English Banana.com ESL Blog

The latest free material and news from English Banana.com


FREE ESL Lesson Plan: Mode 1 Vocabulary Session

This is a free lesson plan from You Are The Course Book – Lesson Plans by Matt Purland.  You can download the complete book for free here. (.pdf – 6 MB) This book is in the public domain, which means that anybody can use it for commercial and non-commercial purposes.

Mode 1 Vocabulary Session

Method:

1. T asks each group to write down 8 interesting and random words or phrases. They must be content words, not function words. They could be completely random, or begin with the same letter (elicited from a SS), or from a particular topic, e.g. Music. SS work together – one list per group. SS can use dictionaries. One SS from each group reads out their words and T selects the most interesting and random words to write on the board – 8 in total. T does not allow boring words, e.g. table, chair, book… SS write down the whole list.

2. T checks that everybody knows all the words and leads a pronunciation drill with the words. SS have to listen and repeat each word after T.

3. T asks SS to work as a team and write down the type of each word, e.g. noun, verb, adjective, etc. When each group is ready T asks for a SS to come to the board and write the word types on the board next to the vocabulary words. T elicits whether they are correct or not. If not, T elicits the correct answer and the SS writes it.

4. Repeat 3, except with number of syllables in each word.

5. Repeat 3, except with the stressed syllable in each word, which is underlined.

6. Repeat 3, except with the stressed vowel sound in each word. SS writes it with Clear Alphabet, if possible. If not, T elicits it from SS who use the Clear Alphabet chart (p.107). SS could also write each word in Clear Alphabet.

7. Repeat 3, except with whether the stressed vowel sound is short, long, or diphthong. T models the stressed vowel sounds and SS repeat.

8. Repeat 3, except with schwa sounds circled. By the end of the session, your board might resemble something like this (with words from the topic of Music:)

Vocabulary Lesson Plan - Image 1

…and so on.

Tip:

  • Try not to spend too long doing the vocabulary session. Remember to put together a lesson that provides a balanced ‘meal’ – where different skills are practised and different student needs are met. For example, while one SS might be happy to work with vocabulary for the whole lesson, another SS might prefer free practice activities, and so on.


This is a recording from a free live teacher training session on YouTube last night: Teaching Spelling and Sounds to ESL Students

You are welcome to join me for my next free live lesson on YouTube!

Click here to find out more: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ECj82eoY_ZU


FREE Online English Class with Nadia – You Are The Course Book Demo!

This Saturday 25th January at 6pm CET Nadia is teaching a free online English class using You Are the Course Book Method. All learners are welcome!

She writes:

“This is a demo class on You Are the Course Book Method, developed by Matt Purland, England. Teacher Nadia from Russia will give a mock class using Matt’s method. This a speaking class for English learners, so everybody please get your mics ready.”

To find out more and to sign up for this class please visit the link below:

http://www.wiziq.com/online-class/1605141-you-are-the-coursebook-method-by-matt-purland_nadia-s-demo-class


Free Teacher Training Course – Final Class Tonight!

Our current free teacher training course is coming to an end tonight. The final class will be at 9.15pm CET on WizIQ.com. Please click below for full details. Hope you can make it!

http://www.wiziq.com/course/36615-free-teacher-training-course-for-english-teachers


Next Class in our Free Teacher Training Course for English Teachers

Dr. Muhammad Schmidt, IFTS, Nairobi, Kenya

Dr. Muhammad Schmidt, IFTS, Nairobi, Kenya

You are welcome to join us for the next class in our ongoing free teacher training course, which will be presented by Dr. Muhammad Schmidt of IFTS, Kenya.He will be speaking on the subject of: You Are The Course Book Method within the larger framework of communicative ESL Teaching.

This class will take place on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 8:00 p.m. CET on Skype. If you would like to participate, please contact Dr. Schmidt via Skype. His Skype ID is: turnoi

The class will last for around one hour and there is a free handout which you can download here.

You can join our free teacher training course here. There are already 126 course learners. We would be delighted if you wanted to get involved!


You Can Still Join Our Free Teacher Training Course!

Free Teacher Training on WizIQ!

We got off to a great start this week, with 47 learners now enrolled! There is still time for you to join this free teacher training course. It is suitable for any English teacher or trainee teacher who would like to learn how to teach without the *boring* course book!

You can find out more and enrol for free below:

http://www.wiziq.com/course/36615-free-teacher-training-course-for-english-teachers

The next class will take place on Monday 11th November at 8.15pm CET.


100+ English Language Teachers Attended My Seminar at Language Show Live 2013

It was fantastic to be greeted by over a hundred English language teachers at my seminar at Language Show Live last weekend! They attended my seminar at Olympia, London, on how to teach English without a course book, and it was great to see so many people who were interested in trying something new in the classroom – rather than just the usual gap-fills, multiple-choice questions, and reading comprehensions provided by the usual uninspiring ELT course books.

Waiting to do my seminar at Language Show Live 2013. A Penguin Classic, a bottle of still water, and a quiet corner away from it all...!

Waiting to do my seminar at Language Show Live 2013. A Penguin Classic, a bottle of still water, and a quiet corner away from it all…!

You can download the PowerPoint presentation that we discussed here.

In the video below I’m discussing Slide 18 and complaining about how with the course book, the writer of the course book gets to be creative, while students are reduced to completing cloze activities or reading in silence. With YATCB Method students get to experience the buzz of creativity; they are able to have ideas and work on them with their partner or group.

Language Show Live 2013 (1)

Language Show Live 2013 (1)

At the end of the seminar there were many questions from the audience. We discussed using this method within a syllabus and with ILPs; assessment, and how to persuade Directors of Studies to let you deviate from doing the book. This seemed to be the most common problem for the teachers I encountered there. They said that they would like to be more free in what they do in class, but don’t have time to let their students be creative after completing the set course book pages – which they “have to” do. Frustrating! It was great to chat to so many of you face to face after the event. I felt encouraged that there are many teachers who, like me, desire a more creative and productive approach to teaching English. One delegate, Joanna Dudzinska, asked me for the origin of the name “English Banana” and then promptly presented me with a pair of fresh bananas that I could take home! Thanks, Joanna. You can see pictures and read her side of the story in her blog here. She commented:

“The highlight of today was The Language Show at Olympia in Kensington. It was the third and last day of the annual event related to languages: teaching, learning, interpreting, translating and also travelling!

“A friend had told me about the presentation for EFL teachers. It had an interesting title: YOU ARE YOUR OWN COURSEBOOK. I agree with Matt, the speaker. Coursebooks are boring and they do not allow free thinking often suppressing  creativity. I could elaborate more on that particular topic, but there is no time… However, I shall definitely be going back to Matt’s website…”

Language Show Live 2013 (2)

Language Show Live 2013 (2)

 
Language Show Live 2013 (3)

Language Show Live 2013 (3)

My heartfelt thanks go to Claire Shilling and the wonderful team who organised Language Show Live 2013, as well as the army of people who ensured that the event ran so well. I really enjoyed taking part – thanks for having me!

If you would like me to speak about You Are The Course Book Method at your organisation, or run a training session, please do get in touch!


Matt Purland will be speaking at Language Show LIVE – 20th October 2013

Language Show LIVE 2013

Language Show LIVE 2013

I will be speaking on the subject of  How to Teach English without a Course Book at Language Show LIVE at Olympia, London on Sunday 20th October 2013 at 1pm.

You can read about my seminar here:

http://www.languageshowconnect.co.uk/page.cfm/Action=Visitor/VisitorID=69698

And register for your FREE tickets here:

http://www.speeddata.co.uk/Forms/Default.aspx?FormRef=LanA3Visitor

Language Show LIVE is “the event for people passionate about languages. Free to attend, it’s your chance to join over 10,000 language learners, teachers, translators, linguists, jobseekers and language professionals for three incredible days.”

At my seminar we will discuss:

“…how you can teach English without a course book in any environment – school, workplace, home, or online. Forget photocopying handouts and cast aside your course books! I will demonstrate You Are The Course Book Method, where your students become the main resource, going from passive consumers to active producers of content.”

Hope to see you there in October!

Matt


English Banana free resources featured in The Guardian this week!

English Banana free resources featured in The Guardian

English Banana free resources featured in The Guardian

English Banana free resources are featured in The Guardian newspaper this week, as part of a special article for teachers entitled: “How to teach… English as a foreign language”. Emily Drabble reviews a range of English Banana books, including Big Grammar Book, the Talk a Lot series of books, and the new release You Are The Course Book 2. You can read the article here:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/teacher-blog/2013/jun/18/teaching-resources-english-as-foreign-language


Teacher Training with Russian Teachers in Poland!

We were lucky enough to host a fantastic group of teachers from Saratov University recently at our school – Study English in Ostroda. They joined us for five nights for one of our language holidays.

The visit was a great success with all of the teachers saying that they enjoyed it and learned many new techniques that they could take back to their university – and private – students in Russia.

The group leader Tatiana M. commented:

“The course provided the opportunity for the students to be active and creative at the classes, work together with other students and speak English while performing the tasks. The course integrated all of the aspects of language learning (speaking, reading, pronunciation, grammar, writing and listening) and actively involved students into the learning process. The organisation of the course (flexible schedule, the timing, course materials and accommodation) were arranged and provided on a high level. New things I learned:

  • organising the learning process without a textbook
  • a new approach to teaching phonetics 
  • reiterating the most important language points at every lesson
  • a captivating and enjoyable way of working with newspaper articles”

Here is a picture of the group hard at work:

Teachers from Saratov University, Russia

…and at play, enjoying a barbecue with some of our local students:

Polish hospitality - a good old fashioned grill!

We even got an article in the local paper!

Article in Nasz Glos newspaper in Ostroda

If you would like to join us for a language holiday – to improve your English language skills, or to brush up on your teaching practice – you are more than welcome to join us! Please click here to find out more about our offer.


English Banana.com Teachers Map has been Updated!

What do Peru, Bangladesh, Russia, Mexico, Kashmir, and Hartlepool have in common? They are all places where English teachers are busily working on projects using English Banana.com material, having first applied for a free certificate of authorisation.

On the map below each pin represents a place where such a project is taking place:

English Banana.com Teachers Map

English Banana.com Teachers Map

 

You can find out more about each one on our amazing interactive map! Please click below to go there now:

https://maps.google.co.uk/maps/ms?msa=0&ie=UTF8&msid=107553550370586956076.00046980ea6188984f567&ll=43.068888,74.53125&spn=179.132375,360&z=0&source=embed

And click here to find out more about our free licences:

http://englishbanana.com/copying-licence.html

 


NEW FREE BOOK! You Are The Course Book 2 – In Practice (480 pages)


Need Free Math Worksheets? Try Math Worksheets Land!

Math Worksheets Land

Math Worksheets Land

Math Worksheets Land provides a large amount of helpful math resources for students and teachers. The entire collection is aligned to the National Core Curriculum making it easy to include in your lesson planning.

You can find the site at: http://www.mathworksheetsland.com

 

 


NEW from i to i – 20 Free Classroom Activities!

Whether it’s your first day in the classroom or your fiftieth – every ESL teacher is in need of a little helping hand every now and then.
Here are 20 free classroom activities from i-to-i which include classroom tips and accompanying handouts which you can photocopy for your lessons!
Get yours here!

Activities book


A New Series of Self-Study Worksheets – Stress, Reduce, Merge

Introducing new material from English Banana.com that will give you some practice in using connected speech and stress in English. You can download the free .pdf worksheet pack here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/105327558/A-New-Series-of-Self-Study-Worksheets-Stress-Reduce-Merge

Any feedback would be most welcome! Thanks. 😉


The First English Banana Trust Summer School was a Great Success!

Last week the first English Banana Trust Summer School was held at Greshams School in Holt, Norfolk. The focus was on teacher training and how to teach without a course book, and we were pleased to welcome four English language teachers from Russia, Hungary, and Serbia. Course tutor Matt Purland focused on training the teachers to teach without using a course book, based on methods from his recent manual You Are The Course Book. The teachers thoroughly enjoyed the week, which was sponsored by English Banana Trust. Apart from five hours of lessons per day – and plenty of homework! – the participants were able to enjoy a diverse number of outings ranging from a visit to the famous seal colony at Blakeney Point, a guided tour of Norwich with an experienced historian, and several delightful shared meals and get-togethers with trustees and friends of the Trust.

Here are a few comments from some of the participants at the end of the course:

‘I feel I’ve gained enough confidence to teach without materials. I also feel that my creativity has been exposed to the higher level and that’s really good and exciting.’ – Marija

‘I feel the passion to continue my self-education in this area which I consider to be really innovative…’ – Nadia

Course tutor Matt commented: ‘I would like to thank the Trust for all their hard work and dedication in staging the summer school this year. We have all really gained a lot out of it. It was wonderful to watch our teachers in action and to see them grow in confidence and be able to teach their own lessons without a course book – or any printed material.’

If you would like to get involved with next year’s EBT Summer School – as either a participant or a tutor – please contact English Banana Trust at: ebtrust@englishbanana.com

Or if you would like to book Matt to run a similar week-long training course at your educational establishment, please do get in touch at: info@englishbanana.com

Here are some photos of the participants hard at work in the classroom, and (in bottom picture) with tutor Matt after the final session of the course:


Download the MP3 Recording of our Latest Class

You can now download the MP3 recording of our latest class.

Left-click to open in your browser and right-click to download to your computer:

Planning an English Class without a Course Book to Hold your Hand

by Matt Purland (4th June 2012)