Getting your students back on track after summer vacation

No matter how many tips and tricks you're aware of, the back-to-school season always seems stressful, right? Well, transitions can be tough for all students. Even if the students are excited, chances are they are also sluggish, nervous or unruly. That's why you need these last-minute suggestions for reinspiring English learners and getting them back in the groove after summer holidays. Keep reading and by the time September rolls around, you'll be ready to get your students back on track and keep them enthusiastic about learning English!➡️ Make it positiveThe back-to-school season can be a real bummer for some students! But creating a welcoming classroom and a positive atmosphere spurs creativity and helps us all to feel more motivated to learn. So, what can you do?First of all, rethink your classroom design and choose a seating arrangement that will encourage your students to learn. For example, you could create a horseshoe-shaped formation or flexible clusters. Seating plans can make or break even the best of classes! And remember that although you're all getting back into a routine, you can always try something new to shake things up. Even the smallest of changes can make a big difference in a classroom environment. For example, adding a splash of colour in a classroom or creating a reading and educational board games nook can make a classroom much more interesting. So, before another school year starts, follow our advice and find out how you can create a happy place for all learners!In addition, a positive classroom atmosphere can be easily achieved if your students start building a close rapport with one another. So, make it much easier for them. Don't ask them to write the classic essay on how they spent their summer holidays. Instead, encourage your young English learners to write a short bio or have a discussion about their hobbies and find 2 or more classmates they have something in common with. For older learners, a class debate is a great idea that can always get everyone talking. And if you provide private English language lessons, establish a close rapport with your students by sharing some fun or unusual facts about yourself!A catchy classroom cheer is also a great way to create a positive classroom atmosphere and promote a strong sense of togetherness. Well, if you've ever been a member or a supporter of a competitive team, then you know that a good cheer can inculcate a really powerful sense of team spirit!➡️ Take it slowIf you want to get your students comfortable with using English again, take baby steps. Your learners can't be in holiday mode one day and then totally back in business! That's why you shouldn't dive into hard and challenging projects straightaway. Pick up the pace slowly and let your students become more prepared to tackle tough exercises without feeling overwhelmed. For example, why not have your young learners work together on a project on their summer experiences and unforgettable moments?The first homework assignment should also be an interesting one. Nothing hurts motivation more than the thought of a boring, lengthy essay! And bear in mind that focusing on group work rather than individual assignments can make any homework better since students have an opportunity to interact with each other and get excited about being back at a language school.➡️ Make it funA few unexpected activities that are full of good vibes can spark your students' interest in learning again! So, why not try a quiz or brain teasers? For example, most youngsters would love to take a quiz to decide which artist needs to come and give your language school a total makeover! And have you ever thought that you could use Instagram to take English teaching to the next level? Cool, right? People often say that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, maybe a picture on Instagram can also help your young students to learn a thousand words! Create a fun educational account and start sharing smart learning tips and tricks, grammar rules, useful vocabulary and fun idioms! A great idea for older students is a class social media account – an account created by both you and your students. In this way, your English learners will also learn how to use social media responsibly! You could also use crossword puzzles, educational board games for children or adventurous games for teenagers and adults to add a little bit of unexpected fun and an element of competition! And don't forget to put some things that your students will look forward to on the calendar.Last but not least, bear in mind that a project or activity with real-world applications is always a good idea, as students are excited to learn something they can easily put into practice.➡️ Put it in orderEncourage your English learners to get organised. Provide your young students with a simple checklist/to-do list or a small planner as a reminder of anything important, e.g. test dates and deadlines for homework assignments. And don't forget that colours, post-it notes and stickers may have more power than you think! For teenagers and adults that use smartphones, there are many apps that can become great tools with useful to-do lists and reminders.In addition, you should motivate all your English learners to learn how to avoid procrastinating (admit it, we've all been there; most students seem to be predisposed to procrastination!). Explain that planning ahead, creating a routine and setting rules (e.g. always start studying for a test 10 days in advance) can help them stress less. Teaching time management strategies also helps a lot. And being familiar with a few relaxation techniques that can reduce stress when your students get the jitters may work wonders!If you are trying to come up with more ideas for inspiring and motivating your students, take a look at these proven and winning strategies for motivating English learners.So, the big day is nearly here. Are you ready for the new school year? If you have anything you’d like to add to this list, share your thoughts, ideas and tips in the comments below. And if you're looking for more smart tips and useful advice for the new school year, stay tuned for more #backtoschool smart tips and useful ideas!...

August 10, 2022

Summertime: Keep Your Kids Learning English!

All kids are looking forward to a well-earned break, new adventures and no homework, but summer is a great time for learning. Well, young students don't have to sit at desks to be successful language learners! This two-month break from the ELT classroom can be a great opportunity to help them to keep an active mind and make the English learning experience feel fun and magical. So, here are 7 smart ways to keep your children learning all summer long!1. Writing & Expressing OneselfJournals, diaries and scrapbooks are fun keepsakes and great tools that help us to develop our writing skills! So, encourage your kiddos to write about their thoughts, feeling and things they enjoy in the summertime such as family trips. Well, it doesn't matter what they focus on, just that they're making a habit of writing every day! Tip ✏️ Writing about our emotions can lower our stress and anxiety levels. That's why motivating your little ones to record their summer experiences is a great wat to help them to learn how to easily decrease their stress levels and have a sense of well-being. 2. Reading Something Every DayMake sure that your kids have something to read during the summer. When it comes to preventing summer learning loss and keeping English learning on track, reading is one of the easiest and most effective ways!Let your children explore the book genres and topics they're most interested in. Graphic novels, comics and graded readers are great opinions. Kids who are hooked on reading know that if you like book series (like The Chronicles of Narnia, Harry Potter or Diary of a Whimpy Kid), you will want to know all you can about the adventures of your favourite characters...and you'll become a bookwork! You can also get your youngsters the English version of the books they love.Creating a reading spot at home and keeping it vibrant with lots of colours and patterns can also motivate your kiddos to read every day. And have you noticed that it's always easier to get started reading when screens aren't around us? When going to the beach, to a park or for a ride, make sure that your children carry a book. Also, bear in mind that an e-reader or a tablet is an excellent portable alternative; if our little ones do carry screens around, let's put them to good use! Tip📚 If you don't know what the English level of your child is, trust the reading experts who always know how to find the perfect book. Just follow their advice and the Five-finger Rule: Let your child choose a book, open it to any page and ask him/her to read it. Count the number of words you kiddo doesn't understand at all and hold up a finger for each word. 0-1 words: too easy. 5+ words: too challenging.3. Embracing a New CultureThis is one of our favourite summer challenges of our students and their parents. Embrace together the amazing cultures of English-speaking countries! You can choose the country you'll focus on each time and your children have to get creative with crafts, games, art projects, books, films and songs that are associated with it.Tip 🇬🇧 Many children love helping in the kitchen. And all cuisines can offer excellent insights into history and culture. So, why not turn dinnertime into an English lesson by trying a new British, American or Australian dish? While you cook, have your kids read the recipe and the necessary ingredients. What a delicious way to keep learning!4. Creating a Gratitude JarYou'll just need an old-fashioned glass jar (an old cookie jar or a big jam jar should do the job) with a ribbon that your kiddos will tie around the rim. They could also use stickers, glitter or other materials to decorate it; whatver will make them smile when they look at it! Every day, your kiddos should write down in English something they're thankful for (a good feeling, a new experience, something that made them smile) on little pieces of paper and then place them in a jar.Tip 🫙 When your children have a down day, a note from their gratitude jar will remind them that life can be full of special moments!5. Getting the Ball RollingIt may be stating the obvious, but sometimes we have to be reminded that watching cartoon films and kid-friendly series in English (with or without English subtitles) is useful! After all, there is no doubt that this is a classic and time-tested way to quickly improve language learning. Young children can easily identify with animated characters and often enjoy imitating them (did someone say Frozen and Paw Patrol?). And most teenagers are screen-obsessed, so there's nothing better than a series they love and some popcorn for a great weekend!📺Tip: A familiar plot can help. And our cartoon films, Let's Have Fun with Ozzy & Let's Play with Ozzy, are always here for our young students around the world with tons of action and fun!6. Calling the TimeMotivate your children to start their summer days with English upbeat music (trust us, it won't be a hard sell!). They may not be able to understand everything, but song can help them to improve their listening skills and master the English language. So, why not indirectly expose your little ones to authentic and easily accessible examples of spoken English? Listening to memorable lyrics and rhythmic language is a great way to learn pronunciation patterns and get used to various accents, idiomatic phrases and colloquialisms with no pressure. Tip Music can become very handy during summer dives or when you're stuck in traffic with your kiddos. So, set the mood with some popular English songs and make your next road trip or rush-hour drive a memorable one!7. Playing & LearningCrosswords, board games, brain teasers and puzzles can help your kiddos to expand their vocabulary. Get the English version of Taboo, Scrabble or any other popular board game and let the fun begin! And 3D puzzles of the most famous buildings or Instagrammed landmarks of English-speaking countries are always great in case you're running our of ways to keep your little ones entertained. For example. your kiddos can build their own model of the world's most famous clock, aka Big Ben! That's a great opportunity to have them discover why it was built and who created this horological masterpiece. And you'll have something new to display at home! Tip You can also find many free online games and apps, which are both entertaining and useful when learning a foreign language, not to mention the numerous online quizzes you can use to help your little learners practise their English! For example, you can motivate them to find out which arty sea creature they are or where in the world they could be lost. That's it! You are ready to help your children to make the most of the lazy days to come! Just one last tip: Help your children to understand that studying and learning English can be an ideal vehicle for communication all over the world. Your kiddos will soon be able to reap the rewards!And did we mention that though our tips are aimed at helping children, they are just as useful for adults?How are you going to keep your kids learning this summer? Join the conversation below and let us know!...

July 22, 2022

Teaching Business English: Myths & Facts

Do you feel intimidated at the prospect of teaching Business English? Do you know in what ways teaching General English is different from teaching English for Specific Purposes (ESP)? Are you familiar with the most suitable approaches and the latest trends in Business English teaching? Sometimes it can be difficult to disentangle myths from facts. But identifying and debunking the unrealistic expectations and myths that are associated with teaching Business English can help us to meet our students’ needs. That's why E-planet is here to help! Are you ready? Even some long-held beliefs may be called into question. So, let’s get down to business! Myth #1: You have to be a business expert Fact: A usual misconception about Business English is that the teacher has to be a business expert. But that’s not true. Your students are already professionals in their fields. They don’t need any business advice. They need someone who can help them improve their English and understand how they can use their skills in a business context – and that’s where you come in! You are the expert in the field of foreign language teaching who can help them climb the career ladder, achieve their ambitions and become better professionals in their field of expertise. Myth #2: Teaching Business English is dull Fact: Teaching Business English does not have to be deadly boring! Do you find listening to people about their chosen fields dull? Teaching Business English is interesting for you because you gain new knowledge about different fields of expertise. In addition, the fact that you are not a business expert makes it easy for you to ask several questions and help your students to easily practise their speaking skills! Moreover, as a Business English teacher, you have the chance to interact with students at different stages of development and from all walks of life. And Business English is certainly interesting for your students because they know that they need to improve their skills. That's why you don’t have to grab their attention; they are already interested in what you teach! Myth #3: You don’t teach Business English to low-level learners Fact: Even pre-intermediate and intermediate learners of English need to know how to prepare a well-written CV that will maximize their chances of getting hired, how to make a brief presentation, what they should include in a written invitation to a meeting, in what ways they should answer a business phone call... Low-level learners also need to increase their confidence, learn how to use English in day-to-day work activities and become able to communicate effectively in the international workplace. When teaching Business English to low-level learners, focus on role plays, conversations and a variety of realistic situations that are similar to the students' real-life work circumstances. Understanding job profiles and having good overall communication skills can also be a huge advantage in today's business world. There are many great Business books and endless online resources that can help you to get your low-level Business English students ready for working life! Myth #4: You have to focus on endless vocabulary lists Fact: While it might be tempting to give your students endless vocabulary lists to memorise, that’s not what they need. What they do need is to learn new vocabulary in realistic contexts (for example, a job interview, dealing with a supplier or a customer, emails, business trip reports, etc.). Bear in mind that many students can’t understand the difference between formal and informal English. They may not be familiar with the standard conventions when writing a business text and they don't know how they can make their messages more effective. Even intermediate and upper-intermediate learners of English need help in order to gain a better understanding of the English language in the field of business. Myth #5: You don't have to teach grammar Fact: Business English is more than jargon. And grammar is as useful as a business suit and a briefcase or a laptop bag!Although your students may have memorised lots of grammar rules, they need to understand them. For example, your students should know how to use the passive voice in order to shift the focus from the person doing an action to the action itself. They should also be familiar with the conditionals if they want to negotiate successfully. Myth #6: Higher-level learners don't need Business English lessons Fact: Once your Business English students reach a B2-C1 level of English, they know that they can perform well in an international work environment, and that’s why they may not be as motivated as you would expect. In addition, they may be bored and tired after a long day at work. So, what they need is motivation and a teacher who can help them understand that Business English lessons open up new career opportunities and offer a competitive advantage that is essential to survival in the international job market. Knowing General English does not mean that they can talk about business trends, handle business negotiations or understand the strategies and key language they need for writing on social media platforms. Convince them that success in business is about confidence. And help them to become inspired to go the extra mile.So, there you have it. The thought of teaching Business English should not be a daunting prospect. Follow our advice and tips and you’ll get the hang of it after your first lesson!For some practical classroom ideas, check out these 5+1 ways to become a better English teacher. And if you want to find more useful tips for teaching English, inspirational guidance and free resources, check out our Resources for English Teachers....

May 23, 2022

Celebrating English Language Day

You do know that English Language Day is celebrated on 23 April, right? But why? Well, this day has been chosen because it is thought to be Shakespeare’s birthday and the anniversary of his death.If you are wondering how to celebrate this special day with your students, E-planet is here to help! Take a break from your usual routine and dedicate a fun lesson to the English language!Our EFL Classroom English Language Day is a great opportunity to create a positive learning environment. Just help your young students to create a unique and eye-catching ‘English Classroom Rules’ poster with this helpful worksheet: Our English Classroom Rules! In this way, your English learners can familiarise themselves with the rules and practise their reading and writing skills. Can you think of a better way to decorate your EFL classroom? British English (What else?) Do your students realise that there are many varieties of English? For example, Londoners live in flats and New Yorkers live in apartments. A sidewalk in the U.S.A. is a pavement in the U.K. British people have biscuits with their cup of tea or coffee, but Americans eat cookies. Americans go to centers (not centres) and theaters (not theatres). Encourage your students to understand and embrace the differences between British and American English (you could also add Australian English to the mix!). Our blog post British and American English: We speak the same language, right? is here to help you! Another great idea is to focus on the entertaining side of learning English with fun and mind-blowing facts about the language we all love. For example, most English learners are impressed when they learn that Monday gets its name from an old Anglo-Saxon word which means ‘the moon’s day’ and that in Ancient Britain, girls who were born on Mondays were given the name Mona as this was the Old English word for moon. And all young learners have fun when they try to pronounce ‘pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis’, the longest word in English! Let our blog post 10+1 Facts About the English Language… that will make you say ‘Wow’! inspire you!Discovering Shakespeare's World How much do your students know about the most famous playwright? Do they understand the impact that the Bard – as Shakespeare is often referred to – had on modern-day English? Ask your students to make a list of words and phrases that Shakespeare invented and are still used today. Have your younger learners create a poster about Shakespeare’s life or his most popular plays.You can also take a look at the Teach Shakespeare site and search for resources that will help you to teach Shakespeare by play, theme, language or character.Happy English Language Day! How are you going to celebrate this day? Leave a comment and share your inspiring ideas with us!...

April 19, 2022

5 Winning Strategies for Motivating English Learners

Motivation is one of the most important factors in language learning. And just like any other skill, it can be developed. That’s why having some super engaging activities, ideas and strategies in your back pocket is always a good idea. If you are trying to come up with ideas for inspiring and motivating your English learners, here are some proven strategies!🔖 Gaining knowledge by experienceHave you ever noticed the buzz of excitement when children in a science class do experiments and projects? Well, all students enjoy hands-on learning and creative activities!When we hear the word ‘experiments’, our minds go immediately to subjects like physics and chemistry. And when we think of the word ‘creativity’, we usually imagine art and music classes. But hands-on, creative learning activities can be brought easily into all EFL classrooms. Just motivate your students to create something new: an essay, a story or a poem, a stimulating piece of art or an attention-grabbing construction project!🔖 Embracing pop culture Imagine that you want to help your students practise the past simple tense. Will they be more interested in a boring gap-filling exercise or in that outrageous outfit their favourite actor chose to wear yesterday? Will they eagerly focus on a poem or on the lyrics of a popular song?Bringing pop culture into the equation will help you to keep your students engaged and willing to learn. When keeping English learners focused on what you’re teaching seems like a herculean task, grab their attention with pop culture elements that will help you to build a bridge between what is taught in your classroom and what happens in life.🔖 Using digital toolsAll children, teenagers and adults can easily view English learning as a necessary step in order to access the digital world. In other words, they are motivated to learn English because they want to use technology. So, pull out the big guns: smartboards, computers and smartphones! Making use of technology and combining text, image and audio can always make a lesson much more interesting. And online activities are great allies when teaching English. For example, a WebQuest can motivate all learners (whether they are 8 or 28 years old!). You cannot expect your students to be motivated if they only do endless grammar and vocabulary exercises. Technology can be much more empowering! 🔖 Taking advantage of the competitive spiritNo matter how old we are, we all love competitions and games that help us to beat our peers! That’s why including an element of competition will motivate your students.Fun educational board games, quizzes, crossword puzzles and other fun activities transform learning into play and help your students to revise what has already been learnt and practise their skills in an effortless and motivating way. 🔖 Creating a friendly environmentAvoid overcorrecting and undermining students’ confidence. Bear in mind that praise can work wonders in your classroom. That’s why you should celebrate all the small achievements of your students. Positive reinforcement is essential!Creating a high-quality classroom environment can also spur creativity and help students to feel more motivated to engage in the learning process. Rethink your classroom design, create a horseshoe-shaped formation or flexible clusters and add a splash of colour and motivational posters with success quotes. Even the smallest of changes can make a big difference in a classroom environment!And don’t forget to share your enthusiasm! As Steve Jobs once said: ‘The only way to do great work is to love what you do.’ Think back… When you were a child, how did you feel about a boring lesson and a demotivated teacher? If you get excited about your lesson, your passion will motivate your students. It’s as simple as that!...

March 30, 2022

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

6 Tips to Improve Your Listening and Speaking Skills

Listening to a foreign language is often quite challenging and demanding. That’s why the majority of students find listening to be the most difficult language learning skill. Do you feel the same way? You are not alone! But what can you do to overcome this difficulty? Should you read a text while you are listening to it or not? What type of audio should you choose? Do you need to translate every single word? And how can you be sure that you are developing your skills in the right way? We’ve got you covered; time to be all ears! Here is your new ‘listening manifesto’! Say ‘Yes’ to Active Listening Passive listening, i.e. listening to something without giving it your full attention, will not help you much. For example, you may listen to English songs while cooking, doing the dishes or eating without really paying attention to the lyrics. That’s not bad; you can still pick some things up every now and then, when a particular word or phrase catches your attention. But unless you actually focus on what you’re listening to, most of it goes in one ear and out the other! Listen to Native Speakers Native speakers often ‘connect’ and ‘link’ words together when they speak. For example, in American English, the phrase ‘what’s up?’ often sounds like ‘wassup?’. This practice isn’t unique to English speakers; French learners might recognise this as a ‘liaison’. That’s why sometimes you may know a word but will not recognise it when you hear it; many words sound different when pronounced by native speakers! So… learning new words but never hearing them isn't sufficient when it comes to real-life conversation. Studying pronunciation and listening go hand in hand if you want to avoid feeling lost in the flow of any dialogue. Use the Right Tools Binge-watching interesting YouTube channels and popular TV shows, enjoying scenes from a film (with or without subtitles), listening to a podcast episode you have a transcript for… these are great ways to develop the feeling of a language and to improve your accent along the way. Start with material you easily understand, and then as you make progress, gradually increase the difficulty of your audio choices. Accept the fact that you are not going to understand everything; it's not necessary to do so in order to get the gist of the meaning. In fact, learning to do that is a key skill! An extra piece of advice: If you are a beginner, watch films that you've already seen in your mother tongue; already knowing the plot will help tremendously! Speak! Make a conscious effort to speak more often. You don’t have to sound perfect! Speaking in a one-on-one situation forces you to concentrate. Interactive listening is best; in other words, it's better to talk with someone in a two-way conversation, rather than to just listen to a recorded TV show. Try to chat with native speakers as they are the ones who can easily correct your mistakes. An extra piece of advice: Native speakers talk super-fast! When conversing with them, politely ask them to slow down. Speak & Record Yourself You can record yourself speaking English using your computer or phone. This may sound funny, but it can actually help you improve your skills. Continue to do this until you feel happy with the results. Be Patient Listening and speaking skills, like all good things, take time to develop. You simply cannot improve at lightning speed – nobody can! There are no magic methods that offer maximum results with minimum effort. You will gradually understand hard and complex native-level materials as you improve at the appropriate pace – without getting disappointed or frustrated! Every day, with each extra repetition, your comfort level will grow. So... what do you think? Are there any new techniques you've never tried? In what other ways do you work on your listening comprehension? Let us know in the comments section below; this way everyone can benefit from your ideas! If you liked this article, you might also like to read ‘5 Tips to Study More Effectively’. And if you enjoyed this post, please give it a quick share on Facebook or your other favourite social media!...

February 04, 2019

IELTS - What is the hype all about?

If you have ever dreamt of applying to an international study programme, aspired to work in an English-speaking organisation or company, or to travel all over the world, the IELTS exam is ideal for you! IELTS stands for International English Language Testing System. Passing exams in this System is considered as proof of English language fluency worldwide and is a requirement for most educational, professional and immigration purposes in more than 140 countries. The IELTS exam prepares you for real-life situations with native English speakers, by applying speaking, listening, reading and writing skills. It is designed to make sure you can speak comfortably with fellow students in an international school, to clients at work or to other people on a trip abroad. Although there is no failing or passing limit, there are specific criteria for each test to make sure that your exact level of fluency is correctly assessed. Most universities and workplaces require a score of 7 to be accepted. If you score below 6 it may be suggested by the university or company that you retake the exam. The same score system is used globally so the results you receive have the same value in every country. IELTS provides two kinds of exams, making it adaptable for specific needs. IELTS Academic is for people who want to apply to a university or to find a job in an English-speaking country. IELTS General Training is suitable for training or attending seminars at a diploma level. It can also be used for traveling, or living and working in an English-speaking country. IELTS is an exam which will open doors for you in the future. Attending an IELTS course can provide you with everyday life knowledge and capability to communicate easily with people all over the world!...

April 18, 2018

Blended Education

We strongly believe in effective and flexible education that caters for all learning styles. Each learner has a different schedule, learning style and pace. This is why we, at E-planet Educational Services, are firm believers in blended education. As time passes, we notice that it is almost impossible to do any kind of learning without the implementation of technology. The internet has now become a part of our everyday life, we depend on it for numerous tasks including education. Blended education, or hybrid learning as it has also come to be known, is a method of education that allows students of all ages, to participate in a steady and flexible programme. It combines the traditional classroom setting with self paced online sessions. This way, our instructors, equipped with modern and effective teaching skills, are available to explain and assist with the harder, more complex topics. They can give their expert knowledge on new subjects through co-dependent, pre-scheduled lessons in a classroom setting. Our online training provides advanced digital media sources. Loaded with e-books, videos, recordings, exercises and tests it gives students unlimited access to knowledge and immediate results, as the exercises and tests are graded automatically, giving students the opportunity to control their learning pace. This mix of strategies is cost effective, as online material can be reviewed over and over according to one’s needs and flexibility, as each individual can choose the time, place and also the pace of their online study time. In the year 2000 it was estimated that 45.000 people took online courses. In 2010 that number rose to over 3.000.000. Today it is almost a given that people will either turn to the internet for education or combine both technology and face to face interaction. A study by Garrison and Kanuka (amongst others) concludes that “blended learning … has the proven potential to enhance both the effectiveness and efficiency of meaningful learning experiences.” We are able to provide the best of these two worlds. We strive to have carefully planned material, expertly trained instructors and classrooms that include the most advanced equipment. Our online material and hard copy books blend together perfectly and support each other completely for the best possible learning experience. Blended education has proved itself to be a complete and fully integrated method of learning for all kinds of individuals. Regardless of age and pace, it is fun, effective and all inclusive. We are proud to be a part of this amazing process....

February 25, 2018