It is always a pleasure to look back over our blog posts to see our favourite topics during the year. Join us to discover posts you might have missed or simply revisit some that you might use in the new term.
Thank you for following our Readers Blog so attentively throughout the year, we look forward to sharing fresh ideas with you in the new year.
Reading for the Environment
We dedicated 2021 to the environment and posted monthly articles complete with lesson plans and reading tips to help you focus on different aspects of the environment and raise environmental awareness in your English classes. We believe that literacy and language development and environmental studies mutually support each other. To put it simply: the better your students’ literacy and language skills become, the more they will be able to learn about the environment and work towards sustainability both in class and at home.
We focused on the following topics:
WINTER, SEEDS, RAIN, RIVERS, POLLUTION, FOOD, ETHICAL TOURISM, ANIMAL RIGHTS, ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION, TREES, FASHION, CONNECTEDNESS, plus a special interview with environmental educator Rose Tiziana Bruno.
We now have five exciting titles in the Helbling Shakespeare Series with more coming in 2022. In our blog post and special webinar, we overviewed the benefits of working with Shakespeare’s works and words, and also shared activity and project tips to take you and your students from page to stage. Check them out with the links below.
- Working with Shakespeare in the English class blog
- From reading to performing: Shakespeare’s plays in the language class webinar
On the Read
In a year when most of us were forced to stay at home, we decided to quench our thirst for adventure with On the Read, a short series of blog posts all about travel. The series took us on a journey across continents and oceans, through the pages of our favourite Helbling Readers, extending our steps both in space and in time. We visited six major destinations, doing some sight-seeing, learning about culture, and getting some travel tips.
Our first destination was London. From London, we travelled to Italy and visited Venice and Rome. Then we travelled to Asia and explored India and the Himalayas. We continued our journey to the United States of America, and then we travelled to the vast continent of Africa, just before packing our bags for our journey back HOME.
Online games have a valuable place in language education for many reasons. In distance learning, they are easy to access and help students engage in a playful way. In classroom learning, online games are a great link between informal and formal ways of learning, and they also help your students develop their digital literacy skills. We collected some ideas on using online games with young learners, giving examples from The Thinking Train online games which are available for each title.
Dialogue is an extremely important aspect of language teaching, and we examined its benefits in the context of reading, giving you lots of pointers to engage your students in dialogue in the reading class.
Translation is a real resource for language teachers and learners, and it is a legitimate way of extending your teaching tools. However, it still has a bad reputation among some students and teachers. We explored some ideas on how to make the most of translation in the language class.
- Found in Translation blog
- When is it OK for students (and teachers) to use their own language? webinar with Philip Kerr
The building blocks of language are words, words, and words. What are the most effective ways of approaching vocabulary building in the classroom? We collected five practical ideas for you to try.
One of our favourite blog posts is interviews. Talking to teachers, authors, researchers, illustrators and teacher trainers gives us a lot as we learn from their experiences and practices. This year we talked to inspiring educators about a wide range of topics. Don’t miss them.