I am originally from the UK but now I live in the north of Italy where I work at the Università degli Studi di Verona, where I have taught since 1997 in the university language centre. I also teach at the Libera Università di Bolzano, up in the mountains . I do teacher training, write, and work as a Cambridge ESOL oral examiner team leader and I'm extremely interested in learner autonomy, discourse analysis, Corpus Linguistics in teaching as well as e-learning and VLEs.
What interests me most of all about the whole teaching process is the way individuals learn and groups interact, which means that my teaching is essentially learner-centred aimed at empowering people by helping learners to find the best way to learn.
In my free time I love reading, swimming, creative writing and people watching.
English Language learning blog for Learners
Teaching Blog for English Language Teachers
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Are you about to take an exam?
Do you sometimes feel that "you're no good at exams"?
Does it all feel a bit too much?
Would you like a helping hand to organise youself and keep your motivation levels high?
This course takes you through a step by step procedure when preparing for exams, motivating yourself, and studying. If you find it difficult to prepare for and pass exams you are not alone, but the road to success is in your mind. Don't leave everything until the last minute because good exam results are keys that can unlock your future. You can take responsibility for your own learning, motivate yourself, set yourself goals and start working in a productive way so that when you take your exam you will feel confident. Believing in yourself is half the battle, so let your self esteem and your knowledge bloom...
There are coutless texts published on this subject but they have purposefully not been included in this course. If you would like to know more about Mind mapping and Memory techniques Tony Buzan is a wonderful author to begin with and there are various useful texts on passing exams, as well as websites which give you tips such as
These are not "coursebooks" but for those who like reading they provide some extremely useful information and tips.
Maybe you are planning to take a specific exam or take your driving test or maybe you are about to start a university course. This course is not linked to one particular exam but is about passing exams in general. Watch the presentation to get an overview of what exams mean to me and what we will be focusing on in the lessons.
The video shows a Prezi presentation which you can access whenever you like to see everything again at your own speed and to access the video content. Follow this link:
Before you start take a few minutes to familiarise yourself with the course and the platform. Here are some tips for you. You can watch the video and if you want to go to the presentation rather than the video you can access it directly at Prezi
Watch this video to focus on four basic questions that you should ask when setting out on an exam preparation course.
Pause the video when you want to.
When you have finished:
1) find the information you need to about your exam;
2) complete worksheet one.
Complete this worksheet in your own words when you have found the information to answer the questions in Lecture 2 "Be Prepared". File this away together with the answers you wrote to the Introduction video questions. These two elements:
1) what your exam means to you;
2) the information you have found about it
will be the basis on which to build. Look at them from time to time during your preparation so that you can remind yourself what you are doing this for and what you need to do.
The key to success in almost anything is motivation. It goes far beyond knowledge or skill. If you can motivate yourself and stay motivated then you have already done 80% of the work. The rest is a natural consequence and does not even "feel" like work. Watch this lecture, pausing it whenever you wish to go on to do the worksheet, which is designed to help you motivate yourself.
To go directly to the prezi follow this link .
Download this worksheet and use it either whilst you are watching the video or afterwards. It will help you to work on your own personal motivation.
A lot of people simply start at the beginning and try to go on until they reach the end, but that may not be the most efficient way of organising your study. In fact, you can take control of your own learning by deciding:
a) what you need to study
b) when you are going to do it
Follow this video for some tips about organising your study and on the way we learn and then download the study plan document (the next lecture) or use Trello
Use this lesson plan if you like to plan in the traditional way or try out Trello if you like working online.
Juggling can be fun when you know how to play!
Now you have started planning your study you need a map to guide you through the information jungle that we live in these days. It is so easy to get lost or to go off following all kinds of tempting paths that may or may not lead us where we want to go. Here is some help for you to direct your search efficiently and to stay focused. To access the Prezi Presentation later go to this link.
Now you've watched the video look in more detail about how to construct effective study skills. Some of the work in this worksheet is a review of earlier work from the Introductory course, but here we look at things in a bit more depth: methods, beliefs, questions and the way we study.
Watch this video for a short introduction to the topic of memory and study and then do the worksheet which will help you to go further into the subject, try out some techniques and will provide you with links to other work on memory that you may be interested in.
Here are some techniques and links to work on memory that you can apply to your own study. Tony Buzan is one very popular writer on this subject and you may like to read more of his ideas. Go to his site and watch the videos or look for his videos on YouTube. His book "Make the Most of Your Mind" is a very approachable introduction to the subject which talks about the brain, memory, speed reading, note-taking and mind-mapping.
If you know how to take notes both in class and when you are studying independently then you are already well on the way towards learning. This lecture, followed by the worksheet, shows you various methods of note-taking both pen and paper based and digital. Experiment with the different ideas and follow the links to read about the tools that are recommended to develop the best way of taking notes for you personally. You can access this prezi directly by following this link .
This worksheet takes you through different methods of note-taking looking at traditional pen and paper methods and digital note-taking too.
Use this worksheet to organize your revision in the weeks running up to your exam. Here you will find tips, links and an introduction to a useful website Quizlet that you can use.
Now you have reached the end of this course, studied and undertaken a whole journey towards your goal. At the last moment panic is often a very natural reaction but there are ways of calming yourself. After all, you have done all the preparation you can, now you can go into the exam and do your best. Follow these final tips and it will be plain sailing on the day of the exam itself.
Hi Everyone, I'd tell that my english is not well enough but i understood everything clear because she really explain everything with understandable English and a lot of lectures including pictures so if you think that "Your English might not be enough to understand everything don't worry just take a dictionary or use google translate and then you can understand everything good like what i did :) Well, thank you very much for this lectures these were really great methods to study! By the way, I saw that in the past i think some of the videos weren't work but now everything works perfectly. So keep calm and pass the exams by this lectures :) Best Regards, Huseyin Cem Ates
The points made were inefficiently (time-wise) put across and gave very little information when all was said in done. Most of the tips were common sense with little or no twist added. Very dull.
this course isn't that professional and so it wasted my time without helping me out.
I'd like to thank Mrs. Sharon Hartle for this amazing course, it's a lot of new skills and it gave me a lot of ideas and material to organize my time and plan for my studies and the most important thing is that it made me change my mind about the things I used to hate or find them difficult. it's very important to take your time doing the activities that she's made for you to see the real wonderfulness of the real positive change and enjoy your easy beautiful study.
It is very easy to follow and the sections are concise. There are some good points within each section and the links to note taking sites were appreciated. One of the videos doesn't play but apart from that very good.