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Activities and Lesson Plans

Let’s Talk About Accents: Sense 8 Series Lesson Plan by Andrea Grassi

So I got back from the ELTons, where my course “The Ultimate Guide to Teaching English as a Lingua Franca” was nominated for innovation in teacher resources. While I didn’t get to win (congrats to the team behind Teaching On-line, who won the award), it was amazing to have been nominated, especially considering the fact …

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Seven easy steps you need to follow to teach English as a Lingua Franca

A few weeks back I wrote a post about the three reasons why I think we need to rethink our current approach to teaching English (EFL/ESL), suggesting we start teaching English as a Lingua Franca (ELF). To recap, teaching ELF can: provide a more realistic and authentic input, thus better preparing our students to use …

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A Skateboard With a Boost: TED Talk Lesson Plan by Lewis Lansford

If you’re like me, and you like to bring in a variety of different accents and speakers to the classroom to supplement what you can find in class, then you’ve probably tried or wanted to try using TED talks. They’re engaging, motivating and can really help showcase the incredible diversity of the English language. But… …

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How to raise students’ awareness and tackle native speakerism using these five simple activities

You are probably familiar with the widespread preference for ‘native speakers’ in ELT job ads, especially as far as the private sector is concerned. However, this is just one manifestation of the ideology of native speakerism visible in our profession. And if we are serious about tackling it, we also need to look beyond the …

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How to motivate students using recordings of successful E(LF)nglish users

A lot of the times course books feature a rather narrow range of recordings of standard ‘native speaker’ voices. Just to give you a few examples: Syrbe and Rose (2016) note that most characters presented in books are ‘native speakers’ (mostly either US or British) ‘Non-native speakers’ also tend to contribute much less in dialogues, …

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Teaching english as a Lingua Franca: How to use first language to facilitate communication

For a long time, there has been a rather negative view of using first language (L1) when communicating in English. It might sometimes be seen as: an example of lower proficiency or of not being fluent enough in English or of not knowing the right word. However, research clearly shows that multilingual individuals, which all …

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How to motivate and engage low-level learners using TED talks by Lewis Lansford

All too often, we think of authentic input such as a TED Talk as listening material that happens to have pictures – often just a person speaking. However, as a classroom resource, TED Talks offer so much more: the fact that they have sound and images – often visually rich ones, beyond just the speaker …

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How to teach real English using TED talks by Lewis Lansford

For my whole career as a teacher, I’ve heard language learners talk about how they want to learn the ‘real’ language – not just stuff in books. And it makes sense. You want to learn language you can really use – maybe the language as it’s spoken in New York, London or Sydney. Ask English …

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Do you have an accent? – a lesson plan

Have you ever had people comment on your accent? Sometimes, these comments can be very positive: oh, you have such a lovely accent. But sometimes, they can also be rather negative. And the truth is that we all have certain subconscious biases towards and against certain accents. We think of some as posh, while others …

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5 Principles You Should Follow to Teach Listening for English as a Lingua Franca Use

It’s no secret that English has become the global lingua franca. We all know that English has become the global lingua franca used primarily for communication between ‘non-native speakers’. The problem is, though, that many course books: still focus a lot on a very narrow range of ‘native speaker’ accents if recordings of ‘non-native speakers’ …

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