Don’t Say It! (5+1 things English teachers shouldn’t say in the classroom)

What shouldn’t we say in the classroom? How can we motivate our students and keep them enthusiastic about learning English? When we know better, we do better. So, let’s get off on the right foot!❌ That’s wrong!We all know that positive reinforcement is essential, right? So, negative remarks won’t help!*What to do: If you ask a question and a student’s answer is wrong, don’t focus on that or provide the answer yourself. Give the student the chance to self-correct. Peer correction can also help to create a positive classroom atmosphere as your English learners realise that you are not the only source of correction and that they can also learn a lot from their classmates. Bear in mind that all students intuitively appreciate teachers who create a supportive and non-threatening atmosphere in the classroom.❌ Do you understand?Well, we really shouldn’t ask our students if they have understood what we’ve just explained. Most students will just say ‘yes’ even if they haven’t understood anything at all!*What to do: Check for comprehension with the help of a game, a crossword puzzle, a quiz or another fun exercise. Help your students put what they’ve learned into practice and grasp a deeper understanding of the English language! Using books with engaging, playful and creative activities can be a great source of inspiration. ❌ You’re so lazy!We’ve all heard parents and other teachers say that children and teenagers nowadays are just getting lazier and lazier. But that won’t certainly somehow magically teach our English learners what it means to try more and study hard!*What to do: Firstly, always remember that you can’t make people behave better by making them feel worse! If your students seem bored and lethargic, they may need a different approach that fits their needs in a better way. Remember that you are the one who creates the classroom routine and chooses how to respond to student behavior. So, be willing to make the necessary changes in your own classroom to create the learning environment children and teenagers need to thrive. Keep being supportive and always keep an optimistic attitude about the outcome. Moreover, bear in mind that if some of your students seem lazy or have to be constantly reminded what to do next, they may deal with a learning disability that is impeding their progress in English.❌ Because I say so.Well, it’s true that these four words can roll off our tongues really easily… But we do know that ‘Because I say so’ won’t work – at least not for long!*What to do: Always make an effort to explain, no matter how tired you are!❌ I’ve already answered that question.Our role as teachers is to motivate our students to ask questions and seek answers. There is no such thing as a stupid question. And it doesn’t matter if we’ve already answered a question!*What to do: If necessary, go over the same points again and again. Do not overwhelm your students with long and complicated sentences when giving instructions or explanations. And always remember to apply the KISS (Keep It Short and Simple) design principle in your EFL classroom (especially when teaching English to newbies)! ❌ Your brother/sister/fellow student is better than you.Comparisons can only lead to trouble. Using other people as great examples may seem like a smart way to inspire our students, but it usually leads to resentment, jealousy, and less effort.*What to do: Praising the effort of a student usually motivates him/her to try harder. in addition, your English learners should have a good idea of your expectations, so you can talk in general about what all students ought to do to make their work stand out.Do you have anything you’d like to add to this list? Share your thoughts below!And if you liked this blog post, you might also enjoy reading this one: 5+1 Ways to Become a Better English teacher. @font-face {font-family:"Cambria Math"; panose-1:2 4 5 3 5 4 6 3 2 4; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:roman; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:3 0 0 0 1 0;}@font-face {font-family:Calibri; panose-1:2 15 5 2 2 2 4 3 2 4; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:swiss; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:-520082689 -1073697537 9 0 511 0;}@font-face {font-family:"Segoe UI Emoji"; panose-1:2 11 5 2 4 2 4 2 2 3; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:swiss; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:3 33554432 0 0 1 0;}p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-unhide:no; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; margin-top:0cm; margin-right:0cm; margin-bottom:8.0pt; margin-left:0cm; line-height:107%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri",sans-serif; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:Calibri; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:Arial; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi; mso-ansi-language:EN-GB;}a:link, span.MsoHyperlink {mso-style-priority:99; color:#0563C1; mso-themecolor:hyperlink; text-decoration:underline; text-underline:single;}a:visited, span.MsoHyperlinkFollowed {mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; color:#954F72; mso-themecolor:followedhyperlink; text-decoration:underline; text-underline:single;}.MsoChpDefault {mso-style-type:export-only; mso-default-props:yes; font-size:11.0pt; mso-ansi-font-size:11.0pt; mso-bidi-font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri",sans-serif; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:Calibri; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:Arial; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi; mso-ansi-language:EN-GB;}.MsoPapDefault {mso-style-type:export-only; margin-bottom:8.0pt; line-height:107%;}div.WordSection1 {page:WordSection1;}...

November 25, 2021

How to Teach Your Students about Climate Change

Devastating wildfires. Prolonged droughts. Stifling heat waves. Intense hurricanes. Do you find yourself wondering how can you explain the tough reality of what is going on without terrifying young students? Are you looking for smart ways to draw attention to climate-related issues and spark some interest in the hot topic of climate change? Are you undecided as to which materials to use with your students? E-planet is here to help! Let’s encourage the next generation of climate leaders to change our world!📌Using appropriate resourcesThe first step is to find the right resources. Outdated books and obsolete information will not help. When it comes to climate change, you don’t have to be an expert; however, you have to rely on ESL books which offer high-quality and stimulating content.It’s also important to use age-appropriate materials. The feeling of powerlessness and fear when learning about major environmental problems, known as ecophobia, is a phenomenon that no teacher would like to face, so don’t scare young learners with information that might overwhelm them!Tip: Take a look at our creative Resources for English Teachers in order to find some free, innovative and ready-to-use materials on climate change. And don’t forget to explore our inspirational Seasonal Activities section for smart ideas that can help your students learn more about environmental protection and celebrate World Environment Day!📌Taking advantage of technologyThere are also many free online games, quizzes and amusing activities, which you can use in order to help your students to understand climate science in a fun and engaging way. For example, if you are teaching English to young learners, you can take a look at NASA's Climate Kids website, which tells the story of our changing planet through the eyes of the NASA missions studying Earth. What does global climate change mean? What is the greenhouse effect? What is happening to the oceans? Time to find out…📌Connecting learning to real lifeThe next step is to connect climate change to the real world. Well, it’s true that this topic may seem abstract and intangible… So, what can you do?Challenge your young students to find at least three ways to use less power on a daily basis. Ask older students to consider how their daily actions contribute to climate change. And remember to connect climate change to real stories and people, like Greta Thunberg, the well-known climate campaigner.Tip: Motivate your students to work together with their peers and don’t forget to incorporate teamwork and multiple projects in your lessons. For example, your English learners can give presentations to other students or work on poster campaigns and group art projects, while practising their English at the same time!📌Making a differenceMake sure your students stay hopeful about the future and help them to understand that we can all take action against climate change.Your goal is to inspire them, not scare them! Emphasise that we are not powerless.Challenge your students to influence others; for example, can they persuade their families members to adopt eco-friendly habits, like recycling and reusing single-use plastic items? A smart idea is to inspire them to engage in social activities, like a school recycling program.Ready to empower your students to make the world a better place? Time to take action and help them protect the planet they love! @font-face {font-family:"Cambria Math"; panose-1:2 4 5 3 5 4 6 3 2 4; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:roman; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:3 0 0 0 1 0;}@font-face {font-family:Calibri; panose-1:2 15 5 2 2 2 4 3 2 4; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:swiss; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:-536859905 -1073697537 9 0 511 0;}@font-face {font-family:"Segoe UI Emoji"; panose-1:2 11 5 2 4 2 4 2 2 3; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:swiss; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:3 33554432 0 0 1 0;}p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-unhide:no; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; margin-top:0cm; margin-right:0cm; margin-bottom:8.0pt; margin-left:0cm; line-height:107%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri",sans-serif; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:Calibri; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:Arial; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi; mso-ansi-language:EN-GB;}a:link, span.MsoHyperlink {mso-style-priority:99; color:#0563C1; mso-themecolor:hyperlink; text-decoration:underline; text-underline:single;}a:visited, span.MsoHyperlinkFollowed {mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; color:#954F72; mso-themecolor:followedhyperlink; text-decoration:underline; text-underline:single;}.MsoChpDefault {mso-style-type:export-only; mso-default-props:yes; font-size:11.0pt; mso-ansi-font-size:11.0pt; mso-bidi-font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri",sans-serif; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:Calibri; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:Arial; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi; mso-ansi-language:EN-GB;}.MsoPapDefault {mso-style-type:export-only; margin-bottom:8.0pt; line-height:107%;}div.WordSection1 {page:WordSection1;}...

October 05, 2021

3+1 Habits of Successful English Learners

What do successful English learners do differently from others? OK, the truth is that there is no secret formula to being a great language learner. However, there are some everyday habits that can help!✏️Fake it till you make itPeople often say that children learn languages more easily than adults. But why is that? Well, it is true that most children are not afraid of making mistakes – they are always much more willing to try one more time, and they’re used to receiving guidance. And did we mention that they get really excited when they accomplish something new?So, instead of focusing on every single mishap, error or mistake, be a brave learner and celebrate all your small achievements! Learning English is like learning to ride a bike: you will fall off your bicycle, but you will certainly get the hang of it after a while. Remember, practice makes perfect!Tip: Why not stop thinking of yourself as a student? Just think of yourself as an English speaker and don’t be afraid of taking risks and making mistakes!✏️Take advantage of dead timeHow would you entertain yourself in a mind-numbing queue? Internet is here to help! In the age of smartphones, listening to English is probably the easiest thing to practise for a few minutes every day. For example, you could take advantage of thousands of videos on YouTube, which can help you have fun and work on your listening skills at the same time. Even just ten to fifteen minutes can be much more beneficial than you think.There are also many apps that could help you revise information and vocabulary through flashcards. Well, 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. Remembering new vocabulary is easier than it sounds!Tip: Always keep your eyes open for phrases, idioms, collocations and oxymorons. For example, having English songs playing in the background when doing the housework or commuting is a great way to get used to idiomatic phrases without feeling pressured. And bear in mind that there are a lot of words in English that look or sound alike but have very different meanings. Keep a list of words you always confuse and learn most of the notorious commonlyconfused words!✏️Find your learning styleWhen you learn something new, do you like to get the information in pictures or sounds and words? Would your teacher agree that you are a visual learner? Do you know what a kinaesthetic learner is?There are lot of options when it comes to learning materials. If a method isn’t working for you, then find another method. As soon as you accept that what works for others may not work for you and you find the right tools, learning English will become much easier!Tip: Don’t forget that you should always focus on all skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. As any English teacher knows, most learners have weaknesses in some skills, but taking a balanced approach always helps. After all, you can’t build a house without a strong foundation!✏️Stay patient and activeBear in mind that perfectionism and rushing will get you nowhere! Learning a language is like trying to lose weight – it takes time and effort. You simply cannot improve at lightning speed – nobody can!And that’s why you should be patient and active: start reading books and magazines in English use Netflix for language learning set up an English-speaking club with other students listen to an interesting podcast in English when you’re bored. Learning a new language doesn’t just happen, so take control of your own learning!Tip: Even if you are not young anymore, don’t be afraid of making learning fun! We all have an inner child inside us who is playful and sees learning as an exciting adventure! There is always a wide range of options, such as adventurous board games and free online resources, which can help.What habits have helped you to learn English? Share your ideas and tips in the comments below!...

August 26, 2021

Staycation & Learning English

How often do you find yourself daydreaming about visiting the exotic or far-flung place on your desktop wallpaper? However, the years 2020 and 2021 have been very strange, to say the least, and our world is still facing a pandemic. Taking a trip abroad and making exciting travel plans is not always easy! But what if you said yes to a staycation?The term staycation is formed by combining ‘stay’ and ‘vacation’, so it is actually a portmanteau word (a term formed by combining two other words). And it sounds cool, doesn’t it? If you just need to get away from it all, that’s your favourite new word in English! So, are you ready to kill two birds with one stone? Look no further! This summer you can stay right where you are, save money and improve your English.📌 Become a TouristHow can you get a renewed sense of the place you call home? Pick up an English travel guide and explore a new site you haven’t visited before. You can always discover (or rediscover) the beauty of the area you live in. There’s so much to see … right on your doorstep!Tip: Are there any nearby popular tourist spots you’ve never been to? Walking tours in English can also help you not only find hidden treasures and secret nooks and crannies, but also meet new people.📌Become a BookwormSummer is the best time to enjoy a great book in English, especially if you are heading to the beach. However, if a good beach near you is not an option, perhaps you can set up a colourful hammock in your garden or lay out a picnic blanket in a park and relax with a new book.Tip: Comics and graded readers are great options if you think that reading a novel in English might be too hard for you.📌 Become a (Board) GamerFamily bonding and board games go hand in hand! Educational board games for children or adventure games for teenagers andadults are here to help everyonemaster the English language.Tip: Not interested in board games? No problem! Crosswords, brain teasers and puzzles are another great way to expand your vocabulary. If you can’t travel abroad, say yes to a 3D puzzle of a famous building or landmark in an English-speaking country. For example, you can build your own model of one of the best-known bridges in the world: Tower Bridge.📌 Become a FoodieCuisine can sometimes offer excellent insights into a country’s history and culture. For example, England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales have their own food identity and, therefore, their own special dishes. So, why not take advantage of this staycation to try your hand at a traditional recipe that will let your taste buds travel without leaving home?Tip: You can also take some time for a special meal that you don’t have to cook. Is there a good British, Irish, Australian or Canadian restaurant in your area? Time to find out!📌 Become a Tech FanWhy not use technology to practise your English? For example, there are thousands of videos on YouTube, which could help you have fun and work on your listening skills at the same time. Netflix and other online streaming services can also be a treasure. Read our blog post ‘How toUse Netflix to Learn English’ , grab some popcorn andprepare to sharpen your language skills!Tip: OK, let’s not forget that getting back to the basics could be useful too. What do we mean? Well, reading magazines in English or watching foreign television series is a classic and time-tested way to quickly improve language learning.If you are wondering how you can help your little ones practise their English too, add these clever ideas, which combine fun and learning, to your cool ‘8 Summer Learning Ideas For Young English Learners’. @font-face {font-family:"Cambria Math"; panose-1:2 4 5 3 5 4 6 3 2 4; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:roman; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:3 0 0 0 1 0;}@font-face {font-family:Calibri; panose-1:2 15 5 2 2 2 4 3 2 4; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:swiss; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:-469750017 -1073732485 9 0 511 0;}@font-face {font-family:"Segoe UI Emoji"; panose-1:2 11 5 2 4 2 4 2 2 3; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:swiss; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:3 33554432 0 0 1 0;}p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-unhide:no; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; margin:0cm; margin-bottom:.0001pt; line-height:18.0pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Calibri",sans-serif; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:Calibri; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:Arial; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;}.MsoChpDefault {mso-style-type:export-only; mso-default-props:yes; font-size:11.0pt; mso-ansi-font-size:11.0pt; mso-bidi-font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri",sans-serif; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:Calibri; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:Arial; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;}.MsoPapDefault {mso-style-type:export-only; line-height:18.0pt;}div.WordSection1 {page:WordSection1;}...

July 28, 2021

7 Top Tips for Teaching English to Beginners

Have you suddenly found yourself teaching complete beginners? You are certainly not alone! We are here to help. So, here’s everything you need to know when it comes to teaching English to newbies!✔️ Planning & PreparationLesson planning can be time-consuming, but in order to help your beginners make progress, a good lesson plan is essential. It is often said that if we fail to prepare, we prepare to fail. So, always bear in mind that careful preparation allows every EFL teacher to map out a great learning path.For example, lesson planning will help you to know what realia you should bring to your next lesson. Realia are any real objects you can use in the classroom to make the learning experience more memorable for your students. And you should use them really often because they can easily grab all beginners’ attention and they appeal to both visual and kinaesthetic learners of all ages!✔️ Show, Don’t TellGood teachers always use more than words to explain new vocabulary and ideas. Body language can reinforce what you want to say and gestures really help. Hand movements sometimes speak louder than words; it is well established in numerous behavioural studies in psychology and education that gesticulation and speech are interrelated. Actually, teaching English to beginners without gesticulation is like teaching with your hands tied behind your back!✔️ Total Physical ResponseTotal Physical Response (TPR) can also help. Created by Dr. James Asher, TPR is based on the way all children learn their mother tongue. And it has been proved that it can drastically reduce the use of learners’ native language (L1) in second or foreign language teaching!When you learn a language as a child, you don’t just listen to some words and try to repeat them. You watch your parents, you try to understand what their words mean and you respond with actions. For example, think of a mother who asks her son to get a ball. The little boy will just go and get it without saying anything. He can’t talk, but he certainly can take in the language!So, get inspired, say a phrase, demonstrate an action and then say again the phrase as a command. For example, the phrase ‘Open your books’ is a great example of easy classroom language that you can use during your first lessons.✔️ Keep It SimpleKISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) is a design principle which states that all systems should always be as simple as possible. The term was first used in the U.S. Navy in 1960 but it can also be brought to bear in your EFL classroom!Speak slowly and clearly. If necessary, go over the same points again and again. Speaking louder than you usually do can also help sometimes. And remember not to overwhelm your students with long and complicated sentences when giving instructions.✔️ Routine & FunDeveloping a routine in your classroom makes giving instructions much faster. However, you do not want to be a boring teacher, right? That’s why it is a great idea to always remember to add a little bit of unexpected fun!For example, when teaching phonics or new vocabulary, you can use music to create a positive and uplifting atmosphere. In this way, beginners memorise sounds and new words in an enjoyable way. After all, it's a lot easier to remember a catchy song than it is to remember pronunciation rules and long strings of words. Advertisers often use jingles to make their messages stick in our heads; do the same in your EFL classroom!✔️ Visual StimuliHow would you describe an apple to someone who doesn’t speak your mother tongue? The simplest thing to do would be to show them a picture of an apple, right?Pictures, flashcards, infographics and illustrations can help. Most beginners study better with visual aids. Using educational videos or 3D animated cartoons and educational board games for children or adventurous games for teenagers and adults can also help foster a positive learning attitude. And printing some useful posters to put up on the classroom walls is always a great idea!✔️ Practice Makes PerfectLearning a foreign language is like going to the gym. Our body and muscles are strengthened only if we practise on a regular basis. So, explain to your students that they will make mistakes, but that’s OK. Help them to embrace their mistakes andlearn from them. Use positive reinforcement strategies, help your students celebrate their small achievements and reward good work and effort.To find more useful tips for teaching English, learn more about how you can teach EFL newcomers and for inspirational guidance and free resources, check out our Resources for English Teachers.Ready to start teaching English to newbies? Good luck to all you great teachers out there! @font-face {font-family:"Cambria Math"; panose-1:2 4 5 3 5 4 6 3 2 4; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:roman; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:-536870145 1107305727 0 0 415 0;}@font-face {font-family:Calibri; panose-1:2 15 5 2 2 2 4 3 2 4; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:swiss; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:-536859905 -1073697537 9 0 511 0;}@font-face {font-family:"Segoe UI Emoji"; panose-1:2 11 5 2 4 2 4 2 2 3; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:swiss; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:3 33554432 0 0 1 0;}p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-unhide:no; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; margin-top:0cm; margin-right:0cm; margin-bottom:8.0pt; margin-left:0cm; line-height:107%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri",sans-serif; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:Calibri; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:Arial; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi; mso-ansi-language:EN-GB;}a:link, span.MsoHyperlink {mso-style-priority:99; color:#0563C1; mso-themecolor:hyperlink; text-decoration:underline; text-underline:single;}a:visited, span.MsoHyperlinkFollowed {mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; color:#954F72; mso-themecolor:followedhyperlink; text-decoration:underline; text-underline:single;}.MsoChpDefault {mso-style-type:export-only; mso-default-props:yes; font-size:11.0pt; mso-ansi-font-size:11.0pt; mso-bidi-font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri",sans-serif; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:Calibri; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:Arial; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi; mso-ansi-language:EN-GB;}.MsoPapDefault {mso-style-type:export-only; margin-bottom:8.0pt; line-height:107%;}div.WordSection1 {page:WordSection1;}...

July 06, 2021

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 itChunking 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 downYou'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 itWhat 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 memorySing itYou 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 ItAccording 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 itWe 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 itWhen 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