One Book to Bring Them All and Bind Them – making the case for vocabulary notebooks

The school I am teaching at has been using vocabulary books for years. They are organized thematically and offer word lists, translations into L1, short ecyclopedia-style texts where the words are used in and some gap filling activities. My colleagues seem to like them, but whenever I tried to use them in class I foundContinue reading “One Book to Bring Them All and Bind Them – making the case for vocabulary notebooks”

More Wilderness – teaching introverted students

In an excellent and entertaining TED talk author Susan Cain gives insights into the world of introverted people. By using her own life as an example she talks about all the typical obstacles and hardships introverts have to overcome. Cain states that about 30%-50% of us count as introverts (other sources seem to confirm thisContinue reading “More Wilderness – teaching introverted students”

Dogme for Learners II – Things to Hold on to

One of the benefits of coursebooks is that they give students something to hold on to. Their linear structure might be flawed and will often obstruct meaningful conversation, but at least they give some sort of structure. And don’t be mistaken, students WANT structure, they NEED structure. As much as intelligent scaffolding is useful forContinue reading “Dogme for Learners II – Things to Hold on to”

Dogme for Learners I – Revising Revision

Teaching Dogme is a new way of teaching but learning Dogme is also a new way of learning. A rant about class tests The German school system has always believed in class tests as the Golden Egg of learning. School law sets a fixed number of them for every subject taught at school. My EnglishContinue reading “Dogme for Learners I – Revising Revision”

They do care! – My thoughts on Dogme so far

During my last summer break preparing for the school year to come I got seriously infected by the idea of teaching Dogme ELT. Reading the magnificent blogs of Dale Coulter and Scott Thornbury was profundly inspiring. I had always felt sceptical about course books. In my experience they often are detrimental to communication and theirContinue reading “They do care! – My thoughts on Dogme so far”