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!!!!  

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




VOICETHREAD is a web-based application that allows you to place different media such as images, videos, documents, and link them to the audio file presentation. An excellent way of making your students talk or write about the picture, document, ppt etc.

Describe the picture

Click the link if you want to hear what the students were saying. VOICETHREAD – describe the picture

“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.

It’s not rocket science to …… understand some grammar rules!!!!

It’s not rocket science to …… understand some grammar rules!!!! So – is it difficult or easy? “BBC learning English” features an excellent series “The English We Speak” explaining a number of similar structures used informally.