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Welcome, Nick!

Published by on 18 May, 2015 |

If you’ve been in and around IH Budapest for the last couple of weeks, you’ll have seen a new and very friendly face – the one just below, in fact.

 Welcome, Nick!

It belongs to the one and only Nick Wimshurst, and it’s my absolute pleasure to welcome him to the team as our new full time CELTA trainer.

We had a little chat about his background, Budapest and beliefs.

NA: Hi Nick – welcome to Budapest, IH Budapest and IH Budapest Teacher Training!

NW: Thank you! It’s nice to join the fold.

NA: Tell us a bit about your background – where are you from? Where have you worked?

NW: I’m from a small, coastal town in the north-east of England called South Shields. I have spent most of my time teaching in Poland and the Czech Republic, but split this up working at University in England. Most recently I spent a year teaching and training in Dubai, which was interesting to say the least!

NA: So you’re from South Shields – doesn’t that make you a Geordie? Read more

Good Luck Mike!

Published by on 18 December, 2014 |

It’s a sad day when one has to say farewell to colleagues – something that happens often in this business, but doesn’t necessarily get any easier. A long-standing member of our team, Michael Graham, is moving to pastures new from January 2015. I have worked with Mike for many years, first as his DELTA tutor and then as his colleague in teacher training. If his recent farewell karaoke party (or should that be parties – he seems to be having quite a few) is anything to go by, he will be missed by many in the Budapest EFL community. I sat down with Mike for a quick chat on his time here and what lies ahead. Read more

It works for me! Retranslation and Noticing

Published by on 8 December, 2014 |

Translation in the classroom remains something of a taboo; partly, perhaps, because many training courses proscribe its use as a technique, and partly because not all teachers are familiar with the mother tongue (L1) of their learners, and therefore feel uncomfortable with its use in their classrooms.

However, many teachers, trainers and writers have been unhappy with its poor reputation. Judicious and principled use of L1 / translation has been making a steady comeback. Guy Cook and Philip Kerr, for instance, have in recent years published thought-provoking and informative books that explore the use and usefulness of translation / L1 in the classroom to great depth.

Translation pic 300x183 It works for me! Retranslation and Noticing

I thought I’d share an activity that utilises your learners’ L1. We demonstrated it on our recent APPL course and it seemed to be quite popular with those who attended; many tried it out and reported back on its success. The activity is known by various names – most commonly, Retranslation.

What is Retranslation? How does it work?

Retranslation has been around for a long time – I first heard of it early in my career and I’ve traced it further back to an ELTJ article from 1984, though it may be older still. It is an activity that encourages learners to closely consider differences and similarities between L1 and L2 by translating and then, after a time delay, retranslating a short text. Read more

Perspectives on further development 2

Published by on 25 November, 2014 |

The Art of Lesson Planning image Perspectives on further development 2Mike Cattlin worked at IH Budapest Teacher Training from 2002 to 2005. His new e-book The Art of Lesson Planning is published by Matador. The book overviews a wide range of skills that underpin effective lesson planning; it offers a useful distillation of the tips and techniques Mike has acquired during more than 20 years in the business.

I sat down to ask him more about The Art of Lesson Planning – including who it was written for.

NA: When I read the reviews of The Art of Lesson Planning by people such as Scott Thornbury, Tim Bowen and Michael Carrier, it seems as though the book would benefit a wide range of teachers. Who do you believe it is most useful for – pre-service, in-service or DELTA-level teachers? Who did you have in mind when you wrote it?

MC: When I started to write it, I was thinking pre-service, as I knew how useful it could be for trainees on my own courses, and in-service, to revise much of what teachers learn on initial teacher training courses but then forget and often need for in-service observations and future developmental courses. As the process went on, I started to add more detail and I believe there is now useful pre-course revision for DELTA candidates as well. I like to think there is something there for everyone and different levels of teacher can take different things from it; it was interesting to note, however, that Tim Bowen thought pre-CELTA and Scott Thornbury thought it was more for pre-DELTA.  Read more

The lost art of… asking real questions

Published by on 26 July, 2013 |

question mark 710x532 The lost art of... asking real questions

You may ask: what on earth are “real” questions and when is a question ever not “real”? Let’s start by considering why we ask questions and analysing the types we frequently ask in our lessons.

Display Questions 

We are trained to use them for a variety of reasons. Here are some that I’ve heard in recent lessons:

  • If someone gives up smoking, do they stop smoking?
  • What is the 3rd form of the verb “swim”?
  • Okay…so are you going to do this exercise alone or with a partner?

Read more