Back to Class Special

Who is it for?

This webinar is free to attend for English language teachers and professionals of all levels.


Join Carol Read, Sam McCarter and Fiona Mauchline for a jam-packed day of webinars to kick-off the start of a new term. Find teaching inspiration for starting back at school with young learners to activities through to motivating adult learners all the way to their exams.

Watch the webinar


Sam McCarter: 10 Practical Activities for Exams Success - 11:00 to 11:45am (BST)

At the start of a new term  there is often a clear goal in mind, but how  can you build towards that goal and keep your students motivated until the 'dreaded exam'?

In this webinar, exams expert Sam McCarter will  present 10 practical activities to help you:

  • Build students' flexibility and confidence in using the language they know and acquire
  • Boost and improve students' performance across the four main skills
  • Prepare students and maximise their success in the academic IELTS exam


Fiona Mauchline – In a World of Pure Imagination - 12:00 to 12:45pm (BST)

Teaching teenagers is a lot more than just methodology and materials, and one of the key challenges teachers face is helping teen leaners to overcome some of the difficulties which weave together to form walls affecting- or even blocking – creative ability and self-expression. “I have no imagination” is a frequent defence mechanism, part of the wall, but if you show them how to break through it and develop their creativity, you’ll give them a life skill they can use in and beyond the English classroom. In this plenary, we’ll access your imagination and play with some ideas you can take back and use in your classes. To quote Willy Wonka/ Gene Wilder “There is no life I know that compares to pure imagination; living there you’ll be free if you truly wish to be”.

What will people learn from you  at the Back to School webinar?

How to help teens (and adults) access their imaginations with  a view to improving motivation, confidence, vocabulary, engagement and the  content of written work. This is a life skill that can be used in other areas  of life and studies, and is fun! Participants will … imaginative activities they can use in  class with very little preparation.


Carol Read: Top Tips for Getting Young Learners Started - 3:00 to 3:45pm (BST)

Starting back at school and meeting groups of children for the first time can be a stressful and nerve-wracking experience. At the same, the first few weeks of teaching are crucial to establish positive relationships and parameters for behaviour that will set the pattern for the rest of the  year.

In this webinar, Tiger Time author Carol Read will help you get your new classes settled and engaged from the outset. Carol will present a range of top tips and practical, tried and trusted activities which address key areas including:

  • The importance of memorising children's  names
  • Developing positive self-esteem
  • Establishing learning routines
  • Encouraging aspirations
  • Keeping learning personal
  • Using varied and creative teaching techniques

By  the end of the webinar you will have:

  • Awareness of areas to consider when meeting new groups of children
  • Confidence and competence in starting  the new teaching year/term
  • Ideas for practical activities, procedures and techniques

Get a taste of Carol's webinar with her Top Tips for Establishing Positive Relationships with Young Learners.

Download Carol's tips 


Sam McCarter

Sam  McCarter's teaching career spans a period of more than 30 years with numerous publications for IELTS, and EAP and ESP, such as the widely used IELTS  publication Ready for IELTS (Macmillan), Direct to IELTS, IELTS Introduction, IELTS Testbuilders and various IELTS skills books, Oxford EAP B2 course book (OUP), and Medicine 1 and Medicine 2 (OUP).

He has also written various articles on IELTS and ESP and has edited glossaries for CD-ROMs on tropical medicine for the Wellcome Trust as  well as working as an editor for various organizations including the WHO. His interests include materials production, including the use of electronic media, and teaching methodology, and writing fiction and gamification for language and skills materials.

Sam's interactive app IELTS Skills (Macmillan Education) won the English Speaking Union President's Award 2013 for innovation  and good practice in English language teaching and learning. The  app was also been shortlisted for the ELTons Award 2014 for Digital Innovation.

What  inspires Sam to work in ELT:
"The main motivator is  and was the desire to create and develop materials for students and teachers. The internet now affords new opportunities."

Sam's latest project for Macmillan Education:
IELTS Testbuilder 1 2nd Edition
, published in 2015

Sam's top teaching tip:

"Aim to make students as flexible and confident in using the language they acquire."


Fiona Mauchline

Fiona has worked in ELT for over 25 years and is a teacher, teacher trainer and materials writer based in Cáceres, Spain. She regularly trains teachers in Spain and France, and has also trained in Italy, Portugal, Palestine and Turkey. She is the co-author of two courses for secondary schools (including Interface, also known for Motivate!), and has written materials for several others including Voices and Straightforward. She is the author of the online booklet Using Graded Readers in the Classroom (Macmillan), co-curates ELTpics, and has four blogs, including Macappella and Take a photo and…, both on the ELT classroom.

What inspired and continues to  inspire you to work in ELT?

Originally the combination of language ‘detective work’ and  working with people, learning about and from people from all walks of life. It’s  a job which is different every single day, and that appealed. And now it’s working  with people, with words, with my mind, finding new ways, meeting new people,  laughter, more words …. Always learning.


If you could have written one  book what would it be?

I’m still writing it.


Tell us about your  latest/recent projects with Macmillan?

I’ve been working with the Central / Eastern Europe region  training teachers in various countries, and with the Graded Readers department  working on materials for Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

What is your top tip or piece of advice for teachers?


A wise old owl lived  in an oak
  The more he saw the less he spoke
  The less he spoke the more he heard.
  Why can't we all be like that wise old bird?


Carol Read

Carol Read is an  educational consultant, teacher trainer and writer with many years' experience  of working with children. Carol's publications include the award-winning titles, Bugs and 500 Activities for the Primary Classroom. Carol's latest  publication, Tiger Time, is a new six-level, primary course with  integrated digital resources for teachers and pupils. Carol is currently Vice President of IATEFL (International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language).

Discover all of the  titles Carol has written for Macmillan Education and follow Carol on Twitter @carolread.

What inspires Carol to work in ELT:

"The creativity, energy and enthusiasm of so many primary teachers and children around the world."

Carol's latest project with Macmillan Education:

"My latest project is Tiger Time, a new six-level primary course with integrated digital resources for teachers  and pupils. I'm proud of the way Tiger Time reflects children's development and interests at different ages and excited by the positive response the course has had so far."