Where did January go? It flew by and I didn't even manage to write a single blog post. I did, however, make some exciting new online discoveries and I'd like to share them with you.
|Image courtesy of Kromkrathog at FreeDigitalPhotos.net|
Promoting self-study in my students' busy lives, continues to be a challenge; last year I wrote a guest post for the British Council on the topic of using mobile apps to motivate students to study independently. These apps are excellent, however, the motivated students use them, the less motivated, don’t. I aim to assist my students in progressing to the maximum of their ability in the shortest possible time. I want them to get good value for their money and to feel great about their language learning progress, but self-study plays an extremely important part in guaranteeing this.
|Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net|
For my students, time is an issue and not having enough time is a frequent excuse. However, let's face it, the majority of people can find one hour in a week to do some work, whether it's 10 minutes a day or an hour at the weekend, it's a matter of priority. I've been thinking about how I can transform self-study activities and make my students feel like they are one of their priorities and not something they need to do for me.
|Courtesy of Renjith Krishnan at FreeDigitalPhotos.net|
|Courtesy of www.englishoutthere.com|
Whilst looking for inspiration for advanced level lesson ideas, I discovered Jason West and his website English Out There. It's not new, but unfortunately I hadn't come across it before. In Jason's words "English Out There is the world’s first English course, specially designed to work with social media".
The 'English Out There' materials are excellent, I highly recommend them. On the website there's an example of online content creation using Padlet. Jason's lessons have three parts, Pre-Class, In Class and Out There (speaking to real people face to face or via social media). I think it's a brilliant idea and it got me thinking about how I could adapt my Padlet homework activities and effectively use Padlet to flip my class. This would increase the amount of talking time that my students would have with me and at the same time make self-study a fundamental part of the course.
Here is an example of how to use Padlet to create pre-lesson materials (this is based on an 'English Out There' lesson):