Image: Davity Dave
ELT gold is everywhere... throughout the onlineworld people are sharing their nuggets, coins and bars. The wider education world is no less exciting. Ideas like Edupunk are potentially transformative and offer millions hope for a future where higher education doesn't come with a prohibitive price tag.
In the future it's looking more and more likely that universities will not maintain the role of higher education gatekeepers. Similarly for ELT, I think we're moving into a time where the coursebook will cease to be the gatekeeper of ELT material.
Most of my ELT career to date has been in the UK ESOL context and although there are very basic government produced materials and a core curriculum, we are by and large underfunded, meaning coursebooks are rarely rolled out across levels and classes.
It's only recently I've begun to realise what a huge advantage this has been, certainly for me and my colleagues. It's made for mix and match courses and plenty of adaptation. The main way to access resources outside our own heads has been the vast online goldmines. Many of these are free or partially free and I'm always on the look out for more. If anyone's interested here are a few I've collected over the years:
The Scottish Qualifications Authority has whole packs of adaptable resources on very beginner topics... a rare and greatly valued find!
Talent is also free, after you create a login, and has a mix of different resources mainly for lower levels.
Skillsworkshop has been invaluable at the higher end of the spectrum.
The Teachit family of websites covering ELT, Primary, Secondary and Citizenship, also has a wide range of resources although you have to pay to gain access to the adaptable versions.
ESOLcourses has been a more recent find that has great online activities as well.
The NIACE citizenship pack is excellent for all sorts of reasons and the material is of a high standared with a variety of activities and approaches.
BreakingNewsEnglish for topical news.
ESLbase has some great grammar games.
Of course OneStopEnglish, although you have to pay to access much of it, is one of the few pay for resources that I'd say is definitely worth it.
And I'm pretty sure I'll soon be purchasing a subscription to English Raven as I have no doubt it's also well worth paying for!
There's more I'm sure. A few more include Bogglesworld, ESOLUK, englishbanana, JamieKeddie and for low levels and phonics I love mes-english, funfonix, stickyball and activityvillage.
I would of course be more than interested in the mines that others have discovered :-D
It's tuly amazing how much is available and don't even get me started on blogs ;-p
There something even more special is shared... ideas, reflections and thoughts that are slowly leading me away from my reliance on goldmines and more towards the hidden nuggets which, as they emerge, are completely changing my whole way of teaching.
The future's bright... and very very shiny.