IATEFL 2013 Preview: No Flippin’ Idea

April 3rd, 2013

What is flipped teaching? What is blended learning? What do learners do in class? What do they do at home?

These are some of the questions that, in my role as Learning Manager for English360,  I discuss with educators and the English360 team on a daily basis. My presentation at 2013 IATEFL Liverpool on Thursday 11th at 17.05 will share suggestions on creating individualised learning opportunities and shed light further light on the benefits of hybrid courses.

Liverpool Online

Increasingly, English language teachers are making their own content and their learners’ projects available outside the classroom. Not all learning and teaching is taking place at the same time, in the same place in a “classroom”. Teachers and learners are using web-based tools to share and connect during face-to-face lessons or after class, to expand horizons and to extend learning.  Whether using freely available informal web-tools or a dedicated LMS, together teachers and learners are turning traditional classroom roles, activities, coursebooks, and educational programmes upside down.

My “No Flippin’ Idea” session will showcase examples and briefly explore bottom-up co-created lesson ideas,  activities and jointly developed (non-linear) courses that are personalised and relevant to each specific learner.

I will highlight how the real “flip” in course design and delivery isn’t about new tools. I’ll show how it isn’t just about sharing a new video to watch before a face-to-face session or simply doing homework on a screen. Profitable, successful flips or blends depend on offering opportunities for discovery, co-operation, collective effort and interaction. It’s all about working together to develop knowledge, new levels of engagement and responsibility.

Cristian, Gaia and Giovanni - My third year English Language students at the Orientale University of Naples

Do you agree that making it flip not flop means valuing the humans at the centre of the educational process? How are you doing that? What are the challenges you have faced?

Please feel free to post your experiences as a reply here. Even better, come along to the talk and our stand (#50) to discuss in more depth.

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Claire Hart – English360 Community Webinar

September 5th, 2012

Our next community webinar is a special event: on Friday 14th September 2012 (UTC 13.00, CET 15.00) our guest speaker will be Claire Hart. Register here for this upcoming English360 Community Webinar.

If you teach English for professional purposes, the aim is usually to prepare your learners to successfully communicate in the workplace. Most participants will have a series of communicative events which they need to take part in through the medium of English and, particularly with in-company learners, it becomes important to move away from just talking about their job and focus on helping them to do their job in English. Creating authentic and relevant communicative activities can sometimes be a challenge however. Claire Hart will share ideas on creating effective activities which enable learners to rehearse the communicative events they take part in during their working lives, leaving you with a 5 step plan you can use with your own learners.

Claire Hart - Business English Lesson Plans

Claire Hart is a business English and ESP teacher and teacher trainer delivering courses on behalf of The Pyramid Group in Ulm, Germany. She specialises in business English and technical English.

As an active member of the IATEFL BESIG (Business English Special Interest Group) Online Team, Claire is involved in the organisation of online events, the BESIG World Blog  and BESIG´s social media profile. In addition, she enjoys writing EFL lesson plans and shares many of them on her Business English Lesson Plans blog.

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NIOW – Case Study

August 12th, 2012

In 2011 NIOW  started to use English360 as an additional learning tool for Business English courses. With enthusiastic customers as a result. Menno Hordijik (E-learning Manager – NIOW) would like to share this success with everyone.

Menno Hordjik  Elearning Manager

Menno Hordjik - E-learning Manager (NIOW)

Why do we use English360 in our courses?

Until last year training at NIOW was traditional: classroom lessons, using books for homework.
Then the demand for a more versatile approach was growing. A substantial request for proposal for a Business English course required e-learning to be an essential element in the course programmes. Although a large number of e-learning systems are on the market, they all lack suitable content. When doing our research we eventually found the English360 system to be an excellent platform with content based on the elaborate Cambridge University Press’ study materials.

Blended learning: essential!

E-learning is now an integral part of almost all NIOW course programmes in combination with classroom training. Through this highly effective combination the efficiency of our courses has increased significantly. The trainer monitors the progress, provides feedback where necessary and uses the results of the exercises to make a lesson plan for the following classroom session. Parts where participants score poorly are discussed in class. NIOW only provides customized training programmes. This means that we use the available material from English360 in combination with tailor made theory and exercises.

Use of English360

Our trainers are trained in how to use English360 and taught how to monitor and coach participants. They are familiar with the workflow, so every trainer can deliver a valuable asset to a blended learning course. The platform is user friendly and therefore easy to learn. To ensure that participants make a good start with English360 a brief instruction is given during the first classroom session.

Summarizing the advantages for our clients:

• Better training results

• Lower investment

• Reduced travel costs

• Fewer classes during working hours


for NIOW using English360 means:

• More variety in types of courses

• Even more satisfied customers

Convinced of the benefits of English360?

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Mercedes Viola – webinar recording

July 5th, 2012

Yesterday during our English360 Community Webinar presented by Mercedes Viola we discussed designing effective learning experiences. Mercedes reminded us of the importance of scenario-based tasks and the need for real-world interaction and exchanges.

Here is the link to the WebEx recording for those who were unable to attend or who would like to review the session.

Thanks for the great turn out – a true global gathering –  it was great to see and chat with you all. Many thanks again to Mercedes and 4D content  for sharing course design experience and ideas with us.
Our next Community Webinar will be at the beginning of September. We’ll post more details on this blog and Community forum.

Next Open tour is scheduled for 10th July 2012 from 16.00 to 17.00 and our next Open training is on 11th July 2012 from 13.00 to 14.00 CET

To register, view full schedule from Upcoming events or from our WebEx schedule.

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Mercedes Viola – English360 Community Webinar

June 25th, 2012

Our next community webinar is a special event: on Wednesday 4th July 2012 (UTC 16.00, CET 18.00) our guest speaker will be Mercedes Viola. Register here for this upcoming English360 Community Webinar.
In today’s knowledge economy, corporate clients need to become competent business English communicators. However, this could mean many different things depending on the people, the organization, the context and the changing circumstances and times.
On 4th of July (GMT 16.00, CET 18.00; check your local time), Mercedes Viola will share ideas on how to design different programmes and materials for business English learners. She will discuss how a mixture of traditional face-to-face sessions and online training blends the best of two worlds, allowing clients to reach the performance levels they need.
In this webinar, Mercedes will give practical examples of how she uses English360 to design effective learning experiences for her clients.

Mercedes Viola lives and works in Uruguay. She holds a degree from the Universidad de la Republica Oriental del Uruguay and is finishing her MA in TESOL.
Mercedes has been running a language school for more than 20 years. She is in charge of designing business English learning experiences for government-owned organizations, universities and many well-known global companies such as Microsoft, HP, American Express, McDonald’s, Deloitte, John Deere and MasterCard. She designs materials for business English clients and trains new teachers on business English.
Mercedes contributes to the British Council Teaching English site and is an active member of the BESIG Online Team. She delivers online presentations and workshops, and coordinates online events. She won the IATEFL BESIG Facilitator Scholarship in 2011.
Our English360 Community Webinars are held in our English360 WebEx meeting room. Register now to attend.
Join us on 4th July to share and get ideas!


What’s in your blended learning toolkit?

March 18th, 2012

“If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail!”. Technology-supported learning activities need to be driven by the understanding of the unique opportunities the tools provide. My IATEFL workshop will illustrate how the self-authoring tools on English360 can personalise and humanise course design. The workshop will share ways promoting reflection, increasing interaction and offering unique relevant self-paced learning paths. I’ll post ideas on our blog later this week.

If you can’t attend the event in Glasgow, join us online here:
Glasgow Online

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Virtual Meeting recording and slides

February 29th, 2012

Yesterday during our English360 Community Webinar presented by Mike Hogan we discussed virtual meeting software and enjoyed some tips and tricks shared by Mike.

Here are his slides

View more PowerPoint from Mike Hogan

Here is the link to the WebEx recording for those who were unable to attend or who would like to review the session.

Thanks everyone for coming, it was great to see you all there. Special thanks to Mike for sharing his knowledge and experience with us.
Our next Community Webinar will be at the end of March. We’ll post more details on this blog and Community forum.

Our next Open Tour will be Tuesday 6 March 10.00 – 11.00 Central European time . The Open tour is a weekly virtual walkthrough for newcomers or all educators interested in finding out more about English360..

We will be holding Open Training sessions for all existing English360 school administrators and / or teachers on

  • Friday 2nd March 11.00-12.00 Central European time
  • Thursday 8 March 9.00 – 10.00 Central European time

Send an email to  ”teacher support at english 360 dot com”  to register or get more details.

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Mike Hogan on virtual meetings

February 23rd, 2012

Are you using English360 in conjunction with real-time tools?

Do you have experience teaching in WebEx, Adobe Connect, or on Skype?

How can these virtual meeting environments be used with learners?

Our next Community webinar will be presented by Mike Hogan.

Mike is  a teacher trainer, author, and ELT consultant. He is experienced in virtual training using a range of synchronous and asynchronous platforms both with corporate clients and in teacher training sessions. He also moderates online workshops as part of the BESIG Online Team. Read more about Mike Hogan here.

Come along to our English360 Open Community Webinar to find out more on delivering lessons in real-time when learners are geographically dispersed or unable to attend face-to-face classroom lessons.

Register now to enjoy Mike Hogan ‘s expertise and experience of using virtual meeting rooms.

Send us an email to Register for the Community Webinar 28th Feb 13.00-14.00 CET


Community webinars in September

August 12th, 2011

Starting in September, you will be able to benefit from our Community webinars.

2nd Sept (16.oo -17.co GMT) English360 – the basics :

  • Browse content
  • Create course
  • Duplicate content
  • Use course with learners

Register for English360 - Community webinars in Webex,   on Eventbrite

13 Sept Sept (14.00 -15.00 GMT) English360  - Online / blended course design

  • basic guidelines
  • adding structure
  • allowing for flexibility
  • ongoing course design issues
  • folders and task patterns

Register for English360  - Course design in Webex,   on Eventbrite

29nd Sept (10.00-11.oo GMT / 12.00 – 13.00 CET) Giving learners feedback at a distance

  • negotiating correction strategies
  • monitoring performance
  • reviewing learner submission
  • giving feedback
  • feedforward strategies

Register for English360 - Giving feedback in Webex,   on Eventbrite

Before you join the meeting, please click here to make sure that you have the appropriate players.

For further information, please contact teachersupport@english360.com

Looking forward to meeting virtually!

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IATEFL Brighton BESIG Open forum – prize draw

May 11th, 2011

English360 are happy to announce that the winner of the BESIG* Open forum raffle is Mercedes Viola, who lives in Uruguay and has been teaching English to all ages for the last 20 years, but whose particular area of expertise is business English teaching.  Having won the BESIG Facilitator Conference Scholarship, Mercedes attended and gave a presentation at the recent 45th Annual International IATEFL Conference & Exhibition which took place in Brighton from 15-19 April 2011.

Mercedes says: “As head of a business English consultancy firm, I work on the design and implementation of Effective Learning Experiences to our clients. I use the word ‘experience’ since this concept moves us from instruction to actions and interactions. I truly believe we need to get off the content bus and start thinking about using, designing and exploiting learning environments full of experiences and interactivity. We need to integrate learning tools that help situate learning and make it more contextual. Collaboration is vital.

Mercedes Viola - IATEFL BESIG prize draw winner

Mercedes Viola - IATEFL BESIG prize draw winner

I’m really thrilled to have won one year’s subscription to the English360 blended learning platform since it offers the possibility of creating tailor-made learning environments for my clients where they can enlarge their learning experience at their own pace together with a network of colleagues. It also offers my organization the possibility of exchanging resources with colleagues from all over the world, a crucial ingredient for our continuous professional growth.

I am really looking forward to starting this experience!”

*BESIG, the Business English Special Interest Group of IATEFL, is a professional body which represents the interests and serves the needs of the international business English teaching community.  Its members are based in more than 65 countries, and are mainly teachers of Business English, both native and non-native speakers of English.  BESIG’s aim is to help its members to improve their expertise in teaching Business English, and to facilitate making connections with fellow professionals around the globe.