Small talk with big results

The art of teaching English forwards

"Hi, how are you?" "I'm fine thank you, and you?" "I'm fine thank you." Now, where have we all seen and heard this longwinded, nigh on nonsensical way of communicating before?

Short and sweet

How to get large classes talking

Over the last 7 years of working in Thailand, I’ve seen numerous teaching forum threads about how to get large classes talking.

Review until they are blue in the face

Approaches to pre-test or exam review

Never forget the golden rule of review work: what may seem incredibly repetitive to you is very stimulating for students because they know what all of the questions and answers mean and they’re communicating in a foreign language.

How to get them talking

How can teachers get their students to interact in a way that's beneficial?

If students don't learn to interact with their teacher and other students in English during P1 to 4 then they'll find themselves struggling to do so by the time that they enroll at a private language centre because they're preparing for university or want a better job.

The paddling pool of critical thinking in the English classroom

The important thing is that you're not teaching critical thinking itself

What I’m presenting here are the essential basics of a 6-step process to help your students expand the English that you’re teaching them so that they can use it in more and different ways. All or some of which may help them to retain more of it and actively use it.

Some solutions to the challenges of teaching in Thailand

Some ideas on how to make life easier for yourself

Don’t take complaints or awkward suggestions to your local head. Go to them with easy to understand positive solutions instead. And don’t push your case or demand an immediate response.

Games for large unruly classes

Should games always have a pedagogical value? No.

Some of these appear in different versions and with different names on Dave’s ESL Café, but most of those were designed for smaller classes in countries like South Korea and Japan and don’t work very well with larger groups in Southeast Asia.

Phonics for teenagers and adults

Why should students feel intimidated?

Phonics for absolute and false beginners? Yup, and even up to intermediate level too. And beyond if your students benefit from it.

Writing your own readers

Why not design your own student reading material

Let your textbooks dictate the level and style of language to use and only introduce new vocabulary if it’s cool and/or funny. Students have a nice habit of always remembering these types of words.


An argument about what students really need

Most of us are faced with the same challenge: large class sizes. We can’t do anything about this other than work with it.

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