HUB

ESL Course Design for the 2016-2017 Academic Year

15

Jul 2016

ESL Course Design for the 2016-2017 Academic Year

With another academic year coming to a close, the teachers of Oxbridge Barcelona began to reflect on the year behind them and plan the ESL courses for the 2016-2017 academic year. We began by brainstorming on the activities and teaching methods that were well received by the students, but more importantly, helped students advance their English. Furthermore, we collaboratively identified new subjects and activities that…

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Grading activities. Creating unified criteria.

11

Jul 2016

Grading activities. Creating unified criteria.

In all of our classes we use activities which are written by us, the teachers, but how can we ensure that the activities work during a class? Here at Oxbridge we have adopted a five-star rating system for grading activities to ensure that we are able to evaluate all activities not only the same way but equally. The rating system allows teachers to grade an…

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English prepositions are easy with the in-on-at pyramid

04

Jul 2016

English prepositions are easy with the in-on-at pyramid

Are your students struggling to memorize the prepositions? Moreover isn’t it a bit confusing to explain all different examples? Why are my hands on the table, am I in the building and at the desk? Don’t worry. In, on and at is often confused among Spanish ESL students. Probably because these three prepositions can be translated to one Spanish preposition: “en”. Often it’s complicated to…

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01

Jul 2016

Are you capable of learning English?

One of my students told me after his two-hour class by videoconference that he felt very comfortable because he was able to follow most of it. Still he didn’t feel comfortable enough to speak at any time. He is at a beginner’s level but far from a beginner. I am talking about a middle-aged man who has been studying English almost his entire life but for…

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01

Jul 2016

Criteria for good activities

Here are some conclusions we, Madrid teachers, arrived to when discussing What do good activities include? These are internal working standards that we are now setting in order to unify criteria for what good activities should contain. Now we have more clues on what others mean when they say “this week the activities were terrible” or “these days activities have been fairly good”. These Friday discussions are our own way of negotiating meaning!…

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29

Jun 2016

Why don’t we translate while we teach English?

“… and all other things.” I saw the look in his eyes: panic. “Things? What is things?” Oops, I didn’t know this was a new word. Mentally slapping myself in the face for my own stupidity, I started explaining the word “thing”. I pointed at different objects in the room while using the word “thing” and referred to myself and him as people not things….

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The importance of teaching practice in TEFL training

30

Mar 2016

The importance of teaching practice in TEFL training

Teaching English is a very complex process that involves knowledge about linguistics as well as about educational psychology. However, like everything else in life, there is the theory and then the reality. There is a Chinese proverb that says: I hear and I forget… I see and I remember… I do and I understand. This holds so very true for English teaching. That’s why at Oxbridge…

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02

Mar 2016

The power of dissatisfaction

Dissatisfaction tends to be associated with something negative, but it’s actually quite powerful when one uses it wisely. One of the problems it brings is that its consequence tends to be criticising –and it ends up there. But the other day I read something that said that people who were satisfied with their lives tended to stay where they were; that they wouldn’t move forward in life because…

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23

Feb 2016

You are how you think

A lot of people often say that you are what you eat, but it really should be “you are how you think”. Let me explain. My name is Paola, I was born and raised in Mexico City, meaning that Spanish is my native language. I had always been a very shy little girl, living in my perfect little bubble and having a big family meant…

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web-classes

15

Jan 2016

The joys and tribulations of web classes

It’s 8:30 in the morning. Your 3 students from Valencia, Zaragoza and Barcelona are getting ready for a web class. In half an hour, they will all be enjoying their 30 minute web class with each other and their favorite teacher. No, they will not be commuting to Madrid at the speed of sound in order to be together in class by 9:00, nor will…

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