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A model business

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Terry Phillips explains how to find the right business model for your language school

There are tens of thousands of successful language schools around the world applying a tried and tested model for meeting customers’ wants and needs. But the traditional model is not the only one possible. If you own or manage a language school which is not performing as well as it might be, perhaps you should consider changing the business model you are using.

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The importance of meaningful conversation

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The globalisation of English often focuses on doing business, but the language is a powerful tool for communicating across cultures and across ideologies.

Last month’s Iatefl conference in Glasgow I started my presentation using the evocative image of a campfire. I see this as a metaphor for meaningful group interaction. Whenever I engage in deep conversation with a group of people, I feel as if transported back to the roots of humanity, when the fire was the magnet bringing homo sapiens together, giving us warmth and being the bond that built communities. Whenever I see a circular formation emerging naturally out of a group of students waiting for a class to start, for example, I feel the pull of that imaginary fire.

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A lack of evidence is not my style

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Melanie Butler argues that learning styles are not the only problem. Most of British-style ELT needs a stronger evidence base

Howard Gardner is not a fan of ‘learning styles’. The Harvard professor of education confessed in 2013 that the tendency of many people to link the discredited theory to his own work on multiple intelligences drives him ‘to distraction’. Learners have different styles, he agrees, but the attempt to bunch them into neat groups is incoherent. Repeated empirical studies of the systematic use of the theory in the classroom have shown they make no measurable difference to learning outcomes.

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The perils of using slang in the air

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Headlines suggested that pilots who are non-native English speakers are to blame for aeroplane near-misses. But is this the whole story?

Claudia Civinini talks to the author of the report that hit the news

For Dr Clark, language and aviation are life-long passions. Once a flight attendant for Northwest Airlines, she then obtained an MA and PhD in linguistics from Queen Mary, University of London, and went on to become a researcher and a consultant.

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In for the Clil

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A snapshot survey reveals teacher training providers in the UK and Ireland are benefiting from a growing number ofcountries jumping on the Clil bandwagon.

When the French need to invent a name for something, you know it’s a success. Content and language integrated learning, commonly known as Clil – or Emile by the French – has been taking European primary and secondary schools by storm. Many countries now require secondary schools to teach some subjects in a foreign language (the most common is English) and similar projects are also run at primary level.

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