Language Fuel Podcast-logo

Language Fuel Podcast

7 Favorites

More Information


New Zealand






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...

Duration: 00:10:10

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!

Duration: 00:09:23

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...

Duration: 00:49:19

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...

Duration: 00:03:44

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: ...

Duration: 00:09:48

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...

Duration: 00:13:11

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...

Duration: 00:09:19

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...

Duration: 00:28:40

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...

Duration: 00:33:44

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...

Duration: 00:44:41

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.

Duration: 00:23:00

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...

Duration: 00:32:57

LFP#23 Matariki Reflections

Matariki is here! Matariki is the Maori new year, the season of the winter solstice, or summer solstice, if you are in the Northern Hemisphere. In line with this solar occasion, we reflect on rhythms, both macro and micro rhythms, and we look at ways that we as language teachers can make use of these rhythms, so they work for us, not against us. Take time out today to reflect on how you can become more in tune with your own personal rhythms, at both the macro and micro levels.

Duration: 00:27:14

LFP#22 All about Networking

What different networks do you belong to? Networking can be a powerful tool for your professional and personal life. We discuss the different types of networks, different social roles that people play in networks, and some tips for networking. Why not connect with us on social media, too, as a first step towards increasing your own professional network? We're on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Duration: 00:39:50

LFP#21 Dictionaries! To use or not to use?

Should you allow your language learners to use dictionaries in their assessments? Does it matter whether students use electronic dictionaries or apps, or a printed one, in book format? How much should a student rely on dictionaries? What dictionary skills should teachers teach their students? We discuss these questions today, and also let you know about some cool courses we’ve just finished at the Language Fuel Academy. Check them out at and if you are looking...

Duration: 00:09:47

Conflict: Causes & Resolution Styles

Today we talk about conflict – in particular, understanding causes of conflict, and 5 styles of conflict resolution. All teachers at some point have to manage conflict both within their classes, and with colleagues and managers. We look at a very quick overview of ‘Face Negotiation Theory’ which talks about 6 core identities that can be threatened, which leads to conflict. Then, when looking at 5 styles of confict resolution, we look at some examples of when each style is called for, and...

Duration: 00:14:56

Creating (pseudo) Immersion Experiences

Immersion experiences can be hugely instrumental for language learners, providing a big boost to their language capability, and they are often described as life changing. But what if immersion experiences are simply unrealistic, due to distance and expense? I suggest that all language learning experiences can be put on an ‘immersion continuum’, and I encourage teachers to think about how they can push their activities one notch further along that continuum, in order to create more...

Duration: 00:07:35

LFP#18 Pronunciation Terms Explained

In this episode, I attempt to clarify the meaning of a few key pronunciation terms which are often misunderstood, or used incorrectly. These are: phones, phonetics, phonology, phonemes, allophones, phonics, the phonetic alphabet and the phonemic alphabet. I also discuss why understanding these concepts is important for language teachers. Teaching mature language learners in particular has its challenges when it comes to pronunciation, so the more you understand these issues, the better...

Duration: 00:07:27

LFP#17 Interview with Rosaria Campbell

Meet Rosaria Campbell. Rosaria now has the role of French Advisor at ILEP, taking over the work that was recently done by Morgan Patterson. Rosaria speaks and has taught French, German and Maori. Listen to the interview to hear Rosaria’s passion about: learning a culture alongside the language, helping students develop a new identity, understanding strengths that go with different cultures, linking in with the community of language speakers, constant upskilling, and how the use of...

Duration: 00:17:22

LFP#16 Understanding BYOD

Are your students using devices in the classroom? How confident do you feel choosing the right technology to employ these devices? In this episode, I discuss ways to approach BYOD, whether true BYOD, with multiple device types, or institution-issued devices. We look at the two main types of technology in the classroom (communication technology and language learning technology) and what to consider when using each type. We finish with 8 question to ask before choosing to use technology...

Duration: 00:33:12

See More