Jan 082017

Have you seen The English Show yet? We’re broadcasting live on YouTube every Sunday at 11 am New York time, 4 pm London time and 1 am the next day in Tokyo.

The English Show is designed for #ESL English learners and it’s packed with conversation and language practice, games, puzzles, raps and great tips to help you learn faster. Ask questions, get fluent and make friends in the live chat every Sunday. There’s no other show like it.

Join the Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/theenglishow/?ref=bookmarks

And watch our latest English Show here:

 Posted by at 8:22 pm
Dec 122016

We tried streaming live on YouTube for the first time today. 20 minutes before the start we’d run all the checks and our lights, camera and sound all worked perfectly. Apart from a few butterflies in my stomach, we were set to go.
4 minutes before the start my mike stoped working, Jase’s audio connection fell out of synch and our dog Carter heard someone outside and went nuts.
It was chaos! But Jay got us up and running and the audience was great and we were able to communicate in the chat. Our featured guest @Jason R Levine was the BEST. So instead of wanting to give up, I feel like I want to do another one!

 Posted by at 5:50 am
Nov 022016

fb-imageThe iTDi online course I’m teaching on ‘Creating ELT Videos’ starts in just a few days and I’m really excited about it.
Over the course of the month we’ll be looking at script writing and video making techniques and we’ll be collaborating and developing our video making skills. Your students are going to love your videos!

Share this post, tell all your friends about it and come join us for some creative fun, fun fun!

 Posted by at 12:50 am
Oct 112016

Have you ever thought about making your own English language teaching videos? Then let’s get together! Next month I’ll be giving an online course on Creating ELT Videos with the wonderful team at iTDi, where we’ll be collaborating and developing our video making skills. Please tell all your teacher-friends about it and come join us for some wonderful creative fun, fun fun! 
Creating ELT Videos

 Posted by at 5:01 pm
Oct 012016


john_fb-image2Sometimes making just a small tweak in our teaching can deliver big results.  But what are the tweaks we should be making? John Fanselow is a man who knows, in fact he’s written a book about it. Here’s just one of John’s many examples.

Mariko thought that when she gave dictations, all of her students wrote exactly what she said, because there were never any errors in their notebooks. However, when she looked at a video clip of her class, she saw that the students were erasing and writing while she wrote the correct sentences on the board. She had told them to compare what they wrote with the sentences on the board. But instead of only comparing, they were rushing to “fix” without time to process or question.

The next day Mariko asked them to keep their erasers in their pencil cases. After she said, “I like ice cream.” three times, she did not write the sentence on the board. The next time she checked the students’ notebooks, only 10 out of 40 students had written, “I like ice cream.” Instead, she read such phrases as “I cream; I ice; I spring; like ice.” After that, she asked the students to correct what they had written with a different colored pen. This would allow the students to compare their mistakes with what was correct later on and allow the teacher to find out what the students could understand and not understand.     

So a tiny change like using a coloured pen brought great results.  John is giving a course about many many more of the useful changes we can make in our classes. It runs on  iTDi all through this month.  Here is the course page: http://itdi.pro/bigresults . You can download the entire preface to the book there, and you even get the whole book if you join the course before it’s available for sale. But this is going to be a great course, even without a free book.


 Posted by at 9:45 pm
Sep 252016

Today is deaf awareness day, so we’ve made a special video. If you want to know how you can help the deaf community and also help us teach the world English, please watch it, share and help us by writing translations!

This video was suggested to us by my friend Rikki Poynter who is deaf herself. She does awesome work as an advocate for captions for the deaf and hard of hearing. Go Rikki!
Here’s another video we made about captions that explains more about how to translate them. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QTkElmxpv8I
We can’t say thank you enough to the people who have helped us by doing this.

Happy Deaf Awareness Day everyone!

 Posted by at 6:21 am
May 312016

YTNextUpTeamChrisLots of terrific and exciting things have happened to me in my career that I’m so grateful for. I’ve met amazing people, made great friends, worked on projects I’m proud of, visited some glorious corners of the world, and seen some wonderful sights. I didn’t think I could top some of the things I’ve been privileged to do. But then I was a winner in this year’s YouTube NextUp competition. The experience has been right up there – gosh, I think it might have been a life changer!
So last month I walked into YouTube’s Space in NYC with the other winners and the energy was palpable. There was a chemistry in the air. I don’t know how the google selection algorithms worked but #team broccoli, as we named ourselves, formed an instant bond that fired on all cylinders. I think some of it was about the power of ‘Yes, and…’. If someone had an idea, it was going to be accepted and committed to and taken up and worked on and added to and…

So ‘No’ didn’t exist in my world for a week and I absolutely loved it. Thinking and hearing ‘yes’ for a week is … well…. just glorious.
I got trained – oh, so well trained in lots of tech stuff. Camera techniques, audio recording, set design, lighting, green screen editting…. Our instructors were AWESOME. (I say that as a Brit who doesn’t say awesome lightly.) It wasn’t stuff I could learn in a week. I still have such a long way to go to master things like After Effects and lighting and SEO, but I feel like I have been gifted with the tools I needed to get that learning journey on track.

I want to say a big thank you to Rachel at Rachel’s English. I’d received an announcement email about the competition that I’d ditched to my delete folder. Rachel forwarded me her copy and insisted I applied. If you’re ever in doubt,  put aside voices in your head that say you’re too old or not worthy or might flunk or you don’t have time. Put in the effort and go for it. YouTube – Thank you! #Team Broccoli – I love you all and I can’t wait to see what you do next.

And now I’d like to introduce you to a few of the great friends I made at YouTube NextUp. Here are some of the videos we made together that week. Some are vlogs and some are joint projects and there are many many more wonderful videos that I haven’t included yet and I’ll have to keep adding to this list, but it’s just a taster….

Oh and I can’t forget Stan, our wonderful stenographer!

Subscribe to them all – they’re going places! Here are links to their channels:
Beatbox Television –
Akeem Lawanson –
Kriscoart Productions
Retro Weld –
iIMAGINEblank –
Rikki Poynter –
Congahead –
Jackson Bird –
Origami Tree –
Simple English Videos –
Tim Bryan –
Tracy Campoli –
The Art Sherpa –
Greg’s Garage –
Jasmine Rose –
SkittLeZMusicTV –
Drum beats Online –
Jessica Flores

 Posted by at 6:09 am
Apr 122016

Last year I was lucky enough to have a short one-on-one consultation with someone from YouTube about my channel. “Oh it’s an ESL channel”, he said. “You do realise that’s very niche”. English teaching dominates my world, but of course in the much wider world of YouTube, he was absolutely right. The big topics are things like gaming, music, fashion and lifestyle and English teaching is very niche.

I think it has enormous potential for growth though. There are so many people needing English around the world who don’t have access to a teacher, and video is such a great medium for learning a language because you can see it being used in context.

Next week I’m having another consultation with YouTube and a whole load more because Simple English Videos has just won one of YouTube’s 2016 NextUp Creator Awards. YAY! I’ll get a weeks training in production techniques at the studios in NYC, the opportunity to collaborate and capture footage with other winners and $2500 in vouchers for production equipment. (Pinch me – is it really happening?) And that is why happiness is the topic of our latest video.

 Posted by at 7:06 pm
Jan 122016

Ever thought about making YouTube videos for your students? Come join us for a free webinar where Christina Rebuffet and I will be sharing all our tips and tricks to help you get started.

The webinar will be hosted by IATEFL and it’s free to all on the day. IATEFL members and non-memebers are all welcome. No pre-registration is required, just click on the link on the day to join the webinar:

Please feel free to share this link with other colleagues and friends. And register for the webinar now to stay up to date with any changes.

We look forward to seeing you there!

 Posted by at 4:00 pm