Tag Archives: Online

Premier Skills English

15 Oct


A nice cross-curricular site for all those teachers with budding Cristiano Ronaldos in their classrooms!   But with plenty for those of us who love the game but are never going to make it on the pitch!

Premier Skills English is a collaboration between the UK Premier League and the British Council and it hosts a wealth of teaching resources that look at all of the different aspects of the modern game – and of course what happens on the pitch.  But there are lessons on things like healthy eating, good fan behaviour and some of the initiatives that clubs take to help their local communities, as well as shorter football themed activities that can be used in non-football based lessons.



Teaching Resources: Steve Jobs

7 Oct

It’s not until someone goes that you realise the impact they had on your life – Steve Jobs was one of those public figures who inspired belief and achievement in others.

One of my classes was asking if we could talk about Steve Jobs and his life, and clearly he meant a lot to a lot of people – so here are some resources that you can use with your learners.

The Guardian has a reader tribute interactive here: “Dear Steve, your products changed my life.”  They also have a photo slideshow featuring reactions from around the world.

Also from the Guardian, this page “Steve Jobs: the 10 best tributes“.

The Lexical Press Blog from the American TESOL institute has a comemorative lesson plan available here: http://americantesol.com/blogger/?p=366

Cecilia Lemos at Box of Chocolates has an obituary style lesson plan available here: http://cecilialcoelho.wordpress.com/2011/10/05/hot-off-the-press-an-activity-about-steve-jobs/

@MrTESOL tweeted this link to an interactive online Steve Jobs quiz:  http://www.tutor2u.net/business/bizquiz/061011/quiz.html.

Eva Büyüksimkeşyan at A Journey in TEFL has a lesson idea here: http://evasimkesyan.edublogs.org/2011/10/06/a-lesson-idea/, she also mentions Sean Banville’s News English lesson: http://www.newsenglishlessons.com/1110/111006-steve_jobs.html.

Via A school at the end of the world – I just came across The New York Times’ Learning Network post: “Imaging Apple Without Steve Jobs”


Finally, you’ve probably seen it elsewhere on the web recently – but here’s Steve Jobs’ famous speech at Stanford university:


Free Technology for Teachers: 77 Educational Games and Game Builders

1 Oct



Richard Byrne at Free Technology for Teachers has this excellent post:  77 Educational Games and Game Builders.

If you’re involved in teaching – you need to read his post!

Highlights I took away from it were:

Grammar Ninja – a fun game for practicing parts of speech, though I’m not sure about some of the answers….

Parade of Games in Powerpoint – having just watched a colleague’s seminar on using powerpoint with interactive whiteboards I was looking forward to seeing what Parade of Games had to offer.  It all looks good, but I had problems actually downloading the games.  Not sure why (it might be a Chrome thing).

CSI Web adventures – at least half the students in my classes are determined to become forensic analysts or pathologists.  Given that approximately 11 people per million are murdered in their country per year (at least according to this wikipedia article) – I’m not sure what demand there is for forensic pathology.  Nevertheless, the website might be fun, interesting and motivating for them.  Though i haven’t quite figured out a pedagogical rationale for using it yet!

I’m also intrigued by the Handipoints system.  We use a star chart system with attainment certificates as part of our school behavioural process.  I’m interested in the possibilities of moving this system online, so that there are additional rewards for the children, but also so that the parents can monitor their child’s behaviour over time, rather than by the occasional note home or by the lack of certificate.  One to explore further.

Anyway – again I urge you to explore Richard’s original post:  77 Educational Games and Game Builders.


Online Teaching Resource: Idioms Videos

29 Sep

I just came across, during a further exploration of the Pearson ELT Community site, their idioms discussions space.

There doesn’t seem to be much in the way of discussion, but they have posted a set of mini-videos which purport to explain English idioms and expressions.  The videos are very short (about a minute) and are followed with a dictionary definition.  One of the tasks they give is “Can you guess the idiom before the definition comes up?”  If you had learners in teams with different coloured board pens, and they raced to write the expression on the board before it came up, it could work….

The videos are also available via the Pearson You Tube channel (I’ve tried to embed one of them below, but don’t think it’s worked – so click the link instead).


Here’s the original page again:  ELTCommunity.com: Space: Idioms Discussions.

Not everybody has smart boards…

27 Sep

A fact that was brought home the other day when a training seminar got rescheduled because half the projected attendees didn’t have Interactive Whiteboard technology available to them…..

So here’s a nice post from Vicky Saumell’s Educational Technology in ELT blog on 40 Things you can do with a Data Projector in an EFL/ESL lesson.

Some of the ideas will need a little adaptation in order to integrate them seamlessly into your lessons.  Plus, I’m afraid I have to take issue with the first one “Watch a film”.  If learners want to watch a film, they can do it on their own time!  Class time is way too valuable!


Online Teaching Resource: Pearson Longman Exams Place

23 Sep

An email from my friendly local publishers’ rep dropped into my inbox this morning, which I thought I’d pass on.  Not because I have eagerly signed up – I haven’t had time to fully get to grips with what’s on offer yet, but just because there is a dearth of decent exam material available for teachers and students to access online and this site looks like it could broaden that range a bit!

A quick glance shows that all of the interesting looking resources require registration and provision of an email address.  But the resources do look interesting!

I’m also encouraged by the range of exams seemingly covered, as they not only cover the upper main suite (FCE, CAE, CPE), but KET, PET, IELTS, TOEFL, BEC, ILEC, and of course, the PTE series.

Definitely worth a look, but final judgement to be reserved!

Pearson Longman Exams Place: Find all the information you need about leading international English language exams plus teaching tips and downloadable resources.

September 11th Teaching Resources

11 Sep

Inspired by a recent feature on The Guardian website, which invites readers to share their memories of where they were and what they were doing (click here for more detail), I was thinking about collating teaching resources on the topic and presenting them here.

Turns out Larry Ferlazzo‘s beaten me to it…

His latest post:  “Even more 9/11 resources” has materials from the Wall Street Journal and New York Times – as well as from the US Department of Education.

But honestly, his post “The Best Sites to Help Teach About 9/11”  has links to just about every 9/11 related teaching resource that’s out there.  If you’re planning to use this topic area with your classes – make it your starting point.

There’s also a really interesting piece on the OUP blog by Mary Dudziak on the impact September 11th has made on the classroom – read more at “How 9/11 made history“.  Thanks for @OUPAcademic for tweeting the link.


Thank you to the Tefl Twitterati!

4 Aug

I’m not very up on twitterquette.  I’m still not entirely certain that (a) I know what I’m doing, (b) I know what I should be doing, (c) I know what everybody else is doing on Twitter.

My experiences thus far have been slightly confusing, but really quite rewarding.  At some point early on, @A_Grundtivg recommended that I get myself Tweetdeck.  Which I did.  But failed to understand.  Now that I know I can have columns of tweet deck devoted to certain hashtag messages, it make things a bit easier!  One of the things I’ve enjoyed most has been #ELTChat – and I’ve met some great people with good ideas through that.  #ELTChat has been a lot easier to interact with since I discovered the hashtag tweetdeck column thingy.

I think what has astounded me most though, has been the ability to connect with people that I respect and admire in the world of tefl, and perhaps more than that – the sheer number of people that there are to admire in the world of tefl.  Not that I agree with everything that everybody says….  but I am always interested in what they have to say!

Actually, that’s not true.  What really astounds me most is how everyone seems to find the time to spend all their time blogging and tweeting.  Do you people not have jobs?  I mean seriously?  But possibly that just reflects my own micro-blogging shotcomings….

Anyway – I just wanted to take a moment to say thank you to everyone who follows me on Twitter.  I appreciate it.

Fighting Fire with….

31 Jul

This is a post aimed more at those who live in countries where the risk of wild fires / forest fires is a regular hazard.

This is certainly the case where I live – wildfires are a frequent cause of much devastation and trauma, what always fazes me is the equanimity with which people here deal with it all as summer rolls around again.

So this is just a thought really – it would be interesting to talk about the issues with your classes, particularly younger learners.  What do they understand as the common causes of wildfires?  What do they think can be done to prevent them?  What information or campaigns have they encountered?

All of this initial discussion can lead to a comparison with the information found on the excellent USA Forestry Service anti-fire website:



There is a lot that can be used and adapted here:  online games for the kids (which I found confusing, but then I’m not a kid….), information about wildfire causes and prevention, and a brief history of the evolution of the Smokey Bear US Forestry Campaigns (might be interesting for business classes?  Evolution of the brand?  Adaptation to local markets?  Where next for Smokey Bear?).

Of particular interest to educators – there is a set of Teaching resources available to download….  These appear to be e-versions of print / physical resources available to US based educators.

If you live in an area where wild fires are an issue – this is probably something your learners should know about – and the resources here are definitely going to help you with that!



The disabled access friendly world blog challenge: Creature Discomforts

29 Jun

Following on from the recent blog challenge on raising awareness of disability access issues, I came across the Leonard Cheshire Disability campaign whilst watching Shaun the Sheep dvds with my daughter.

The campaign is called “Creature Discomforts” and has very similar aims to the blog challenge – namely to get people to think about the way they see disability.

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