Hi, I’m Fatime
I’m an ELT teacher trainer specializing in teaching SUB-SKILLS.
I help trained ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHERS become super confident about teaching language SKILLS by focusing on the micro-strategies involved when we listen, speak, read, or write in English, to get BETTER RESULTS for their IELTS students.
After 10 years of teaching I decided to take the Cambridge Delta. I was confident because I had plenty of classroom experience, and had also read all the books on the pre-course reading list.
However, to my horror, I started failing the skills assignments. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I simply didn’t know enough about TEACHING skills, which is generally considered to be harder than ‘systems’ (e.g. grammar or vocabulary).
Somehow, magically (–or so it felt), I managed to pass the course, but the experience left me uneasy. I don’t like to rely on ‘magic’ for the important things. I like to work for them, systematically, and pass them –preferably with flying colors. In other words, I like to understand what it is exactly that I need to do to reach a goal, then ‘just’ execute on it, and do so confidently.
A few years later this experience was still bothering me, so I decided to become a Delta trainer, mostly just to consolidate my knowledge. During my trainer-in-training, something really clicked for me. My trainers made me realize that most available course books are really only TESTING skills, instead of actually TEACHING them.
I got to understand that TEACHING a skill means
1) choosing a concrete MICRO PROCESS that proficient users of the language use
2) breaking it down into ACTIONABLE STEPS
3) taking the learner THROUGH these steps, and
4) raising their AWARENESS of what they have done so that they can then
5) consciously REPEAT it too.
In my experience, instead of following this ‘recipe’, many English teachers –even with the best of intentions– only take their learners through the superficial tasks and advice that are available in most course books (often using unnecessary linguistic ‘meta’ language too), such as
- Listening: “Study the layout of the questions to help you follow the information you are going to hear” –”HOW will the organization of the notes help me keep track of the monologue/dialogue?”
- Reading: “For vocabulary questions, read before and after the gap to understand the context” –”What’s a ’vocabulary question’? And HOW will reading around the gap be useful to answer it?”
- Writing: “It isn’t necessary to include every fact in the graph; only select the key information to report on and give examples” –”HOW do I know what ‘the key information’ is? And HOW should I introduce examples without repeating ‘for example’ over and over again?”
- Speaking: “Work in pairs. Ask each other the questions and discuss the topic”. –”HOW will just talking around the topic help me consciously show enough ‘range’ of language? And HOW can I prompt myself to generate more ideas to keep talking about the same topic even if I initially had very little to say about it? And HOW can I gain some thinking time while still talking, if the question is too complex?”
If you aren’t sure what answers YOU would give to your learner to questions like these, sign up for my course, How to Teach IELTS –The Ultimate IELTS Teacher Training Bootcamp–!
- ELT teacher trainer with 10 years of experience
- Cambridge Delta Trainer
- academic manager in different international contexts
Author and Assessment Expert
- qualified assessment expert
- author and editor of books, exams and assessment materials
- experienced skills item writer
- speaking examiner
- C2+ level trilingual in English, Spanish, and Hungarian
IELTS Teacher, Trainer and Author
- IELTS teacher with 20 years of experience
- author of 7 books on IELTS
Partnerships and Affiliations
- Cambridge Assessment English
- Cambridge University Press and Assessment
- Euroexam International
- Lexika Kiado
- Macmillan Education
- Oxford University Press
As Seen On
March 2023 | Item Writing for ELT Tests and Exams | Writing ELT Materials
Feb 2023 | Sponge Chats –Perspectives on Assessment | Sponge ELT
Feb 2023 | Why Teaching Skills Is More Challenging than Grammar or Vocabulary | Educast
Feb 2023 | What TEACHING Listening (for IELTS) Actually Means | The TEFL Development Hub
Jan 2023 | Teaching IELTS Productive Skills | Teachers Talk Radio
Jan 2023 | How to Teach Skills for IELTS | ELTcpd
Dec 2022 | Teaching Reading Sub-Skills for IELTS | Everyone Academy
Dec 2022 | Testing Instead of Teaching IELTS: Demoralizing and Fossilizing | Educast