ELT workshops: teaching English to adults

About the 2018/19 series

A series of 8 two-hour workshops designed as a cohesive series forming a course in teacher development for teachers of adults.

Teaching English to adults

Participants may enrol for all eight sessions, or for individual sessions.

Teachers attending the whole course of eight sessions will receive a certificate at the end of the course. Certificates will not be issued for single sessions.

The current series, shown below, has now ended. Information on the next series, which will begin in November 2019, will be available in September.


Problems and solutions: task design for reading skills

TD Session 1 — November 16, 2018, 10.00-12.00

The following three points are from the University of Cambridge CELTA handbook regarding reading. Notice there is no mention of giving out loads of comprehension questions or skimming and scanning; rather the focus is on problem solving.

  • Purposes of reading
    Understand how approaches to reading texts vary depending on the purpose of reading, and make practical use of this in teaching
  • Decoding meaning
    Identify some of the features which help learners decode meanings of words, sentences and whole texts, and make practical use of this in teaching
  • Potential barriers to reading
    Identify some of the difficulties learners may face when trying to understand texts. Identify ways of making reading texts more intelligible to learners

In this session we will be addressing the issues which arise from these three points and looking at practical means of enhancing students’ abilities to make sense of text.

Discourse approaches to language

TD Session 2 — November 30 10.00-12.00

Language doesn’t exist as isolated sentences it exists in discourse whether spoken or written. Why is it then that coursebooks continue to treat grammar as isolated, discrete items?

In this session we will be exploring approaches to language at the big picture level in which the students are helped to notice and use features of discourse.

Problems and solutions: task design for listening skills

TD Session 3 — January 11, 2019 10.00-12.00

A typical approach to listening skills is to ask comprehension questions; but how does this approach enhance listening skills? Arguably it practises the listening skill but it does not teach this skill in any way.

In this workshop we will be looking at the role of phonological factors and how we can teach students what to listen for and what to ignore and how to make sense of all that they hear.

Teacher talk: the good, the bad and the ugly

TD Session 4 — January 25 10.00-12.00

Teacher talk is often seen as a bad thing but think back to when you first started learning your own first language: you did so because of extensive PARENT talking time, they spoke, you listened and gradually you became an expert user of the language. Telling anecdotes, live listening, open and closed question types, quality and quantity – all relate to teacher talk in both positive and negative ways.

In this workshop we will be assessing the teacher’s voice in the classroom to see where and when it is, or is not, a useful teaching tool and we will look at incorporating the equivalent of parent talking time.

Teaching vocabulary: lexical sets and associationism

TD Session 5 — March 8 10.00-12.00

Low levels get furniture vocab, days of the week, clothing vocab and so on. Middle levels get crime vocab then we often run out of words to teach in sets.

In this workshop we will be looking at ways of creating networks of vocab beyond the lexical set to aid memory and recall, and to increase our students’ pool of usable lexis.

Speaking skills

TD Session 6 — March 22 10.00-12.00

In this workshop we will be looking at numerous speaking activities and the factors that make them successful or not. We will also explore a syllabus for speaking skills over a range of levels to ensure our students are equipped for all needs they are likely to encounter.

Phonemic script in and outside the classroom

TD Session 7 — April 5 10.00-12.00

A practical session on ways of using phonemic script both as a teaching tool and as a resource for students to use themselves at home.

This session is suitable for teachers who do not feel confident about using phonemic script and for Teacher Trainers who would like some new training ideas.

Theory and practice of SLA

TD Session 8 — May 3 10.00-12.00

An overview to theories of Second Language Acquisition (SLA) and how these impact on what we teach and how we teach it. This is a practical session from which you will take classroom ideas that may be rather different from your current practices.

Book your place

Discounts are available for other language schools making group bookings and for ex-IH Barcelona trainees. Please contact us for further details.

Full payment details



Roger Hunt
Roger is Head of Education at IH Barcelona and is a tutor on both CELTA and DELTA courses -- and many of our other courses, too

Aims of the series

Roger says:

The underlying aims of these workshops are twofold: firstly to rethink some attitudes about language and language learning which have perhaps become taken for granted and ritualized; and secondly to provide those attending with practical, classroom ideas for experimentation to try out some of this rethinking.

Current computer-based research into language has revealed we may not be giving students a complete picture and that discourse and pragmatics frequently suggest more traditional approaches to language have gaping holes: we will be trying to fill these gaps in the workshops.

Equally many teachers may have become disillusioned with the same, tired old teaching recipes and are likely to appreciate some of the new teaching ideas presented.

See also

Young Learner workshops


IELTS Tests Eaquals

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