Get 70% Off On All TEFL Courses

Take advantage of our May offer, Don't Miss Out!

Offer Ends








TEFL Masterclass – Cutting To The Chase – Maximising Learning Time And Reducing ELT Fluff

Join PRO for more!

Log in or join PRO Membership to access this certified TEFL Masterclass Workshop.

PRO Benefit

Training & CPD

Live TEFL Webinar

Exclusive Contents

Neil Harris – Teacher Trainer & Director of Marketing @ CELT Language School.

Neil Harris started his career in ELT in 1993 after completing a CTEFLA with IH London. He quickly realized that language learning and teaching was his true passion. Neil has worked in a variety of roles in the UK and Italy, including as a teacher, Senior Teacher, EAP Lecturer, DoS, Teacher Trainer, Business Development Manager, and Director of Marketing. Currently, Neil focuses on developing online ESP medical English and teacher development programmes in his role in agent-based marketing and course development.

What you will learn

A common complaint among English language teachers is that there is never enough time to complete the teaching which is laid out in coursebook or in the syllabus they are asked to teach.

With limited time to cover so much material, it is important that we concentrate on the valuable ‘stuff” and weed out the ‘fluff’, those classroom moments which do not contribute to meaningful learning.

Based on his twenty years of working with teachers and on observing pre-service, newly qualified and in-service teachers, Neil identifies a number of areas where teachers tend to waste time and suggests alternatives to make learning more impactful and time better spent.

Workshop Summary

Introduction to Fluff-Free ELT Strategies

Neil Harris introduces a Gallery Teachers Masterclass aimed at maximising learning time in English Language Teaching (ELT) by eliminating unnecessary “fluff”. Fluff refers to extraneous elements within teaching that do not contribute to student learning. Harris emphasises the importance of optimising classroom time to make it as beneficial as possible for students by focusing on what truly matters in the learning process.

The Role and Efficiency of Warmers and Lead-ins

The masterclass delves into the significance of warmers and lead-ins in engaging students and preparing them for the lesson’s core content. However, Harris points out that the effectiveness of these elements is dependent on their duration and relevance to the lesson’s objectives. Excessively long or unrelated warmers can detract from valuable learning time, underscoring the need for a balanced approach that aligns these introductory activities with the main learning goals.

Reevaluating Learning Styles

Harris challenges the once popular learning styles, such as Multiple Intelligences (MI) and Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), suggesting that current evidence-based research does not support their significant impact on learning outcomes. He argues that dedicating classroom time to activities based on these theories may not be an efficient use of resources. Instead, Harris advocates for a more pragmatic approach to teaching that prioritises methods proven to enhance learning effectively.

Vocabulary Teaching Strategies

The session also addresses the common practice of pre-teaching vocabulary before reading or listening activities. Harris suggests that this approach can overwhelm students and detract from the primary learning objectives. He advocates for focusing on key vocabulary that directly impacts comprehension, rather than attempting to cover every new word. This strategy aims to prevent cognitive overload and ensure that vocabulary teaching is relevant and effective.

Efficient Feedback Methods

Finally, Harris discusses the importance of efficient feedback methods in the learning process. Traditional question-by-question feedback is criticised for being time-consuming and not necessarily addressing students’ specific needs. He proposes focused feedback strategies that target student difficulties, thereby making feedback sessions more productive and beneficial for student learning. Harris concludes by emphasising the need for critical evaluation of teaching practices to ensure they are both efficient and effective, urging educators to adopt evidence-based strategies to create fluff-free learning environments that maximise student engagement and outcomes.

Reflective Questions

Have a quick think about the reflective questions below in order to get the most out of the workshop:

  1. Is it time for me to review some of the activities I use as ELT becomes more aware of evidence-based teaching?
  2. What is the best approach to the pre-teaching of vocabulary?
  3. (How) can I become more focused in the way I organise feedback after activities?

Start your Adventure with GTEFL

The Best Online TEFL Courses

99% Pass Rate

Unlimited retakes & support throughout your TEFL journey.


Choose from a range of level 3 and level 5 TEFL courses.

Pay Monthly

Start today and pay your course fee in 3 instalments with Klarna.


Recent Posts

Podcasting in EFL: A Modern Approach to Language Learning

In the ever-evolving landscape of language education, podcasts have emerged as a powerful tool for enhancing the learning experience. The webinar “Using Podcasts in the EFL Classroom” by Gabriel Clark offers a comprehensive guide to integrating this modern medium into...

read more


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Love TEFL? Join Us!

If you need help, get in touch!

If you are not sure which course package to choose, you can request a call back from a course advisor.