Welcome to Issue 34!

Can it really be 60 years since John and Brita Haycraft took the intrepid step to move to Spain and 60 years since the first IH was born in that tiny flat in Cordoba? Has so much changed since then? I think the answer would be yes, and no. The network has obviously mushroomed in size – there are now…

Read More

IH Cordoba, past and present

by Simon Armour The Room 1953 Picture a small room – it’s quite dark inside despite the bright blue sunshine outside, because the two windows are small and the blinds are unrolled and down. The floor is tiled and cold to the touch, with alternate black and white ten-inch tiles which make it look…

Read More

Interview with Claudio Cremades, Director of IH Cordoba

It is 60 years since John and Brita Haycraft moved to Cordoba, Spain, and the idea of International House was born from the first few students they taught in their tiny flat. Little did they know that from those humble beginnings would grow a worldwide network of language schools. For this very…

Read More

Why we do Action Research at IH Cordoba

by Rachel Pearson Our Action Research program came from a desire to encourage teachers to grow professionally and continue their training in a more autonomous way. In a move away from top-down teacher development, with everyone working on the same teaching skill at the same time, eight years ago we…

Read More

Dogme: A Teacher’s View

by Lisa Dold Dogme ELT In his article A Dogme for EFL, Scott Thornbury called on fellow teachers to join him in an effort to ‘restore teaching to its pre-method “state of grace” – when all there was was a room with a few chairs, a blackboard, a teacher, and some students, and where learning was…

Read More

Improving high level student pronunciation with iPad apps

by Rachel Pearson AIM: To improve high level student pronunciation and their autonomy in this regard by using iPad applications TARGET GROUP: 6 Proficiency students TIME FRAME: February – May 2012 Identifying the problem area: For several years I have taught very high level learners in preparation…

Read More

Learning through an iPad

by Jennifer Dobson Whatever the future may bring, it seems pretty clear that mobile permanent connectivity of some form will be part of it. Just as we might concentrate on listening skills or sharing with YLs to effectively help our learners to communicate, we will need to integrate the teaching of…

Read More

Troubled teens

by Fari Greenaway Using Community Language Learning and other humanistic approaches to break down barriers to effective language learning Background The focus of this Action Research was a class at IH Cordoba Sierra. The students were a group of elementary level teenagers aged from 13 to 17. In our…

Read More

The one about the horse who walked into a bar: taking a step back

by James Pengelley A horse walks into a small, smoky bar and takes a seat. What happens next? The answer to that question depends entirely on where the bar happens to be. What can I get you? We don’t serve your type in here. I’m sorry, can I see your ID please?

Read More

Competitive listening

by Margaret Horrigan When I did my initial training, a CELTA, many years ago I was very much in awe of how to stage a listening skills lesson. There seemed to be quite a difference in enabling learners to understand a reading text and a listening text. Both are, after all, receptive skills and…

Read More

From zero to hero – seven superhero classroom activities!

by Matt Parks The topic of superheroes is a popular one for many students around the world, engaging adults and young learners alike. The following activities can be used as stand-alone tasks to provide students with fluency work or to activate a particular language point. If you think superheroes…

Read More

‘How-to’ presentations in university EFL Classes

by Hall Houston A few years ago, I decided to give my sophomore English students a unique final exam that would be student-centered and allow them to get some practice communicating and presenting in English. I assigned them to do a group presentation on a how-to topic in front of the class.

Read More

From the structured to the eclectic, encouraging meaningful communication in the classroom

by Rob Smith As Nunan so concisely said, for the majority of our students “success is measured by the ability to carry out a conversation in the target language” Nunan. D. (1991) Language Teaching Methodology. UK: Prentice Hall International and so it should clearly be.

Read More

Will we be using them in 60 years’ time? The future as a matter of course books

by Wayne Rimmer There are multiple different contexts for teaching and learning English but the one common feature to be found in almost any curriculum is the course book. Many have been the prophets foretelling the end of course books, but their words have fallen on deaf ears if judged by objective…

Read More

Demand High?

by Robert Buckmaster At the DOS Conference in Greenwich in January this year Jim Scrivener and Adrian Underhill led three sessions on their meme of ‘Demand High’. The first introductory session, led by Jim, was met by quite a few heads nodding in agreement; in the second – a feedback session – there…

Read More

‘It’s a great day to teach’

by Rebeca Bianca Durigo A student comes from hundreds of kilometres away, on his holiday, just for his bi-weekly 90-minute English session. Another one finally breaks the surprisingly longstanding, not to mention downright bad, habit of relying solely on classroom input and starts doing plenty of…

Read More

Young Learner Pedagogy: The next step

by Shay Coyne The buzz word for 2013 is Demand High Teaching (DHT). However, in International House Sabadell, it is not just a trend; it is our teaching philosophy. What does it mean to demand high in the classroom? What implications does this have for learners, and most importantly for teachers?…

Read More

The evolution of classroom technology

by Dan Schulstad “You don’t need to use technology to be a great teacher”. I agree. Unfortunately however, aside from decision makers grappling with how many interactive whiteboards or tablets to purchase for their school, or teachers in specific and uncommon circumstances, this argument has already…

Read More

Input, intake and aims

by Roger Hunt Teacher after her class: ‘I did the present perfect again. But they still don’t know it.’ Michael Swan once told a story in which a man claimed that he had taught his parrot three languages. Lots of people came to see this parrot and waited expectantly for it to speak. But it didn’t.…

Read More

The ‘onion’ and the effective Professional/Personal Development Interview

by Mark Forehand Every IH school is inspected and every inspection report has a section on compliance with the IHWO Teacher Charter. Within this section there is an area related to Educational Support and Teacher Development. Unfortunately, the inspection criteria do not call for the use of…

Read More

IH Tripoli English for Libya teacher training project

by Rose Aylett and Emma Halliday It was an idea that grew from a chat over coffee and cake in the Café Roma, which in Tripoli, is where all the best ideas take shape. Emma had recently returned to Libya after being evacuated during the 2011 Revolution, whilst I was an enthusiastic new arrival to the…

Read More

¿Como favorecer la implicacion del alumno en el aula de ELE?

by Antonio Orta Gracia Si hay un ser verdaderamente curioso, auténtico y creativo ese eras TÚ. Recuperar la perspectiva del niño que todos llevamos dentro nos ayudará a potenciar al máximo nuestras posibilidades de aprendizaje. La curiosidad, la autenticidad y la creatividad son algunas de las…

Read More

Special interest column: Young Learners

by Kylie Malinowska There has never been a more exciting time to be part of the International House family! With 60th anniversary celebrations happening all over the network, there is a lot to get excited about. So for this issue’s ‘Five in a Flash’, it’s…..

Read More

Special interest column: Developing Teachers

By Sandy Millin, IH Newcastle I was lucky enough to be sitting on the train home from the IATEFL 2013 conference, which took place April 8th-11th in Liverpool when I wrote this piece. If you don’t know it, IATEFL is the International Association of Teachers of English as Foreign Language. It is one…

Read More

Special interest column: Technology

by Shaun Wilden At the recent International House Teachers’ Online Conference I did a talk on how to use students’ mobile phones as a stimulus for speaking. You can find the talk at http://ihtoc60.blogspot.co.uk. I’m using this edition’s column to follow up on that talk and present you with…

Read More

Special interest column: A (tefl) life less ordinary

In our new regular feature, Alastair Grant (IH San Isidro) tells us about life as an intrepid English teacher, 8,000 miles from home and in a far sunnier climate than his native North London: the joys, the sorrows, the good classes and the “improvable” classes, the highs and the hangovers – all…

Read More

Classroom Management Techniques

by Jim Scrivener, CUP, Reviewed by Lou McLaughlin Classroom Management Techniques successfully provides concrete solutions for everyday difficulties encountered by language teachers worldwide. It is divided into seven chapters, each based on a specific topic and subsequently cross-referenced…

Read More

A Course in English Language Teaching by Penny Ur, CUP

by Penny Ur, CUP - Reviewed by Shawn Severson, IH Porto Those who have already worked with the predecessor to Penny Ur’s A Course in English Language Teaching will be pleased to enjoy easier access to theory and practice in this revamped version, presented in a less compartmentalized and more…

Read More

Oxford Read and Discover Series

by Hazel Geatches, OUP - Reviewed by Jennifer Hillhouse, IH Torres Vedras A lot of my childhood was spent in the local library, sitting on the floor with a stack of books, working my way with increasing speed through everything I could find. Very little has changed, I am and forever hope to be a…

Read More

English for Football

by Alan Redmond and Sean Warren, OUP - Reviewed by Matt Parks, IH Bangkok English for Football is part of OUP’s Express series that specialises in English for students who need it to communicate in an English-speaking footballing environment, most likely players who want or have secured a move to a…

Read More