Language Fuel Podcast-logo

Language Fuel Podcast

Education Podcasts >

More Information


New Zealand






Should Te Reo be compulsory in New Zealand schools?

We're back in the podcast mode with our first episode for Season Two! ​Te Reo Is one of New Zealand’s linguistic and cultural treasures, but everyone’s divided about how much it should be promoted. There’s been plenty of discussion in the NZ press lately about whether or not learning Te Reo should be compulsory in New Zealand schools. ​I couldn’t sit by and not add my own two cents to the debate. ​Hear what I have to say below, and stay tuned for an offer for any current or future Maori...


Should we teach swear words?

Swearing. Cursing. Profanity. Is it appropriate to teach swear words to language learners? We discuss this issue today, and hear about a new book by Dr. Sarah Byrne called Swearing is Good For You. The Amazing Science of Bad Language.


What is Fluency?

A video about a a man who claims to be fluent has gone viral and brings up some important questions. On episode 41, I define fluency, the differences between fluency and competence and the various levels of fluency. Learn how becoming fluent at every level can improve your overall language skills. Check out what resources you can find on the language fuel site to improve your fluency today!


Premium Membership Launch!

Language Fuel is celebrating the launch of the Premium Membership! We are now inviting people to become foundational members of the Language Fuel Academy. Membership includes access to all of our courses, as well as access to our exclusive Facebook group. This podcast episode, Leslie and Joanna discuss what the Premium Membership is all about, and invite listeners to sign up. We discuss what some of the course content is, in our published courses, and we explain why we are including a...


Teaching Unplugged - Interview with Jo Bell

Jo Bell explains to us what Teaching Unplugged is all about. (In English teaching, it also goes by the name of Dogme ELT). There are three main parts to it: 1. It’s conversation driven, 2. It’s materials light, and 3. It focuses on emergent language. One of the key publications in this area is: Meddings, L. & Thornbury, S. (2009). Teaching Unplugged. Delta Publishing. Dig deeper into this area by following some of the following links...


Classroom Management Part 3

This week, we conclude our three-part mini-series on classroom management, which I have framed as a leadership issue. I propose that with great leadership skills, you can engage students in your lessons, and see results. We have been looking at classroom leadership through the lens of John C. Maxwell’s “5 Levels of Leadership”, as you can read about here: As part of your leadership journey, why not consider becoming a premium member...


Classroom Management Part 2

This week, we continue our three-part mini series on classroom management, which I am framing as a leadership issue. I propose that with great leadership skills, you can engage students in your lessons, and see results. We are looking at classroom leadership through the lens of John C. Maxwell’s “5 Levels of Leadership”, as you can read about here: Last time, we looked at levels 1 and 2 (Position and Permission) and discussed what...


Number One Tip to be a Better Language Teacher

If you want to be a better language teacher, be a language learner. In this episode, I first share some reflections on a teacher training day I recently attended. It’s always great to have input with fresh ideas, and to be able to discuss things with other teachers. While pursuing ongoing professional development is important, my number one tip for language teachers is actually: Practice language LEARNING. Through language learning, we are reminded first hand, and get to know deeply, what...


6-step process of how to teach vocabulary

Most teachers teach new words in every single lesson, so it pays to have a really great system in place. In this episode, I outline a great 6-step process for teaching new words, and list a couple common pitfalls to avoid. This is actually part of a course we’re developing at the Language Fuel Academy, so look out for that soon! Download the process summary here, so you can prepare your next lesson with confidence!


Interview with Pete Jones

Pete is somewhat of an expert in preparing students for the International English Language Testing Service Exam, also known as the IELTS exam. He is the author of a free IELTS course online, located at and he also has a YouTube Channel where he gives feedback on students’ IELTS speaking activities, which is an excellent resource for both English learners and teachers alike. This work has gained him a nomination in the ELTons awards, the only international...


The Value of Language by Tessa Smith

This week for our podcast, we’ve got something a little different. My youngest daughter, Tessa, has recently been working on a speech to give at her primary school. Of her own accord, she chose the topic of “why everyone should learn a new or second language”. I thought you might enjoy hearing a 10-year-old’s perspective on a few language learning ideas, including what it has been like learning Spanish via Duo Lingo at home. (You may recall in one of our earlier episodes I mentioned that...


New School Year Tips

It’s the beginning of the school year for folks in the northern hemisphere. Amidst all the angst and excitement, we bring to you 8 key classroom management tips for teachers to remember as you get started with new groups of students. These tips are written by teachers, for teachers, so if you’re just starting out, learn from those who have gone before! In one tip, a teacher mentions body language for confidence. Find out more at: ...


Lesson Planning

Do you ever get stuck planning your lessons? In this episode, we present a lesson planning process which can apply to all different kinds of lessons; whether skills based (reading, writing, listening or speaking) or vocabulary or grammar based. The lesson planning process involves 6 steps. While it can be a lot of work to start off with, over time, it will become very easy. Click here to download a summary of the lesson planning process. There are two versions for you. You can use one to...


LFP#29 Teacher Talk

Using your teacher talk wisely is an important skill for language teachers to develop. Teachers use language for giving instructions as well as for providing a model of the target language. When giving instructions, it’s very important to make good choices around which language you will use, how many words you will use, and what gestures you will use to accompany your instructions. By being consistent with your teacher talk and body language, you can very successfully teach a language...


LFP#28 On-the-Job Skills

Are you thinking of becoming a language teacher? Or are you a language teacher thinking of changing jobs? Today, we talk about transferable skills that language teachers have, which can be used in any profession. It’s worth giving language teaching a try, to develop these skills, and if you chose to leave the profession at any time, you can be confident that you have a bunch of skills to take with you in your next career move. The skills you develop as a language teacher include...


LFP#27 Checking out Duolingo Part Two

Today I follow up on our previous podcast, and complete the review of Duolingo, including some information about what it CAN’T do for language learners. Last time, we talked about some great features of the Duolingo app, in terms of software design, e-learning features, and second language acquisition ideas. While I love the app, there are some things it can’t do, and I go into these by looking at a variety of lenses through which one can view language, from phonetics right through to...


LFP#26 Checking out Duolingo

Have you ever tried Duolingo? Over 100 million people have, including my whole immediate family. I have been surprised at how good this app is, after initially dismissing it. In this episode, I share with you a bunch of great features of the app, including software design features, e-learning features, and second language acquisition features which all combine to make this a winning product. I recommend learners use it to supplement other language practice activities, and teachers should...


LFP#25 Choosing Textbooks

What criteria should you use to choose a new textbook for your language class? We talk through a list, and explain why each criterion is important. We look at pedagogical issues around listening, speaking, reading and writing, and we look at practical issues, such as online components, price and availability. Download the criteria checklist today, and make sure you put it to good use next time you are responsible for selecting new textbook to use in your language class.


LFP#24 Interview with Jackie Bolen

Ever wanted to teach English overseas? Meet Jackie Bolen. Jackie is from Canada, and spent over 10 years teaching English in South Korea. Although she originally went to Korea without any formal teaching qualification, during her time, she went ahead and qualified with a CELTA and a DELTA, both internationally recognized qualifications for teaching English to Adults. Now she spends her time, among other things, supporting English teachers with great resources online, and also providing...


Try Premium for 30 days

Live games for all NFL, MLB, NBA, & NHL teams
Commercial-Free Music
No Display Ads