Children’s Stories

Are you wondering how English learning can be made easier and a lot more fun? We’ve got you covered! Just join Ozzy and his friends on amazing adventures that introduce young students to everyday words and phrases with the help of exciting stories that bring English to life. Ozzy the donkey, Pella the kangaroo, Sam the hippo and the rest of the characters are ready to shake things up! The stories for children 4-7 years old are here to provide powerful language-learning opportunities and entertain young learners in a unique way. Ozzy and the Magic Drink and Ozzy and the Future (for children 4+ years old), Ozzy and Street Safety (for children 5+ years old) and Ozzy and His Tablet (for children 6+ years old) will make you wish you had learnt English that way too! All the stories are based on the lovely E-planet cartoon characters, which are very popular with young learners, while the carefully chosen, multicultural content makes them suitable for every country and area around the world. Well, all cultures worldwide have always used the power of storytelling to pass knowledge on from one generation to another. But not all stories are right for second language learning. That’s why it is important to use resources that have been carefully written with specific considerations in mind. The vivid colours, the fun illustrations, the appropriate length and the unique layout of these books can easily motivate our little students to continue reading and have fun as they easily identify with the main characters! It’s undeniable that all children like reading and listening to stories over and over again. This repetition helps them not only become familiar with key vocabulary and structures but also enrich their thinking and memory skills. Over time, they will understand more of the meaning and remember more of the language. And it is important that the E-planet stories offer strong, positive messages in an entertaining way – they help all students understand what can happen when they believe in themselves, spread positivity and pursue their dreams! Extra tip for teachers: Ask children to use their imagination, draw their own pictures and label them, or even describe their favourite character or part of the story. And don’t forget to use the full-coloured flashcards and the audio recordings (or the high-quality 3D animated video for Ozzy and the Magic Drink) – these are wonderful aids that facilitate the learning of new vocabulary and make reading easier!...

May 24, 2021

The 4 C’s: 21st century skills in the English language classroom

You know the four C’s, right? Communication. Collaboration. Creativity. Critical thinking. These are the four ‘super skills’ that 21st century skills students can’t do without. But how are you supposed to teach English and the 4 C’s at the same time? Communication Communication is all about sharing: ideas, opinions, and thoughts. It includes the abilities to articulate ideas effectively when speaking or writing. Since every language is an essential means of communication and the main objective of teaching a foreign language is to enable the learner to communicate in it, ESL classes have long been regarded as one of the best environments for enhancing students' communication skills. Your How-to Tips Technology can help. For example, online communication (such as online groups for class discussions) encourage students to communicate. This is helpful since online discussions can give shy students a way to express themselves without the added pressure of speaking in front of an entire class. Collaboration Are your students able to work effectively with diverse and different teams, show flexibility and be willing to accomplish common goals? Collaboration can help students become more engaged in the classroom and more curious about the topic that is taught. Your How-to Tips Motivate your students to work together with their peers, and incorporate teamwork and multiple projects in your lessons. You can also create a collaborative environment by changing your English classroom design. Creativity Creativity is the practice of thinking outside the box. It is not only about creating something original from scratch, but also about taking something that already exists and creating something totally new from it. So, since we all know that children and teens are highly curious and happy to explore everything, it can be easy to reinforce that skill! Your How-to Tips When you ask your students to complete a sentence in as many ways as possible or come up with creative solutions for a given problem, you do boost their creativity skills! Even simple speaking and writing activities promote creativity because both demand rearranging and reusing already known language elements in a new way. Critical thinking Actually, this is not a new concept! Originally acknowledged by Socrates about 2,500 years ago, critical thinking helps young and old students to learn to ask questions, become engaged in the world around them, and help others think critically, too. Your How-to Tips Use thought-provoking questions (such as ‘Why do you think…?’ and ‘Do you agree that…?’). Create learning experiences, such as mock debates. In what ways are you already integrating the 4 C’s into your curriculum? If you liked this, you might also enjoy the article 5+1 Ways to Become a Better English Teacher....

April 24, 2021

Remembering New Vocabulary: The Science of Memory

A bad memory is one of the top excuses most people give for not learning another language. However, it is undeniable that lots of English learners with average memories manage to learn thousands of new words in a school year. But how do they do that? Well, improving your memory is easier than it sounds! All it takes is trying out new techniques or making some adjustments in your lifestyle. Here are some of the best tips and tricks to help boost your memory… Chunk it Chunking is a mnemonic device that can make large amounts of information more memorable. The good news? You are probably used to it! When you learn or you say a phone number, chances are you chunk the numbers. For example, you say something like ‘630 – 250 – 6300’ rather than ‘6302506300’. So, by grouping information into smaller sets, you help your brain to remember it much more easily. To put this into practice, you could group new words by topic. It’s really hard and challenging to learn and recall 30 new words, but what if you tried to memorise 10 new words about hobbies, 10 about technology and 10 about holidays? Write it down You're more likely to remember a word that you write by hand than something that you type. So, put away your laptop or tablet, and say ‘yes’ to handwriting! Connect it What would you do if you had to learn some new words describing people and objects? Well, can you imagine a screaming baby next to a shattered glass? If yes, the words ‘screaming’ and ‘shattered’ will probably become fixed in your memory much more easily. So, just remember: visualisation is a key skill when it comes to memory Sing it You may know that it's a lot easier to remember a catchy song than it is to remember a long string of words; that’s why advertisers often use jingles to make their messages stick in your head! And You probably learnt the alphabet through the ABC song. So, why not follow the same ‘music trick’ again when learning new vocabulary? Sleep on It According to recent research, sleep is the easiest way to boost your memory! If you are sleep-deprived, the brain's neurons become over-connected with so much activity that new memories just can't be saved. So, getting a good night's sleep always helps. Extra tip: Bear in mind that naps count too. Taking a nap of about 45-60 minutes immediately after learning something new could boost your memory five-fold! Digest it We don't mean to sound like your mother or doctor, but saturated and trans fats are linked to poorer memory. So, say ‘yes’ to a healthy diet and lots of vegetables and fruit… and feed your brain! Revise it When retrieving a memory, our brains always ‘revisit’ the nerve pathways created when the memory was formed. So, repeatedly recalling information helps strengthen those connections, which is why techniques like reviewing our notes or using flashcards help us retain information. Extra tip: There are many apps that could help you revise information through flashcards, but the act of creating your own cards is a much more powerful learning experience. In any case, don’t forget that learning vocabulary is more complex than memorising a bunch of words. Turning a language into nothing more than a list of words makes learning boring. And if you focus too much on flashcards, you may end up recognising lots of words without knowing how to use them in real life. Which brings us to our last point… Use it The more you use new words, the faster you will remember them. You could build some sentences in your mind or try throwing the words into a conversation when opportunity arises. In any case, you should always be ready to bring your new words out of books and apps and into real-life contexts! Our final tip: If you want to take English language learning to the next level, try not to translate new vocabulary into your mother tongue. Instead, use synonyms and other words to explain and describe it in English! How do you study, learn and remember new vocabulary in English? Let us know in the comments below!...

March 24, 2021

Pre-junior & Junior 3D Cartoon Films

Are you wondering how you can lead your young students to develop a love for English and improve their skills in an entertaining and playful way? We’ve got you covered! Bright and vivid colours, tons of action and fun, upbeat music and songs, amusing animated illustrations… It sounds like you’ve found some great English cartoon films! Yes, the most popular E-planet characters are back! It’s time to let Ozzy and his friends help all young students refresh their vocabulary and grammar with exciting games, adventures, stories and songs! Made for the Pre-junior and Junior levels, which are aimed at children from 4 to 5 years of age, our new 3D cartoon films Let’s Have Fun with Ozzy and Let’s Play with Ozzy can also help children improve their listening and speaking skills in an easy, age-appropriate and entertaining way. They encourage all students to imitate the animated heroes, learn simple phrases and get used to pronunciation patterns while also having fun. Well, it’s undeniable that all children learn more effectively when they focus on new stimuli and activities that can easily grab their attention. After all, nothing kills the desire to learn more than boredom! That’s why fresh and innovative methods of teaching and learning can make students much more attentive. Since motivation is one of the most important factors in foreign-language acquisition, we use the power of cartoons to make learning really fun! Once children have become emotionally attached to the characters, they are then open to all the learning processes which may be introduced. Did we mention that E-planet is the only English teaching company who has converted whole books into 3D cartoon films, which young students will enjoy watching over and over? Ozzy the donkey, Pella the kangaroo, Sam the hippo and the rest of the characters are ready to shake things up! Exceptional character design, interesting dialogue scripting and great voice acting provide the most potent hooks to capture the attention of all children. On April 1st, the new E-planet cartoon films, Let’s Have Fun with Ozzy and Let’s Play with Ozzy, will be offered exclusively to our young students around the world—a unique gift from E-planet! We promise: these films will make you wish you had learnt English that way too! Stay tuned! * Extra tip for parents: Think outside the box and transform learning time into play! Invite your child’s friends for an ‘English day’ at home, suggesting that they watch the new films and speak in English as much as they can. You can make this experience truly unforgettable by also asking them to play an exciting educational board game! * Extra tip for teachers: Bear in mind that the use of cartoon films can be especially beneficial for children with learning difficulties. The keywords here are fun and multisensory learning. The more innovative and entertaining the material you use is, the more enthusiastic your students will be! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u4RPeSgK-dg...

March 02, 2021

Class Size Matters! (A teacher's guide to large classes)

The more, the merrier? Well, not always! Teaching large classes and many students can be a really intimidating and daunting experience. But once you get the hang of it, it not only can be easy, but also fun. Let’s see how you can motivate students and keep them enthusiastic about learning English. Here are some useful tips to get off on the right foot! Plans and Routines Dead time while you are shuffling through books trying to choose another activity is the perfect time for your students to start misbehaving. That’s why planning and routines are two of the most important things to have in terms of maintaining order in the classroom. It also helps to have a method for getting students’ attention if the class starts to get noisy. When there are moments that your students seem unfocused, start… talking! E-planet Educational Services conversation course, Live Chat, mixes discussion and tasked-based activities so that students can improve their conversation skills, and it is ideal for any teacher who wants to include more conversation in the classroom and keep students on their toes! Active Learning With larger class numbers there comes an even more diverse range of learning styles. That’s why using a variety of teaching techniques and active learning strategies will help you to engage all learning styles and therefore all students. Divide and Conquer Another key point to remember is that dividing a large class into teams and having a fun, competitive environment can motivate students. By awarding points to the quietest team or best behavior, you can keep their behavior in check, too. Participation Chances In a large classroom, it’s easy for quieter and more introverted students to fade into the background while the more outgoing ones answer questions and participate. Playing games where everyone has to take part really helps! Technology Aid Incorporating technology can make teaching large classrooms more manageable. Fortunately, in the age of the Internet, that’s not hard! Embrace the different ways technology can contribute to the learning process, and use the tech you need to increase student engagement and spark discussion. You'll see the interest level in your classroom increase by leaps and bounds! For example, since motivation is one of the most important factors in foreign language acquisition, you can use the power of 3D animated cartoons to make learning fun. Discipline and Rules How do you get students to pay attention and not throw that eraser at their classmate’s head? You don’t have to be a mean teacher… but you also can’t let students get away with little things like constantly talking or starting fights. Make it clear from the first day of class what you won’t tolerate. Smart Seating Seating plans can make or break even the best of classes! Take a proactive approach and think about which students are most likely to start chatting, misbehaving or fighting during class. Positive Rapport A great rapport is important for all class sizes, but it is especially important in large classes because you will not be able to develop a one-on-one relationship with all students. Appear approachable, share interestinginformation about yourself and show your students that you want them to feel like they know you on a more personal level. What is the biggest class you have ever had to teach? Tell us in the comments below. And if you enjoyed this post, please give it a quick share on your favourite social media! If you liked this, you might also enjoy the article 5+1 ways to become a better English teacher. And if you are interested in more, you should follow our Facebook page where we share more about fun and creative ways to teach English!...

February 22, 2021

Relative Clauses

Do your students know how to define who or what they are talking about using relative clauses? Do they understand the difference between the defining and the non-defining relative clauses? It's all relative when it comes to improving your students' grammar skills! But don't worry! E-planet is here to help! Classroom Game I: Guess What Beginners & Pre-intermediate / Young Learners & Teens Divide your class into two teams. Have each team take turns choosing an object in the classroom to give clues about, e.g. 'This is something which we use when it rains.' for an umbrella. If the other team can guess the object after just one clue, they score two poionts. If they need two clues to identify the object, they score one point. After three clues, they score zero. Who will be the winner? Let's find out! Classroom Game II: Trivia Sentence Building Beginners & Pre-intermediate / Young Learners & Teens You just need this amazing card game from our Voices 6 series to make learning and practising the Relative Clauses enjoyable! Download the cards and the instructions here: The Trivia Sentence Building Game. www.eplaneteducation.com...

February 04, 2021

Advantages of Online English Learning

As many students have discovered this year, mostly due to the Covid-19 pandemic, learning English online is very different from studying in a physical classroom. More and more teachers, students and parents are now inevitably asking the question, ‘Can learning English online lead to a successful journey towards the acquisition of a new language?’ Well, as more and more innovations are unveiled, technology plays a key role in enabling students to overcome most learning barriers of the past and embrace new ways of learning a foreign language... So, come on, let’s shed some light on this topic, and resolve any doubts you may have! Improved Concentration &Self-paced Learning Classroom can be great fun, but can also be full of distractions…Online courses seem to improve concentration, which, as all teachers know, is a major problem in ELT classrooms! Rather than being constantly instructed what to do and getting distracted by other students, you can select what activities to engage in and for how long – and this may really help you stay focused and motivated. What’s more, online courses give you full control over your learning experience. You just study and learn at your own pace, and you can always move ahead or backtrack to review the provided material. That’s how you customize the learning experience to meet your own needs. Instead of being held back by the speed of a traditional classroom or pushed ahead at a speed that’s beyond your abilities, you are allowed to master English without confusion or unnecessary difficulties. Great Flexibility &Ultimate Comfort Online modules are always there when you’re ready to learn — anytime, day or night. This allows you to adapt English learning to the rhythm of your life instead of having to be the one who adapts to the schedules of others. And let’s not forget that studying at home means that you’re immersed in a comfortable environment. That sounds great, right? It’s also a great opportunity to start creating that ideal study space you’ve always dreamed of! New Skills &Full Engagement Online learning is based on new technologies, digital tools and innovative resources. You just use all of them to complete an English course, but have you thought that – at the same time – you get familiar with technology and skills, which will certainly be useful at some point in your professional life too? For example, by completing English courses online, you’re demonstrating that you can understand how time management works, set priorities, and be self-motivated, which are among the top 10 employability skills employers want to see! And let’s not forget that all E-planet online courses and programs take advantage of the latest computer software. This means that the provided material often contains games, well-crafted videos, real-life dialogues and talks by native speakers, and other interactive components, designed to fully engage each student and boost his or her confidence! These are just some of the benefits of online learning. Would you like to try it? Waiting to see you soon in the E-planet online community! You may be just a click away from becoming the English speaker you’ve always dreamed of! After all, education is about enjoying new experiences – even in the most chaotic of times…Whatever your level of English is, we are here to help with online programs and hi-tech ‘teachers’ which you can carry in your pocket! And if you’ve been left itching for more, something tells us that you’ll love this post too: COVID-19 & LEARNING ENGLISH – 7 fun things to do while stuck indoors!...

January 28, 2021

Sports

Looking for some sporting activities, games, and worksheets? E-planet is here to help! Are you ready to get the ball rolling in your ELT class? The Missing Word Game Beginners / Young Learners & Teens How much do your students know about the story of the 1st World Cup and the sport of kite-surfing? Let them play the Missing Word game from our Voices 4 series. Only star students can find all the missing words really quickly! Who will be the winner? Download it here: The Missing Word Game. www.eplaneteducation.com A Football Legend Beginners / Young Learners & Teens It’s time to meet the one and only football legend, Lionel Messi! Let your students have fun and sharpen their reading and vocabulary skills at the same time! Taken from our Summer Voices 4 student’s book, this exclusive worksheet explores the topic of football to help students understand the world of sports in English. Download it here: A Football Legend. www.eplaneteducation.com The Words Challenge Game Pre-intermediate / Young Learners & Teens You just decide 2 categories (e.g., sports and equipment) and your English learners score points by uniquely naming objects within this set of categories, given a designated letter. Are you ready to play with your students? Download the worksheet from our Voices 6 series here: The Words Challenge Game. www.eplaneteducation.com Living Dangerously Pre-intermediate & Intermediate/ Teens & Adults Extreme sports are on the rise all over the world. But what attracts people to these sports? Download this worksheet from our Voices 7 student’s book and help your learners of English understand why adventure excites all those thrill seekers! Download here: Worksheet Page 1 and Worksheet Page 2 www.eplaneteducation.com...

January 27, 2021

8 Tips to Improve Your Writing Skills

What did you write today? Did you send any emails? Maybe you wrote a note to a classmate or a colleague. Or you completed a written assignment, an essay or a report. And, did you just leave a message on a friend’s Facebook wall? Well, even if you are not taking exams, there’s just no getting away from writing! That’s why learning to write in English is just as important as learning to speak. But how do you practise writing? We are here to help! 1. Reading Matters It may sound obvious, but this is a great place to start. Regular reading is a stepping stone to better writing. The best writers are also keen readers, and reading on a regular basis is an easy way to start developing your writing skills. Simply read for pleasure and you’ll pick things up subconsciously. Always choose texts that interest you; learning should never be boring! You can read about whatever topics you like. Just make sure you read a lot. Expose yourself to a variety of styles, voices and forms of writing. Luckily, you can easily find lots of graded readers and books of various genres created specifically for learners of foreign languages. 2. Learning New Vocabulary It goes without saying that to write with more confidence and fluency, you need to expand your vocabulary. You may understand the meaning of lots of words in English. However, if you want to be able to express yourself clearly, you have to be able to use these words correctly. That’s why word lists do not help; use example sentences, focus on prepositions, keep your eyes open for phrases, idioms and collocations. For example, learning the word ‘depend’ is easy, but knowing that ‘you depend on something’ is much more useful! 3. Mastering Spelling Some words can be really tricky and confusing! ‘Bare’ and ‘bear’ sound the same. But do you want to be naked or a large animal? A ‘desert’ is a hot and dry place like the Sahara, but add a letter (and some whipped cream!) and you have a ‘dessert’, something sweet to eat! There are a lot of words in English that look or sound alike but have very different meanings. Learn the notorious commonly confused words! And keep a list of words you commonly confuse. And always use a pen and paper; no computer means no autocorrect. So, you need to think about how to correctly spell words rather than relying on technology and smart devices to do it for you! 4. Playing Devil’s Advocate Imagine that you have to write an opinion essay. Or a ‘for & against’ essay. What side would you support if you talked to a friend? Write about the topic from the opposite or a different point of view! This is what we call ‘playing devil’s advocate’; you express an opinion which you may not agree with. And that’s a great way to learn how to express opinions in English. Did we also mention that you’ll probably practise words and phrases which you don’t normally use, since you’re writing from a different perspective? Well, that’s a win-win situation! 5. Remembering the Grammar Rules Without good knowledge of grammar, you simply can’t clearly express your thoughts. Make sure to practise your grammar skills from time to time! 6. Making an Outline Using outlines or diagrams and lists of essential ideas or plot points can give you a precious map to follow as you write. And this can save you time by keeping you focused as you write, so you don’t deviate from the topic. And if you are taking exams, bear in mind that a well-structured essay for an examiner is like adding maple syrup to pancakes – that extra, necessary finishing touch! 7. Using Transitions & Linking Words To help make your writing flow, you have to use transition and linking words or phrases. These can help you show the relationship between ideas, connect paragraphs and introduce a summary or a conclusion. 8. Just… Doing It! Get a pencil and paper or sit in front of your computer. The first step to help you improve your writing is to just write and keep on writing. Remember, practice makes perfect! You could also keep a diary in English. It doesn’t matter what you write, just that you’re making a habit of writing every day. Keep in mind that you can’t learn how to write overnight. Writing is actually pretty similar to working out. The first few times you do it, you struggle to even finish! And when improving your writing skills seems hard, don’t be disappointed… Ernest Hemingway, one of the most influential writers of the 20th century, confided to F. Scott Fitzgerald that he wrote one page of masterpiece to ninety-one pages of nonsense! Have you got any other suggestions? Have you ever practised your writing in English? Tell us what’s helped you in the comments section below; we’d love to know what you think! Did you find these tips helpful? Don’t keep this article to yourself. Tell your friends; give it a quick share on your favourite social media!...

December 23, 2020