Bob Dignen, Steve Flinders, Simon Sweeney
Do you teach using an interactive whiteboard? For many business English teachers, the answer is probably “no”. However, certain institutions are investing in this technology. Moving to a second question – do you use a business English course book? If you use English 365 (CUP), then the course book software developed to run on an IWB will doubtless represent an exciting new development. Some features of the English 365 course book, such as the audio and grammar exercises, have been selected to create interactive activities.
The menu is clear and the material in this format has a professional feel to it. The good news is that the icons are intuitive, and ease of use is high. One quite exhilarating experience is being able to click on the audio symbol to access the listening material through the IWB, and not use a cassette recorder or CD audio. The teacher can highlight a sentence in the on-screen tapescript and play it! Teachers can also get students to come out to the front of the class in order to annotate examples of, say, grammar. Teachers can mask parts of the screen for a prediction task, or get students to come out to the front of the class to annotate examples of, say, a grammar exercise. There are certainly opportunities to enhance a language lesson. Creative teachers will tend to identify the benefits and exploit them for teaching purposes.