Workshop Availability

I am experienced in speaking to groups of teachers, trainee teachers and students on various topics. Do get in touch if you might like me to deliver a session for you. Below are details of workshops I have conducted in the past/possible topics, but I am happy to discuss other ideas to suit your requirements.

To Students:

  • Eighteenth Century Changes in English
  • Language Diversity
  • Using Frameworks to Analyse a Range of Text Types
  • Grammar (big picture, or particular areas of concern can be agreed as a focus)
  • Language Change
  • Working in Non-Fiction Writing

To Teachers/PGCE Students:

  • Teaching A Level English Language
  • Teaching Language in KS3 and 4
  • Grammar: teaching students who’ve experienced the new KS2 syllabus
  • Showcasing Recent Reads in the Classroom to Promote Reading for Pleasure

Note that I am also delighted to be tutoring for Writing School East Midlands this academic year, and will be teaching a six-week evening class on Writing, Planning and Pitching Non-Fiction [not quite in that order!] in Leicester in the Spring term.

I’ve also had fun in the past few months delivering a bespoke grammar-focused session for my local SCBWI group (Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators), of which I am a member. As is frequently mentioned in the press (e.g. alongside discussion of the dreaded KS2 tests), writers often aren’t formally trained in grammar – and may well be self-conscious about it!

Links for Teachers

If you teach English Language A Level, I’d recommend the following online resources:

  • Dan Clayton’s blogs – on English language and on teaching grammar
  • The Linguistic Research Digest blog, which was set up by Sue Fox and Jenny Cheshire to share recent linguistics research with A Level teachers
  • The relatively new site The Grammar Teacher, maintained by Dick Hudson and Geoff Dean has lots of helpful (and recent and positive) material about grammar.
  • Subscription to Emagazine and EMC Extra. Emag is a fantastic magazine for sixth form students of English (all varieties!) and EMC extra is an online resource which is growing all the time.  I particularly appreciate the video clips with academics on specific (and often tricky) details.
  • Membership of Teachit
  • Membership of English Edusites
  • Membership of the English Language List (take a personal subscription on this site). This email list is where teachers of A Level Language share resources and discuss aspects of the course.  It’s a great community and we all learn a lot from each other.

As for books:

  • David Crystal’s Cambridge Encyclopaedia of the English Language is great to have in the department.
  • Deborah Cameron’s ‘Teachers’ Guide to Teaching Grammar’ is excellent if you’re less confident on word classes and syntax.
  • The new Cambridge Topics in English Language series, edited by Dan Clayton, including ‘Language Diversity and World Englishes’, ‘Language and Gender’ and ‘The Language of Literature’ are essential NEA-reference material for the department.
  • For the AQA spec, the OUP textbook (by authors of the old Nelson Thornes ones) is also particularly good 🙂

Teachers

I thought it would be good in this umpteenth version of the site to add in a bit more for teachers, so I’ve tried to cluster together some of the stuff that you might not have seen from elsewhere that I hope is helpful. 

You may find some of the GCSE or A-Level posts useful – they are addressed to students, but of course, you may wish to check them out before directing you students towards them. My writing posts, and those on my book blog, are written for a broader audience (which may also include students, of course). 

I also share useful stuff for Language that I’ve found online on Twitter, but then I do everything on Twitter, so you also get a lot of book chat, dogs and writing stuff, as well as personal/political comments (although I’m not that frequent a poster). Don’t say you weren’t warned!

Those of you who used to enjoy my recommended reading slides might appreciate this:

I’m establishing a monthly newsletter for teachers, and I’m offering a pack of 36 recommended reading slides (pretty much 1 a week) as a gift in exchange for signing up. The slides will be in ppt format, so you can edit them (add your school logo/swap some texts), and are all themed. If you’ve used/seen my slides before, some might be familiar, but most are new or at least updated. Themes are either topical (e.g. mental health), English-based (e.g. multiple narrator), seasonal (e.g. horror for Halloween) or themed around a media product (e.g. for Love Island fans). The books recommended are suitable for years 9-13. For an example and my standard blurb about how I use the slides, see this blog post.

The newsletter will include the following content:

  • info about that month’s blog posts for students (GCSE and A Level)
  • brief details of book blog posts/writing posts for the month
  • my top Language links for the month, with classroom/learning suggestions
  • news about any upcoming publications/conferences/workshops (but I promise it won’t be too salesy!)

Watch this space/my Twitter for more details.