Getting the most out of your OHP

Collecting dust in the corridor: ye olde OHP…

I guess chances are your school either long-since abandoned its overhead projectors (aka OHPs) in favour of interactive whiteboards, or else, er… hasn't actually got to the OHP stage of technological evolution yet.

The excellent site has a new article on using OHPs (which it describes as "the most underused and sometimes misused" of classroom technology resources).

Another place where you'll find good ideas on using an OHP (and lots of other resources, too) is Chandler and Stone's The Resourceful English Teacher, one of the titles in a great "Professional Perspective" series from Delta Publishing.

1000+ Pictures for Teachers to Copy

I would say Andrew Wright's 1000+ Pictures for Teachers to Copy is the best, most useful book I've read in 25 years in English teaching.

It's practical, it's useful, it will save you (and your learners) lots of time, it's fun — and it teaches you a skill that I think all teachers should have, especially anyone teaching young learners.

You can't draw? You don't need to be able to draw — all you've got to do is learn how to copy a few simple images.

Publisher: Longman ELT, ISBN 0175571007. Available from

Hard Bargaining (speaking activity)

Old and looking a bit dog-eared on the shelf in the staffroom, but still packed with good ideas…

This one came to my email inbox in the "Weekly Teaching Tip" (details below). The original source is Jill Hadfield's Advanced Communication Games (Nelson, 1987), a collection of photocopiable speaking activites.

'Hard Bargaining' involves getting the students to barter. Each student has a card and they have to negotiate with the other students in order to get what they need. An example card might be 'You have but don't need 10 sheep' and then 'You need 4 pigs' and each student has different things in each section.

Here the focus is on animals but a simple change to the cards can produce a lexical set that has been introduced that week for example. The students could be bartering with anything and reviewing whatever vocabulary you wish.

You can see the past tips on You can also sign up to receive them weekly in your mail box.

See also
In a previous post, there were other things that you can receive in your mailbox. "Don't search, have things come to you!" I always say.

Business English, links and books

Some of the ELT publishers have useful resources for teaching Business English on their websites — including MacMillan (at OneStopEnglish)…

There are also interesting Business English resources on the OUP site.

You will also find things of interest (notably a Business English blog) on — which stands for Technology for Business English.

There's another (horribly designed) Business English blog here.

The wonderfully named "Business Balls" site has "free materials, articles, and ideas for ethical personal and organizational development", which anyone teaching Business English may find useful.

You will find a fuller list of Business English links on the IH Barcelona website, including primary sources like the BBC and Financial Times.

In your mail box
The discussion forum of the Business English SIG (Special Interest Group) will bring things of interest to your mailbox. The group also has an interesting links page and is part of IATEFL.

MacMillan has a Business English site which, among other things, will send you a weekly Business English lesson plan.

Don't search — have things come to you…! More links to stuff in your mailbox here on this blog.

Business English basics
On our Celta Course website there's a brief introduction to teaching Business English. But never turn to the Web if the information is readily available to you in a book, I would say.

The Web can be useful if you are looking for authentic materials for your Business English class but if it's how to teach Business English, then there are a couple of good books on the subject that are well worth reading.

  • Teaching Business English, Mark Ellis and Christine Johnson (OUP, 1994)
  • How to Teach Business English, Evan Frendo (Longman, 2005)

Both will give you the basic notions of teaching Business English (and make you feel you are better prepared for it, and hence more confident) as well as practical ideas.

If it's a coursebook you want, then — among the scores of Business English courses available — I can highly recommend the excellent Market Leader series. Market Leader is particularly good for its "case studies".

There is also a Market Leader website, with additional materials on it.

More on case studies in Business English.

Teaching 1-2-1
You may also find yourself teaching Business English "one-to-one" (as private classes), in which case there are a further two books I would recommend, again both for getting the basic principles and the practical ideas:

  • One-to-One: A Teacher's Handbook, Peter Wilberg (LTP, 1987)
  • Teaching English One to One, Patricia Osborne (Modern English Publishing, 2005)

On the Web, OneStopEnglish also has a section on Teaching 1-2-1.

Like to suggest something else?
Use the "comment this post" link below…


I can recommend all of the following, with the Dudeney book and those published by OUP being particularly good for one-off lesson plans based on a particular website/page.

  • The Internet and the Language Classroom, Dudeney, G. (Cambridge, 2000)
  • Dave Sperling's Internet Guide, Sperling, D. (Prentice Hall, 1998)
  • How to Use the Internet in ELT, Teeler, D. and Gray, P. (Longman, 2000)
  • Internet and ELT: the impact of the Internet on ELT, Eastment, D. (Summertown Publishing, 1999)
  • Internet English Gitsaki, C. and Taylor, R. (OUP, 2000)
  • The Internet, Windeatt, S., Hardisty, D. and Eastment, D., (OUP, 2000)
  • The Internet and Young Learners, Lewis, G. (OUP 2004)
  • Teaching English with Information Technology, Gordon-Smith, D. and Baber, E. (Modern English Publishing, 2005)

Note that most of the above — all published fairly recently — make no mention of blogs, one of the big phenomena, the big success stories, of the Internet. Some don't even mention Google! What is published about the Internet quickly becomes dated (note particularly how the links the books give will quickly break).

Some publishers have companion websites for their "resource books" (also course books) — partly to combat this problem. The three OUP books above all do (registration required):

Other ELT publishers websites