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October 2020 issue out now

We have turned half of this issue over to articles from teachers doing their classes online in emergency remote, unprepared ways and I am sure you will see some similarities to your own situation.

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In the current issue of Modern English Teacher...

The online conundrum
Andy Barker describes the process of moving classes from live teaching to online teaching and getting the right blend.

A teacher’s report from a besieged classroom
Observations from a teacher in Poland cover aspects of blended learning, student motivation, teaching language and ideas relevant to the context.

Online or not online: that’s the question
Thu Tran shows how both learners and teachers can be very creative when the situation demands and Zoom has been an excellent tool to help us through these times.

The contents of Pandora’s Box: online teacher development and evaluation?
Ross Thorburn argues that we take advantage of the opportunities this new medium affords us, while being alert to the potential ethical dangers.

Creative writing tasks for online teaching
Are you looking for personalised activities which are both motivating and useful? Find out more about some communicative and creative online writing tasks suitable for young adults.

10 things ERT has shown us
From two different parts of the world, Fiona Dunlop and Robert McLarty discuss ten aspects of teaching and learning which ERT has shown us. Will our teaching and learning ever be the same? Is this the right time to embrace more blended learning?

ERT: reflections on a different kind of learning
Some reflections from Kat Robb on teaching online with six key points to remember around nomination, expectation, empathy, pace, rapport and praise.

Building rapport with your online community of learners
Vicky Collins discusses the six categories of rapport building indicators for distance learning and offers advice on how to develop each stage paying particular attention to manner, tone and humour.

Redefining 21st century skills
Anna Hasper discusses the development of blended learning and the need for independence among our learners. How can this be achieved with younger learners and what activities can be used to improve collaboration, community and creativity?

Preparing for Pre A1 Starters, A1 Movers and A2 Flyers from home!
Exam preparation delivered online has to be engaging, useful and, most of all, fun.
Riccardo Chiappini gives some valuable ideas and tips on resources available online.

Emotional affordances in online classrooms
The article looks at four principles of the Emotional Affordances (EA) framework; positivity, self-disclosure, safety and affinity.

Adapting to an evolving teaching environment
Matthew Ellman looks at three main areas of classroom change and offers ideas for our own improvement. He looks at digitisation and how it can be used to personalise learning. He considers using a blended learning approach and also the risks of attention scarcity.

The language of coronavirus
Ken Bateup and Clare Henderson suggest ways of activating vocabulary, categorising lexis, using metaphor and having discussions around the theme of Covid 19.

This article takes the theme of nomination and offers a range of approaches from random to chosen. Jason Anderson argues how important it is to nominate in a planned way in order to give everyone a chance.

Back to basics
Do your students know what an adverb is? Do they understand what passive means? This article offers a metaphorical approach to language systems designed to help learners understand what can and cannot work grammatically in English.

Tasty taboos: making PARSNIPs palatable for teachers and students alike
How much do you avoid certain topics because they are considered risky? Rose Aylett describes ways of introducing these subjects to your classes in a way which will avoid any embarrassment or awkwardness.

Designing a coherent lesson
Corsica Kong describes the way she plans her lessons to maximise the coherence between the different stages and tasks.

Practical tips for effective lessons
By concentrating on what you want learners to be able to by the end of the lesson, Monica Ruda-Peachey argues that lesson planning will be more useful. Integrating pronunciation ideas and contingency plans also help make lessons flow well.

10 tips for cowriting
Ethan Mansur and Riccardo Chiappini describe some of the benefits of writing together. It helps you focus on your own ideas, it stops you becoming repetitive and it is constructive, creative and fun.

An A-Z of critical thinking activities
Diana Bauducco offers a long list of activities aimed at improving your students’ critical thinking skills.

Days Crossing: inside the process of producing dramatic ELT video content
Jonathon Ryan describes the process of developing an ELT drama which is authentic in terms of plot and language, engaging for learners and useful to practise a whole range of language items and skills.

Decoding: the nitty gritty of listening
Annie McDonald describes an approach to teaching listening which encourages the teacher to find out what the learner is really hearing? How can we help them improve if we don’t know what they think they hear?

Being the new Director of Studies – Part three
How do you advertise for new teachers? What qualities are you looking for? How much are you prepared to spend? Matthew Hallett describes the problems of recruiting for a school.

What motivates advanced learners?
Advanced students are motivated by a wide range of factors in tertiary education, from getting a better job, to further studies and other social elements.