Tag Archives: Academic English

Teaching writing – product, process or both?

LOGO FINALAll The TEFL Show podcasts can be found in this playlist on Soundcloud and in the iTunes Store here. You can subscribe to the show there, download the podcasts to listen to later and share them on social media.

In this episode we look at different methods and ideas for teaching writing. We discuss the pros and cons of the two main approaches, that is product and process approach. We also look at the importance of writing and ways of encouraging our students to write more.

How do you teach writing? Do your students enjoy it? We’d love to hear from you, so pelase leave us a comment below.

And if you’ve enjoyed this podcast, please rate it in iTunes Store here.

The podcast music theme is under Creative Commons ShareAlike 3.0 International License and was downloaded from this website.

IELTS Prep: A Test-Teach-Test Approach (Cambridge DELTA Module 3- Extended Assignment)

Dear all,

imageThis one is especially for IELTS teachers and those of you doing module 3 of the Cambridge DELTA. I am sharing the extended assignment that I did on  a test-teach-test approach to teaching IELTS.  It contains lesson plans, approaches to curriculum development based on student weaknesses as well as full lesson plans based on these weaknesses. I hope this will be useful to anyone teaching IELTS or doing the extended assignment. I conducted the research and wrote this in Vietnam with a small group of students preparing to take the IELTS test. I want to say a special thank you to them for allowing me to publish this. I love you guys!

You can find the extended assignment by clicking on the link here.

Me and my other half Jess, taken recently in the New Forest
Me and my other half Jess taking a break from the crazy world of IELTS. Taken recently in the New Forest.

Image under Creative Commons from: http://www.google.com

TESOL Convention 2015: ‘Building bridges between online corpora and grammar textbooks’ by Ashley Hew

One of the sessions I attended on Thursday morning after the one on apps and websites for teaching pronunciation, which I described here, was about teaching grammar in EAP settings using academic corpora.

In the workshop we looked at how Michigan Corpus, or the MICUSP, can be used in EAP classes to teach grammar. MICUSP consists only of academic essays written by students at the university of Michigan. Usually there are senior or graduate students and their work has been selected based on their academic achievements. The samples contain both native and non-native English speakers work.


If we compare it to COCA then, the samples are much more limited (i.e. only students work). However, when teaching university students, this might prove to be an advantage since the answers we get will be much more focused and relevant to the students context. MICUSP is also much less complicated to use, especially for students. While MICUSP is only written English, its equivalent of spoken English is MICASE and can be found here. They’re both free to use.

All the activities that Ashley showed us during the session can be found on her blog here.

Some of the questions you might want to ask yourself when preparing activities using MICUSP are:

  • do the samples fit the grammar explanation in the book?
  • dos sts need pre-teaching vocabulary?
  • should I pre-teach any cultural references?
  • should I focus on a particular discipline (e.g. engineering) or have a wider sample?

You can narrow down the search by discipline, NS/NNS, paper type, level, textual features and student level.

Let me and Ashley know if you use any of the activities on her blog or create your own using MICUSP.