Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Where to get your ELT rap tune from?

Rap and hip-hop songs have become one of my favourtite teaching tools to all ages, from Very Young Learners to adults. It is unbelievable how all the students who rap along the songs I and/or we put together can use all the language chunks from these texts with so much ease.

And all the preparation I had to do for the lesson was usually no longer than 10 minutes, including the following steps:
  • coming up with the target vocabulary/functional language/whatever chunks I thought would be useful to practice
  • coming up with a short repetitive text (dialogue, poem, ...)where the above language would occur naturally in real life
  • typing it all up on a handout for later use in various ways in the classroom
There was only one thing that took much longer and that was to find the right tune: appropriate in style to the topic, long enough, repetitive and simple enough without words spoken over and FREE.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Christmas with Bear - teaching children unplugged

"Is it possible to teach children unplugged?" - this a question I've often been asked on twitter. And of course, the answer has always been "Yes!". And then the next question came: "Ok, but how". Difficult to answer on twitter, innit?

Anyway, I finally had the opportunity to do a workshop on it at the local OUP conference in Budapest and it was entitled "Christmas with Bear", the materials of which are downloadable from this post. I thought that it would be useful for all of you who are already working with puppets and might be looking for Christmasy lesson ideas.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Alright - ELT training RAP with subtitles then ...

Just because so many of you asked me for the words of the ELT Training Rap I wrote, I made a version for you with subtitles.

Now you can rap it to or with your colleagues :-). Have fun!

ELT Rap - Lesson framework

Here goes the lesson plan I had promised in my previous post. I taught my first lesson with one of my YL groups (age about 8-9) at the beginning of September based on this and after 50 mins we also did the recording, which you can have a look at here, in their class blog.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


This is a post I owe to a lot of teachers who keep writing me to post the videoed workshop I did as part of the OUP teacher training course at the end of August. I did warn everybody that I had my sessions filmed merely for self-development purposes, but I gave in and decided to make parts of it public.

I must admit that I had a lot of fun planning and doing this workshop and it seems that this enthusiasm was catching, and I was glad to see it happenning :-)

To give you a bit of insight into what this workshop was about here are the main things we covered:

Monday, September 26, 2011

Who doesn't know teaches

... and that is exactly what I did ... with my blog.

A colleague asked me via email how to change settings on blogger so that only invited people can see the blog. Well, I made a screencast for her and I set my own blog to being private. Of course, because it was a demo, I invited mysefl as the "other reader". Isn't that ironic :-).

So that is why, my dear reader, my blog disappeared for five days. But we are back.

And here's the infamous screencast, this is how I did it. (It's in Hungarian)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Sugata Mitra's new experiments in self-teaching

Even if you have seen Sugata Mitra's previous presentations on his 'Hole-in-the-wall' experiments, this one is definitely worth revisiting as it offers some his new findings as well based on research he has done all over the world, and more recently in Newcastle.

This talk is a must watch for all those who dare make decisions about education systems. The whole thing is about the future generation. Right? So we should care about it. Well, I'll let you watch, enjoy and allow your imagination go further.

At the end ask yourself: "What if...?"

Monday, August 29, 2011

Creating a community and individualised learning through class-blogs

This post is a summary of my sessions at the OUP conference - Making digital sense that took place last week during one of the hottest days in Budapest ever.
For these sessions I did not prepare a handout as it would have been full of long links not very accessible from a piece of paper, but instead from this post anybody is free to click on the links and enjoy the content of the posts instantly.
I had prepared the workshop with two types of audiences in mind:

Monday, May 2, 2011

Shelly's YL ESL/EFL/ELL Carnival

Thank you, Shelly, for including one of my posts in this great carnival. I feel really honoured to be mentioned amongst such renowned YL educators.

I always feel YL teaching ideas swirl around in my head, sometimes difficult to keep up with them. They tend to be pushy and almost each and every one of them wants to be the one to be tried out, the one to be posted about, the one to be shouted out... Wish I had ten YL groups, ten hands with ten computers glued to them and the mental space to be able to write them down whenever they come to me. I trouble is that I don't have any of these. So all I'm left with are my feelings of 'I haven't written about this either', lots of resentfulness towards my own limits in time, space and energy.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Why I have been posting less?

Well, not difficult to answer that question, as it has been simply because of being selfish.

And that doesn't mean that I don't want to share lots and lots of things. I do, and I wish I could do more. It's about time and prioritising things within a given time, and I'm sure a lot of you do the same things: i.e. making constant decisions about what I should do next, or what I should be doing now instead of writing this post, for example. Well, I need to write this post, because I'm feeling a little guilty for not sharing much lately. Though, here are they 'why's, i.e. the selfish actions, which truly did take up a bigger slice of my time and energy lately, and drew me away from posting on my blog.

First of all there have been a great number of free online personal development opportunities, arisen in the past few weeks and months, of which I'm going to list just a few.
The latest one was

Thursday, March 17, 2011

What school does to our kids ...

We had a wonderful four-day holiday in Hungary to celebrate March 15th. We went to some excellent multimedia-concert for kids, went cycling and hiking, did the cooking together. Basically, we had four great days together with the family.

In the evening before going back to school and starting work again, my daughter started to produce some strange symptoms, which we didn't know where they came from at the beginning. First, we noticed that she dropped a lot of things, she seemed fully distracted and some kind of palpable tension slowly started to build up in her. This eventually resulted in blaming herself for everything, saying how useless she was. This is not something that we had ever told her. So why is doing this to herself? - I asked myself.

Friday, January 14, 2011

The surprising truth about what motivates us

When I stumbled upon this animated talk through twitter and I watched it, it made me more aware of why I do things, the way I do them, and why I believe in spending a lot of time on sharing our knowledge and expertise for free outside our paid jobs too. It is an amazing realisation.

Now here's the great task: to make this happen in our everyday education. Wow!

Watch it and see if it resonates with the ways you are motivated and then think about how you can make use of these ideas in your own teaching. Would be interested to read your thoughts on this.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Math class needs a makeover

As a math graduate I could not help not getting intriguinged by Dan Meyer's talk. Amongst others, he says "Help (children you teach) less." Do you agree?

Wouldn't you think that the same teaching principles might apply in Language teaching too?

Well, sure, in our case English language teaching.

Interested to hear what you think.

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