A look at some of this year’s ELTons nominees

The ELTons are just under one month away, and this year’s nominees feature an exciting range of resources. Here we take a look at a selection of some of the digital-linked nominated products. Winners will be announced at the spangly ceremony on 4th June.  Good luck to everyone! ARM cubes Paul Driver’s ARM (Augmented Reality Media) Cubes are a new way for … Read more

Shaking up the ELT conference format

ELT conferences are great. They’re an opportunity to learn, to network, to make new friends. They’re also a chance to enjoy a few nights out where it’s acceptable that ELT is the only thing on the conversational menu! But having attended a couple of conferences already this year, with IATEFL on the way, and with my memories of past years still fresh, I increasingly feel that the ELT conference scene could benefit from a bit of a shakeup. On May 8–9th this year, ELTjam and Oxford TEFL Barcelona are hoping to do just that with our Innovate ELT Conference.

Here are a few of the things about ELT conferences that we felt were due an update and how we’ve decided to address those things for our event in Barcelona.

How to be a successful education app developer

When this blog was brand new (nearly two years ago), I stumbled across a post by a French indie app developer called Pierre Abel who was having great success by focussing on educational iPad apps for young learners. As someone who had spent quite a lot of time and effort trying to develop successful ELT apps while working in-house at an ELT publisher, I was interested in how an independent developer had approached it, and whether I could find any useful lessons that ELT app publishers could apply. I thought it would be interesting to see how he’s done since then and whether the same lessons still apply.

8 ways to get traffic to your ELT website

If you have a language learning blog or website, you’re one of millions out there. The question you should be asking yourself is how do I compete with all those other sites? How do I get ahead of them? How can I get interested learners to visit my website first? It’s not easy. There’s no magic wand. But it’s possible. Here are 8 ways that should get you going in the right direction.

Ten tips for getting into digital materials writing

Getting into digital materials writing is still a goal for many. Good luck if you’re one of them and here are some tips to help. While not comprehensive, the list is the real deal and reflects the big changes happening right now in ELT publishing as a result of the rush to digital. It’s aimed more at those trying to get in as new writers, rather than established authors.

indie ELT books

A round-up of indie ELT books

We’ve given a fair bit of space in the past few months to ELT Entrepreneurs, but there’s another kind of entrepreneur who deserves some attention. The materials writer turned self-publisher or indie press. This is a round up of some of the books that are out there that have made it through the process without the help of a major publisher.

Selecting and Implementing Vocabulary Tools for Mainstream Classes

Teachers in mainstream education in English-speaking countries increasingly have to plan lessons to help integrate students whose first language isn’t English. That’s quite a challenge and we’ve asked Nina Berler, who teaches in the US to tell us about some of the tools she uses. It wasn’t so long ago that teachers of mainstream classes were instructed to “teach to the middle.” Of course, when it comes to learning vocabulary, that methodology can’t possibly benefit students on either end of the spectrum. Fortunately, in this era of digital learning, teachers have tools to boost vocabulary and reduce gaps in their classes.

El Blog Para Aprender Inglés – The blog that became a school

Blogging is a great way to access a personal Learning Network, reach out to the ELT community across the world, keep up-to-date with  developments in the field or just vent about things on your mind and there are fantastic ELT examples all over the internet.   But can it lead to anything more than simply having a wider platform for your ideas?

ELT Entrepreneurs – Paul Emmerson

For the second post in our ELT Entrepreneurs series we take a look at Paul Emmerson’s recently launched site BehereBethere. It’s  a free and fun eLearning website for Business English where students can watch videos and learn about business from business professionals while improving their English. The site caters to three different levels and works on vocabulary and pronunciation.

What did the British Council learn from the Exploring English: Language and Culture MOOC?

In the weeks since the British Council’s first MOOC ended, I’ve been asking myself what exactly we’ve learned from it. Did it ‘work’, as Nicola asked? My feeling is that it did – not only in terms of the numbers of learners it attracted but in what it achieved within the parameters we set for it. If it wasn’t the ‘true ELT MOOC’ Nicola described, that’s because we didn’t plan for it to be that.

Intersubjectivity: Is there an app for that?

If you reduce language learning to its bare bones, you can come up with a methodology that suits many of SLA theorists: intensive conversation with a willing partner, one-to-one, providing the language input you need to communicate your thoughts. Could an app one day do all that?

Brainly: Can ELT learn from social learning?

I wasn’t brilliant at physics at secondary school. I managed in class, though, with the help of my peers which you could call social learning.  Pre-internet, that social network was confined to the real world – and occasional phone calls. Homework wasn’t generally a topic of conversation but I don’t think I had anything like the 2-3 hours school children can have today. On one occasion, my homework included a question about light refraction and where a fish would appear to be to an observer from the surface as opposed to where it actually was.  I couldn’t answer, so I just wrote “Don’t know” and handed it in.

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The challenge of creating content for private EFL lessons

In a previous post we heard from Kris Jagasia on how his startup EdTech company TurksLearnEnglish had recognised and acted on an opportunity they identified within the Turkish language education market. Kris returns to eltjam to tell us about another learning platform he and his team have developed to aid the private language tutor, and how 1-to-1 lessons differ to full-class teaching. Kris, it’s over to you …