Starting a new conversation class

If you are anything like me, as both a teacher and a student, starting a new conversation class is terribly scary. Will the group work well together? What will we talk about? Will I have the confidence to talk, or be too scared about making mistakes? Will someone dominate the class, or someone never talk? These are all common worries … [Read more...]

Why LearnedWords?

It all started with words, losing myself in piles of books from the time I started to read. I’d devour page after page, get lost in imaginary worlds, and chase down stories. I started writing my own stories in primary school, such terrible copies they were. But my love of writing was born. Eternally learning I’d regularly get bored at … [Read more...]

What if you won a medieval village?

I've been running this mini 'project' in both my business and conversation classes. Each group's suggestions are completely different to all other groups and fascinating! It's a great chance to practice conjunctions, if-conditionals, modal verbs, and to get everyone talking, debating, negotiating, and even arguing heatedly! In the business … [Read more...]

15 Idioms from around the world

Idioms are a great way to increase enthusiasm and interest in learning a language. Instead of getting bogged down in memorizing vocabulary, they paint bold, clear pictures in students' minds, which are much more easily remembered than a boring list of words. Teachers can use 1-3 of these as warm-up exercises, or as a list in an entire lesson … [Read more...]

10 Things that …

This fun vocabulary activity works wonderfully with small to large groups, from beginners through to advanced students. It's a race and a competition, which encourages participation and increases motivation. It can increase participation for the remainder of the class when used as a warm-up. Beginner classes may like to use a dictionary - it … [Read more...]

Moving house conversation prompts

If you are anything like me, you will have moved house many times. In fact, I'm moving house right now - it's my 20th move! I'm the expert in the family when it comes to moving. I can pack and unpack everything quickly and safely, and can easily pull apart and put together flat-packed furniture. But I'm not so good at the carrying, especially … [Read more...]

The two things you need to learn languages easily

Most of my current English (EFL) students are adults. Some progress quickly, others struggle for each step. Some are studying for university or their jobs, others for travel, and the remainder for the community bonding they get in each class. The ones that progress the fastest are those who are curious about English, and those who are not … [Read more...]

Traveling teachers’ tools

If you are a traveling teacher like me, you don't have an office to stash all your equipment. Plus, you visit a bunch of places - schools, businesses, and conference rooms, not knowing what equipment they have, or if it is actually functioning (a blown globe in the projector again!) I need to carry all my equipment with me. Not just pens, … [Read more...]

Music education

I had fun sifting through hundreds of music education blogs to find those I truly resonated with as a music student getting back into piano practice after a 15+ year hiatus. So many are rarely updated, out of date, or stopped posting a long time ago. These are the best I found! They entertain with their words, are passionate about teaching … [Read more...]

Are you an expert?

Think of something you are really good at, or really interested in - perhaps a hobby, a skill, or even an area of knowledge. Imagine you have just met someone who is interested in learning more about it. Give an overview first (general introduction), then describe your hobby/skill/knowledge in detail. If you can find someone to ask you … [Read more...]