Useful tips for your English classes

Browse the resources below to find some useful tips and resources for your English classes.

As our library of useful tips and articles grows, we’ll be adding to this page, so be sure to check it often.

Addressing the 4Cs with online learning
Click here to read and download the full article.
Priming the brain for teaching and learning: Mindfulness goes to the classroom
Click here to read and download the full article.
Reimagining student engagement in distance learning
Click here to read and download the full article.
How to find free grammar resources using the teacher toolkit
Click here to read and download the full article.

Future, 2E: Making remote teaching and learning easier

Make remote learning easier with Future

After making the emergency transition from face-to-face to remote instruction last spring, many programs continue distance learning as the pandemic keeps its grip on the world. Remote instruction poses many unique challenges for English language programs. These challenges include how to encourage student engagement, promote interactive communication practice, balance synchronous and asynchronous learning, build a classroom community virtually, and deliver remote instruction that is effective on a range of student devices.

With the new edition of Future, teachers can engage, support, and challenge their adult learners at a distance by leveraging the program’s considerable digital and print resources. Future not only prepares learners to meet their life, career, and educational goals, but it also helps instructors deliver high-quality engaging lessons remotely, both synchronously and asynchronously.

It all begins with the Pearson English Portal – a powerful platform that delivers Future digital resources to instructors and students, such as MyEnglishLab, eBooks, and the ActiveTeach. With these digital resources, you can transition your Future course online and ensure your students have the resources they need to continue learning.

This handy toolkit offers tips and suggestions for teaching remotely with Future, 2E.

Future eBooks

Reader+ eBook
Reader+

Students don’t have their books? No problem! For studying on-the-go, the Future eBooks are the perfect solution. Delivered on the Reader+ platform, the eBooks can be accessed on a computer, tablet, or smart phone. The Reader+ application allows students to read and interact with rich digital content and multimedia assets through highlighting, annotating and many other study and reading tools. Users can store all their eBooks and notes in one place and access them at any time, as all of their content gets synced across multiple devices. Designed with offline capabilities, Reader+ offers a perfect solution for areas with low bandwidth or unreliable Internet access.

The eBooks are also a perfect resource for synchronous instruction in a remote setting. Teachers can share pages from the eBook using Zoom capabilities (or other web conferencing platforms) and use multiple tools to zoom in, highlight, add text, and play the class audio.

The Reader+ app can be downloaded from the app store.

MyEnglishLab

MyEnglishLab
MyEnglishLab

MyEnglishLab is an easy-to-use learning management platform that delivers additional Future course content digitally. MyEnglishLab is an excellent resource for asynchronous instruction, delivering engaging exercises, videos, and tests in one place. Students can practice each lesson’s content in an interactive environment with instant feedback and tips to scaffold their learning. Teacher can take advantage of the MyEnglishLab platform to assign homework, monitor performance, and pinpoint areas for improvement.

Using MyEnglishLab

ActiveTeach

ActiveTeach
ActiveTeach

The ActiveTeach is an offline tool that delivers student book pages, audio, video, additional activities, and teacher resources. You can use ActiveTeach with Zoom or other web conferencing platforms to share the Future book pages with your students. In the classroom, it can be used a computer and projector or with an interactive whiteboard to bring the book to life. With ActiveTeach you can zoom in, zoom out, and focus on specific activities. You can annotate pages, embed links, and attach files. You also have access to full class audio, printable worksheets, interactive exercises, assessment activities, tests and interactive whiteboard tools. The ActiveTeach for Future comes as a downloadable zip file within your course on the Pearson English Portal.

Watch this video to learn how to install and use the Future ActiveTeach

Pearson Practice English App

Pearson Practice English app
Pearson Practice English app

The Pearson Practice English app is a mobile app that delivers Future audio and video resources on smart phones. Students and teachers can easily access their course resources anytime, anywhere. The app can be downloaded from the app store and unlocked with the same Pearson English Portal login and password.

Additional Teacher Resources

Teachers can feel fully supported with Future teacher resources. Available on the Pearson English Portal, these resources include additional worksheets, Teacher’s Edition pages, robust assessments, standards correlation documents, and more.

Watch this video to learn more about how to access all the available teacher resources for Future.


To learn more about Future, access additional videos and resources, please visit our Future catalog page.

Our team is dedicated to helping you achieve success with Future, 2E. If you would like us to help you get started, please contact your dedicated Pearson ELT Specialist at pearsoneltusa.com/reps.

Exploring Engagement in ELT Teaching

Part I: Emotional Engagement

Exploring Engagement in ELT Teaching banner
By Christina Cavage

English language educators are bridge builders. We build bridges not only between people and their goals, but also between people. Language is all about connecting with others. When we learn a language, we are opening ourselves up to those personal connections.  Our entire field is centered around connecting and communication. If you are like me, you probably gave very little thought to that pre-COVID. But, how about in our COVID world? How can we build those bridges when there are walls, borders and oceans between us? As I am planning my course for the Spring term, I can’t help but reflect on how I can be that bridge builder. How can I connect my students to others when it’s challenging for us to connect? Or, when my old ways of engaging learners do not translate in this new medium? It’s important to define engagement in this new environment of remote instruction. What is it? Why is it so critical to student success? And, how can I build it? Before we look at how we can build engagement in our ELT classes during this new COVID age, let’s examine what engagement is.

What is Engagement?

Engagement in learning is about “the degree of attention, curiosity, interest, optimism, and passion that students show when they are learning or being taught, which extends to the level of motivation they have to learn and progress in their education.” This engagement involves behavioral engagement—are our students participating? Are they working in groups effectively and efficiently? Then we have cognitive engagement—are they interacting with content and applying the new content? Are they developing autonomy? And, emotional or affective engagement—are they motivated? Do they see relevance in what is being studied? Are they comfortable in the learning environment?

Emotional Engagement

Now that our learning environments look quite differently, how can we build and assess engagement? Well, as ELT educators we are very cognizant of the importance of emotional engagement.  We know our students need to feel comfortable to take those language risks. We have spent a lot of time thinking and designing lessons that lower that affective filter– making students more comfortable in the classroom. Thinking of my old ways of teaching, this may have involved ice-breakers and small group or pair introductions. What does that look like today when I can’t easily pair students, or I have some students online and some face-to-face? How does that happen when we move to a digital or hybrid model of teaching?

Strategies to Build Emotional Engagement

It’s all about leveraging the tools we have. And, on the upside, there are many benefits.  Often times that ‘everyone is looking at me’ intimidation goes away in a virtual or digital environment, and students feel freer to share and engage.

Strategy #1: Build a Community Before Class Begins. If you are using an LMS, such as Canvas, Blackboard, Moodle or Google Classroom, consider posting a video of yourself describing your interests, expectations, etc. Ask your students to submit a video of their own. Then, begin class by asking follow-up questions, or noting individual interests. Pair students up by interest. Create a task where students ask targeted questions. “I saw you play soccer. How often do you play?” They can then introduce their partner to the class that extends upon what the video included.

Post a video introducing yourself
Post a video introducing yourself

Strategy #2: Hold a Coffee/Tea Hour. This should be an informal open house type of meeting where students can drop by virtually and ask questions about culture or language.

Strategy #3: Use Collaborative Tools. Consider using collaborative tools like Nearpod. The collaborative board within Nearpod allows learners to share their ideas, see everyone’s ideas and even like one another’s ideas.

Collaborate! activity in the Nearpod platform
Collaborate! activity in the Nearpod platform

Strategy #4: Think-Pair-Share/Zoom. Rather than immediately putting students in a breakout room, and giving them tasks, give students time to think. Model what you expect to happen in the breakout room. Assign pairs via Zoom breakout rooms and have them share in their rooms. Providing students time before you open breakout rooms, allows for students to better use their pair time, and be on task while in the breakout room.

Strategy #5: Races. Students love competition whether online or face-to-face. These races can also serve as great formative assessments. Consider grammar. Create a Powerpoint with common errors, then have students race to type in the correct answers. Or, if teaching vocabulary, put a sentence up with a missing vocabulary word. Provide students choices (A, B, C) and then have them type in the correct choice. For quick formative assessments, have students use the thumbs up or other reaction tool to indicate if something is correct or not. My favorite is the Time to Climb in Nearpod. Students can choose their avatar and you set the time limit. Students answer questions and race up a hill. They are awarded points by both their correct answer and how fast they answer. These races build community and you will find students ‘talking’ about these races for weeks to come.

In summary, moving learning online isn’t easy. It takes thoughtful planning and careful execution. However, there are numerous tools out there that can help build that engagement. Well-planned digital and hybrid lessons can even be more emotionally engaging to students today. Stay tuned for next month when we will look at strategies to build behavioral engagement.

References:

Student Engagement Definition. (2016, February 18). Retrieved January 05, 2021, from https://www.edglossary.org/student-engagement/


Christina Cavage is the Curriculum and Assessment Manager at University of Central Florida. She has trained numerous teachers all over the world in using digital technologies to enhance and extend learning. She has authored over a dozen ELT textbooks, including University Success, Oral Communication, Transition Level, Advanced Level, Intermediate Level and A2. Recently, Ms. Cavage completed grammar and academic vocabulary curriculum for the new Pearson English Content Library Powered by Nearpod, which is now available. Learn more here.