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Sunday, November 1, 2020

ESL BRAINS: Author (s) Interview!

If you haven't already found this site, then go ahead and check it out! It's packed full of ready-to-use lesson plans and worksheets on lively and relatable topics! Here's what Stan and Justa had to say about their site ESL BRAINS.

Why and how did you get into the ESL field?
Well, we met during studies as we both did English Studies. So we studied together to be ESL teachers but our story with teaching started probably even earlier. I (Stan) did some volunteer work back in high school teaching English to the unemployed, while Justa kicked off her career during her sophomore year teaching adults in private language schools.

Tell us a little bit about your ESL website / blog. 

ESL Brains is a website with ready-to-use lesson plans and worksheets both in printable and digital formats. What makes us different is the fact that we base all our lessons on authentic video materials and tackle some up-to-date interesting and thought-provoking topics. The idea is that your students not only learn English, but learn about something interesting or do some critical-thinking as they work on relatable topics.

Why did you create this site?

We had plenty of lesson plans designed for our students and one day we thought that maybe it’s worth sharing them with other teachers out there. Our idea was that our students enjoyed our classes so maybe somebody else would find the materials useful as well.

What has been your biggest challenge with your site?

Developing the website step by step and making things work with the little knowledge we had. It was just frustrating when we envisioned something and the end result wasn’t actually it. Unfortunately, nothing always works perfectly fine and we just feel very bad when we get a message saying something doesn’t work. I’d be angry if it happened to me so we do our best to fix any issues people have as fast as we can!

What piece of advice would you give to newbies in today’s world of teaching (online or in the classroom)?

Don’t be afraid of using technology in your classroom. Remember though that it’s there to help your students learn so get rid of any cool apps or solutions that don’t work for your students!

What are your future goals for your website?

We’re currently redesigning our website and making it more user friendly. We work with an UX designer and a web developer to breathe some fresh air into ESL Brains but also introduce new features to make teachers’ lives easier.

Any thoughts on where you see the future of the ESL field?

The pandemic has forced people to do online teaching and learning and I believe some people will keep doing that long after we forget about COVID! Lots of people have realized that learning online is effective. I predict we’re going to have a lot of hybrid courses in the future and it’s good for the industry as well. Students will have access to better quality teaching and teachers won’t waste so much time commuting and will have more flexible working hours.

Thank you for taking the time to speak with us at ESL MADE EASY!
See you there at ESL BRAINS.COM


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