mini whiteboards 1

It’s easy enough to welcome state-of-the-art technology, if our school can afford it. Whether the technology is used or used wisely is up to us. I have been using interactive whiteboards for well over ten years now and I find them an incredible tool for any language teacher. I talk and write far and wide about the kinds of benefits they bring. Today, however, I … Continue reading mini whiteboards 1

connotation in songs

I have been listening to Sting’s last album 44/876 quite a lot recently and there are two songs that have particularly called my attention as an English teacher/teacher trainer/materials writer. The first one is Crooked Tree, for which I wrote a blog post last week dealing with co-hyponyms and how that song presents itself well for exploiting them and exploring the topic area of crime … Continue reading connotation in songs

taking sides

This speaking activity gets students to make choices, take sides and use arguments and counter arguments to support their ideas. This is how it goes: Think of controvesial issues for debate in the classroom. For instance, “eating meat is wrong”. Do not  disclose this topic but write “eating meat is …” on the board instead. Ask the students to come up to the board and … Continue reading taking sides

reading frenzy 1

Reading passages in the language classroom are primarily used to have students understand the texts as a whole, to have them look for specific pieces of information or to introduce new language in context. I also like to take advantage of reading passages to let students discover facts and reasons and share them with peers by means of splitting the text into two halves and … Continue reading reading frenzy 1

speaking: from specific to general

When engaging our students in speaking activities we can move from general to specific or from specific to general. Ideally, the latter is a much more productive strategy. For instance, we can ask the students: What’s your favourite food? (from general to specific) …or… Have a look at these photos (an orange, a hamburger, a chili pepper, an ice cream). Tell any five people in … Continue reading speaking: from specific to general

the dream

This activity gets your students engaged in building collective stories around focal vocabulary from a reading passage. I will be using this text, which presents itself rather well for this type of activity as an example. Out and About level 1, Cambridge University Press. Free sample from publisher here. The students are asked to read and listen to the lyrics. The highlighted words are in … Continue reading the dream