Ten popular articles from the Pearson English blog

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We know how busy a teacher’s life can be, between ongoing assessment, professional development, student counselling, and, of course, planning and teaching classes! So, just in case you missed them, we thought we’d bring together the ten most popular articles of the last academic year in one place, for your summer reading! Let’s take a look:  

1. Teaching critical thinking 

 If you’d like to learn more about critical thinking, this article from teacher trainer Christina Cabbage is a great place to start. It gives a brief definition of critical thinking and shares some guiding principles of a critical thinking mindset. Then, Christina shares six practical activities/strategies to get started with your class, and follows up with an example project.  

Learn how to teach critical thinking.  

2. Learning English with Instagram  

Your students (like everyone else) are probably on their phones a lot – so why not encourage them to do some language revision at the same time? This article looks at how Instagram works as a learning platform. It’s great for visual learners, providing bitesize chunks of language and the opportunity to connect with a community of other English students. There are also five suggestions of useful accounts for learners to follow.  

Explore five Instagram accounts to help your students learn English. 

3. Using the GSE Text Analyzer  

This article provides an introduction to the GSE Text Analyzer. This tool is a recent addition to the Global Scale of English Teacher Toolkit, and it can be used to analyze external texts of up to 500 words. It provides you with the CEFR and GSE level of the text, highlights those  words which might be slightly above the general reading level, and gives you a readability score too.  

Learn about how to use the GSE Text Analyzer in class. 

4. Bringing mindfulness to the primary classroom  

Amy Malloy is a mindfulness and yoga teacher as well as an English language learning specialist. This article is one of a series on mindfulness in the primary classroom. The focus here is on the barriers that some teachers might find when trying to implement mindfulness or meditative activities in their classroom, such as a lack of space, or a negative reaction from colleagues, and offers practical solutions to overcome these barriers.   

Read about mindfulness in the primary classroom. 

5. Helping young learners develop fine motor skills  

This article explains the importance of building fine motor skills with young learners. Having these skills boosts students’ self-esteem and focus engages them in their learning and improves their social development and autonomy. There are lots of ways you can help your primary learners to develop their fine motor skills, not only through learning activities but also simple everyday actions.  

Learn how to help your learners develop their fine motor skills.  

6. Incorporate STEAM into your classes  

Sarah Hillyard is a specialist in STEAM education in language learning. This post shows you how to integrate STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and maths) into your language classes. There are also four STEAM activities for you to use with your students.  

Discover how to integrate STEAM in your English classroom. 

7. Share tips for learning English online  

There are strategies that your students can use to boost their success in learning online, such as creating a study schedule, setting some SMART goals, and using the Pomodoro technique to maximize concentration. This post goes into detail about effective learning techniques that you can share with your students to keep their study skills sharp.  

Read our seven tips for learning English online.  

8. Improve literacy in your classroom  

This popular article explores how to improve literacy in the classroom. Educational expert Katherine Scott explains the key skills of a critical reader, such as separating fact from opinion, and identifying key information. Then, she shares some practical strategies, with examples and activities, that you can incorporate into your classes to boost your students’ literacy and critical reading skills.  

Discover how to improve literacy in the classroom. 

9. Use breakout rooms in your online classes  

In this post, we share some online teaching tips from our international community of teachers. The top tip was on using breakout rooms when doing communicative activities to promote and encourage student interaction. But there are lots of other useful tips and resources for teachers who are teaching online.  

Find six ways to use breakout rooms to teach English. 

10. Diversity and Inclusion: the Gender Equality podcast  

This post looks at gender equality in the publishing industry. It outlines three concrete areas where Pearson aims to promote diversity and inclusion: 

  • The representation of people and characters in context 
  • The use of language, and the promotion of genderless terms  
  • The referencing of third party conflict 

There’s also a link to a podcast where these aims are discussed in detail.  

Read more about diversity and inclusion and find out how you can address gender inequality in your classroom. 

What would you like to see more of on our blog? Practical teaching tips? Pedagogical theory? The latest teaching and education debates? Let us know in the comments!  

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