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April 2021 issue out now

Teacher Development is our theme for this issue.

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In the current issue of Modern English Teacher...


A five-phase framework for reflection
Thomas Farrell provides a step by step plan to help you develop as a reflective practitioner. Philosophy, principles, theory and practice are all covered as key stages of the framework.

Reflective practice: what is so special about it?
Atsuko Watanabe discusses what is special about reflective practice, one of the main underlying philosophies of teacher development.

How to keep Teacher Training going at a distance
Are you looking for tips for keeping your in-service training or professional development sessions working online? This article provides plenty of suggestions to make your sessions work.

Reach out
Not sure how to do something? Ask someone. Then ask another person and evaluate the answers. In this article three ways of getting useful personal development are discussed with examples from the non-teaching world.

Supporting pre-service teachers and graduate instructors
Are you mentoring or training newish teachers? What are they struggling with? How can you help them?

Teacher development in the digital age
Teacher development can be a very personal activity. Thinking about your teaching before, during and after can be a useful habit to develop.

A positive approach to (online) English Language teaching
Among the ideas covered are adopting a humanistic approach, negotiating learning goals and assessment, being sensitive to learner needs, allowing learner mistakes, providing real-world task, reducing corrective (negative) feedback, and creating a relaxing learning environment.

We’ve always done it that way
As you change levels, ages, classes and institutions your teaching will evolve, sometimes naturally and sometimes by choice. To keep your teaching fresh, make sure you have a way of regularly trying new things out.

English language assessment concerns: stakeholder voices
Some research by trainers and teachers shows that the one area missing from so many training courses is assessment. Given its importance for our learners, shouldn’t it be higher up the list of priorities?

Communicating lesson aims
Brian Cooke describes some research he carried out. The results show a wide range of opinions on the topic of lesson aims.

Creating material for a CLIL philosophy ‘101’ course
Andrew Boon describes the process he used to design and produce a completely new CLIL course teaching Philosophy through English.

Writing materials for live online lessons
John Hughes describes some of the differences between online and live teaching materials. He looks at formats, content, learner skills as part of the process in producing useful online resources.

Creative writing tasks for online learning
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.

A framework for project-based learning in TESOL
Jason Anderson describes a clear process for using PBL in class. He suggests a wide range of project types ranging in level and complexity and provides a simple template for assessment.

Online learning for non-native learners: a hindrance or a help?
Alison Shepherd argues that online learning can be particularly stressful for some learners, depending on the mode and timing of the class and the skill being taught. She describes ways of helping learner wellbeing.

Improving skills through e-portfolios
The article looks at autonomy, capability and creativity in the online classroom. Based around a WhatsApp group where thirty teacher trainees improved their skills in a motivating way.

The what and how of teaching digital skills online
Students need a whole range of digital literacy skills in order to fully participate in an online course. Emily Bryson provides a detailed account of what is needed.

Understanding language learning in online teaching
Michael Hallyday’s three register variables namely field, tenor and mode provide a heuristic model of communication. This article covers the effects of these variables on the process of language learning and provide practical ideas for effective online teaching.

It’s time we talked about student retention
Steve Hulk discusses the relationship between goals, dreams and progress and stresses the importance of the teacher as an influencer on students. They have a key impact on whether students enroll or not. Teachers can remind learners of what they want and how to achieve it.

A mini-guide to teaching beginners – Part 2
Rhona Snelling offers some strategies for teaching beginner level learners and considers eight essential skills a teacher needs to have at this level.

The Silent Way – speaking volumes
The Silent Way is an approach which requires a lot of concentration and thought on the part of the learner but which allows them to reflect on and experiment with the language. The article offers some activities to try out using the approach.

Where does VR fit in the classroom?
Four teachers share their experience of using VR with a class of young learners. The course allows the learners to fully engage with the characters, context and content.

Noticing through song
This article describes the process of using a song in class as a means for learners to notice aspects of the language. This learner-centred activity could fit into most courses.

World Englishes: theory and praxis in English language learning
This article explains a system of categorisation for different kinds of English as spoken throughout the world by a whole range of speakers.

The book I always refer to
Richard Gabrielli discusses Teaching for the Two-Sided Mind: A Guide to Right Brain/Left Brain Education.