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May, 2010:

Siklot: Reinvention of a Traditional Game for EFL Classrooms (by Marco Brazil)

“Flick a card.

Flick a card.

Start the game,

And let’s have fun!” (more…)

More Than Five Things to do with LEGO® in the EFL Classroom Part 2 (by Emma Herrod)

If you missed the first half of this article, start here.

Home Sweet Home

This lesson makes for a fun way of working with language to do with accommodation and living spaces, as the students work together to build a large model house.  The model is then referred to throughout subsequent lessons and forms a focus for discussion.  There are a number of instructions you can find on the internet for making LEGO houses.  Personally, I love this Apple Tree House http://creator.lego.com/en-us/buildinginstructions/default.aspx.  Don’t feel you have to stick rigorously to the instructions, colours and brick choices.  Work with what you have.   In this activity the class build a LEGO house – each group could build a section (such as the roof, garden etc) and then it all gets put together in the centre of the room.

  • This can then lead on to discussions of rooms, contents and the layouts of students’ own homes.  You could also try practising model verbs to talk about home safety. (more…)

More Than Five Things to do with LEGO® in the EFL Classroom Part 1 (by Emma Herrod)

Firstly, I’d like to put this post into some sort of context.  In 2002, I landed a dream job (at the time) working at the LEGO Company.  The next five years were so much fun and those little coloured bricks became part of my everyday life.  Now I feel I need to give the studded plastic something back and perhaps offer them another raison d’etre.  At the LEGO Company, when I attended any kind of meeting, there was, 99% of the time, a bowl of LEGO bricks on the table. They weren’t just decoration – they were to be fiddled with – and I defy anyone not to feel the tension drop in their shoulders and the inner child not to emerge when given the green light to tinker with those little blocks of primary-coloured plastic during a business meeting.  ‘LEGO’ by the way is not a typo, but brand requirement in any written reference to the toy and yes, I was brainwashed by a zealous marketing department.


One week in my Second Life (by Baldric Commons)

In case some of you didn’t know it, Second Life (SL) is a relatively new country where the rules of Real Life (RL) often don’t apply. For instance, you can fly and teleport from one place to another in the blink of an eye. It’s an interesting place to work as a teacher, although jobs are hard to come by.

I consider myself one of the fortunate ones, having been able to earn a living working in Second Life since 2006. I’m busier than ever there and am writing this to share with you a typical week in the life of an avatar teacher. (more…)

High Tech Ideas for Low Tech Classrooms: VoiceThread

Is this what Internet access looks like at your school?

Some time back, Anita Kwiatkowska encouraged me to start a new series. I’ve actually been thinking of this idea for a few months, when OUP asked me to do a series of presentations about using technology in teaching young EFL learners. (more…)

How to Create a Jazz Chant by Carolyn Graham

Part of the series: Stuff All EFL Teachers Should Know

Last November, Carolyn Graham did a workshop at the JALT National Conference in Shizuoka, Japan, on how to make a Jazz Chant. I taped her workshop, and with her permission am sharing the part of it where she demonstrates her technique.

One of the many things I love about Carolyn is that she spends most of her time giving away her secrets. In this short video, Carolyn shows teachers how easy it is for them to create their own chants to reinforce vocabulary or grammar. (more…)

Intersection on an E-Ferry (a poem by Hamdi Erestreams)

Hamdi is a teacher I recently met on Facebook. He has taught EFL for 12 years in Tunisia and has recently begun to explore Facebook and Twitter as places to connect with other teachers around the world. Hamdi doesn’t have a computer at home, so he accesses the Internet at cybercafes and at school. In Hamdi’s Facebook profile, he says that he would like to get acquainted with teachers from all over the word to promote his teaching experience, exchange ideas about ways of teaching and more… (more…)

Never under-estimate what your students can teach you! (by Berni Wall)

As an EFL teacher with a long career, I’ve been around the block a few times! I’ve taught all levels from kindergarten to mature adults and I think I’ve learnt one or two things along the way. However, for me, I think the lesson that I learnt quite early in my career remains for me the best and most important and that is; the need, as a teacher, to also be a student. Openness is essential, teachers don’t impart knowledge, they share it and if I can come away from a class, a course or even a lesson with more than I took into it then I believe that I have been successful.


Why Recognition Matters

Teaching Village has been nominated for another award!

This time, it’s as one of the Lexiophiles’ Top 100 Language Teaching Blogs. This is the post where I would normally thank them for the award and give credit to my guest authors, who are largely responsible for any recognition Teaching Village receives. However, I just did that about four posts ago to acknowledge our TEFL Site of the Month award, so it would feel a bit redundant. (more…)

Love and Respect (by Melania Paduraru)

A few days ago, a much younger colleague of mine in her first teaching year was complaining about how difficult it is to be a teacher and how stressed she feels when entering a classroom full of 14 year-olds who sometimes give her a really hard time. Too absorbed by my own problems, I left the teachers’ room without a word.

I went through “the business of the day”, got home, cooked something, had lunch and took a nap in the afternoon. When I woke up, my first thought was: “I’ve been teaching English for as long as she’s been in this world, she’s half my age and she’s got no experience, of course the 8th graders are a handful!(more…)