As we are wrapping up the year, it’s always nice to look back and see which blog posts you liked the most in 2016. We revisit some of your favourite articles, interviews and lesson plans to inspire you to read and use them again in the new year. We can’t wait to share more great resources in the new year, and we are really looking forward to meeting new people in our interview series. Many thanks for being with us in 2016, and see you in 2017!
English Language Day at the United Nations is celebrated on 23 April, the date traditionally observed as the birthday of William Shakespeare (1564). This day is also the day of of Shakespeare’s death (1616), and Saint George’s Day, which is the National Day of England.
Take a break from your usual routine, take a different perspective on the language, and dedicate a fun lesson to learn about the English language. If you think your students are up to some role-play and drama, dedicate a lesson to Shakespeare and drama. For ideas, visit the Green Room, our drama resource collection. We offer six activities to help you get your students to do some research.
In this series of interviews we talk to teachers, ELT writers, visual artists and researchers about the importance of using literature in the language classroom. Together they have over a hundred years of experience in teaching and writing so they can definitely give us plenty of advice and insight into the best practices. We talk about the importance and transformation of literary texts in education, we ask for genre and title recommendations as well as personal stories.
In January we talked to Alan Pulverness, Assistant Academic Director at NILE and Course Leader for the NILE TEFL Delta Modules. He is the author of Reading Matters, The Helbling Guide to Using Graded Readers.
How much do your students know about International Women’s Day? How do they celebrate it? Do they think women should be celebrated? What do they think about gender equality?
Celebrating International Women’s Day (IWD) is probably best done by discussing important issues and learning about inspirational women who fought for women’s rights and inspirational people today who are still fighting for gender equality. Explore these topics with your classes and then choose a classic novel by a female author to celebrate women in March.
With the growing number of performances related to Shakespeare this year, it is easy to come across A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Watching this play in my local theatre recently I inevitably started thinking about transformations in literature. I soon realized that many of my favourite literary works are actually transformation stories. Can you name some of your favourite transformation stories? What do the human beings, animals and plants turn into? Why does this transformation happen? Are there any other works which use the same myths? You can read our recommended list of books and language activities which will help your students think, talk, write about transformations in English.
Younger children too are equally fascinated by change and mutation so we recommend three stories with transformations which your young learners will enjoy reading.
If you have read this children’s classic by Kenneth Grahame, we do not need to convince you to read it with your students. If you have not yet experienced this charming story, you will only need to take a look at its characters to fall in love with them immediately. Kenneth Grahame was born on March 1st in 1859, so let’s celebrate his birthday by reading this classic tale together. Let’s explore this story and take a look at its origins, characters and variety of adaptations, including Andrea Alemanno‘s enchanting illustrations for the Helbling Reader adaptation of the story.