Do you want to start your lesson with something different? Something that everybody is talking about? Something that everybody should know? Do you need to find information quickly?

REFDESK.COM REFDESK.COM might be very useful . It can be accessed via computer or smartphone. It gives you:

Site of the day – for example Earth Cam. I’ve just seen what’s going on in Bangkok. Live! Good for DESCRIBING PICTURES.

Fact of the day – I’ve just learnt that many historians believe football (European version) originated in China around 1000 B.C. Good for DISCUSSION about – football, China, other inventions, you name it.

Thought of the day – “Better to be occasionally cheated than perpetually suspicious.” – B.C. Forbes, hmmm, I don’t know, I guess so. But I’m not going to tell my students!

This day in history – “The first American attack on Japanese soil during WWII, the Battle of Iwo Jima(…)”. No, I’m not choosing that. The page gives me other option for example BBC. So, I’m choosing 25.02 – well, well – 1982: Parents can stop school beatings: The European Court of Human Rights rules corporal punishment in Britain’s schools is a violation of the Human Rights Convention. ( Good for COMPARING and CONTRASTING different school systems, CHATTING about school days; USED TO  etc.



Today’s birthday – good for WRITING A BIOGRAPHY; PRESENTATIONS

Today’s pictures – One of my favourite –  stunning images, shocking images, informative images, street photography, political images, etc. Good for SHORT TALKS or DESCRIBE THE PICTURE activities.

Word of the day – Love it! Every day – a new word. Today – a stalking-horse.

Dictionaries of different sorts (visual, talking, technical), translators and many, many other things which can be used easily and fast.

This website is a real gem for busy teachers. A real time saver!!!! And excellent for LEARNING ON THE GO!!!!  


ð You have to check this out!!!!! Robert Burns INTERACTIVE –  good for listening and not only

ð MY LOVE IS LIKE A RED, RED ROSE  and many more, all in audio and video

ð – a collection of wonderful resources – articles about Burns, video clips, Brurns’ poetry etc.

ð The Address to A Haggis a video clip

ð ROBBIE BURNS  on ESOLcourses – lots of online activities for different levels – pre-intermediate  and intermediate


ð Masses of materials for interactive white board on

ð A new documentary presented by David Hayman will exclusively unveil what Scotland’s most famous poet, Robert Burns, really looked like. In Search of Robert Burns is set to air on STV on January 22 at 8pm.

NB: all the pictures come from my private collection, you can use them freely


British Red Cross shares a series of short and simple video clips on EVERYDAY FIRST AID giving advice how to cope in case of asthma attack, stroke, choking etc. . Excellent idea for listening activities introducing learners to a range of structures which might then be applied in real life LEARN ENGLISH  and USE IT!!!! Learn Everyday First Aid at

“Our Town Stories (Edinburgh)” Number 1 choice


Next to Bobby – with my Dad

I have just discovered an absolutely fascinating website exploring Edinburgh’s history through Stories, Images and Historical Maps from Edinburgh Libraries.

Ideas for activities:

 “Greyfriars Bobby trail” – learners can do it independently in class or at home. They can read the story page by page. Every page features a picture/pictures of Edinburgh from the 19th century shown simultaneously on the Google map plus pictures of people involved in the story.  My favourite is the one showing Bobby sitting on the chair beside the kids of Mr Traill, who kept feeding and looking after him till Bobby’s death. There are other stories including stories of remarkable women from Edinburgh or Robert Luis Stevenson.

“Now and Then” – by moving a slide learners can compare images of the same place from now and fifteen decades ago. Excellent for compare and contrast activity.

Stories, timelines, images, you names it – everything working perfectly well provided that you have the latest version of Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer or Safari.