Merry Christmas to you all!
Let’s compare two English Banana.com worksheets:
This is Worksheet A:
…and this is Worksheet B:
Did you notice the difference? Yes, they are the same worksheet, from the Big Grammar Book. But there is a crucial difference. The first one belongs to the past and the second to now and the future. The removal of the tiny copyright symbol makes a big difference to what you can now do with English Banana.com resources – all 4,000+ pages of them!
Meiji Geneta from Cavite Southern Emerald Academy in the Philippines emailed us recently to ask whether they could use English Banana material to run a free English course. We said yes – of course! – because all English Banana material is covered by our free licence to run courses – and all our free books are in the public domain.
“I am from the Philippines and I have come across the English Banana website and I was very very amazed by the numerous worksheets that were made for students and teachers who are very much interested to widen their learning when it comes to the English Language. We have a school here in the Philippines and the name of the school is Cavite Southern Emerald Academy, Inc. It is a non-stock, non-profit school and we cater students in the Preschool and Elementary Department.
“Our school shares the same vision as you do because we also love to share the love for the English language. The Philippines is not a First English Country and being able to use your resources will be able help us teach the our students the english language better and in an organized manner. I believe that the resources you have put in your website are indeed very very helpful and will definitely help our students learn the very best the English Language can offer.
“We will be conducting a two week English Proficiency Class this May 19 to May 30, 2014. This will be offered to the students for free and they will be using the 1st Grammar Book of English Banana.com [Big Grammar Book]. We would like to inform the students and the parents that all resources used in this class came from English Banana.com and we would like to recognize you for this.
“Thank you so much sir for sharing with us the resources of English Banana.com to help teach children about the English Language. I am looking forward to have more English classes with our students soon and use English Banana’s resources.”
Their course was a resounding success (see pics below) and we were delighted that they chose English Banana’s Big Grammar Book for their course material. After all, why pay for expensive course books and ELT material when English Banana material is free to use?
We are really pleased to announce that we are now selling hard copies of 4 fabulous English Banana.com books:
Big Grammar Book, Big Activity Book, Big Resource Book, and Talk a Lot Elementary Book 1
Check out this great resource site for EFL teachers: EFL Sensei. There you will find free printable lesson plans, speaking activities, board games, conversation cards, grammar activities, and more!
Why not try this exciting jigsaw speaking activity for starters? Bourbon Street: http://www.eflsensei.com/Bourbon-Street/?path=52
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.
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.
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…”
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!