Why I couldn’t live without @EnglishAddicts by @phil3wade

It is my honor to welcome a first guest post by none other than Phil Wade.  I’ve been crossing paths with Phil on twitter and the blogosphere the past few months and it’s been a true pleasure.  He offered to share his take on the use of English Addicts in a number of different contexts so without further ado, I give you Phil!  ——————

 

I’ve been interested in teaching with the news since I began my EFL journey. The only problem has been finding suitable materials at the right level and regularly updated. For years I used photocopied texts but my students have always preferred and needed audios.

This year I have faced some new teaching challenges in the form of in-house and telephone corporate 121 students and computing engineers learning almost entirely online. One particular corporate student asked to discuss news topics every lesson while in the group classes we do weekly topical debates. Thus, I set to work looking for suitable material. Thanks to some great ideas and guidance from my PLN via my EFL Experiments blog post, I felt confident that I could start integrating listening into my classes via my mobile phone or on laptops.

It was at this point that I rediscovered English Addicts. My previous boss was their number 1 fan and would run round the university on Fridays telling everyone to use the free lesson. At the time I didn’t have much computer lab access (because the same boss hogged it to use English addicts with all her classes) so had only tried the odd lesson or podcast but my students had always enjoyed the audio exercises.

Now I use EA with 1 CEO in every lesson. I give him a choice of EA lessons for the next class and he chooses whatever he wants. He doesn’t have time to do all the exercises so he just listens to the podcasts in his car or ‘second office’ as he calls it. We then discuss the topic and I explain some of the vocab.

With my group classes they all listen to the podcasts in class at the beginning and complete a vocab exercise (either the EA one or my own). We then discuss the topic and debate the main issue. For homework I encourage students to complete the other exercises and suggest another related lesson.

Advantages of using EA

Every week day there is a new lesson and the variety of topics is huge.

Everything you need for a lesson is there thanks to the great discussion teaching ideas.

It saves A LOT of time. Students select the topic, I listen to it, check the vocab exercises and discussion ideas and then think about what would or could work in my class. I write down a list of possible activities and then depending on how things go I select them.

The lessons are levelled and the easy ones are not condescending and baby-level like some other sites.

It is very flexible so students can do the lesson before class, in the class alone or in a group or you can even control it from the front.

You can search by type of level and accent:

 

Since the ‘Pay what you want’ deal EA has become affordable to everyone and is a perfect match for modern techie students. The podcasts are also available via iTunes so even idevice users can listen to them. Now there’s no excuse not to give EA a go.

 

<Brad interjects> “Once again, A big MERCI to Phil!!!!

Feel free to shoot Phil any questions in the comments below

and I’d love to hear about other teachers using EA as well.

Hit me up anytime with a Q at Brad at Edulang.com”

CHEERS!

———————————————————————————————————————————————————- Phil Wade is from northern England and first came to France at age 10 and has been a regular visitor ever since. He started teaching English while studying for a BA (hons) and later went on to study a PGCE, the CELTA, DELTA and the MA TESOL, as well as becoming a qualified Cambridge examiner. His career has taken him around Europe and to Asia teaching in language schools, universities and in companies. He is currently a freelance teacher, trainer and materials writer in La Réunion and also contributes regular articles and ideas to TESOL France. You can check out Phil’s fantastic blogs here:

http://eflthoughtsandreflections.wordpress.com/

http://debatediscussion.blogspot.com/

 

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About Brad

--- i'm a learner-teacher, language geek, outdoorsy kind-of-guy --- U might miss the next tweet... Wanna subscribe by email ? ;-)
 
  • Srishtid1990

    Enchanting interview.. and lovely website.. quite helpful!

  • http://twitter.com/seburnt Tyson Seburn

    A very positive review from a great guy about another great guy’s product.

  • http://blog.edulang.com Brad Patterson

    Thanks Ty!  Appreciate the kind words

  • http://twitter.com/leoselivan Lexical Leo

    Phil, you’re everywhere these days :)

  • Phil Wade

    Hi guys. Yes, EA has really helped my 121 classes, especially the phone ones where there’s no material. The students are pretty busy so only have time to listen to the podcast in their car. My uni classes love it too because my school is 95% online. The other 5% are my physical classes where every student has a laptop and I have a projector. They expect online content so EA listening and vocab tasks are perfect. As IT/computing students they also want related content which I’ve found hard to find. Other sites only post stuff on a weekly or monthly basis which isn’t enough when I teach everyday.

    I noticed a recent change to EA content as well which is proving popular with all my students as too is the Pay What You Want idea. It also makes it easy to recommend as my bosses aren’t scared  of the high costs. Really, it should be the course and we should buy every student a licence. Then we could vote on the next lesson’s topic, they could do all the tasks before class and then we could discuss the topic, go over language and debate the issue. How economical is that? No books, copying or hours of planning.

    Phil

  • http://www.edulang.com/blog/my-100th-blog-post-and-a-big-merci-to-you/ My 100th blog post, and a big merci to YOU!!! | A journée in language.

    [...] A big 谢谢 (thanks) to Phil Wade for his continuous support, feedback and for sharing with the readers here his great post on “Why I couldn’t live without English Addicts“ [...]

  • Sylvie_guinan

    Thanks for the excellent article Phil. I will share some of my experiences here in the near future as my online students are starting to use it too.

    They are in for a big surprise:))

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    [...] “I use English Addicts with a CEO client in every lesson we have giving him a choice of which lesson he’d like for the next class and he chooses whatever he wants. He doesn’t have time to do all the exercises so he just listens to the podcasts in his car or ‘second office’ as he calls it. We then discuss the topic and I explain some of the vocab.”  -Phil [...]