Since starting my job as Head of EAL at my school, I have been lucky enough to attend a couple of BAISIS conferences. BAISIS is the British Association of Independent Schools with International Students.¬† It was reassuring to meet people doing the same thing as me, partly because a lot of the information and resources […]

My IGCSE students have been preparing for their mock Speaking exams recently – and the real thing is just after the holidays. We’ve spend time focusing on developing answers, on using a range of structures and on using vocabulary to show “shades of meaning” but the students needed to work on their grammatical accuracy. This […]

I was lucky enough to secure a slot during a teachers’ meeting last week. Unfortunately it was just before an announcement giving details of a radical change to our timetable, so I know there were some anxious minds in the room. The main points I made were as follows: We all speak two Englishes – […]

How did you come into EAL? How did you learn / are you learning how to ‘do’ it? If you’re like me, you came to EAL from a TEFL background or somewhere else in ELT – EAP, ESOL, etc. Others I have met have come to it from an MFL background, and I imagine mainstream […]

My IELTS students are definitely getting to grips with the writing tasks for IELTS, but Grammatical Resource and Accuracy is one criterion they often score low in. The marking codes I use most often with this group are s-v (subject-verb agreement), T (tense), p (punctuation) and s. or pl. (singular or plural). The reasons for […]

If you’re anything like me, you get a lot out of putting your ideas and thoughts into writing. It allows you to process what’s going round your head and writing it down means you are forced to make it into a fully-formed thought. In doing this, you create something solid. You can go away and […]

Slowing it down to break it down: how my IGCSE class improved their summarising skills. My Y11 IGCSE* group recently did their mock exams. They did pretty well in all the tasks except one. All bar one had completely forgotten how to write a summary. One had not even attempted it, one had written¬†a letter, […]