The Smart English Package (3 of 3)

03 - The Smart English PackageSmart English – TEFL Discussion Questions & Activities China is a learning platform designed specifically for people who need to practice and sharpen their spoken English ability. It is a method that has been developed through first hand experience in the PRC since 2005.

It is aimed at intermediate levels with assumption that the majority of those who come to your class will already have a substantial passive ability. Many will have started learning English at a very early age though will have little or no chance to practice speaking. Chinese students may have learnt to say basic sentences and repeated vocabulary over and over until it was drummed into their heads but actually putting all the ingredients into practice and having a conversation is something entirely new to most.

Smart English is a student centered approach that takes steps away from the standard EFL/ESL textbook model. These are aimed at elementary levels with a CD for listening, grammar focus, ‘fill in the blanks’, ‘match the words together’ and ‘tick the box’ with  little emphasis being placed on speaking.

Smart English focuses primarily on speaking and listening, encouraging 80% student talk time. It aims to see fast development of an individual’s spoken English skills.

Smart English – TEFL Discussion Questions & Activities Summary:

  • 66 topics covering most areas in IELTS and TOEFL tests.
  • These topics also have practical usage that anyone can benefit from.
  • A specific lesson structure aimed at student talk time.
  • A large emphasis is placed on the growth of the students’ confidence as a route to their success.
  • Discussions and activities aimed at a culture very different from the native English speaker. Many exercises are designed specifically for a Chinese audience.
  • Outlining and analysing key target language that is required for each topic and putting it into practice during the lesson.
  • Emphasis on ‘spoken’ English rather than text book English, especially with forms of connected speech; something that is largely overlooked in most EFL classes.
  • Power Activities designed as a replacement to games. They are designed to be as much fun as playing games, while still focusing on developing interaction with spoken English using key target language discussed during the course of the lesson.
  • A complete how to guide for the teacher regarding optimising student achievement regarding spoken English. This ranges from classroom management, approach during class and how to use the lesson plans.
  • Sets of printouts geared towards speaking. These may be in the form of printable roleplay, flash cards, prompt sheets, take-home handouts and vocabulary sheets.                                                                                                                                 A full free set of these printables is available with each copy of the book.
  • A basic grammar and phonetics guide.
  • A list of common student errors that you will most likely hear in most classes.

Categories: 02 - About the Lesson Plans

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2 replies

  1. Andy, you are doing very good things for teaching in China. Your emphases on constant encouragement, student participation and more speaking time for them is excellent. The guidance given for teachers is very helpful, and we can reinforce the tips we read from you by sitting in other teachers’ (both native English and our Chinese colleagues) classrooms for observation and learning more ‘best practices’ — any good teacher will gladly open their door to guests. I actually believe such observations should be required by every school department for every teacher, it’s a tremendous way for colleagues to learn from and encourage each other…… well, I said all that to set you up for my future request to visit your classroom and watch you in action! 😉

  2. Hi Brian
    Its really great to find someone who agrees with my various methods. Many students have never had a ‘real’ conversation in English before even though they may have an extensive knowledge of grammar. They may have learnt text book English but not ‘spoke,’ detail such as connected speech. They may be very nervous about having an important IELTS exam which may decide their future. In this respect, it is important for a student to relax and enjoy their English to reach a level of fluency. From that comes confidence, especially when they can start to address personal targets with their accuracy.

    I think demonstration of good teaching can go a long way in any establishment. I may consider doing demonstrations at some point or setting my own language school up in China. At the moment life is about getting my Smart English project off the ground and into the hands of as many English language teachers as possible.

    Once again, thanks for taking the time to write such a positive comment Brian.


    Andy Smart

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