Tuesday, 15 March 2011

ELT Chat Wiki

Every Wednesday on twitter at 12pm and 9pm GMT a group of like minded individuals get together on Twitter to discuss relevant issues in English language teaching. If you can't make the chat or if you don't feel comfortable chatting through this medium, take a look at the ELT chat wiki where you'll find summaries of all the discussions. They're available in PDF format so you'll be able to print them off or save them for future reference.

Why not join us tomorrow for the chat ? You won't regret it!

Thanks to all the #ELTchat moderators, chatters and summary writers for their dedication to professional development.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

TESOL Spain - Animating Text

made on Wondersay - Animate text with style

Thanks to Richard for sharing this cool web tool. It's very simple to use. Have a go!

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Great Ideas for Lessons about Dreams

I saw a nifty tech tool over on Paul Braddock's blog the other day, which got me thinking about a lesson I did last year on DREAMS with a group of Upper Intermediate adults. Here are a list of links and ideas from other people that I've used in some way to create great lessons.

Many thanks to the authors for their inspiring lesson plans. Some of you may be familair with these lessons but if you're not, they're a great addition to your teaching tool kit.

The first one is a real favourite of mine. It's a lesson plan by Jamie Keddie for Elementary/Pre-Intermediate Ss, but I've used it successfully with Upper Intermediate classes.You can find the lesson plan here: A Dream Sequence . I love the way Jamie combines Teacher Talk and drawing in this lesson. I've included the song and the lyrics below.

The second lesson is also based on a song I love. It's taken from the show Les Miserables and I found a great lesson plan over on Karrenne Sylvester's blog to go with it. Just click on this link to see the lesson plan.  Susan Boyle.

The final lesson plan comes from the archives of  One Stop English by Renee G. La Rue . You can find it here Dreams . I used the two poems in a student led pairs dictagloss activity.

Thanks to all of the authors for their great ideas and generosity in sharing their lesson plans!

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Confessions of an English Teacher - In Spanish and English.

This is a copy of FWD message that I received from an English teacher recently. Should we be laughing or crying?

Esta trascripción, aunque parezca exagerada, es verídica y exacta. Esto me pasó dando una clase con 1º ESO (12 años) un jueves a 5º hora. Sólo es un ejemplo.
Los nombres de los alumnos son ficticios para que su ignorancia quede en la intimidad de la clase.

Yo: Bueno chicos, hoy vamos a estudiar el vocabulario de las comidas en inglés: copiad estas 5 categorías (las escribo en la pizarra) y escribís en cada columna todas las palabras que os sepáis.
Amanda: ¿En inglés?
Yo: Sí, mejor que en Ruso, en inglés.
Luis. Profe, ¿cuántas categorías?
Yo: 5. Las que hay en la pizarra.
Luis: A mi no me caben.
Yo: Pues prueba a poner la hoja apaisada
Luis: ¿qué significa apaisada?
Yo: Horizontal, o sea: así (lo demuestro)
Juan: ¿qué título ponemos?
Yo: Prueba con “Food”, que es el que he escrito en la pizarra.
Fran: ¿puedo hacerlo a lápiz?
Yo: No, no puedes. Ya sabes que en el cuaderno sólo se escribe con bolígrafo.
Jessssika:¿Cómo se dice pepino?
Yo: He dicho que escribáis el vocabulario que sepáis vosotros. No el que sepa yo.
Noel: ¿El huevo es una verdura?
Yo: No, no es una verdura
Federico: ¿qué título ponemos?
Yo: Lo he dicho ya dos veces.
Amanda: ¿Se puede poner “rechicken”?
Yo. No, porque repollo no se dice así en inglés (risas generalizadas)
Nieves : ¿Cómo se dice calamar?
Yo: He dicho que escribáis el vocabulario que sepáis vosotros.. No el que sepa yo.
Jesús : ¿Hay que escribirlo en el cuaderno?
Yo: Pues a no ser que quieras escribirlo en la mesa...
Ricardo: Profe, ¿Pero, qué hay que hacer?
Yo: ¿Pero tú te has lavado las orejas esta mañana?
Nieves : ¿Puedo poner zumo en la categoría de postres?
Yo: Mejor ponlo en la de líquidos.
Fran: ¿Puedo poner pollo en la categoría de postres?
Yo: En este continente, no.
10 minutos después
Yo: bueno, ahora vamos a empezar. Levantáis la mano y vais diciendo palabras; yo las escribo en el encerado. Empezamos con las verduras.
(Levantan la mano 10 alumnos y todos gritan a la vez distintas verduras)
Yo: he dicho que los huevos no son una verdura. Y por favor, levantad la mano y esperad a que yo os nombre para decir la palabra porque no tengo 10 orejas para entenderos a todos al mismo tiempo. ¡Arturo, no le pases notitas a María que se las leo al resto de la clase!
Arturo: ¿con cual empezamos?
Yo: con las verduras. Empieza tú, Marisol.
Marisol. Es que se me ha olvidado el cuaderno en casa.
Yo: ¿Y qué llevas haciendo estos 15 minutos, criatura? A ver, hazlo tú, Pepe.
Pepe: ¿quién, yo?
Yo: Eres el único Pepe que hay en la clase, así que vas a ser tú.
Pepe: Orange
Yo: La naranja me la pones en frutas, por favor.
Juan: Profe, el otro día oí un chiste verde, ¿puedo contarlo?
Yo: Pues aunque haya verduras de por medio, no, no puedes contarlo.
María: ¿Esto cae en el examen?
Yo: Bueno, puede que tengáis suerte y para entonces esté recuperándome de esta clase en un sanatorio mental, y entonces no habrá examen.


Me: Okay kids, today we’re going to study food words in English. Copy these 5 categories (I wrote them on the board) and write the words that you know in each column.
Amanda: In English?
Me: Yes, better in Russian, in English.
Luis: Teacher, How many categories?
Me: 5. The ones on the board.
Luis: They don’t fit.
Me: Well, try and put the paper in landscape.
Luis: What’s landscape ?
Me: Horizontal, like this ( I demonstrate)
Juan: What’s the title?
Me: Try “Food”, the one that I’ve written on the board.
Fran: Can I do it in pencil?
Me: No, no you can’t. You know that in the notebook we only write with a pen.
Jessssika: How do you say cucumber?
Me: I told you to write the words that you know. Not the ones I know.
Noel: Is an egg a vegetable?
Me: No, no it’s not a vegetable.
Federico: What’s the title?.
Me. I’ve told you twice.
Amanda: Can you put “rechicken”?
Me: No, because you don´t say“rechicken” in English( laughter).
Nieves: How do you say squid?
Me: I told you to write the words that you know. Not the ones that I know.
Jesús: Do you have to copy it into your notebook?
Me: No write it on the table.
Ricardo: Teacher, What do we have to do?
Me: Did you wash your ears out this morning?
Nieves: Can I put juice in the dessert category?
Me: Maybe better to put it in the liquid category.
Fran : Can I put chicken in the dessert category?
Me: In this continent no.
10 minues later.

Me: Okay, now we’re going to start. Put your hands up and say the words, I’ll write them on the board. Lets start with vegetables.
(10 Kids put their hands up and shout out at the say time different vegetables)


Me: I told you that eggs are not a vegetable. Please put your hands up and wait for your name before you speak because, I haven’t got ten ears to understand you at the same time! Arturo stop passing notes to Maria if not you'll have to read them to the rest of the class!
Arturo: Which one are we going to start with?
Me: with the vegetables. You start, Marisol.
Marisol: Well, the thing is, I forgot my notebook at home.
Me: What have you been doing for the last 15 minutes? Pepé, you do it!
Pepe: Who me?
Me: You’re the only Pepe is class aren’t you?
Pepe: Orange
Me: Put the orange in fruit, please.
Juan: Teacher, the other day I heard a joke, Can I tell it?
María: Is this going to be in the exam?
Me: No, you can’t tell it!
Me: Well, maybe you'll get lucky and there won't be an exam as I'll be recovering from this class in a sanitorium.
Everyone: Great!

( a quick translation, sorry if it's not exactly right!)
Are you laughing or crying?

Thursday, 3 March 2011

The Price is Right meets Bruno Mars and I wanna be a billionaire

Money and luxury were the themes of a lesson I team taught last week ,with my friend Sally. I enjoyed the class and I think the Ss did too so, I thought I'd share it.

We always teach the first class of our short courses together. We choose a topic and then we plan. Sally chose the topic "LUXURY" motivated, by her sons bringing her a coffee in bed one Sunday morning.
  • Sally chose the song I Wanna be a Billionaire by Bruno Mars.
  • I chose to make a powerpoint based on the game show The Price is Right
 We used proverbs as a warmer to the topic of money. In groups the Ss discussed the following and thought about Spanish equivalents. This activity worked suprisingly well. There was a lot of discussion about the Spanish equivalents and Ss seemed to really get into the activity.

  1. The best things in life are free.
  2. Money doesn't grow on trees.
  3. Money talks.
  4. Money makes the world go around.
  5. Money is the root of all evil.

Then I showed them my powerpoint and in groups they had to decide on the prices of the objects I showed them. I choose mad stuff , like the most expensive boots in the world, $14,00 the price of renting an island in the Bahamas for a week and over the top stuff like a car for 1.7 million dollars. The game was fun and generated a lot of interest. It may have been a bit light on language. After the game we talked about their own mad purchases which led to a discussion on mad buys.

To prepare the Ss for the song we showed them pictures of Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, The Queen of England, Barack Obama and Oprah Winfrey, and asked them to discuss possible connections in groups. This generated a lot of conversation.

The final part of the class was a back to the board dictagloss of the chorus of the song. We choose the chorus only as it's much clearer than the rest of the song which is quite rappy. They got to listen to the song 3 times. The first time they listened and took notes and then discussed what they heard with the person next to them. The second time they listened and then discussed in groups of four. After the third listening they turned round and listened to the whole song.

Here are the lyrics, and a video from a site called  BatLyrics.com This site looks good, but check the lyrics as I think there's a mistake in this one. It should be Forbes magazine. Watch out it contains a swear word!

Bruno Mars Travie Mccoy Feat - Billionaire on BatLyrics.com

Using BatLyrics.com Nik Peachy Article - http://quickshout.blogspot.com/2011/02/create-web-based-song-activity-in.html