thinking about language teaching


February 2011

Word Vines & Collocation Trees

"Teacher, what's a collocation?" "Well, they're sort of words that go together." "Teacher, I don't understand." "Well, you know the expression 'heavy traffic'?  Well, traffic's not really heavy is it?  I mean, it can be, but... erm.... Collocations are just... Continue Reading →


Max My Dream

Just seen on facebook via Anna (thanks Anna!):  Max My Dream. Follow the link and animate your dreams! It works in much the same way as the now infamous "Hunter shoots a bear": (which if you haven't seen you... Continue Reading →

Listening – The many uses of the pig!

This is a lesson based on a TED Talk by Christien Meindertsma, a Dutch author and researcher who followed the afterlife of a single pig after it left the farm.  Obviously it then went on to the abbatoir, but the... Continue Reading →

Thousands of bits of paper?

In many language schools it's probably a hard fought race between the photocopier and the guillotine as to which gets used most in any given day.  Probably the photocopier, but the guillotine usually gets a fair work out.  And then... Continue Reading →

One Word – Multiple Meanings

One of the things that often bothers learners is the idea that there is more than one meaning associated with a particular word... A while back I was sent this link: which has great videos showing multiple meanings of... Continue Reading →

Calling all teachers –

This one comes straight from the Guardian Website - fancy seeing yourself in print?  Read on.... Calling all teachers | Education | Your turn to answer the questions Photograph: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images Class Report seeks to show the diversity... Continue Reading →


The fantastic people at have just done a trawl of 22,000 horoscopes and come up with this visualisation of the most common words used for each star sign.  So do they really all just say the same thing?  Have... Continue Reading →

The Domination Game

This was something that I originally cooked up as a comparatively fun way of doing revision / practice of an entire FCE Use of English paper without melting the learners' brains or causing everyone in the room to lose the... Continue Reading →

Oxfam for teachers – global citizenship in the classroom

Oxfam Education. Oxfam for teachers. Brings global citizenship into the classroom. This is a great site with lots of resources relating to issues that affect us all, both at the local and at the global level.  Most of the resources... Continue Reading →

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