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”
———————————————————————————————————————————————————- 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: