some foodCreative Commons License Rushay (RUSH) Booysen via Compfight

B1+ level reading texts covering a range of topics eg. Martin Luther King, Climate change or Health tips, accompanied by short reading comprehension tests

An excellent collections of stories covering areas such as Adventure, Crime, or Health, all in two formats – full and abridged. Some stories are accompanied by an audio file. Each story has a collection of online vocabulary and comprehension activities. There is also a “Your turn” area with a follow-up writing activity.

Just 5 topics but accompanied by very good pre-reading vocabulary activities, comprehension and practice exercises.  6 different levels including advanced. Additional Grammar page.

Intermediate+ reading. New vocabulary introduced. Each reading accompanied by a comprehension test.

A collection of short fiction FOR FREE!!!! You’ll find Dahl, Grimm brothers, E.A. Poe to name a few.


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!!!!  


Go to and paste the web address into the box and LINGRO 


Choose the language options (there are 11 languages available, including German, Polish, Spanish Russian, Dutch and Chinese) and click 

The webpage will open. Click on any word that you don’t know and read the meaning. You can add your translation and you can make your own vocabulary list. 


From the creators of LINGRO:

Knowledge and information essential to human communication and interaction should be free and accessible to everyone. This is why we created the most comprehensive set of free dictionaries available under open licenses so that anyone can contribute, download, redistribute, and modify the dictionaries for their own needs. These licenses guarantee that they will always remain free and useful to society.”


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


An excellent listening and reading comprehension activity. Finding the differences between the text and Martin Luther King’s speech, spelling exercises etc.

Considered to be the best speech of the 20th century, “I have a dream” – video

Listening, reading comprehension and vocabulary materials – Martin Luther King

Various resources at different levels :

“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.

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

I am also going to use the three beautiful interactive resources from 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  in case you want to publish/copy any material.