Maybe it’s the weak pound or the Trump effect, but our summer pre-sessional at the University of Sheffield is the biggest we’ve ever had. Combined with our general English programme, we will have around 1600+ students here being taught be 120+ teachers – many of whom are new to our […]

The Art of Pedagogical Logistics


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In my previous post I talked a little about the presentations I did at the two conferences but I wanted to use this one to reflect a bit on the sessions I attended – especially tech ones obviously – and talk a little on whether I saw any particular trends […]

IATEFL and BALEAP Part Two….


It’s been a little while since my last post, I’ve been gearing up for conference season with presentations at both IATEFL and BALEAP as well as chairing a panel at the latter. My IATEFL talk was on creating interactive material for EAP programmes and focussed on tools such as Office […]

IATEFL and BALEAP 2017 Part One…



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When I first started teaching EFL in the early nineties, I used to carry around all my materials in a couple of binders: a few handwritten cloze tests and song lyrics, articles from various newspapers for reading comprehension, notes from the CELTA course, some photocopies from well-loved coursebooks and activity […]

Creating a digital teacher resource site


There’s tremendous value in getting students to create their  own websites. It can be used for them to create either a personal, group or class portfolio showcasing all the work they’ve done.  Alternatively, it can be used for group projects, students are assigned a particular topic area or language point […]

Using Google Sites for student projects


Office Mix is a neat little add-on for powerpoint that helps you create interactive content with your presentations. You can take your basic powerpoint slides and add voiceovers to any of them and you can intersperse the slides with a variety of quiz types or various online content. Once you’ve […]

Office Mix: create interactive content with PowerPoint



Finding decent, free images for a presentation or report is a lot more complicated than it first seems. Everyone’s natural instinct when you ask them where to get pictures is ‘well, Google Images of course’. But there are inherent issues involved there. Firstly, the quality of images varies quite considerably […]

Getting high-quality images for EAP presentations


In the previous post in this series focussing on integrating tech for the new term I looked at getting to know you activities to do with your new classes. The natural next step is to find out a little more about their study preferences and background so in this post I’d […]

Integrating tech for the new term: Needs analyses and knowledge ...


All teachers know that the new year really starts in September, not January as the rest of the world seems to think. That’s when we make our resolutions to be better people, better colleagues and better teachers. We tell ourselves that we are going to finally get organised, read those […]

Integrating tech for the new term: getting to know students



For as long as I can remember, Microsoft Word has been the King of Word Processing. As a teacher I’ve created countless handouts, gap-fills and rubrics and marked countless student essays with it. When I did my Masters and various teaching certificates, everything was done in Word. But I don’t think anyone would say […]

EAP App Review: Scrivener


Browzine is a free app for accessing articles from your university’s library. Available for both iOS and Android on tablet and phone, it’s an attractive way for students (and teachers) to look for and read articles. To give you a quick overview, I’ve made a short video. I think the […]

EAP App Review: Browzine


One thing we experimented with on this summer school was creating interactive online content for students using a special software programme called Articulate Storyline 2. Over the last year we’ve begun to develop a bank of materials that could be used either to integrate directly with classroom materials, supplement as […]

Using Technology to manage a pre-sessional: part 4 – creating ...



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In a previous post I gave an overview of the various options available for creating portfolios for EAP students. I concluded that while there are many tools out there that allowed for summative assessment of students’ work – basically collecting everything into one place at the end of the course […]

Using technology to manage a pre-sessional: part 3 – managing ...


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In the previous post about managing the summer school, I talked about how we used a WordPress site to manage information flow on our pre-sessional summer school. Let’s look a little more closely how we handle the classes themselves and specifically the day to day communication between the teachers and […]

Using Technology to manage a pre-sessional: part 2 – using ...




For most EAP teachers, presentations and PowerPoint are synonymous. Certainly for some students they are exactly the same thing. But Microsoft and Office are no longer quite the ubiquitous tools that they once were, students carry around a range of different devices and many of them may not even have Powerpoint […]

Alternatives to Powerpoint for EAP students


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A few years back a rep from a company called Sonocent came to see me to demo a software programme they had developed called Audio Notetaker. With this, you could record audio from, say, a lecture and the speech would be represented as coloured blocks with spaces in-between representing the […]

EAP Tech Tool: Audio Notetaker


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One of the best decisions I’ve made as the learning technologist at our school was to persuade my boss to buy a class set of Chromebooks a few years back. Now, before I get on to explaining why it was such a good idea, a quick word about what a […]

EAP Tech Tool: the Chromebook



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Portfolios can be used for a variety of purposes in EAP. They can be used to assess students’ knowledge, showcase exemplary work, give students a sense of progress throughout the term or year or even as a feature of a CV or application for a job or higher degree. Portfolios […]

E-portfolios in EAP


Ok, so my last day of IATEFL (not the last day of the conference by the way, but I had to get back for work reasons) and I saw a few more sessions that touched on both technology and EAP and were worth reporting back on. First up was a […]

IATEFL Day Two