Far too much of language teaching literature is, to quote Stephen Krashen, “Far too long, far too incomprehensible and far too full of jargon,” not to mention far too expensive. The TEFL Training Institute podcast is short, easy to understand and free. In each 15-minute episode, we discuss practical, thought-provoking or controversial topics with our friends, and some of the biggest names in language teaching. From motivation to materials, training to teenagers, approaches to assessment, if you want to become a better teacher, trainer or manager, start here. With host Ross Thorburn.
Involving Students' Parents in Language Learning (with Jake Whiddon)
Parents are one of the most important factors in determining how successful students are. In this episode, Jake Whiddon and I discuss how to involve parents in young learners’ learning. Why is it important to involve students' parents in language learning? How can we demonstrate learning to parents? What can teachers do to help parents understand language learning?
Tools for Teacher Reflection (with Dave Weller)
Dave Weller and I discuss the most useful questions teachers should ask themselves to reflect, what needs to be in place before teachers can reflect and what stimuli can help to prompt reflection.
Teaching Comprehension Skills and Strategies (with Michael Swan)
How can we help students improve their listening and reading? Traditionally, teachers teach skills like predicting, skimming, scanning and guessing from context. In this episode, Michael Swan presents reasons why we should avoid this approach, the reasons students find comprehension difficult and what alternative approach teachers should take to improving listening and reading skills.
What Should Language Tests Measure? (with Thom Kiddle)
Thom Kiddle from NILE joins me to talk about what assessments should measure. Should we separate skills or integrate them? Should language tests measure how complex learners can make their speech, or how well they can adapt their speech to the listener? And when is it useful to test grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation?
Teaching Phonics (with Lesley White)
We touch on the history, the advantages of phonics over other approaches, different options to teachers within the phonics system and some of the differences between learning to read in your first language and in your second language.
Using Storybooks and Graded Readers (with Jake Whiddon)
Jake Whiddon joins me to talk about using storybooks in class. So many schools have graded readers, but so few teachers use these in class. Graded readers can be used with students of any age group and any level. They’re a great alternative to the coursebook and a contextualized way of presenting new language. In this episode, you’ll hear a simple five step approach that you can use to use graded readers with your students.