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Teaching less, recycling more

recycling language with cubes

In an education environment that screams ‘More! More! More!’ sometimes the smart teaching move can be to teach less. If you don’t have to spend your entire class explaining new language, students can spend more time recycling, reinforcing, and expanding the language they learn.

If this topic interests you, I will be giving an online webinar for Oxford University Press on Thursday, May 8th, at 12:30 BST. (That’s 7:30 am in New York, 8:30 am in Brazil, 3:30 pm in UAE, and 8:30 pm in Japan). The webinar is free, but you must register to attend. Even if you can’t attend live, registering means that you’ll receive a link to the recording after the webinar. OUP usually closes registration 24 hours before the online event, so I encourage you to register soon if you would like to be included.

Click this link to register for the webinar:

Recycling, reinforcing and building on new language for young learners



If you’d like to read more about this teaching approach, and how it might work in your own teaching context, you might enjoy guest posts I’ve recently written for the iTDi Blog and for the OUP ELT Global Blog:

Reduce! Reuse! Recycle!

Teach less to help young students learn more

Hope to see you online May 8th!

Kids on Tablets: More Addictive than Pills (by Patrick Jackson)

My ten-year-old son Kai and his friends don’t have crazes in the same way that we did as kids. We had crazes for everything, becoming obsessed by roller-skating, paper planes, conkers, skipping, marbles, hopscotch, spinning tops, catapults and tiddlywinks just to name a few. There was even a craze for knitting one year. There were also crazes for collecting things; cards, stamps, figurines from cereal boxes, beer mats, stickers. You name it and it was probably a craze at some time or other. Battled over, swapped and just as soon dropped, these were the lifeblood of our playtime. I guess that three weeks was the average length of a craze but during those three weeks you couldn’t imagine that it wasn’t going to last forever. Some crazes were seasonal, while others cropped up randomly. We were all over them like locusts while they lasted. During a craze we ate, slept and breathed nothing else. In some ways I guess I haven’t changed.


Sharing is caring

If you’ve read my About page, you know that one of my day jobs is co-author of a coursebook series called Let’s Go, for children learning English as a foreign language. I’ve worked with my co-authors Ritsuko Nakata, Karen Frazier, and Carolyn Graham for more than 20 years. We’ve shared many “firsts” during our long partnership, quite a few involving technology. We got our first computers in order to write the books, and our first fax machines in order to share drafts of units (because the Internet was still off in the future). When e-mail finally came along, our first messages were sent to each other. Our books have given us amazing opportunities to share what we’ve learned in workshops with teachers around the world, and to learn even more from working with those teachers. (more…)

Iro Iro

Iro iro is Japanese for “this and that.” I love the sound of the word, and it sounds better than publishing a post called “miscellaneous stuff” :-)

So, here’s my iro iro:

20 years of learning and playing with Let’s Go (more…)