Language Show Live, October 17th 2014

All the world’s a stage: Making Shakespeare relevant to ELT and ESOL students

How can a playwright from the 16th Century be relevant to ELT (students learning English as a foreign language), and particularly ESOL students (those learning English in order to live and work in an English speaking community) today? If many native speakers struggle to access the archaic language, how can it be appropriate to teach Shakespeare to students who don’t speak English as a first language?

A recent survey by the British Council, however, showed that Shakespeare is still the most recognised UK cultural figure in the world today and, I would argue, this is largely because his themes, and the beauty of his language, speak to people around the globe.

In this presentation we will look at some different ways in which teachers and learners of English can approach Shakespeare with confidence.  From dealing with Shakespearean language to contextualising Shakespeare’s plays in the modern age, I hope to provide something of interest for anyone interested in teaching or learning more about Shakespeare.



Webinar for Pearson, June 2014

Practical planning for summer school classes

Summer school teaching can be particularly challenging, especially for less experienced teachers for a number of reasons: the need to build rapport quickly, to cope with mixed levels and roll on roll off enrolment and to dealwith both the intensity of the course and the fact that many students may be looking for a holiday.

So, how do you produce motivating, fun lessons without having to plan for hours every night? In this session we will look at some of these challenges and explore a variety of ideas that could. work with any materials, to lift the lessons off the page and maximise fun and motivation.


Brasshouse Conference, June 2014

Thinking on your feet or put on the spot?

In recent years lesson planning has come in for a bit of a hammering. Along with the use of course books, lesson planning is somehow seen as stifling, something only novices need to do or use, and not learner centred. However, research suggests that even experienced teachers are not as good at thinking on their feet as they imagine, and that planning and pre-prepared material can, if used in the right ways, lead to a more student centred classroom, as well as better outcomes for students. In this session we will look at some practical planning techniques to help teachers plan quickly, efficiently and, most of all, effectively.

British Council Seminar Series, London and Belfast, March 2014,  IATEFL Harrogate April 2014 and Nile, Norwich, August 2014

More than just a worksheet: how to write effective classroom materials

British Council Anniversaries Team Training Day

Some recipes for reading texts

Opening Plenary for Brasshouse Conference, Birmingham, June 2013

The portals of discovery: why feedback isn’t just a teaching technique

IATEFL Liverpool April 2013

Of course! Using a coursebook AND dealing emergent language

English UK Manager’s Conference, March 2013

Unlocking IELTS: providing less experienced teachers with a key to the exam

Bournemouth British Study Centres, February 2013 and St Giles, London, September 2013

Making in-class writing fun

BELTE, Brighton, 20th October 2012

11-14 minutes of hell? Preparing students to survive and even thrive in the IELTS speaking test.

Many students seem to find the Speaking exam the most challenging part of IELTS. As an examiner, it is very obvious which students have been well prepared (or not!) In this session, we will look at practical activities and techniques to help students develop their awareness of typical speech functions needed in the three stages and become more confident and fluent speakers.

We will start by looking at some typical problems students have in the IELTS Speaking exam, and briefly look at how IELTS is assessed, considering how an awareness of the different speech functions needed for the exam could help improve the students’ score in all four areas.

We will then try out some different activities to help students notice and appropriate the language used to express these functions, thus improving both the quality and fluency of their contributions.


NATECLA Midlands Day Conference  : Tradition vs Innovation

South and City College Birmingham

17th November 2012

The Joy of Drilling        

Many people see language drills (repeating language) as dull, patronising and outdated. They can be all of those things. However, done in the right way, they can in fact provide an enjoyable way for students, especially those with low literacy levels, to gain confidence and ultimately develop fluency.

In this workshop we will try out a range of drilling-based activities which require little or no preparation or resources, that are directly relevant to the needs of your students, and that I guarantee you and your students will enjoy!

2 responses to “Events

  1. Slava

    Dear Rachael, thank you very much for our blog. It is very helpful and interesting! Are there, by any chance, any forthcoming events or workshops?

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