Thursday, 29 April 2010

Content activies - Healthy Eating

The British Council Learning English Kids has got hundreds and hundreds of photocopiable resources , on-line games and activites for YLs. Some of these can be useful for CLIL classes. I know that it can be quite difficult for teachers to find the time to search the net  for interesting content material for classes. Here are a couple of activities to get you started about healthy eating.

Healthy eating quiz - photocopiable high level,suitable for teens (ESO 3-4)

Online healthy eating quiz - high level suitable for teens (ESO 3-4)

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

CLIL Workshop

Hi Everyone,

Thanks for coming to the workshop and taking part. I had fun, even though it was very hot and sticky with a few technical problems. I really enjoyed Jose and Carlos's performance of the 'Last day of Pompeii' and your group dramatisation or dramatization of the water cycle. Here are some sites and links that might be of use to you.

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Phonics - Updated

In March I went to the TESOL Spain convention in Lleida. I attended some great workshops and keynotes. It was often difficult to choose which one to go to, as there were so many interesting ones. I think it was Saturday afternoon and despite my initial enthusiasm I was beginning to feel a bit tired. As we looked at the programme we saw that there wasn't anything that we really, really wanted to see at that time, we decided to go to a Phonics workshop given by Coral George.

Like I said we were tired. Slowly the room began to fill up and after a bit of fiddling with the computer and a bit of a wait we started. This was one of those times when the 'light bulb switches on'. I felt as if I had the answer to so many of the questions and answers to the difficulties that Spanish children have learning to read in English. Coral was basically saying that English is a 'coded language' and we need to teach children the 'code' to be able to read it. If we ask children to read without teaching the 'code' we are setting them up for failure.

I'm by no means an authority on phonics I actually know very little about it, but here is a bit of a description to get you started and a couple of links that you can check out. Coral was talking about Jolly Phonics which is a synthetic phonics program designed to teach children to read. Basically children are taught the 44 sounds of the English language, rather than the alphabet. They are then taken through different stages called blending and segmenting to develop reading and writing skills. Each sound has an action that goes with it. For example the sound s is represented by a snake. It's a multi-sensory approach which I also really like as it really gets the children involved in the reading process. Coral George has a website Coral George where you can learn more about phonics teaching and see some of her children reading which is nothing short of amazing! You can also learn more about Jolly Phonic.s at  plus Jason Renshaw is giving away free phonics starter kits over at English Raven.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Blogging in ELT

Entering the world of ELT blogging is a bit like being back at university. I feel slightly out of my depth and keep thinking everyone is going to ask me where I did my A-levels and what marks I got. You're not really sure if you should say anything in case someone laughs at you, or thinks you're stupid. You aren't sure if what you have to say is worth saying but you're sure that everyone else can say it better!

My first comment on a post written on someone else's blog was exhausting. I wrote it, read it, re-wrote it and, after a great deal of deliberation clicked on submit only to realise that I had made a typo. I was mortified (for a bit at least), everyone would think I was a moron who only taught kids. My first blog post was a similar trauma. Now I'm more relaxed. I've developed thicker skin in a very short space of time. I make typos I'm careless, sometimes what I say is 'banal' but what the heck.

What do they say "you have to be in it to win it?" If you are thinking about blogging in ELT, give it a whirl at least it gives you something to do when there's nothing good on TV, and who knows it may lead to something more!

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Are you a teacher of the future?

Technology is part of our lives and it is here to stay. Although we may not be "digital natives"(people born in the digital age) we are capable of becoming "techno-savvy", it just takes time and perseverance!

Six weeks ago I didn't know how to set up a blog or a PowerPoint presentation. I was technologically challenged. Now I feel more confident using some of the technological tools that are out there. Here is a list of technological tools that I have recently learnt how to use and that I think are worth passing on to you.

  1. Blogs - They are actually really simple to set up. Go to and follow the instructions. The most difficult thing is that it takes time.
  2. Wordle - This is a great tool to use in the classroom and has so many possibilities. Jamie Keddie has a tutorial on how to use it on his blog (see blogs I read).
  3. Moviemaker - This is a fantastic application from windows that we can use to make mini-movies with our students. There is a great tutorial on Lifefeast.
  4. PowerPoint - I used to think that this was a tool for teachers to use but there are endless possibilities for its use in class.
  5. Jing - to capture anything you see on your computer screen and share it an image or short movie. Fantastic programme that has a million uses.
Teaching with technology can be time consuming but it is "FUN" and by learning a little about how to use technology in the classroom we are developing professionally. Are you a teacher of the future?