Back to School: What to expect in the coming weeks


Are you ready for a new academic year? Some teachers will be excited to get back and others will be anxious to face the ‘new normal’. Whether you’ll be teaching in person, online or a mix of both, we are here to support you with resources, materials and activities to help the transition go smoothly. 

Read on to find out what to expect in the coming weeks! 

Discover all our Back to School resources! 

Week 1: Introduction 

We’ll be kicking off the back to school content with a range of videos and activities to help you start thinking about the year ahead. This will include: 

Ideas for flexible online, hybrid and in-class learning 

Our Pearson Live Classes trainers will be sharing some short videos. Each will include one idea for online, hybrid and in-class learning. These will help you start thinking about how to approach your lessons no matter the format. 

Back to school worksheet

To get you started we have put together a fun activity worksheet for your first day back.

Donatella’s “All about me” worksheet is a fantastic way to break the ice in a new class. You’ll be able to get to know your students’ and find out their interests to incorporate into future lessons!

Download the worksheet in British English (BrE) or American English (AmE):

All about me - BrE All about me - AmE

Week 2: Reconnecting: the physical and digital worlds 

Teaching online over the last year has introduced us to new ways of teaching and using technology. It’s important that we feel confident with these approaches moving forward, as they’re likely to be with us for some time to come.  

To help you continue to juggle online and in-person teaching, our content for weeks one and two will include:  

The ESAP online lesson planner 

Discover advice for planning online lessons with our Engage, Study, Activate and Practice (ESAP) framework. ESAP focuses on helping teachers with quick and easy planning for effective and engaging online learning.  

Tips for hybrid teaching  

We will also be offering a recap of one of our Pearson English Spring Days hybrid learning seminar sessions. Kasia Janitz-de-la-Rue will share her insights into how we can increase engagement and motivation through the use of different approaches and tools. 

Using a Coding Mindset in class 

For one of our Pearson English Podcasts, the panel spoke with author and editor Rhiannon Ball about the Coding Mindset and how to teach it. A coding mindset encourages students to develop important soft skills – from the perspective of a skilled coder.  

We’ll show you how to help students develop strategies to analyze, understand and solve problems.  

Week 3: Placing and evaluating 

One of the many tasks teachers have is to place and evaluate language learners according to their abilities and skills. We’re going to be offering you advice on assessment and new innovations in this area. Topics we’ll cover include:  

Essentials for effective evaluation and assessment  

We will aim to answer the question What’s the difference between assessment for learning and assessment of learning?

You will learn techniques that can help you assess your classes for effectiveness and make adjustments based on their needs. We’ll also share resources to help you work with your students to become autonomous learners so they can self-assess and then reflect on their progress.

Download our posters to use in your classes:

Become a better learner guide Become a better learner checklist

New innovations in assessment  

Pearson’s Versant Intelligibility Index score is an innovative way of assessing English language levels. We will focus on what intelligibility in communication is and introduce you to the Intelligibility Index test.  

This 15-minute test is used worldwide by schools, recruiters, and employers who need a quick and accurate measure of people’s English language skills. 

Key classroom strategies for evaluating students 

Through classroom observation, interaction, feedback and effective assessment, teachers can successfully evaluate students’ abilities and place them in the correct learning groups.  

We will offer you tips to help evaluate your students in class, as well as some materials and resources you can use to test them.  

Week 4-5: Psychology of learning 

Many of us and our students have been left with feelings of anxiety, stress and Zoom fatigue as a result of the global pandemic. 

In weeks four and five we’re going to focus on the following content to help you combat this: 

Mindfulness in the classroom  

We’re going to show you some simple mindfulness activities that can help us navigate through the feelings of uncertainty many of us have experienced recently.  

These will include mediation audio recordings, yoga videos, breathing exercises and tips for focusing on well-being more generally into the classroom.  

We’ll also have a Facebook live session with Donatella and other mindfulness trainers. Join us on 14th September 2021 at 15:00 (UK time) and learn how to become a more mindful teacher.

SEN, dyslexia and mindfulness  

We’re also going to be featuring a podcast that focuses on special needs education (SEN), such as dyslexia, and what teachers can do to ensure their lessons are inclusive and mindful. 

Activities for emotional learning  

We’ll then explore the topic of emotional learning, which looks at the process of acquiring and applying knowledge, skills, and attitudes to developing healthy identities, managing emotions and achieving goals.  

Activities will be aimed at helping your students to show empathy for others, establish and maintain healthy relationships and develop a sense of self-awareness. 

Week 6: Making progress 

To provide you with all the tools you’ll need for back to school and beyond, we’re going to introduce some resources and strategies for you to use. These will include:  

How to use the GSE Teacher Toolkit  

Our GSE Teacher Toolkit makes it quick and easy to find learning objectives, grammar, vocabulary and coursebook recommendations. It has a wealth of resources that will help you prepare for any lesson.  

We’ll teach you how to use this tool, so you can take it with you into the new academic year.  

Building career skills 

If you’re interested in developing your teaching skills further, we’re going to offer a selection of training videos. These will focus on new teaching approaches such as using technology, hybrid learning and other aspects of teaching, like classroom management and lesson-planning.  

How to reduce anxiety with to-do lists  

To help you overcome any overwhelming feelings of stress due to a heavy workload, we’re going to show you some strategies for managing your time. This will include a focus on creating useful to-do lists.  

The ultimate goal is to help reduce anxiety so you can teach more effectively.  

From all the Pearson English team, we wish you a successful back to school period. If you have any questions leave us a comment below. 

Discover all our Back to School resources! 

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