ELTjam’s top 5 posts of 2015

As 2015 draws to a close, we look back at our most popular posts of the year. As ever, we’ve had some gems this year, so here’s your chance to make sure you haven’t missed out. And this year’s number one post was also the most-read ELTjam post ever.

So here, in reverse order, are the TOP 5 posts of 2015. Can you guess what #1 is?

agile

Does Agile work in ELT print publishing?

Two years ago, ELTjam asked whether it was possible to produce an ELT course book using Agile workflows in the strictest definition of the term, creating lots of discussion. At emc design, we’re starting to see our clients use many different approaches to new courses, some using agile-inspired techniques. But can traditional ELT print publishers take ‘true’ Agile on board sustainably? Is it possible to approach a print product in exactly the same way as we approach digital products? Or are they just too different?

5 tools for teaching online

Independent tutor and digital learning pioneer Lana Friesen explains how she is using the best programs and apps to help her students meet their learning objectives.

With such a new industry, online teachers are developing tools and combining programs and apps to facilitate the learning experience of students. In doing so, teachers are pre-empting apps yet to be created to meet the demands of this growing industry. Including all components of communication can be tricky in classrooms, especially online ones. This medley of tools demonstrates how, with a degree of ingenuity, teachers can plan a full-spectrum curriculum for their students, regardless of the setting. We are, in a sense, the MacGyvers of online teaching. We are pioneers and must embrace this reality with open arms and open minds.

indie ELT books

A round-up of Indie ELT books

This is the third in our series of round-ups of self-published or small press ELT books … and this time we’ve been able to add fiction to the list as well as books for materials writing and teacher resources.

Guide to Teaching Online

A beginner’s guide to teaching online, part 3: sharing materials

The final in our series: A Beginner’s Guide to Teaching Online. Jaime has been teaching private online lessons for TOEFL iBT since 2010. By 2012, she had left local schools and earned 100% of her income from teaching online lessons. In this series, she answers the question of which of the many platforms (like Skype or Wiz IQ) is best for teaching online. This post looks at sharing materials with students.

teaching online

A beginner’s guide to teaching online, part 1: which platform to use?

The first of three in our guide to teaching online. Jaime Miller has been teaching private online lessons for TOEFL iBT since 2010. By 2012, she had left local schools and was earning 100% of her income from teaching online lessons. The series kicks off by looking at the question of which of the many platforms (like Skype or Wiz IQ) is best for teaching online.

EFL teachers

The EFL teachers’ collection

ELTjam mostly writes about the intersection between tech and education, which means we’ve got plenty of posts of interest for teachers. Here’s a collection.

Categories ELT
Grassroots language technology

Grassroots language technology

In an update of a post from @muranava’s excellent EFLNotes blog, Mike Boyle, ELT author and editor, talks about why learning to code and taking on technology projects to help language learners is a career boost for EFL teachers and materials writers.

Designing learning spaces for a mobile era

Designing learning spaces for a mobile era

The shift from the immobility of PCs to the mobility of tablets and smartphones allows digital space to interact with material space, both in and out of the classroom, in entirely new ways. At British Study Centres in Oxford, where Paul Driver works, this was an important consideration in their decision to integrate mobile technology into the everyday practice of language teaching. Here’s how they transformed their learning spaces.

Why mental health matters

Another post sparked by an Innovate ELT talk, this time given by  Fiona Oates and Andrew Dodd, about their Mental Health Friendly initiative, the result of conversations between the two Barcelona-based English teachers. Fiona tell us how they got started and more about the project.

The power of social learning

Social learning is a term that is increasingly being used by ELT practitioners. But what is it, and what’s all the fuss about? In this post, Shaun Crowley explains the concept and the mechanics behind it in ELT and non-ELT apps – arguing that social learning has the potential to enhance EFL blended learning.

And … action! Mobile learning in the classroom

The exploitation of video in the classroom is nothing new, but the creation of video doesn’t take place as often as it could, mainly due to lack of equipment and knowledge of how to use it. There is a difference between a teacher with ten or twenty years’ experience, and one with one year’s experience repeated ten or twenty times. Using technology in the classroom is about being flexible within one’s own teaching practice and being prepared to experiment and learn. Kat Robb tells us how she uses video in class.

Notes from the oil tanker

Few words have been so prevalent in ELT as ‘EdTech’ and it has not been unusual to attend conferences where perhaps more than half of the talks on the schedule made at least some reference to the impending digital disruption sweeping into our sector and how best to prepare for it, avoid it or pretend it didn’t exist. Pearson’s Brian Engquist gives us his take on how to proceed.

Reflections on Innovate ELT

Last week’s Innovate ELT conference in Barcelona owed much of  its success to the incredible delegates so naturally we turned to them for a write up. Keen blogger Adam Beale reflects on his experience for us.

indie ELT books

Another round up of Indie ELT books

Since our last round up, more self-published and small press books have been released. It’s not an easy route, especially in terms of getting your book out there and into the path of teachers and students, so check out these titles. Manage Human Resources in English by Simona Petrescu This is a course of English … Read more

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