time assessment application, which at first glance looks very similar to Kahoot! However, looks can be deceptive and after some initial scepticism I am becoming quite fond of using Quizizz with my learners. As I have mentioned in other posts, the use of real-time assessment applications have become a viable alternative…

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e-Learning

Here is an infographic I created to accompany a session I gave on e-Learning to a group of trainee teachers (click to enlarge).

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Book review: Teaching Spelling to English language learners

Is it just me, or has spelling taking a bit of a backseat in the classroom? We spend a lot of time teaching grammar and the four skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening, but when it comes to spelling, I find that I usually only scratch the surface of the topic. The other day,…

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Improving learning with hard-to-read fonts

As teachers, we often choose an easy-to-read font when making materials in order to make it easier for learners to read. However, research by Diemand-Yauman, Oppenheimer and Vaughan suggests that we may not be doing learners any favours. By deliberately using hard-to-read fonts to incresase the disfluency of the materials, the recall of information seems…

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Austin’s Butterfly – Using peer feedback to improve

In this video, Ron Berger demonstrates how 1st grade students in the US (aged 6-7) helped 1st grader Austin to improve his drawing of a tiger swallowtail butterfly. Through a series of critiques and revisions from his classmates, Austin went from producing a fairly generic drawing of a butterfly to a scientifically accurate drawing of…

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Real Time Assessment – Kahoot! or Socrative?

I think I am somewhat fortunate to work for an organisation that is well-equipped technology-wise, with many classrooms having enough computers for every student. This enabled me to start experimenting with real-time assessment apps a few years ago, initially with Qwizdom and then InfuseLearning, which was a particular favourite of mine. Sadly, InfuseLearning was a…

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Filmmaking and animation in the classroom

At the beginning of the 2015/16 academic year, one of my colleagues who is a bit of a film buff, booked some free CPD sessions for staff with Into Film. The sessions were free and the trainer, Jane Coulter, came to our organisation to give 3 sessions covering the following areas: Tools for analysing film,…

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What’s the big deal with BYOD?

What is BYOD? BYOD is an acronym for Bring Your Own Device. It refers to learners’ bringing their own devices into the classroom for learning, such as smartphones and tablets, as opposed to using an organisation’s own devices (typically desktop PCs). Learners’ own devices, particularly mobile phones, are often seen as a distraction in the…

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