English Banana.com ESL Blog

The latest free material and news from English Banana.com


New FREE Online Course for English Teachers – Starting Next Monday!

Free Teacher Training Course - Now Enrolling!

From next Monday 4th November 2013 Matt Purland will be running a free on-going teacher training course for teachers of English and ESL. Enrolment is now open so you can sign up from today! You can get all of the details here:

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

Title: Free Teacher Training Course for English Teachers

Goal: Learn how to teach English without a course book

Live classes: Mondays at 8.15pm CET & Thursdays at 10am CET

Main Benefits:

* FREE live classes twice a week

* Learn with an experienced English teacher and teacher trainer

* Professional development certificate when you attend 10 live classes

* Learn techniques that will help your students be more productive

* FREE access to recordings and group material (pdf, ppt, doc)

This is a course for English teachers; if you are studying to become a teacher, you are also welcome. This course is for teachers who want to learn and discuss ways of teaching English without formal material, e.g. a course book or handouts.

This course is on-going. You don’t need to attend every class – attend when you can; if you attend 10 live classes you will receive a FREE professional development certificate.

This course is based on You Are The Course Book Method. You can find out more about it and download the FREE material here: http://englishbanana.com/resources/free-books/teacher-training/

Hope to see you there!


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!


Get a free copy of a new paid iPhone/iPad app that uses English Banana material!

Learn English with Exercises is the latest English language learning app from Creative Apps Lab. The app is packed with great exercises for practising English skills, including grammar, reading, vocabulary building, and communication skills. Better still, the app features many exercises from English Banana.com books, like Big Grammar Book!

The app costs $ 0.99 and can be downloaded from Apple App Store in any country worldwide. However, we have got hold of twenty free copies for readers of this blog! If you would like a special download code, please contact us and tell us why you enjoy learning with English Banana.com!

You can find out more about Learn English with Exercises app here:


You can order the app on iTunes here:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/learn-english-with-exercises/id631926317

There is also a free starter version of the app, which you can get here:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/learn-english-exercises-free/id631931046

Learn English with Exercises - new app

Learn English with Exercises – new app

This fantastic new app was produced via our Free Copying Licence, which allows anybody to use English Banana.com material for their projects – including commercial projects like this one – absolutely free of charge. To read our Free Copying Licence, please click below. Maybe you could make use of it…?!

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


FREE English Vocabulary and Pronunciation Workout! (Video of online lesson)

This is a recording of a free class I taught on WizIQ.com on 28.02.13: http://www.wiziq.com/online-class/1140564-free-english-vocabulary-and-pronunciation-workout You can download the free material that we used here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/127589616/Auto-Mode-3-Example

 


Matt Purland is teaching a new FREE 8-week course with Myschoolo.com

Last Friday saw the first class in a new free 8-week English course taught by Matt Purland in conjunction with Myschoolo.com. You can find out more details and sign up for this free course here:

http://myschoolo.com/elearning/matt-purland-1/

In the meantime, why not enjoy the video recording of the first class, which was on the topic of The Environment (Studying Language):


FREE English Class on the topic of “Clothes”! (VIDEO)

You are welcome to join us for this FREE pre-intermediate English language class on the topic of “Clothes”. It was a pleasure to teach this class last night in partnership with MySchoolo.com


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. 😉


More Press Coverage of English Banana Trust – and a Video from the Summer School

Here is a roundup of recent stories about English Banana Trust from the newspapers:

http://www.edp24.co.uk/news/holt_based_charity_english_banana_trust_celebrates_the_success_of_its_first_summer_school_1_1495988

http://www.northnorfolknews.co.uk/news/holt_based_charity_english_banana_trust_celebrates_the_success_of_its_first_summer_school_1_1495988

http://www.edp24.co.uk/news/jazz_concert_at_the_auden_theatre_in_holt_to_raise_money_for_the_charity_english_banana_trust_1_1498223

And here’s a short video taken by one of the participants in the recent summer school. It shows us letting our hair down at a social evening at the end of the course. We had a lot of fun! In this activity different teams had been challenged to write lyrics about the summer school to the tune of ‘Let it Be’ by The Beatles. This team didn’t win, but they still really enjoyed performing for us!

 


Free Talk a Lot Elementary Course Now on YouTube!

Here is the first class from a short Talk a Lot Elementary Spoken English course that I taught online recently. The topic in this recording is “Town” and we’re working from Talk a Lot Elementary Book 1. You can find the links for the other four classes in the course below!

Many thanks to Ma3ali English for organising the course and uploading the recordings.


 
Class 2: Food and Drink

Class 3: Shopping

Class 4: Health

Class 5: Family

 

 


Check Out ESL Basics – a Really Helpful Resource Site!

Have you discovered ESL Basics yet? If you haven’t, you are in for a treat! It’s a remarkable resource site for ESL students and teachers featuring hundreds of short easy-to-watch videos on the following topics:

Vocabulary, US Citizenship, Idioms, Phrasal Verbs, and Tongue Twisters

If you are studying with Talk a Lot Intermediate, you will find the videos about idioms and phrasal verbs particularly relevant.

ESL Basics is the brainchild of Andrea Giordano, who stars in the short videos, and Josh Michael, who does all the technical wizardry. The site is an absolute boon for any student who is learning new vocabulary (which should be everyone, right?) and for teachers who can dip in and out of the site, for example using a short video to illustrate a new idiom or phrasal verb. You can even request a video on a particular word, phrase, or topic. How cool is that? Here is an example of a video by Andrea about the phrasal verb “to check out”:

ESL Basics on YouTube...

Andrea making a video for ESL Basics...

I asked Andrea for some comments about the site for this blog post. She told me:

“At ESL Basics, we believe that real-life context is a student’s best friend, not a list of terms to memorize. This is why our language instruction is surrounded by a conversation. ESL Basics fosters an environment where students aren’t just learning one word, they are acquiring language. ESL Basics is structured around a philosophy of context-driven lessons, videos, and usability. We are also committed to equipping English language teachers to host student-centered learning environments. I am an avid traveler, experienced teacher, and dynamic speaker who loves to see students and teachers meet their full potential. As well as at our home page, you can find ESL Basics at: youtube.com/eslbasics and facebook.com/eslbasics. “

If you love picking up new language – as well as new ideas for teaching – I would really recommend following Andrea on Twitter too: http://www.twitter.com/eslbasics

It seems that ESL Basics is one of those rare resourse sites that you don’t see very often – one that exists for the pleasure of being there and helping out other people. The joy of sharing the English language is wonderfully in evidence at ESL Basics! Why not CHECK IT OUT today? 🙂

http://www.eslbasics.com


Freely Download, Print, Copy, and Sell English Teaching Materials

This is a short video about English Banana.com’s Free Licences, which allow you to use our free printable worksheets and books to teach and learn the English language. You can also sell English Banana.com materials for profit – without paying us any commission. This map shows how other people are using our licences: http://tiny.cc/eb4 You can find out more about the book in this video by clicking here: http://tiny.cc/eb2


Get a really fabulous free suite of teaching tools at Triptico!

David Riley at Triptico is offering a fantastic set of materials for teaching which really needs to be seen to be believed! An online teacher told me about the Word Magnets which he was finding really useful for teaching Talk a Lot vocabulary lessons. But there is much more in the set of 20 different tools, which is offered – amazingly – absolutely free.

I contacted David and he told me: ‘The app is free and contains 20 or so interactive resources – all of which can be edited and adapted by teachers to perfectly suit their subject and students.

‘I try to add new resources whenever I have time and also try my best to respond to teacher feedback by updating and improving the resources.

‘As for Word Magnets, I am constantly amazed by the many different ways in which teachers make use of this resource. Grouping, ranking, sorting, etc. activities are very popular – and I have added a number of backgrounds to the resource to help with this.

‘I also made a short video about ‘Mystery Magnets’ – it may be useful too:

http://www.screenr.com/vIf

Thanks, David, for providing a valuable set of resources – for free! I can imagine that they would be especially beneficial to teachers who are lucky enough to have an interactive whiteboard in the classroom.


Darren Hayes – Bloodstained Heart

I love this new song by Darren Hayes – and the proper video is fantastic (below is the lyric video). The first time I watched it my heart was in my mouth by the end. It’s very moving! For someone who has had This Delicate Thing We’ve Made playing on repeat since it came out in 2007, it’s great to be finally getting a new album from Darren. But this song sets the bar very high… If the new album – Secret Codes And Battleships – matches up, it is going to be amazing!