Course books and teachers books:

Oxford University Press Business Result 2nd edition, Teacher’s Book, Upper-intermediate (forthcoming, 2018)

Oxford University Press Business Result 2nd edition, Teacher’s Book, Pre-intermediate (2017)

OUP Navigate, Teacher’s Books, B1+ (2015); C1 (2016)

OUP International Express Pre Intermediate, and Upper Intermediate 3rd Edition (2014) – Students’ books, co-author

Macmillan The Business (2009) Advanced – Students’ book, co-author

OUP Business Result Advanced (2009) – Teacher’s book co-author

OUP Business One:one Series (2008, 2007, 2006) – Advanced, Pre-Intermediate, and Intermediate+ levels – Students’ books, co-author


‘Turning the clock back. Looking again at listening’ (Oct. 2015), in Modern English Teacher (MET), Pavilion Publishing

‘Teacher qualifications: does your qualification equip you to teach?’ (April 2014) in Modern English Teacher (MET), Pavilion Publishing

Review articles published in OUP’s ELTJ (English Language Teaching Journal) (‘00, ‘02, ’04; ‘10, ‘12)


2017 October  IATEFL 


In classes in school, we often ask our students to give a presentation on a specific topic. Presentations are also common in business contexts. Yet, regardless of age, many find this challenge nerve-wracking. Course materials provide long lists of “useful phrases”, how to use visuals effectively, how (not) to design powerpoint slides, and so on, but still our students lack the confidence to present themselves and their topic in front of an audience.
What my students specifically need is how to get started, ways of engaging their audience and keeping them involved, and, not least, how to end their presentation effectively, without embarrassingly fading away. In choosing a topic, they need an angle on a talk to ensure audience interest, and a logical structure for organising content. Last, but not least, they need help in delivering a talk in a strong and clear voice.
Participants at this workshop will be involved in how to help their students in these aspects. This will include looking at a range of structures to suit a topic, audience and aims, and being able to choose ideas for implementing with the topics their students choose. Participants will also consider how to help students give direction to a talk, and provide a valuable take-home benefit for their audiences.
This workshop will look at hooks and tools to help our students not just survive their presentations, but succeed!


Materials (handout, slides) coming soon!


2017 June 1-3, ILSB Brno

Improve your surfing skills – or, How to ride the waves of positive washback

Both teachers and students often get stressed about exams and perceive a disconnect between learning and the way that achievement is assessed. In an ideal world, the two stages form a single continuum, where both can potentially affect the other to its advantage. When the exam involves real-life tasks, preparation is much less of a chore for the teacher and, additionally, more fun for the student – hence the beneficial washback effect on teaching. In this workshop, we will see some practical ideas for how you can seamlessly build exam preparation into your lessons every day.

Handout: Appleby euroexam Washback ILSB17 Handout PDF-11v9m61
Slides:  RachelAppleby euroexam Washback Brno FINAL PDF -1zbhdk2

Classroom ideas and activites to help you prepare your students for (these) exams:

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2017 April 22, Budapest NYESZE

QUESTIONS: getting them right!

Handout: NYESZE QUESTIONS getting them right Handout PDF -sxr4b6

Slides: NYESZE QUESTIONS getting them right PPT PDF-2dhi1jj

How can we engage our students effectively? We ask questions throughout our lessons, but for what purpose, and with what results? What sorts of questions are going to get the best answers? And are we really interested in the responses? This is a session on effective questioning, and how the right questions can help you promote a communicative class, yet stay focused on language at the same time.

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2017 February 4, Barcelona

Take the fear out of teaching ESP 1:1

“F.E.A.R. has two meanings – Forget Everything And Run, OR, Face Everything And Rise
The choice is yours.” Zig Ziglar

Handout:  Rachel APPLEBY ESP 1_1 Handout PDF FINAL
Slides: ESP one-one Appleby IH Bcn Feb2017 PPT slideshow


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2016 December, Budapest

Slides: Christmas 2016 BakerStreet RachelAppleby

Handout (prints 2-to-a-page, back to back):
Christmas 2016 BakerStreet RachelAppleby




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2016 November, Moscow & Budapest   questions-postits

Business Result: Keeping up-to-date with clients

A session on effective questioning, and how the right questions can help you promote a communicative class, and stay focused on language at the same time.

Handout: oup-business-result-questions-handout
Slides: oup-business-result-uptodate-with-clients-questions-ppt-slideshow


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2016 November 9, Moscow



Writing for Success!


Why is it so challenging getting our students to write in the classroom? Is it the ‘what’, or the ‘how’? To what extent are the activities we set in class typical of real-life activities? This session looks at how we can help students with real writing tasks that they need for exam purposes, and ways in which we can guide them, and motivate them to really develop their skills.

Handout: euroexams-speaking-moscow-2016nov-communicative-tasks-rachel-appleby-handout
Slides: euroexams-speaking-moscow-2016nov-communicative-tasks-rachel-appleb


Getting your students to talk for real!

discussions-2In my experience, being able to speak a language means demonstrating that we can use it, get something done with it, and communicate something meaningful. But to do this, we need to practise a lot. It isn’t enough if we just know what words to use, or if we can see these words on paper.
Most people like to talk about themselves, the things they are interested in, and their immediate environment, or even things which annoy them or they don’t like. They like to compare their ideas and opinions. So if we can provide space for communicative activities and information or ideas exchange in the classroom, then they may have a chance to practise in English!

Handout: euroexams-writing-moscow-2016nov-writing-for-success-rachel-appleby-handout
Slides: euroexams-writing-moscow-2016nov-writing-for-success-rachel-appleby
Webinar/Video (27′) of talk (prepared for Tomsk, RU):


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2016 November 5, BESIG, Munich


Teaching ESP one:one   Using one:one methodology to beat the big ‘S’ in ESP

Many teachers have serious worries about teaching ESP, and ESP one:one in particular. And yet, clients’ needs are becoming increasingly specific. In my experience, this sort of teaching is extremely rewarding: it’s fun, exciting and energizing, and I’ve usually learnt at least as much as I’ve taught. This workshop looks at ways of drawing on specific subject matter that teachers are not expert in, but can relate to and use to good effect. We’ll do this by looking at three real clients.

Slides: teaching-esp-one_one-appleby-besig-nov2016-munich-slides
Handout:  teaching-esp-one_one-appleby-besig-2016-munich-handout-pdf


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2016 April NYESZE / 2016 February IH Barcelona


At school, students are often asked to give a presentation on a specific topic. Presentations are also common in business contexts. Yet, regardless of age, many find this challenge nerve-wracking. Course materials provide long lists of “useful phrases”, how to use visuals effectively, and so on, but still our students lack the confidence to do this well. What my students specifically need is how to get started, engage their audience, keep them involved, and, not least, how to end effectively.
This workshop looks at hooks and tools to help students not just survive but succeed!

This talk is suitable for those who teach business English and/or teenagers.

Slides: The confidence to stand up and talk SLIDES
Handout: The confidence to stand up and talk HANDOUT 1
The confidence to stand up and talk HANDOUT 2




In the ever-expanding world of the tools and tricks for language teaching, any motivated teacher will keep up to date, and draw on all possible resources to help engage students, and expand their horizons in English. However, this often comes at the cost of lengthy preparation, or over-challenging students.

When working with videos, too often I’ve been excited by YouTube clips, only to find that either students can’t cope, or I have to spend hours making the materials accessible.

There is now a wealth of published materials – interviews, mini documentaries – which closely address business students’ needs and interests. This talk will show how we can use these videos not only to focus on language and skills, but also inspire students, relate to real-world issues, and also serve as an invaluable stepping stone. The talk looks at options for exploiting these in both standard, and flipped classroom contexts.

Slides: Less is more Videos IATEFL BESIG Sitges Nov 2015 Slides
Handout: Less is more Videos IATEFL BESIG Sitges Nov 2015 Handout
BESIG conference selections – 2page article: Less is more Getting the most out of short videos BESIG Conference Selections Nov 2015 PDF


Associated video blog posts:

2015 February & May      VIDEO blog posts on International Express

Integrating video content in the EFL classroom with International Express – Part 4

Integrating video content in the EFL classroom with International Express – Part 4

Please cycleBased on International Express Upper Intermediate U6 video ‘Please Cycle’



Integrating video content in the EFL classroom with International Express – Part 2
Based on International Express Pre-Intermediate U10 Selexyz bookshopSelexyz-Dominicanen



2014 November, OUP Kraków
2015 February, IH Barcelona
2015 October, IATEFL Hungary


heart bookReading and listening in a second language is difficult – but do our classroom exercises really help our learners? This talk will demonstrate strategies for dealing with any text, including those in exams, to provide useful skills for tomorrow, not just for today! (Based on extracts from OUP’s new six-level series, Navigate)

audioSlides: Top down and Bottom up Success with reading and listening Slides
Handout: Top down and Bottom up Success with reading and listening Handout



2015 June, IATEFL BESIG Summer Symposium, Budapest – Hungary



Although many of us teach one:one, some teachers fight shy of ESP, and ESP one:one in particular: teaching clients whose area of speciality we know nothing about can be a worrying prospect, and it can be frustrating working with their materials when we’re unfamiliar with the subject matter.

On the surface it seems somewhat daunting, but in my experience, this sort of teaching has been some of the most rewarding I’ve ever done: it’s fun, exciting and energizing, and I’ve usually learnt at least as much if not more than what I’ve taught (for better or for worse!).

This talk looks at how to get over the initial worries that both client and teacher might have, discuss how to find out what we can expect, and investigate ways of addressing the client’s needs and expectations by focusing on three real examples.

I invite you to take the plunge!

Slides: IAETFL BESIG Summer symposium Budapest June 2015 ESP one one Slides
Handout: Appleby BESIG 20June2015 Handout

3 Teaching ESP one:one OUP Adult newsletter post:



2014 April, IATEFL Harrogate  



Modern adult learners characteristically stop and start learning, each time with renewed enthusiasm, yet have busy lives! How can we help them make visible progress?

I have three golden rules to support their motivation which I’ll be demonstrating through activities from OUP’s new International Express. All are based around global lifestyle topics, and address English for social and work purposes.  

Slides: Adult learners Helping them clear the next hurdle SLIDES PDF IATEFL Harrogate April 2014
Handout: Adult learners Helping them clear the next hurdle

Associated Blogpost:


2013 November, BESIG Prague



What is it that makes in-company training such a challenge? How can we, at the same time, provide what learners want when teaching on-site, as well as meet the needs of the company training manager, when we, as teachers, probably know best anyway?
This session will highlight potential conflicts between these groups, in order to focus on the interests which all three parties share, not least, the learners’ need to communicate effectively in work and social environments.

Based on a survey of teachers, learners and company training managers, focusing on language, content and skills, this session will look at ways to solve this problem: providing nuggets of immediately usable language, strategies for dealing with delicate situations in writing or in person, and the ability to communicate effectively and fluently, without ignoring accuracy. The talk will be based on interesting, motivating and hot-off-the press materials from International Express, 3rd edition!

Slides: Does the customer really know best? BESIG Prague 2013
Handout: Does the customer really know best? BESIG Prague 2013 handout

BESIG conference selections – 2page article: Does the customer really know best BESIG Conference Selections Nov 2013 PDF

See also link to related blogpost and webinar under ‘WEBINAR’ pages

#ELTchat summaries


#ELTchat – a twitter discussion with like-minded colleagues, every Wednesday. Do join!




2017 March 22 #ELTchat


Participants: @fwalkerbcn @fionaljp @rapple18 @EdTechTV @GlenysHanson @Nafooh1988 @TESOLacademic @faleh_muhammad @Marisa_C  [@SueAnnan in the background; missed, thanks to technology …  @angelos_bollas ]

[Image from] 

This week’s topic was an area proposed by @ElleninEdmonton and @Nafooh1988

Preamble … Marisa_C pre-empted and attempted to prevent overlap and repetition with a heads-up on three past chats on the topic (although I’m not sure we succeeded!), posted here

  1. Tips for delegating responsibilities to students – training them for autonomy Transcript (Summary not available)
  1. Learner Autonomy: Is it important? If is it, why is it and how can we promote it (should we?)  Summary 6 February 2013      Two definitions from this post were useful: NikkiFortova  “The way I understand it is the learner’s ability to take responsibility for their learning inside and outside the class”, and elawasell  “Learner Autonomy – being able to study on your own, have a say about the direction of learning, responsibility for own learning”. It was later agreed that age and culture were important implications.
    More in the Summary by Bob Knowles @BobK99
  1. Ways to develop learner autonomy: tips for learning outside class time, Summary: 26 January 2011      Useful starting points from this summary [edited]:

Main goals:
• Make your students independent of the teacher
• Help the learner to become his/her own mentor
• provide students with learning tools
How autonomy starts in classroom:
• Give them choice
• Show them ways of learning
• Use their interesta
• Talk about it in classroom
More in this Summary by Vladimira Michalkova @vladkaslniecko 

Marisa_C also mentioned up-front recent trends and echoes of this topic in Sugata Mitra’s IATEFL 2014 talk.  Here is the summary of a chat on SOLE, and a discussion after Dr Mitra’s presentation: The Future of Learning – Reflections on Sugata Mitra’s Plenary at IATEFL


I’m not sure we all had time to read the above summaries, but the evening’s tweet-exchange on Encouraging Self-Directed Learning can be summarised and defined under two key areas: issues to be aware of, and ideas to promote Self-directed Learning.

Issues re. Self-directed learning

  • do they want it? (fionaljp); are they motivated?
  • the relationship between motivation and autonomy (Nafooh1988)
  • do sts value the importance of autonomous learning? (rapple18) – yes.. when they perceive learner autonomy as relate to their life outside the class (Nafooh1988)
  • ways of training learners to do what happens naturally out there on the web (Marisa_C)
  • if they are learning outside the classroom, what are they [we?] doing with the data, and who can we make sense of it (Marisa_C)
  • it’s a gradual process: increasing awareness, changing attitudes, changing roles (Scharle & Szabo (Nafooh1988)
  • … and never ends (TESOLacademic)
  • Ts need to create the right environment (fionaljp)
  • sts must be aware of own strengths and be able to make the right choices, hence learner training (Marisa_C)
  • metacognitive awareness: Qs become deeper – e.g. how do I learn best? (Marisa_C)


Ideas to encourage and promote Self-directed learning

– begin early, – i.e. get them used to the idea
– involving learners in making decisions about their learning
– weaning them off being spoonfed
– the less I chose & explained subjects the more students did
– Guide them, show them where they can find suitably challenging self-directed learning material
– collaboration and sharing ideas is key to encourage and maintain autonomy
– give [sts] the tools, encouragement but at some point it’s a choice
– get students to write summaries of texts they have chosen [see summary writing ling below]; then share
– a new approach to teaching – called “keep it Mysterious and they will WANT to learn it”
– creating a social network of sorts that they will WANT to belong
– getting them to do stuff in English which they’d otherwise do in L1 – [e.g. online / social media if studying in their own country, or having to go to the corner shop if studying in an English-speaking environment / ESOL]
– Vocab challenge can begin with sets of Quizlet cardsready made; later Ss make their own
– Reading challenge – can begin from a list, but later Ss choose own texts
– (via @ShellTerrell) different colour cards for T to monitor degree of autonomy – great for YLs
– autonomy + edtech is more about language use on social media then apps to practice
– huge potential of gamification (not to be confused with Game-base learning EdTechTV)
– asking ss for evidence of autonomous learning, e.g. a learner diary is one way of encouraging ss
– not only about materials, but now we approach them.
– a case of providing a model and a gradual process for sts to take over
– handling data: Facebook post by @nicolaMeldrum looking for platform for collecting data from students’ self-study: suggestions include GoogleForms, and Slack

A few extra links were included by Marisa_C and fionaljp: ENGLISH CLUB: self-motivated adults led by one @tarabenwell – sts long on every day, they talk to one another, they lobg and post anything that strikes their fancy and learning on their own helping sts write summaries – hard copies, or using Google Docs “Black out”
YLs – How to help your students work independently (colored cards)
Capacity Matrices – to describe, document and monitor our learning (via @jayraguda): – ladders or scales, a tool to support student metacognition

On reflection, I’m not sure we took the topic much further on from previous #ELTchats, except that there were different participants, plus there’s never any harm in being reminded of these issues. I think what I might find useful another time would be to focus on specific areas of independent learning and autonomous tasks, e.g.

a) the WHAT, e.g.

  • student materials (e.g. workbook, ‘supplementary’ materials); especially prepared / set-up stuff (designed/prepared/suggested by the teacher .. or later by students – e.g. Quizlet); miscellaneous stuff – e.g. films, articles, etc. (‘authentic’ materials, suggested by T/St); real-life stuff (e.g. buying bread at the supermarket, going to a film, reading a newspaper/magazine/brochure – in an L2 [probably] environment; online social media in English (use of Facebook, Twitter, blogs. etc); etc.

b) the HOW, i.e.

  • student- or teacher-led; competition/challenge/gamification elements; etc.

c) KEEPING RECORDS, comparing and sharing with other students, etc.

  • When / Where / For how long (activity length) / Outcomes (benefits-pitfalls) / Follow-up suggestions

Perhaps a future #ELTchat could drop in to focus on some of this (but by no means all!) – the more focused the topic, the deeper we can go, and perhaps this would be useful!

Thanks to all for joining in last Wednesday – it was great to be part of the group! (It was another reminder that I don’t do #ELTchat often enough!)

… and don’t forget to read the latest from #ELTchat:

[Excuse the mix of links and hyperlinks.. having tech problems!)

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2016 March 2 #ELTchat


How can we develop metacognitive awareness of reading strategies in our learners? 

strategies which are transferable from text to text, genre to genre and context to context; and students need reading skills they can use regardless of text type; this then developed towards ensuring students are aware of how they read, and how to approach a text. You can read my summary:

Original drawing from


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2013 October 16 #ELTchat


Ways of really getting students to use Target Language (vocab, grammar, phrases) in tasks / exercises, and/as a means of showing visible progress (Sp, Wr)

Getting students to talk – really communicate with each other in English in a meaningful way – is always an issue for me for a number of reasons. So I was delighted that this topic was chosen for an #ELTchat discussion.

In the precious hour we had for the chat, I felt we covered a lot of ground, from clarifying what we meant by freer practice, to talking about how we get students to use new language, as well as giving feedback and evaluating students on the way (two different things, it was noted!). You can read my summary:


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2012 February 22 #ELTchat

IPA: THE THEORY AND BEYOND. Is knowing the IPA essential? Do you use phonemic script in class? Why or why not?

ELTchat IPADealing with pronunciation in the classroom is one of those things that comes naturally to some, is consciously avoided by others, and is a bit of a bête noir for a few. We know these symbols are also something that many students fight shy of, especially at lower levels, and in particular if they are coming to English from a different script (Cyrillic, Arabic, etc.). So it needs handling with kid gloves. Or does it?

You can read my summary:


I’m a relatively regular contributor to two OUP online publications. One is the OUP ELT Global blog, and the other is the OUP Adults newsletter

I feel privileged to be able to share a few ideas about teaching on these pages.



Sept 2015 Teaching Advanced Learners Post 1 – Overview,3M1BU,KOIJSY,CZBT0,1


Oct 2015 Teaching Advanced Learners – Post 2 – Grammar,0,0,0,0


Nov 2015 Teaching Advanced Learners Post 3 – Vocabulary,3RB6T,KOIJSY,DJFX0,1OUP blog Tg Adv Ls 3 words




Dec 2015 Teaching Advanced Learners Post 4 – Listening,0,0,0,0




1 Getting started, and getting in the right frame of mind


2 Strategies and activities to add dimension to one:one classes


3 Teaching ESP one:one


Teaching business English one-to-one

Nov 2012 29 November 2012 by Oxford University Press ELT 6 Comments






2016 June

BESIG online symposium 2016

My first attempt at a Pecha Kucha (6’40”).

If you’re a member, you can see a recording on the IATEFL BESIG website This was a variation (and abbreviation!) of the talks I gave at NYESZE in Budapest, and IH Barcelona earlier in 2016 (see Conference talks).




A number of WEBINARS, usually accompanied by a blogpost on the OUP ELT Global blog




Webinar 6 November 2013 link: …

This post and webinar link to the BESIG Prague conference (November, 2013) – see materials above.



Webinar 5 December 2012 link:




A graduate holding a diploma

“… the challenges of teaching speaking skills in an academic context”

Webinar 21 November 2012 link: (the link at the beginning of the blogpost, end paragraph 1)