Saturday, September 25, 2010

Where good ideas come from

Here's a great video by Steven Johnson on where good ideas come from.

Funny and enjoyable way of making us realise what we could do instead of sitting at home alone, thinking that there's nothing we can do in this system. As a result, we just go with a flow, sinking comfortably into our secure "this is hopeless" feeling ... (I wonder where this may come from.)

Well, here's what we can do. Just watch:

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Some great teaching tips

I just stumbled upon a great youtube video of Colin Granger, a teacher, teacher trainer, an ELT textbook writer and also a theatre director. He gives excellent tips on how we can make our teaching better.

He speaks about
  • how to start a lesson and what to avoid at this stage;
  • how to hold students' attention;
  • how to involve students;
  • why it's not a good idea to keep saying "That's wrong";
  • what everybody should have with them in class, the students as well as the teacher..

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Sugata Mitra on Child-driven education

"A teacher who can be replaced by a machine, should be."

"If children have interest, then education happens."

What is your view on this? Let us know what YOU think :-).

Grading OR the world of possiblity

At the OUP training days as part of the Team-building sessions I described in an earlier post I told teachers about one of my passions: playing the piano. The idea to build such a task into your lessons or the whole school activity came from George Couros, from his presentation on Identity Day through Elluminate (see the upcoming free webinars here), which I also told you about earlier. So basically, at the end of my mini-presentation using some simple photos I said the following: "If I could choose my music teacher, it would be Booby McFerrin.", and I played some of his music then to the teachers, giving them youtube links they could watch to try and find out why I'd love him to teach me.

Well, now I must admit, I have found another teacher, Benjamin Zander, who I would choose, and although, I guess, I must be quite picky about such things, as music teachers :-), I believe there would be many others like him, whom I would love to learn from.

Anyway, the point I'd like to make now is very much relevant in Hungary, and it is about bringing back the grading system (1 to 5) in primary schools, and the whole attitude and trend in the education system that is built on competition, causing anxiety and stress to all kids.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Shouting well

Some of you know that this September is quite an experience for me because of great changes in the life of my daughters. Alma (6 and 1/2) just started school and Kamó (5) was left without her sister and quite a few good friends at kindergarten, where she advanced to the colour yellow. At this kindergarten, Gyöngyharmat, in Dunakeszi, they are organised in different colour groups depending on their age, to be more precise, the date of their birth. This is quite important for Kamó as she has missed the last colour she could have received in the kindergarten, red, by eight days. Can you imagine how important this is for her and for us?

Problems with English

I found Arjana on twitter and she found some hilarious youtube videos in both American and English version just for your students. In her blog post below she also added the links with worksheets for these videos for pre-int, intermediate and advanced students. Absolute MUST watch if you want to have a few good laughs.

I had a great time watching them :-)).
Thank you Arjana!

Follow Arjana on twitter on

and her fabulous blog post:

Problems with English

Friday, September 3, 2010

Ideas collected during the OUP training days - Part 1

At the end of August I was honoured to be invited to do some sessions at the annual OUP training days in Budapest. It was a phenomenal experience to be working with so many teachers, a good hundred in the three groups of the 'Pre-school/Primary' section, so intensively.

One of the sessions I did was on 'Team-building' in which I also presented five case studies for teachers to discuss what they thought the source of the problems were, and offer some practical solutions to the teacher.
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