Dec 29, 2017

News Quiz 2017

Image source: Billboard
Not too many celebrity deaths this year, but there is a variety of science, sport, celebrity gossip and, inevitably, some politics thrown in. I've tried to vary the format slightly by including, where possible, two stories on the same topic for example, two discoveries, two pregnancies, two air travel related stories etc. to see if this can facilitate recycling of some key lexis from the quiz - more on that under Eliciting / Recycling in the Teachers' notes.

Dec 18, 2017

The state of stative verbs

or why I've stopped teaching them (and why you shouldn't bother with them either)

Photo by Emma Newman Segev
via ELTpics on Flickr
Like for many EFL/ESL teachers, stative verbs used to be a staple of my teaching menu. I had a great activity for focusing on them, which I have abandoned because I've come to realise that it served no purpose.

Sep 29, 2017

The double life of the asterisk sign

A small glyph with lots of functions
An article in Time magazine entitled The History of #—and 6 Other Symbols that Rule Twitter and the Web (published 4 years ago, but which I came across this year) talks about how various little known or underused punctuation symbols have gained more prominence after being adopted in computing and, more recently, on the social media. We learn that the at sign, @, was given a new lease of life in 1971 thanks to the creation of email, and the hash/pound sign, #, the formal name of which is octothorpe, was rehabilitated thanks to Twitter.

Sep 1, 2017

Four 'back-to-school' activities

Going back to school: some ideas for your first lesson(s)  

It’s September, the time when many are heading back to school (in the Northern Hemisphere). I thought it would be a good time to share some lexical (and lexico-grammatical) activities to start the year.

May 28, 2017

Powerful tea and other (im)possible collocations

Photo by Christina Martidou
via ELTpics on Flickr
How do you explain the notion of collocation to your students? Apart from using this great song, I often employ this simple technique: I write on the board: make and do (in the left column), homework and a mistake (in the right) and ask students to match.

Feb 27, 2017

Trendy terms, tantalizing techniques and talented teachers in Thessaloniki

A report from the 24th TESOL Macedonia-Thrace convention, which took place in Thessaloniki on 11-12 February

Earlier this month I had the pleasure to attend and the honour to present, for the first time, at the TESOL Macedonia-Thrace international convention in Thessaloniki. While the best thing about the conference - like with most ELT conferences lately - was catching up with teachers from my PLN, making new friends and connecting with professionals from all over Europe, here are highlights from some of the sessions I attended.

Jan 6, 2017

News quiz 2016 - Follow up

Photo by iphonedigital via Flickr [CC BY-SA 2.0]
Activities for reviewing the language from News Quiz 2016

Like in previous years, here's the follow-up to last week's news quiz: 13 pages of practice activities and exercises aimed at reviewing and consolidating lexis from the quiz (in 2 levels).

I hope you and students enjoy them as much as you enjoyed the quiz. If you still haven't seen this quiz, it's not to late - click HERE.

Update: Vocabulary from the quiz on Quizlet: