Video listening quiz: Problems with English

Sep 27, 2010

European Day Of Languages

Sep 25, 2010

Yesterday we celebrated the European Day Of Languages with our students. First the teachers collected several frequently used proverbs and tanslated them into the languages taught at our school.

The teaching procedures differed from class to class. Some teachers asked their students to match the proverbs with their definitions, others wanted their students to match the first half of a proverb with its ending. I was lucky enough to sign up for the computer lab so that when I said a proverb in Croatian, my students had to search the Internet to find its English and German translations. I divided the class into two teams, which added a competitive feel to the activity.

The list of proverbs can be found on Google Docs. Feel free to edit it.

TED Talk: Sugata Mitra

Sep 11, 2010

I had the pleasure of hearing Professor Sugata Mitra at the Innovative Teacher Forum in Berlin in March 2010. In his splendid keynote he talked about his Hole In The Wall experiments and children from slums and poor, remote areas in India who acquire basic computer skills, even though they don't speak English and don't have a teacher to help them. They learn because they want to.


First lesson, new students and no computer

Sep 5, 2010

Recently I came across some wonderful introductory lesson ideas shared by Seth and Karenne on their blogs. They suggest activities in which teachers share some information about themselves to motivate their students to ask questions and to get to know each other. However, as most of these activities are computer-based, I can't use them with my students. I don't have a computer in the classroom, unfortunately.

So I have to make do with what I have. One of my favourite icebreakers that works well with large classes and students who have just met for the first time, is in fact similar to Seth's writing facts on the white board, except that I don't do facts, but photos, and to a certain extent to Karenne's Power Point presentation, except that I don't create a presentation but a poster.

For my Who am I? activity, I created a poster divided into four parts, each depicting a different topic:



or:



Each of the parts contains photos only, so that students have to ask questions if they want to know more about me.

After they've found out "everything" about me, I ask my students to take a piece of paper, divide it into four parts and draw pictures that describe their family, their wishes, their hobbies and what they do. They are not allowed to use words, letters or numbers.

After that, they do a pair-share activity, in which they try to find out more about their partner, based on their drawings. Finally, instead of introducing themselves to the whole class, they introduce their partners.

I've noticed that students talk about their partners in front of the whole class more willingly than they would about themselves. They feel less shy and more confident, as they are not supposed to know everything about the person they've just met.

Reading practice

Sep 2, 2010


For teachers who want to enhance their students' reading skills, Read Print is the website to go to.


Read Print is a free online library that contains over 8,000 online books by 3,500 authors, from classics to non-fiction. There is a huge, easily searchable database of essays, novels, poems and short stories. There are different search criteria: by title, by author, by section (e.g. short stories) or you can simply write what you want to read. Another great feature is that each author page contains a short biography of the author, followed by quotes by the same author.

No additional downloading is necessary and no registration is needed. Great works of fiction and non-fiction are just a click away.



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