Spanish parents on homework strike

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Across Spain, parents were set to go on homework strike this weekend demanding a reduction in homework for their kids. An umbrella organisation of parent associations from 12,000 different state schools organised the protest. They argue that their kids’ education is suffering as a result of an excessive workload. Spain appears high in international tables covering the amount of homework.

This contrasts with a number of schools in the private sector e.g. Montessori where children receive little or no homework. Educators argue that primary children need time to play, spend time with family etc. to develop fully. Other countries also have a different attitude. In Finland, children receive very little homework, but score highly in results tables.

Read more about the homework strike here.

Why are Finnish schools so successful?

 

Teacher Resources for Halloween

halloween

If you like using technology in your lessons and you are thinking of creating Halloween themed lessons for later in the month, then the Free Technology for Teachers offers these interesting activities and resources focusing on creating storyboards with Storyboard That. Note that you can start with a free trial and you may only want to use it for this lesson if it does not appeal to you are or students.

ESOL Courses has a selection of free resources that can be used independently or a part of a class. These cover a number of skills, such as this Listening Exercise on the History of Halloween or these Vocabulary Exercises and Worksheets.

For younger learners at A1 levels, the British Council have created this flexible lesson resource.

Finally, One Stop English has complied a number of resources for all levels and ages. There is also a link to Owl Hall, the celebrated and popular gripping teenage mystery story told in thirteen spooky parts.

 

What’s News in ELT?

reading news

There are thousands of ELT-related blog posts and articles posted each day. The amount of reading can be quite overwhelming. So, here at Perfectly Spoken, we’ve done all the reading for you and selected some really useful current reading in our What’s News? feature. Most of the readings we choose will be practical and offer hints and tips for classroom or online teaching situations. Others may offer an insight into learning theory.

To start this week, we have a useful article by Chia Suan Chong on the British Council ‘Teaching English’ page about Language Change and Error Correction. Correction is a valuable part of teaching and is expected from our learners, In this article, however, Chia Suan Chong invites us to question how and when it is deemed necessary to correct our learners.

Our second recommendation is ‘Feedback; the most important part of any exercise?‘ by author and teacher, Racheal Roberts on her really useful blog, ‘elt-resourceful’. One of the main ideas behind this post is to transform feedback from being something essentially teacher centred to being something fully planned, fun, and student focused.

For something rather more theoretical, The Scientific American article, Evidence Rebuts Chomsky’s Theory of Language Learning is not exactly coffee break material but it is fascinating reading for anyone interested in the theory of how we learn languages. Chomsky’s ideas have been amongst the most important linguistics for several years but this article discusses whether they are now being challenged.

We hope you enjoyed your first What’s News? and follow us on Facebook and Twitter to keep posted about new ELT reading. You can also let us know about your favourite ELT blog and article reading.

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