Author Archives: sarahali

About sarahali

I am linguist working in the EFL field. I started my teaching career in East Germany in 1997, continuing for a while (7 years) in Austria before settling back in the UK, where I am now based. I have taught English in various forms (ESP, ESOL, Business English, EFL (general) and EAP) to students ranging from 3 years of age to 80. I have written, developed and edited teaching material and curricular for the Arabic speaking world, as well as African countries. I have also written materials and teacher's books for 3-year olds learning in multi-lingual schools in Spain and have worked on translating and adapting Early Readers for the international market. I'm currently a senior tutor for EAP, a TEL coordinator and an academic proofreader. I also work as a freelance materials writer and developer. I speak English, German and French, with a basic knowledge of Arabic and Spanish.

Deep breath – here we go again

I’ve had a pretty turbulant year with one thing and another, so have been away from the chalk face (and back room) for a while. I’m now back, sort of full-time, and it does feel a little strange. To make … Continue reading

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Encouraging reading for pleasure

I think we all know the importance of reading and the difference it can make in educational performance. Parents are encouraged to read to their children from as early an age as possible. In the UK all babies can claim … Continue reading

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The Novella | Why it’s a great extensive reading resource for English Language Students | OUP — Oxford University Press

The benefits of extensive reading for learners of English have been well documented, and there are some informative articles easily discoverable on this blog. The Graded Reader can play a hugely important part in developing reading skills, and OUP has … Continue reading

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Developing courses under restrictions

Since the start of the new term, I keep meeting my former students in the corridor and almost all of them are saying “It’s too hard”, “There are so many assessments” or “It’s so hard compared to last term”. Then … Continue reading

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How children speak. Do they? – Michael Rosen

I’ve just read this article by Michael Rosen and I can’t agree more with what he says. Language doesn’t, and never has, fit in to ‘boxes’  or set patterns that apply to every situation. I watch my children communicate (aged 4 and … Continue reading

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Keeping up with the Jones’

It’s been a while since I’ve been able to write a post, what with one thing and another. I have been thinking about what to write and have mentally had about 15 ideas – the trouble is I don’t write … Continue reading

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Encouraging curiosity

Ramsey Musallam: 3 rules to spark learning While this talk uses chemistry teaching, I feel that it is valid for all kinds of teaching, including languages.  Engaging students in learning and the learning process, for me, is key in any … Continue reading

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Planning – end of term review

In the lead up to the term I’ve just completed, I’d participated in a webinar which awoke an interest in reflecting on how I plan lessons. I decided to use the questions below to analyse the way  that I plan. … Continue reading

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eBeam – the students’ perspective

At the end of the eBeam trial I asked students to (anonymously) write down what they thought of it. Here are their responses (with permission): “It’s not really neccessary, we can use it sometimes, but not each course. Sometimes it … Continue reading

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Unplanned planning

The research into my own planning process has been of to an interesting start! I was hoping to be comparing the process I’ve been going through with the responses I’ve had about how teachers plan this week, but hey, best … Continue reading

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