10 years ago I was teaching in in a school in central London. At that time the internet as a teaching resource was just beginning to take off, and while I and many of my peers were starting to get to grips with how to get the most out of it, there was always the trusty Metro. Metro was (and still is) a popular free newspaper which is distributed on the London underground. It has broad appeal both due to the nature of it's articles and the range...

Olá, pessoal! Conforme prometido, vamos à segunda parte das minhas dicas sobre como usar quadrinhos na sala de aula. No artigo passado, só para lembrarem, falei sobre algumas fontes para que vocês pudessem conseguir material autêntico para trabalhar com seus alunos. Agora, vejamos o que dá para fazer com esse material todo: Grammar: está trabalhando com algum tópico gramatical específico? Use quadrinhos como forma de exercícios ou para apresentar a matéria. Atividades como preencher espaços em brancos (que você deve criar) são um exemplo, apenas. Mas lembre-se que...

Having a children´s library in a school is an asset. Not all large schools nowadays have enough space to offer kids a room especially designed for them. Besides, it´s perfectly understandable that an empty room in a school is turned into a classroom. We didn´t really have the room for the library in Colégio A. Liessin Botafogo but when one has a dream it comes true!  Some years ago our school was partially rebuilt to have a children´s library and Science lab. Since the beginning the idea was to create...

I was doing a CELTA course assessment last month and observing the post-lesson feedback with the tutor and the trainees when an interesting issue arose. The tutor asked one of the trainees to comment on the amount of teacher talking time (TTT) which had occurred during her lesson. The trainee agreed that there had been quite a lot of TTT. Indeed, a whole 10 minute chunk of the initial part of the lesson had been devoted to the teacher telling a story to the group of elementary students...

I picked this title from Goodreads' weird book titles. By the way, the title above is from a book by English author and academic Malcom Bradbury (1932-2000), whom I have never read and whose book I am now curious about. The reason why I  picked a random title for my post was because I wanted to  illustrate it with a simple task that fosters collaborative creative writing. I like creative writing tasks because they follow a very important principle that allows language to emerge in a real communicative...

Continuing this series of exercises based on the concept of less is more, this month we turn to the movie trailer as a resource for the language classroom Trailers have become omnipresent in digital media and gain more views on YouTube than almost any other genre, except the music video. They are fascinating to analyse partly because they have undergone radical changes in terms of objectives and content over the years. As concentration spans have diminished, the trailer has become shorter and more dramatic and evolved into the ‘teaser’. One...

Dizem que o ano começa agora - passadas as férias e o Carnaval, vamos retomar a vida até a próxima parada: a Copa do Mundo. Será impossível ficarmos alheios ao evento, que terá impacto inclusive no calendário escolar. Sem entrar no mérito da questão do ponto de vista político e econômico, tento aqui colocar o foco na sala de aula de língua(s) estrangeira(s), e pensar em como trazer o assunto para a nossa prática. Os alunos que hoje estão no Ensino Fundamental ainda não terão ingressado no mercado de...

Besides being an English teacher, I’ve been an e-moderator for a while now. And one of the first things I learned when I started studying to become one were the concepts of weaving and summarizing. As an e-moderator, I have to populate forums – I have to create several different forum threads where the course participants will have a discussion about a specific topic. Also, I have to moderate the discussion – I have to make sure all course participants are able to learn together and make the most...

This is the second of my posts which focus on drawing big conclusions from small details of language use. In the previous one we saw how the minimum of text, when combined with the right kinds of images, can generate a lot of different activities. This time round, we’re going to look at the intense, perhaps disproportionate, public reaction to a speech and a particular phrase used in that speech. The speech in question was given by the Mayor of Madrid, Ana Botella, at the 2020 International Olympic Committee...

Hello everybody Every month, I’ll be posting an image or a text or a combination of the two (as you’ll find today) which has worked for me in the classroom or in teacher training sessions over the years. The main idea behind these posts is that a lot can be extracted from very little. You don’t necessarily need a long text or an incredibly impactful image (although the latter can help!), it’s all about responding to a “found” piece of material and working out how to get the most...