How to Implement the Callan Method in Your Teaching

There are some elements of the Callan method that can be incorporated into various teaching styles. Some of the most important elements are question-answer exercises, revision, and encouraging students to make mistakes.

Question-answer exercise

The teacher should prepare structured open questions to students, related to a topic (vocabulary) and grammar rule they are covering.

Then, the teacher calls out each student and asks the question. The student is expected to give the answer in full, using the learned vocabulary and grammar. If the student struggles, the teacher feeds them the answer, guiding them and supporting them in the learning. 

BENEFITS of the activity:

  1. Getting students to speak in the language they are learning, and being supported by the teacher, who, by correcting their mistakes, helps them learn the grammar, vocabulary, and correct pronunciation. 
  2. Giving each student equal speaking time in the classroom.
  3. Boosting students’ confidence.

Revision is key

Each class should start with revision of work from the previous class, and each class should finish with a revision of that day’s work. 

BENEFITS of the activity:

  1. The more you repeat something, the easier it is to remember.
  2. Students have more opportunity to learn. For example, if the first time they make a mistake in vocabulary, the second time in grammar, and the third time in pronunciation, by the fourth time they can perfect everything.

Making mistakes is encouraged

Mistakes are an essential part of learning, but fear of the unknown is engraved in us as human beings. In language learning, no matter how much we’ve studied or how well we know the grammar and vocabulary, we’re still scared to actually speak the language out loud.

With the Callan Method, the student is encouraged to make mistakes. In fact, it's their job to make mistakes, because teacher is there to guide them and to pick them up when they need help. They just need to build trust and let go of their fear of making mistakes. 

BENEFITS of the activity:

  1. Letting go of control in students.
  2. Fighting the fear of making mistakes.
  3. Students who make mistakes in the group create a stronger bond with peers and teachers.

Find out seven reasons why the Callan method is the best method for learning English online.

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Erasmus KA2: Our first hosting experience in the LTT activity – Creativity for Innovation

Reflecting on last week.

Last week our organisation hosted its first ever LTT activity within the KA2 project.

The project Creativity for Innovation is a strategic partnership project that aims to share creative methods within three sectors: creativity, adult education and language schools.

The aim of last week was to show you the Callan Method and complementary activities that we use to boost students' confidence in learning the English language, as the main objective of the project is to implement creative and innovative methods in the work of the organisations involved.

There was a lot we had to cover. Monday’s session started with a meet&greet and icebreaker activities where we all got to know each other better.

We were hosting staff from Storytelling Centre Amsterdam and Europass Teacher Academy from Florence, Italy, for the whole week.

The session started with the main methodology, getting to know the Callan Method and its principals. Participants could learn how the Callan Method of learning was akin to learning a native language in children, and furthermore, why repetition and talking is so important.

The Callan Method is a method that can shock you at first. Feeding the answers to the students and not letting you think is something most of us are not ready for when we enter the classroom for the first time. But the initial surprise was overcome when everyone got a little more familiar with it and used to it throughout the week.

To ease the initial shock of the Callan Method, which can sometimes feel intense, especially in the beginning, a different type of city tour was planned for the afternoon – a witch tour.

Witches have a long and very well documented history in Zagreb, thanks to Marija Jurić Zagorka, a writer and female journalist from the 19th century. Her books portray women accused of witchcraft in a positive light. If you ever visit Zagreb, you will see that the legend of witches is incorporated in a lot of the capital's stories.

On Tuesday, the participants of the project took part in 2 workshops: a Grammar Refresher, an exercise that always helps our students get their English juices flowing, and a Small Talk workshop, something that is aimed at higher stages and people who want to improve their business skills.

The aim of these activities was to show a wide range of materials that we offer to our students outside of the Callan Method.

We also partook in a roundtable discussion and talked about the principals of the Callan Method and other activities that could be implemented in the work of our partners’ organisations.  The picture was still not clear on what to take from the Callan Method and how to implement it, so our job was to show the participants more depth to the method and all the possibilities it offers.

Proposed elements of the Callan Method to be incorporated into participants’ teaching styles were




Wednesday was reserved for our Book Club meeting. Prior to the LTT activity, at the first transnational meeting, we had agreed to incorporate Book Club as a part of the creative method of learning a language.

This adds another complementary activity to Callan. Here, students don’t have to follow the structure of the book, but can freely express their own ideas, feelings and reflect on the book in a more casual conversation, much like one that might have when they meet a friend. Book Club, needless to say, also improves their reading skills and understanding of the culture. 

The book we were talking about was Leonard and Hungry Paul by Ronan Hession and the session was moderated by our teacher Maria, and the topics we covered were family, isolation, friendship and mindfulness – all the main topics of the book.


On Wednesday we prepared a workshop on ICT tools in language learning and headed out to Sljeme. We took a short hike from Šestinski Lagvić to the newly restored Medvedgrad Castle. We had lunch at Sljeme, but had to leave some space for our evening activity – our Cook & Chat workshop.

The evening ended by watching the workshop at the school and eating all the lovely food we had prepared for the cultural night. There was traditional Italian Panettone and Italian sweet wine, some Croatian cheese and truffles with prosciutto, and wine again 😊

Friday was left for another session of the Callan Method and a demonstration of the exam. Here, some things finally clicked with the participants and they left hungry for more Callan demonstration, which we will incorporate in our future meetings.

To conclude the week, we had some evaluation and feedback where we heard that there is a lot more to explore in our school about the Callan Method, as well as our creative activities, and we are looking forward to hearing from our partners about what activities they want to implement in their own work.

Project partners:
The Agency for Mobility and EU Programmes


🇪🇺 The project is funded by the Erasmus+ Programme.
Erasmus+ : Enriching lives, opening minds. ☺️

Step Up – KA 1 Erasmus+ projekt
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Transnational Partner Meeting: Creativity for Innovation, Erasmus+

Step Up – KA 1 Erasmus+ projekt


From the 13th to the 15th of October, we held our first international partner meeting.

The goal of our project is to learn how to use creative methods in working with adults. The core of the method includes three creative methods: reading, creative writing and storytelling.

Over the course of three days, we got to know our partners better as well as presented the goals, effects and the desired outcome of our project.

We were excited on the first day as it usually happens. We didn’t know what to expect from new partners, but we were excited because we knew our topic was very interesting,

After talking over a cup of coffee, we realized that we had made new friends with whom we would carry out an excellent project, but also have a great time.

All members presented their organizations and we learned about the activities, methods and the field of adult education. Alongside the two schools (Initiative and Europass), there was a creative organization which implements storytelling when working with marginalized groups.

We learned a very important piece of information; storytelling is not just a skill of telling stories, but also listening.

We chose a book for the project and the book club, which was Leonard and Hungry Paul by Ronan Hession. It is a book about ordinary, unusual people that moved our students.

Impact Exercise in process

On the second day, we dove deeper into the project in order to assign roles and talk about our tasks. Impact exercise helped us with that. We use this exercise when putting the project on paper or when meeting new partners. The goal of the exercise is to get a clearer picture of the impact of our project on our organizations, but most importantly, on our students.

We identified project success indicators and then talked over a cup of coffee to end up, as it usually happens in Croatia, hanging out until late drinking pelinkovac.

The last day was the most fun one. We discussed marketing and dissemination activities.

We settled on a marketing plan and result dissemination plan, selected hashtags, and exchanged Facebook and Instagram accounts. So that everyone keeps busy when we go back to our routine, each partner needs to design a visual identity project.

You will find out what we came up with in a month.

At the end, our guests participated in our Erasmus Days Workshop and the dissemination of our KA1 project "Pokreni Inicijativu". Our guests learned about creative teaching online tools as well as how to entice students to think critically!

It was a great ending to a great project start!

We are grateful to our partners Storytelling Centre, Europass Teacher Academy, Eva and Layla, who madet his experience even better!

Initiative - Centre for Education is the promoter of the international Erasmus+ project with the code number: 2020-1-HR01-KA227-ADU-094782 which is dedicated to the implementation of innovative and creative methods in the work of organizations.

This project is funded by the Erasmus+ programme. Enriching lives, opening minds - Erasmus+

#innovation #creativity #Erasmus+ #education #storytelling #language

Jelena Posavec

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