Cambridge DELTA Course

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New ELT Resource – DELTA Pre-course & Pre-interview Preparation

Posted by Tutor on July 24, 2009

ESOL Teaching Skills Taskbook

The ESOL Teaching Skills TaskBook is a professional development resource comprising 40 stand-alone tasks that focus on different aspects of teaching English to speakers of other languages. The ETS TaskBook is a flexible resource that allows schools to provide their teachers with practical professional development opportunities.

How can it be used?

A lesson or a series of lessons from the ETS TaskBook can be used in the following way:
• a teacher working alone
• a group of teachers working as a professional development discussion group
• a senior teacher or academic manager wanting to lead a professional development seminar
• an academic manager wanting to provide an individual teacher with some kind of targeted professional development support
• a tutor working with pre-service teachers on a training or development course

Teachers and tutors who use the material should feel free to adapt the material so it is suitable for their context.

Who is it suitable for?

The ETS TaskBook is suitable for English language teachers in a variety of contexts. For pre-service or less experienced teachers, it may be a way of gaining a deeper understanding of ESOL teaching methodology. For more experienced teachers, it may act as a useful refresher and springboard for further study.

What does each lesson contain?

• an introduction that outlines the focus of the lesson
• a series of tasks with answer key
• a reflection task
• a practical, classroom-focused transfer task
• suggestions for further reading and ways to develop

What does the ETS TaskBook contain?

The TaskBook is divided up into the following five units:

Core issues in the learning context
Micro skills of teaching ESOL
Teaching skills-focused lessons
Teaching language-focused lessons
Materials and resources for teaching ESOL
See the Table of Contents and Resources to find a specific lesson.

What is a Teaching Log?

At the end of each lesson, there is a section with the heading Thinking about your teaching … This section poses a question about teaching in relation to the content of the lesson you have just studied. The section ends with a suggestion that you write down your ideas and thoughts in a Teaching Log. A Teaching Log is a kind of reflective diary in which you record your thoughts about teaching and learning. You can use a notebook or you might want to keep an electronic log. This can be something you do just for yourself. It can be interesting to go back and read your log at a later date to see how your thinking about teaching has evolved. Alternatively, you may want to share your Teaching Log with colleagues to gain the benefit of each other’s insights.


I would like to acknowledge and thank Ako Aotearoa for their generous support in helping to create the ETS TaskBook. The following institutions and people provided useful feedback on lessons: Heather Richards from AUT University School of Languages; Gareth Williams from the Christchurch College of English; Chris Chaplin from Taupo Language and Outdoor Education Centre; Supriya Darp and Mark Thomson from Dynaspeak.

Table of Contents

Unit 1: Core issues in the learning context

a) Classroom dynamics
b) Student interaction and teacher roles
c) Learning styles
d) Motivating students to learn
e) Learner autonomy
f) Lesson planning and determining aims
g) Analysing written and spoken language

Unit 2: Micro skills of teaching ESOL

a) Teacher language
b) Questioning techniques
c) Giving instructions
d) Pace in the classroom
e) Drilling techniques
f) Conducting feedback on classroom activities
g) Correcting spoken errors
h) Correcting written language

Unit 3: Teaching skills-focused lessons

a) Listening 1: A typical listening lesson
b) Listening 2: Learner-friendly listening lessons
c) Reading 1: Knowing about strategies and sub-skills
d) Reading 2: Setting tasks for reading texts
e) Speaking 1: Fluency
f) Speaking 2: Strategies
g) Writing 1: A product approach and features of written language
h) Writing 2: A process approach
i) Literacy

Unit 4: Teaching language-focused lessons

a) Teaching Pronunciation
b) Teaching Vocabulary 1: Different approaches
c) Teaching Vocabulary 2: Concept checking
d) Teaching Grammar 1: Different approaches
e) Teaching Grammar 2: Grammar from texts
f) Teaching Grammar 3: Using communicative activities
g) Teaching Grammar 4: Concept-checking grammar
h) Task-based language learning
i) Teaching functional language
Unit 5: Materials and resources
a) Using authentic materials
b) Timetabling a sequence of lessons
c) Using songs
d) CALL: Computer Assisted Language Learning
e) Using DVD or video
f) Using games
g) Using drama activities

The following books are referred to at the end of ETS TaskBook lessons:


Classroom Dynamics by Jill Hadfield (Oxford University Press 1992)

Discourse Analysis for Language teachers by Michael McCarthy (Cambridge University Press 1991)

Drama Techniques: A resource book for communication activities for language teachers (3rd edition) by Alan
Maley and Alan Duff (Cambridge University Press 2005)

Games for Language Learning (3rd edition) by Andrew Wright, David Betteridge and Michael Buckby (Cambridge University Press 2006)

How to Teach Grammar by Scott Thornbury (Pearson 1999)

How to Teach Speaking by Scott Thornbury (Pearson 2005)

How to Teach Vocabulary by Scott Thornbury ( Pearson 2002)

Learning Teaching (2nd edition) by Jim Scrivener (Macmillan 2005)

Learning to Learn English by Gail Ellis and Barbara Sinclair (Cambridge University Press 1989)

Music and Song by Tim Murphey (Oxford University Press 1992)

Teaching and Learning in the Language Classroom by Tricia Hedge (Oxford University Press 2000)

The Practice of English Language Teaching (4th edition) by Jeremy Harmer (Pearson 2007)

The Self Directed Teacher by David Nunan and Clarice Lamb (Cambridge University Press 1996)

Using Authentic Video in the Language Classroom by Jane Sherman (Cambridge University Press 2003)


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