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Reindeers on a Red Carpet (by Marco A. Brazil)

Finished reindeer

Ever since I made my first creations using recycled toilet paper (TP) rolls, I fell in love with TP rolls and have been a big TP roll recycling fan. I am amazed how creative I can be with TP rolls. With TP rolls the possibilities are endless. That’s how big a fan I am.

Toilet Paper Rolls (or Toilet Paper Tubes, if that’s what you call them) can be reused and recycled in many different ways. And if you are teaching children, they can be used in many kid’s craft activities and for playing games as well. Yes – games!


The Fallacy of Fun by Leonie Overbeek


Tackling this subject I almost feel like an atheist walking into a church and shouting ‘God is dead’. I am met with the same amount of horror and resistance. Some of the comments made about me during the recent KOTESOL National Conference, where I presented a paper on this subject, included ‘she doesn’t believe in fun’. (more…)

Cat and Mouse: Reinvention of a Traditional Game (by Marco Brazil)

In the US, they call it Duck Duck Goose.  In Bulgaria they call it Pesek, while in Ghana they call it Antokyire.  Children across the globe call it many different names, and in the Philippines we call it Iring-IringIring is a Bisaya (Filipino vernacular) word for cat. (more…)

The Auction (by Marco Brazil)

Part of the series: EFL Makeovers

Have you ever been to an auction sale before? An auction is defined as a type of sale where the price of an item is negotiated through the process of competitive and open bidding. It is normally a public sale at which items are sold to the person offering to pay the highest price. (more…)

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…)

Party Animals

My students love parties. I’m always looking for excuses to have a party, so it’s a good fit. It’s also fortunate if you happen to teach English in Japan, where end-of-year parties are already built into cultural expectations for groups.


Play With a Purpose–Projects in Children’s EFL

Natsuru, Iroha, Kokomi 1My students and I love projects. For them, projects are the reward for working hard. For me, they’re the payoff for all the baby steps leading up to them, and a chance to see if my students can use English in “authentic” ways.

My kindergarten class just finished their first project. I’ve had these 5 and 6 year olds since April, meeting once each week for 45 minutes. Our weekly class is their only exposure to English. Play is a big part of our lessons because play is a big part of their lives–and it’s a very effective way of getting them to practice a lot of English.

We just finished learning the names of shapes. We made the shapes with our bodies, drew them on each other’s backs, counted them, combined them with colors and actions, sang songs about them–typical practice activities for young learners. The reward? Getting to play with the shapes to create pictures. Three triangles make a lovely tree, two circles and two hearts become a butterfly, hearts, circles, and triangles can all create colorful flowers.