February 23

FOR BUSY TEACHERS – YOU CAN’T MISS IT!!!!

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. (http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/february/25/default.stm) Good for COMPARING and CONTRASTING different school systems, CHATTING about school days; USED TO  etc.

In the newsDISCUSSING CURRENT EVENTS

Article of the day – homework: READING COMPREHENSION; WRITING A SUMMARY

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!!!!  

February 9

THINGLINK – bring more life to your presentation

My Higher ESOL  students are getting ready for their presentations.

I was thinking what other options apart from a good old power point I could recommend.

THINGLINK? ThingLink helps to create images linked with music, video, text, images, etc.

Presentations may be shared via Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or kept totally private.

If you want to see this very short presentation click on the link. CROSS COUNTRY SKIING

CROSS COUNTRY SKIING presentation – example

 

 

February 8

DON’T USE RED INK IN PORTUGAL, DON’T LAUGH OUT LOUD IN PUBLIC IN KOREA and other tips

DON’T REVEAL THE SOLES OF YOUR FEET TO OTHER PEOPLE IN SAUDI; DON’T USE RED INK IN PORTUGAL; DON’T SHOW “OK” SIGN IN TURKEY; DON’T CLINK YOUR GLASSES IN HUNGARY; DON’T TOUCH THAI PEOPLE IN THEIR HEADS; DON’T LAUGH OUT LOUD IN PUBLIC IN KOREA  and many other tips can be found on FASTEN  SEAT-BELTS  FASTENSEATBELTS – a wonderful lighthearted  guide how to behave and not when abroad – in 9 languages accompanied by audio files.

An excellent idea for a project prepared collaboratively by your students.

February 8

EYE CONTACT – are all our students comfortable with maintaining eye contact?

EUROPE and USA: using direct eye contact is accepted and considered to be a sign of attentiveness, honesty, confidence, and respect

 

HISPANIC COMMUNITIES: direct eye contact is considered to be impertinent, confrontational, and aggressive

JAPAN: Japanese tend to favour indirect eye contact over direct. They may view direct eye contact as intimidating and threatening. They usually use indirect eye contact when speaking with their elders or superiors as a sign of respect and deference.

THAILAND: Eye contact should be very infrequent. Thai people rarely look the other straight in the eye.

ARAB COUNTRIES: Eye contact during discussions–often long and direct–is important. Staring is not necessarily rude (except gazing at women). Maintain eye to eye contact with your counterpart even if talking through a translator.

January 20

25 JANUARY – RABBIE BURN’S NIGHT

ð You have to check this out!!!!! Robert Burns INTERACTIVE –  good for listening and not only http://www.scotland.org/burns-night/interactive/

ð MY LOVE IS LIKE A RED, RED ROSE  and many more, all in audio and video http://www.robertburns.plus.com/voicemyluv.htm

ð http://www.bbc.co.uk/arts/robertburns/burns_night_running_order.shtml – a collection of wonderful resources – articles about Burns, video clips, Brurns’ poetry etc.

ð The Address to A Haggis a video clip http://www.robertburns.plus.com/voicemyluv.htm

ð ROBBIE BURNS  on ESOLcourses – lots of online activities for different levels – pre-intermediate http://www.esolcourses.com/content/lifeintheuk/scotland/burns-night/lesson-activities.html  and intermediate http://esolcourses.blogspot.com/2010/01/january-25-burns-night-english-lesson.html

PLUS

ð Masses of materials for interactive white board on http://www.prometheanplanet.com/en-gb/Search/resources/language/english/?Keywords=Robert+Burns&SortField=relevance&ViewType=ListView

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.  http://entertainment.stv.tv/tv/208687-stv-goes-in-search-of-robert-burns-to-reveal-the-face-of-scottish-poet/

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

January 13

IDEAS FOR 15 JANUARY – MARTIN LUTHER KING’s birthday

An excellent listening and reading comprehension activity. Finding the differences between the text and Martin Luther King’s speech, spelling exercises etc.  http://michel.barbot.pagesperso-orange.fr/hotpot/mlk/dream1.htm

Considered to be the best speech of the 20th century, “I have a dream” – video http://www.blackhistorymonth.org.uk/#/i-have-a-dream-martin-luthe/4567647625

Listening, reading comprehension and vocabulary materials – Martin Luther King http://www.eslholidaylessons.com/01/martin_luther_king_day.html

Various resources at different levels : http://www.esolcourses.com/topics/martin-luther-king.html

January 10

“Our Town Stories (Edinburgh)” Number 1 choice

 

Next to Bobby – with my Dad

I have just discovered an absolutely fascinating website http://www.ourtownstories.co.uk/ 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.  http://www.ourtownstories.co.uk/#page1 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.

January 9

World Religion Day – 21 January 2013

21 January is the World Religion 2013 Day. As stated on the Education Scotland website, “the aim of World Religion Day, (…) is to promote inter-faith understanding and harmony.” My NC 4 ESOL for Employability students are preparing a collaborative project on different religions using resources from http://www.worldreligionday.org/

I am also going to use the three beautiful interactive resources from http://www.bl.uk/learning/cult/sacredbooks/sacredintro.html. The 1st one “Sacred texts” allows you to read and listen stories from Buddhist, Muslim or Christian texts. You can explore twelve animated stories from six different religions. The 2nd, animated site as well, lets you investigate a range of religion or faith issues from the perspective of faith leaders, educators, young people, theologians and an atheist philosopher. Finally, the 3rd one “provides background and contextual information for each of the abrahamic faiths”.  This can be done in class or can be set up as a self-study activity.

All the copyrights rules are described on http://www.bl.uk/aboutus/terms/copyright/index.html  in case you want to publish/copy any material.