Top Tips

Take photos, write poems…

Are you looking for some fresh ideas for your learners after the summer? I recently had the opportunity to attend the NATECLA Online Conference 2021 and I would like to share some inspiring thoughts and ideas that came from one of the seminars. The seminar was called, Take photos, tell stories, write poems: participatory photography… Read more »

Is right la!

Is it a bap/barm/bread roll/bun/bread cake/cob/muffin/batch or a teacake? Is this one a cuppa/a brew/builder’s tea or a simple cup of tea?  Do you have it at any time of the day or with your elevenses? Or with ‘afternoon tea’?  Oh, and while we’re about it, what’s a ‘cream tea’? So which words do you… Read more »

Ideas for the socially distanced classroom and online

Many of you are teaching English and doing outreach on zoom but some of you may have the privilege of actually being with real, live students albeit in a socially distanced and rather restricted environment.  Recently I attended a Cambridge Live Experience on zoom and I would like to share with you some ideas for… Read more »

Top tips for online English teaching & iCafs

If this title reminds you how mindboggled and bamboozled you have felt recently by all this online stuff, stick with us as we try to de-code some of it for you.  Seldom has there been such an intense time of change and adaptation required as we are experiencing at the moment.  We are sure that… Read more »

Top tips for establishing an international café

These ideas are based on the experiences of an international café run by Christians from various churches in Reading who wanted to set up a café in a neutral venue, away from church buildings. We recognise this is just one model and there are other successful international cafes run in different ways. It has been… Read more »

Top tips for teaching beginners

Teaching beginners has been one of the great joys of my life. Walking alongside a new reader, a new speaker is an enormous privilege, watching the world expand, opportunities appear and confidence grow. One student, feeling emotional one day, said, “You have changed my life.” And I realised in this instance, it was not an… Read more »

10 steps to building and using a vision statement

Do you ever feel that as a team you’re not always exactly on the same page? Do you sometimes feel that your motivation is lacking and you forget why you’re doing what you’re doing in your English classes? Do you or your team have a habit of getting distracted and wonder if you’re ‘on track’?… Read more »

Top tips for placing students

Where to put students? When you welcome new students through your doors, what do you do? Some of you reading this will have a fairly refined placement process and others of you won’t, especially if you currently only have one English conversation group. Whatever your situation, we do hope the ‘Top Tips’ below will help… Read more »

Boggle cubes lined up to spell explore

Teaching Pronunciation – Top Tips

Why Bother with Pronunciation? If you’re not convinced about the merits of spending time on pronunciation, here are some reasons to start thinking about it… * It’s fun! It can be a moment of light relief in a lesson as students all have a go at making sounds which don’t come easily to them. *… Read more »

Resilience in ESL Ministry – Top Tips

Sow to reap (Galatians 6:7-8). Sowing was a thankless task because only a fraction of the grain you tossed on the ground would produce fruit, and even then not for many months. Paul used this picture to describe Christian ministry. Like the farmer, the only way to endure is to focus on the harvest to come. Are… Read more »

Multicultural Worship – Top Tips

Music is a regular and integral part of our Christian lives. Yet, when it comes to local cross-cultural ministry and mission, the role of music is often neglected. What if we could shape our music so that it enhances and serves our mission better? And what if, in doing so, it enriches the local body… Read more »

Top Tips on Involving Families

Living in the West, it’s easy to be individualistic in our approach to our students, forgetting that for many of them, especially those from Eastern parts, their whole identity is bound up with the family to whom they belong. How important, then, to make sure we make every effort to engage with their families. Below… Read more »