This is my blog to date :)

I think I’ll  make this a sticky. Created it as a response to David Dodgson’s challenge here :). The challenge is also to reflect on these keywords… Well – let me think … I’ll post it soon!

This is where you can make your own:


Another club… couldn’t stop talking.


This club was devoted to national character and the melting pot issue, and we liked it really.
I posted the club plan at the club’s site here – there you’ll find a detailed description of what we did + a set of accompanying materials.

why I love speaking clubs.

What I really love about the speaking clubs is 2 things, basically:

  • you never know which way the discussion will take you, and –
  • you learn such a lot from the clubbers while they discover a great deal from you…

Last week I was mostly absent from the virtual world as I was busy starting a conversational club. Its second session received most favourable feedback from the participants, which is why I decided to share its plan and the accompanying materials – so you could  use it  next year – or this year, may be – why not?

The Friday of  March 18th was  devoted to Saint Patrick’s day – yet, you can’t imagine the variety of topics we touched upon!  Here’s what we did (including the links to songs and downloadable materials).

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Error correction: having SS do your work.

To pot the redThe best way to correct your students is, naturally, getting them to correct themselves. Moreover – I see it as THE ONLY way to really achieve the results (and it is especially true of getting rid of fossilized errors).   There are a few problems here, however (a free material shared below, click “more”):

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Grammar lesson-planning template

Radiometer 9965 NevitThis is the result of some recent reflections on lesson-planning, rule-based teaching (again) inspired by this discussion, and this challenge (I had no time to participate, unfortunately), plus the #ELTchat of  of 02.02. 2011 (summary here) on fossilized errors. So,

>lesson-planning made easier, plus

>fossilized errors (and errors as such) prevention, plus

>some up-to-date views on rules in teaching

= this grammar presentation plan template

+ a grammar_presentation_sample_plan_comparatives.

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What do you really teach (learn?) when teaching TOEFL?

This is not really a sudden idea. Another TOEFL student tonight, another discussion based on the “environment” vocabulary worksheet (thank you Ted Power!) – and another revelation: being a biologist, she enlightened me about the innovative plastic they are now developing made of starch, completely bio-degradable and not dependent on oil… (we were pondering over what life might be like when oil has come to an end). I learn such a lot of wonderful things from my future academicians! This is one reason I LOVE teaching.

Yet – and this is more important – I’ve noticed it once again today as she was responding to one of the questions against the clock (15 secs to prepare, 45 secs to speak, question # 1) – her fluency is really improving from lesson to lesson, dramatically. Academic as TOEFL is, highly formal and structured, it DOES stretch the students, since faced with the necessity to be able to speak under pressure, think quickly, write an essay on a topic they don’t give a damn about – they soar one level up twice, three times as quickly as the “general course” lads and lases…

This urges me to re-consider my methods with the general course.

LOVE lesson plan creative commons pix

Somewhat  too late for St Valentine… Or a bit too early for the next one…  Yet – someone might need it, as it’s FUN. It’s especially useful for a club meeting or as a language camp entertaining lesson.

Download the the science of love Kate’s lessonplan. Drop me a line of feedback, maybe.