The Sessions

On this page you will find a list of all the Teacher Development sessions that we currently offer at IH San Isidro, together with some information about what the session entails.

Further to excellent feedback from teachers and authors, we have opened up all the teaching development sessions in this blog and they are now accessible for free.

Some of the comments we have received so far include:

“…good stuff, and very accessible. Seems like you’re doing some great work ‘down there’!”

Scott Thornbury – teacher, teacher-trainer, author

“Nice job on the site. It’s great to get things up and running. It’s looking good and I look forward to following.”

Jamie Keddie – teacher, teacher-trainer, author

“…the blog looks very nice and full of interesting workshop summaries and news.”

Lindsay Clandfield – teacher, teacher-trainer, author

“You seem to be doing a fantastic job, and the sessions look very interesting.”

Tim Julian – teacher, teacher-trainer and Director at IH La Spezia

“I really like the initiative! And the blog looks great!”

Vicky Saumell – teacher, teacher-trainer and author

For further information about the sessions please contact IH San Isidro:

Alastair Grant, Director of Studies & Teacher Development Manager:

Emma Cresswell, Online Services Manager:

International House San Isidro: (0054) 11 4743 2518



Lost in Translation

Lost in Translation

Emma Cresswell & Alastair Grant.


Inspired by a session by Gustavo Gonzalez at the Anglo Conference in Montevideo, this session looks at the role of translation in the EFL classroom.

It invites discussion as to whether there is a place for it, before looking at how teachers can exploit subtitles to explore the differences between their students’ L1 and L2.


Translation – Slide Show  Using Translation in class worksheet   Subtitles Worksheet (New Girl)


The 5th IH Teachers’ Online Conference took place last weekend (24th & 25th May) and was a resounding success.

To celebrate the 60th Anniversary of  International House there were 60 speakers, each talking for 10 minutes.   There were various different themes and trends over the two days, with people talking about classroom management, using technology in the classroom, speaking and pronunciation to name but a few.

The conference was a resounding success and all the recordings of the talks can be found on the official blog.

Here at IH San Isidro we are going to be using some of the recordings in out Teacher Development Sessions.  This week we started with a talk by Zoe Taylor of IH Lisbon Spelling Success. We then looked at the talk by Emma Cresswell of IH San Isidro who asked us to Please turn on your phones.

Below you will find the links to the talks, and the activities we completed during the talks.


Spelling Success     IHTOC 60 – Zoe Taylor       Please Turn On Your Phones     IHTOC60 – Emma Cresswell

Approaching Approaches

Approaching Approaches

Alastair Grant & Emma Cresswell


This session looks at four different approaches to English Language Teaching and how they can be implemented in the classroom.  The aim is not to change your teaching style but to see if there are elements that could be used to enhance our current teaching styles.

The four approaches are: Total Physical Response, The Silent Way, The Lexical Approach, Audiolingualism.

Approaches: Bullet Points    TPR YouTube Video   The Silent Way YouTube Video   AudioLingualism YouTube Video   Lexical approach

John's bad day

Taken from “Implementing the Lexical Approach”, Michael Lewis, Heinle ELT, 1997

scott's terrible day

Taken from “Implementing the Lexical Approach”, Michael Lewis, Heinle ELT, 1997


Demand High… an introduction

Demand High… an introduction

Alastair Grant & Emma Cresswell

At the IH DoS Conference 2013 Jim Scrivener and Adrian Underhill introduced the concept of Demand High to the attendees.

This session is a brief introduction to Demand High, using ideas shared in the talks at the conference.

Demand High Teaching – presentation       Methods -Matching

Demand High1 (IH DoS 2013)

Demand High 2 (IH DoS 2013)

Getting to know IELTS

Getting to know IELTS

Rodolfo Caranti & Seth Sokol

IELTS is the wildly popular and exponentially growing international standardised test of English. In this session, Rodololfo, the IELTS administrator, and Seth, who teaches the monthly IELTS exam preparation course, explore what IELTS is and why it is important to teachers and students of English.

This session presents the exam in its historical context, details the the exam format, and argues that this is the test many of our students need, even if they don’t know it. As Rodolfo explains, to be an internationally mobile global citizen one needs two things: IELTS and a passport.

IELTS Papers – ACADEMIC  IELTS Papers – GENERAL  Get to know your…   IELTS – an overview

Bringing Coursebooks Back to Life

Bringing Coursebooks Back to Life

Alastair Grant

Boring textbooks? There’s an easy way to bring them back to life!

We have all had that sinking feeling when we’re planning classes, turning the page of our coursebook, only to find a topic or text that we just know will send the students to sleep.

Not any more! This session aims to make sure your students are always engaged by any text they are presented with, by looking at its history, culture and background. We will examine dynamic and challenging ways to focus your students and get them thinking and working with their coursebooks as though they’d chosen the text themselves!

Prezi presentation  Bringing boring Textbooks Back to Life – handout

Testing Times

Testing Times

Emma Cresswell

As the exam period approaches we turn our attention the tests that our students will soon be sitting.

The debate surrounding whether or not we should indeed test our students is not addressed here.  Instead we are looking at how to ensure that the assessments we submit our students to are the best they could be.

What should we assess our students on? What make a good test?  These questions, and more are answered in this session.

Testing Times   Validity – mix and match   Possible techniques to test grammar and vocabulary   Sample key

Mind your CCQs!

Mind your CCQs!

Emma Cresswell

Blank faces in class?  Confused looks on your students’ faces? Repeating things time and time again?

We’ve all done it.  We’ve all asked our students “Do you understand?” and blithely moved on with the next activity, only to realise that no, they haven’t understood.

This is where CCQs come in.  By asking Concept Checking Questions to our students we can really find out if they have understood or not.  This workshop looks and the whys and hows on CCQ-ing as well as some useful tips and advice on how to get the most out of your CCQs.

CCQs  CCQ examples   CCQ   CCQs – Do’s & Don’ts   Mortmain – CCQs   Mortmain – pge 1   words to CCQ from mortmain



Emma Cresswell

How teach pronunciation?  Should we teach pronunciation?  Phonemes, what are phonemes?

Pronunciation has always been a “grey” area.  Some teachers avoid it altogether, presuming/hoping that their students will be able to mimic their accents.  Others go overboard, with the result that their students can write better in phonemes than in proper letters (ok, so maybe that’s an exaggeration!)   The point is, pronunciation can be tricky to bring into the classroom.

This session looks at some key areas in teaching pronunciation: phonemes and drilling.  It also raises some questions about what a teacher should know and be prepared to do when it comes to pronunciation.

prǝnʌnsieɪʃǝn  Phonetic text to transcribe (multiple texts)  Phonetic text to transcribe  Quiz on Argentine Spanish  Quiz on Argentine Spanish – key  Food pictures

Dealing with vocabulary in the classroom

Dealing with Vocabulary in the classroom

Alastair Grant

“What does xxxx mean?”  “I don’t understand what it says here”  As any teacher can tell you, not a class goes by without someone asking you for the definition of a word.  It could be a word from the text they’re reading in class, or it could be something they saw on TV last night, or that they heard in a song they were listening to on their way to class.

The teacher knowing what the word means isn’t a problem (unless it’s some new fandangled expression which is fashionable amongst teens that particular week), the problem comes in trying to get students to spread their wings a bit more.  How can we make our students autonomous learners, who feel confident enough to understand without running to their dictionary (or teacher) every two minutes?  How do we, as teachers, know what vocabulary to introduce to our students? And when?

This session will answer all those questions, and more!


Nonsense IHWO  Plan  Though the way coursebooks deal with vocabulary varies types of vocab