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Top tips for teachers to maintain their English level

As a teacher, it’s crucial to communicate effectively with students and provide them with the necessary support and guidance. In this blog post, let’s discuss practical tips for improving your English skills as an English teacher and taking your teaching to the next level.



1. Make a plan to learn: The first step to improving your English is to make a plan. Decide how much time you want to dedicate to learning and what resources you will use. This could be a combination of websites, books, or courses like Enhance. The key is to find what works best for you and stick to your plan.

2. Be accountable: Find ways to make sure you stick to your plan by making the plan with a co-worker or teacher friend or joining a community of practice. You can always join the ELT Thinkers WhatsApp group to share teaching ideas and ask questions to fellow teachers. Find out more about teacher collaboration in this post

3. Use content that works best for your level: Choose websites with content that work best for your level. Find content such as movies, TV shows, music, podcasts, books, newspapers, blogs, or magazines. Start with materials at your level and gradually increase the difficulty as you improve. Find some great ideas in this post


"Improving your English skills takes time and effort, but it is well worth it for you and your students."

4. Go to Language Exchanges or find a language exchange partner: Language exchanges are a great way to practice speaking with native English speakers. You can find a language exchange partner online or attend local language exchange events.

5. Play word games or puzzles in English: This is a fun way to improve your vocabulary and grammar skills. Try playing crosswords, word jumbles, or other word games in English.

6. Take an online English course: Taking an online English course is an excellent way to improve your language skills and become a better teacher. Enhance is the perfect way to learn, enhance or maintain your English so you can confidently teach.  

Bonus Tip

Keep a journal in English to practice writing: Keeping a journal in English is a great way to practice your writing skills. Try to write about your teaching experiences and reflect on what you’ve learned. This will help you to improve your writing and reflect on your teaching to become a better teacher.

In conclusion, improving your English skills takes time and effort, but it is well worth it for you and your students. These tips will make you a more effective teacher and provide your students with the best possible support and guidance. Additionally, you’ll be able to aspire to different job opportunities.

Do you want more tips and details on improving your English as an English teacher? Sign up for our webinar! 

Happy Teaching!


You stayed until the end!

You stayed until the end, so we have a surprise for you! You get a 10% discount on Enhance, English course for teacher to take your English and teaching to the next level. Valid only until Feb 15, 2023.



Gómez Ramírez
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Exploring Creative Ways to Use ChatGPT in English Language Teaching

What is ChatGPT, and how can it help teachers in the English language classroom?

ChatGPT, short for “Chat Generative Pre-training Transformer,” is an extensive language model developed by OpenAI that can generate natural language text. There has been tons of buzz around this innovative tool since it came out last year, with mixed feelings about how it could be used in education or if it should be used. What’s my position? I’m all for it, it’s a tool we can use to support teaching and learning English. 


ChatGPT and its Benefits for English Language Learning

     ChatGPT can be an invaluable tool for teachers in the English language classroom. It can help students practice various language skills, including grammar, vocabulary, reading, writing, and even preparing for speaking. However, I’ve read many articles debating where ChatGPT should be used in teaching and learning since it could be just another way for students to get out of doing their homework. 

     As English teachers, you could tell if your students used a translator on a writing task; the same occurs with using ChatGPT. Although it can mimic a human, it will never quite get the exact style your students use of the language, their level of English, or their lexis. We can tell, so I don’t think it will impact our work negatively, but it could benefit our teacher activities and students’ learning process. 

     So, let’s explore how we can get the most out of ChatGPT in ELT. One of the ways that ChatGPT can be used in the classroom is through the use of prompts and questions. Teachers can prepare these for ChatGPT to either generate responses that help them plan a lesson or develop content that students can use to learn.

For Students

  • You can use the model as a starting point for class discussion. Ask the students to explain their understanding of the model’s response, and you can ask higher-order thinking skill questions to promote critical thinking. 
  • Using ChatGPT as a writing assistant, students can input a sentence or a paragraph in their own words, and the model will help them with grammar, vocabulary, or even spelling mistakes.
  • Students can then analyze the model’s responses and compare them to their own answers, leading to a better understanding of the language.
  • It can also be used as a self-study tool. Teachers can assign homework that involves interacting with the model, and students can share their findings with the class. This can be an excellent way for students to practice their language skills in a fun and engaging way.
  • Students can also use ChatGPT to learn or practice vocabulary. 

For teachers 

Now, as you can see, ChatGPT is a powerful tool that you can use in the English language classroom. But it can also help teachers to create interactive and engaging lessons. 

These are just a few examples of how ChatGPT can be used in the English language classroom. The possibilities are endless, and I encourage you to experiment with different ways to use ChatGPT in your teaching practice to save time and still offer personalized and differentiated content for your students. It’s a powerful tool that can help to make language learning more fun, interactive, and practical. Give it a try, and let your creativity flow!



Gómez Ramírez
Blog 1__Header_My Journey to Becoming an ELT Teacher

My Journey to Becoming an ELT Teacher: A Storytelling Series

In this blog post, the author shares their personal journey to becoming an ELT (English language teaching) teacher in Colombia, including their experience as a teacher and their decision to start their own educational consulting company, ELT Think Tank. The author encourages readers to join them as they continue learning and growing as professionals.

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How to create an online communicative activity in minutes?

When teaching English in today’s classrooms, our task is to create engaging activities to promote collaboration among our students but, most importantly, promote communication. Through communicative activities our students can use the language in prompted or real-world situations, allowing them to continuously improve their overall usage. Even the shyest students can become empowered when we use just the right activities and tools. 

In this short post, we’re going to give you some ideas on how to create an online communicative activity in just a few minutes. Let’s jump right in. 

What makes an activity communicative?

There are many different definitions but in short it’s when the activities encourage and require students to speak and listen to others. This includes any activity that promotes real-world interactions such as tasks like finding information, learning about or teaching a topic, or exchanging ideas and opinions on specific topics of interest. 

For these activities to be more effective, remember to keep teacher talking time to a minimum, trust students’ knowledge and capabilities but above all have fun! There are many types of activities that provide opportunities for students to interact and communicate during your lessons. Here are a few ideas: 

    • Surveys
    • Dialogues
    • Conversation grids
    • Information gaps
    • Games
    • Experience-sharing 

How to create a communicative activity online? 

By using some of the existing online tools, we can create virtual spaces that will allow students to communicate online with similar activities as we would have for in-person lessons. Here are some considerations to keep in mind: 

  • Identify the main elements of the communicative activity. First of all, you should be able to take the in-person activity and identify the main elements that make it communicative, and determine which ones you’d like to transfer to an online setting. 
  • Adapt the elements to an online setting. Once you’ve identified these elements, decide which ones would work best for your online classroom. For example, if it’s a conversation grid, this could work by simply sharing an image of the grid with your students and having them work in pairs to complete the task. Before determining the type of digital resources and tools you’re going to use, ask yourself the important questions: How can I create the digital version of the task? How can I share it? How can I make it accessible to all students? How can I ensure all of my students have the possibility of participating? Will the activity be synchronous or asynchronous? How can I track my students’ participation and performance throughout the activity? How can I guide adn support learners during the activity in real time?  
  • Use the right tool, depending on the interaction patterns. Some tools may be more useful than others depending on the interaction patterns you chose for the communicative activity. In some cases, where you want students to work in pairs, any videoconferencing tool with breakout rooms will work just fine. In other cases, you may want to explore whole-group communicative tasks and instead some other tools may be the right fit. 

Recommended communicative tools 

  • thursday This is a one-click and no login tool that gets students connected easily. Once you’re set up, you can use one of the four options: Lounge, Doodle race, Would you rather, or Trivia. Any of these could prompt communicative activities and motivate students to participate actively and engage in meaningful interactions with the whole group. For a whole group communicative activity, try this:

Step 1: Share the link with students so they can connect. 

Step 2: As the teacher, you can join the stage and guide your students by starting in the lounge. You can kick things off with a short task like asking everyone to write one word that describes their mood today. 

Step 3: Get students to participate by using one of the available Mixers or an activity that you’ve prepared. 

Step 4: Students can participate with text messages, emojis or can join you on the stage. 


  • The Online Fishbowl Tool This is a great tool to get students to listen and chime in when they are ready. The teacher can get started with an introduction to guide students through the activity and then students can join in by taking an available seat. You can only have five people on camera at a time, although everyone else is always listening. 

Don’t forget that any videoconferencing tool can be used to promote communication and interaction as long as you adapt the elements correctly. You could even use WhatsApp! 


Share your ideas for teaching communicative lessons online in the comments. 



How to use videos while teaching remotely?

How to use videos while teaching remotely?

Teachers have always been using videos to engage English language learners, but now more than ever it is has become an essential tool to truly motivate learning. While we are teaching remotely, the reasons behind why videos are important in education continue to be just as important. We traditionally use videos to engage students in and out of the classroom and through multimedia catch their attention. Nowadays, video can be a critical way of connecting with students despite the social distancing restrictions, and now as some schools return to the classrooms under different models, it can continue to be of great support for teachers and students. In this article, we’ll revisit the benefits of teaching and learning through videos. 

Teaching through videos allows students to: 

  1. Have access to on-demand, bite-sized microlearning experiences. You can create a library of videos in a simple Google Drive shared file, a Google Classroom, or Edmodo. Although, you could also use platforms like English Central to create your classrooms and edit videos to include questions for your students. If you’re a school and are interested in know more about English Central, contact us
  2. Increase their interaction and engagement with the content. Teaching remotely opens the door to using creative strategies to get students engaged, but at the same time ensures accountability of the tasks at hand depending on the tools you use.
  3. Access for multi-device learning such as computers, laptops, tablets, or smartphones. Especially with the evident digital divide that has surfaced due to the pandemic, we as teachers should consider that videos are an easy way to reach students, granted that it’s still important to consider connectivity. 

Now, let’s consider how we can prepare videos for our lessons. 

  1. Keep it short. Use segments or clips. Use video segments to maintain your students’ attention as well as 
  2. Connect with the target language and align with the lesson objective. Even though videos can be fun, it’s also important to make sure they are aligned to your target objective and language to ensure students can use this opportunity to continue learning and reinforcing the language.
  3. Allow active learning with the right tools. Selecting the right tools will depend on a great variety of factors such as your students access to devices and connectivity, the skill targeted in the activity (vocabulary, grammar, comprehension, etc.), or the aim of the content of the lesson (inform, explain, etc.)
  4. Use videos to connect with students. Teachers can create videos to make short instructional or explanation videos to connect more with students while teaching remotely. 

Apps to use videos while teaching remotely. 

A tool to create interactive video activities and keep track of your students’ responses and progress. 

  • Always free, forever.
  • Templates for quick content creation.
  • Access to free premade content library.
  • Detailed analytics to understand when learners are succeeding or struggling.
  • Unlimited bulbs can be built per month.
  • 100 free learner attempts per month. That means that 100 individuals can make a single attempt once per month, that one individual can make 100 attempts per month, or anything in-between.

Use TED videos as well as from other platforms to create staged out video lessons where students can participate actively. 

  • Teachers can customize a video. 
  • Tracks progress
  • Share via email or links
  • Use different sections of the video lesson to expand students’ comprehension and knowledge of the topic.  

iSL Collective

(Video lessons)

Use this website to edit already made video lessons or make your video quizzes to share and grade your students’ progress. 

  • Create an ESL popup quiz around any Youtube or Vimeo video in minutes.
  • Generate a vocabulary quiz with YouTube videos. 
  • Generate a grammar quiz using Youtube videos. 
  • Customize your quizzes.
  • Track answers and progress 

This Chrome extension embeds an interactive element to your Youtube videos and Netflix series and movies. 

  • Subtitles are shown in two languages, allowing you to compare the original audio and text with a translation in your language.
  • The extension allows you to listen to subtitles one at a time, and to change the playback speed.
  • There’s a pop-up dictionary, and the extension suggests the most important words for you to learn.

You can record your screen and video to make tutorial videos for your students. It’s very easy to make.

  • Add text, emoji, ink, and custom images
  • Toggle-on whiteboard/ blackboard mode
  • Create a stop-motion sequence (with pause/record)
  • Upload videos from your camera roll
  • Screen record
  • Trim, rotate and rearrange clips

Flipgrid is a simple, free, and accessible video discussion experience for PreK to Ph.D. educators, learners, and families. Create a Topic and engage your community…together!

  • Videos up to 10 minutes long
  • Unlimited projects
  • 2GB of storage space
  • Unlimited downloads
  • 720p export quality 
  • Auto subtitles


Gómez Ramírez

Collaboration as a key teaching skill

Teaching English is about much more than just what goes on in the classroom. As professionals, it goes beyond what we can do as individuals and is truly one of those professions that are done best when done with fellow colleagues. Collaboration is a competence that takes teachers to the next level, so we’ll explore who we could collaborate with to make our students’ learning experience more impactful and meaningful. 

Collaborate with colleagues

Collaboration with colleagues brings about a plethora of benefits for the teachers involved, so let’s identify just a few of the possible ways you could get started or continue collaborating with fellow teachers. 

  • Professional learning network: These range from international associations to groups of teachers in a small rural public school. In these groups, you can be in charge of your own professional development, explore your interests, stay up to date with what’s going on in the teaching world, ask a friend for feedback, and even brainstorm with your colleagues to fine-tune ideas and teaching strategies. 
  • Online: Especially with the current state of the world, online communities have become more important than ever. They are connecting teachers from around the world, who despite the differences between their students, educational contexts, and curriculum are all going through a similar situation as they shift to remote teaching. It has truly become a safe space to ask questions, engage and collaborate with others and at the end of the day to not feel alone! 

Our ELT Thinkers make part of a WhatsApp group where we do just this. Here are a few examples of how we collaborate daily.

ELT Thinkers collaborate

Collaborate with students 

Although we mostly consider collaboration to be with colleagues, we can also put into practice our collaboration skills with our students. We could do this in two ways. 


Here are a few ideas when teachers collaborate with students. 

  • Encourage and praise students by reminding them how they’ve managed to achieve their goals, not only which ones they’ve achieved. 
  • Keep students in the loop and be realistic with the lesson aims. 
  • With your students decide on topics of interest that can help them not only learn English but expand their knowledge on particular topics.

We should also promote collaboration among students, as two of our ELT Thinkers mention here: 

  • Share and co-write texts of a previously agreed literature genre and topic, as a means to help students increase awareness of the subtleties involved in writing and for overall improvement of writing skills. Register and English proficiency level should be carefully considered. Andres Roa
  • Pairing students up to write a story to develop experiences, events, and/or characters. We guide them through the exercise by writing questions or prompts for them to discuss and elaborate. We have questions that cover the setting of the story, the plot of the story, and the development of the story. For example: What is the setting? In other words, when and where does the story take place? Use the five senses (smell, touch, see, taste, feel) to describe it. – Rodrigo Mejía

Collaborate with communities 

We can also take our collaborations outside of the classroom and extend them to other people within our community who can share their own experiences and knowledge. Through these connections, you could integrate language with culture, help students expand their knowledge on everyday topics, as well as promote lifelong learning to your students and the people in your community. 

Are you interested in becoming a more collaborative teacher? Check out our 14-day ELT Collab Challenge!

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Gómez Ramírez

Differentiating between online learning environments

This is a temporary emergency transition, which calls for us to react with certain considerations in mind. First things first, it’s important to understand the clear differences in education when using technology. 

So, let’s define the different teaching experiences we can have and analyze the considerations we should have when engaging our students in each one.  

Now, let’s review some of these learning environments to understand the main differences.

“Face-to-face learning is an instructional method where course content and learning material are taught in-person to a group of students.” 

Extracted from

In a face-to-face teaching environment, teachers can easily create a rapport with students and implement classroom management strategies easily by the physical location of students, groupings, etc. In this kind of teaching environment, it’s important to consider the classroom environment with things that will engage students, motivate them to participate, and promote collaborative and active learning. It could be said that doing these activities is easier in a physical classroom, where you can use your tone of voice, physical prompts set up in the classroom, or even body language. 

“Blended learning combines classroom learning with online learning, in which students can, in part, control the time, pace, and place of their learning.”

Extracted from

Blended learning takes one the best of both worlds and promotes autonomous learning, as well as scheduled encounters or interactions with students. 

“Online learning results from careful instructional design and planning, using a systematic model for design and development.

There are nine dimensions that offer levels of complexity and alternatives for teachers. These are modality, pacing, student-instructor ratio, pedagogy, instructor role online as well as student role online, online communication synchrony, role of online assessments, and finally source of feedback”

 Extracted from

Online learning involves a highly prepared learning environment that is set up so students can learn on their own and participate or collaborate using different spaces like forums. This kind of education requires an LMS, Learning Management System, that can track students’ progress and allow online teachers to give feedback. There are many variations of online education, but they all have the above-mentioned characteristics in common.  

Now, let’s move on to the one that we should be focusing on during this crisis, which is remote teaching. 

Remote Learning “occurs when the learner and instructor, or the content, are separated by time and distance and therefore cannot meet in a traditional classroom setting. Information is typically transmitted using technology, be it email, discussion boards, video conference, or audios so that no physical presence in the classroom is required.” 

Extracted from

Emergency remote teaching (ERT) “refers to a temporary shift of instructional delivery to an alternate delivery model due to crisis circumstances.”

Extracted from

Many teachers are struggling to transition into an online teaching environment when in reality it really comes down to determining the best delivery model for your students. Here are some ideas to consider on the connectivity considering they have a device available like a computer or laptop.



Students don’t have internet access at all

  • If they have computers available, save on a USB the activities along with recorded instructions for students to follow. Have students save the activities on the same USB and return to you.
  • Send text messages with the instructions for tasks students can complete on their own. 

Students have access to the internet for brief moments during the day

  • Send emails with activities that they can complete and send back. 
  • Use an LMS, Learning Management System, or similar platforms like Google Classroom, Edmodo, Schoology to send, receive, and grade activities. 
  • Chunk activities so students can finish in time if they are expected to do online activities.

Students have stable access for up to 2 hours daily

  • Hold live sessions with a video conferencing tool like Google Meet or Zoom. 
  • Assign collaborative activities using Google Drive or similar platforms. 
  • Assign brainstorming and collaborative activities like Padlet. 

Students have stable access 2 or more hours a day

  • Do activities in real-time such as Pear Deck, Nearpod, or similar platforms. 
  • Assign self-paced activities on platforms like Deck Pear, Blendspace, or Nearpod.

Note: As you move lower on the chart, you can continue using the aforementioned activities 

In the case the students don’t have any device available, try these options: 

  • Make an alliance with a local radio station to offer the students their lessons at specific times of the day. 
  • Print the activities and organize a distribution network, for students to work independently.
  • Create a learning hub in your community so students can pass by with the safety considerations to pick up and drop off learning material. 

Making your students’ lives easier while remote teaching

Although teahcers may indeed be struggling while they are implementing emergency remote teaching strategies, they are not alone. Students are also having to digest quite a bit, as well as facing the crisis itself. 

So, why not find ways to make this transition a bit easier on them as well. Here are some ideas: 

1.Make a cheat sheet

Create a one to two-page cheat sheet where students can find all of the most important information for your course. By using a cheat sheet, your students can easily find the information they need and not feel lost between emails, links, platforms, etc. 

Download our template for a remote teaching cheat sheet. 

2.Chunk lessons 

Remote teaching is a different kind of learning environment and we should consider the content that we are expecting our students to learn. The chunking strategy refers to breaking down information into smaller pieces so the brain can process and understand them more easily. This strategy is especially important in any kind of online learning environment since it allows for a logical and progressive way of navigating the course. When chunking you can implement some different techniques and strategies to continuously check concepts like chunk-challenge-chew-chat-check. 

3. Group work and collaboration

Even though you are teaching remotely you can still promote collaboration and group work in your lessons. These can be either synchronous or asynchronous.

  • Breakout rooms in Zoom to have students work in smaller groups or even pairs. 
  • Use shared documents to have students work together outside of the live session. 
  • Give students different roles and responsibilities for an activity so each can work individually but then piece everything together during the live session. 
  • Pair project work- Design a project where students can work together to complete the different stages either together or collaboratively. The students should present progress checks and report to the teacher. 

4. Use video and audio clips (multimedia) 

Students are used to having a teacher explain to them, so using these to explain instructions can bring you closer to them and promote a better understanding of the tasks, remember to give examples when necessary. As for student work, students can put their 21st-century skills to the test  while recording, editing, and sharing videos or audios. 


For more information on how to teach post-Covid check out our COVID-19 takeways highlights on our YouTube Channel.

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Using Pear Deck to promote engagement in remote teaching

In our ELT Lounge held on April 29, we explored how to use Pear Deck and found out how we could make the most of it for our current emergency remote teaching circumstances. Here you’ll find the video of our session, but we’d also like to share with you some additional tips for using Pear Deck.

Tip # 1: Use the Google Slide Add-on (Recommended)

Especially if you are using Google Drive and Google Classroom with your students, it’ll really save you some time when creating your lessons. Find out how to get the add-on here.

Great for saving and recycling your lessons. 

Tip #2: Use the student-paced lessons

You can organize your slides so that students can work through the slides and interact with them with a deadline. You can track their progress through Pear Deck and when you’re finished you can get the results and export the Takeaways (students’ results are saved as individual Google Docs in a Google Drive folder).  

Tip #3: Add audios to slides

When sharing the slides for student-paced activities, adding audio will definitely change your students’ experience while completing the activity. You can easily add audio to your slides to prompt your students, offer instructions, or even just motivate them. Learn how to add the audios here.

Tip #4: Use Pear Deck for remote learning

During this pandemic. It has become even more essential for us teachers to find tools that offer options when teaching remotely and Pear Deck stands the test. It allows you to teach in live sessions, in student-paced lessons and they even offer ideas to use it for remote learning. Check out the video to find out more about How to teach a remote lesson with Pear Deck.

We have our ELT Lounge the first and third Wednesday of every month. Be sure to sign up for our next ELT Lounge