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Hanging out of a book: pull me, please!
"What do you do with readers?" I asked in my talk on using graded readers the other day (and Hi! if you're coming to the session in Cordoba this Thursday). "I get the learners to read it and then ask questions about it," someone said. That's ok, as far as it goes, but I think you really need to do a lot more than that to interest teenagers (or adults for that matter) in books (ugh!) nowadays.
I fell in [...]
Welcome to my blog, especially if you're coming to my talk on Using Graded Readers with Technology at the Macmillan Teacher's Days in either León or Ponferrada this week.
Below an image for one of the tasks I'll be suggesting, which I created by pasting text from the Macmillan reader Room 13 and other stories into Wordle:
With a partner, pick out the 15-20 most important words, phrases, dates, names etc. from the story Put them into Wordle, making the most important words largest Share it with us and describe [...]
Creative writing with graded readers: one of the tasks from the session
Hi, and a particular welcome to my blog if you're coming to to my session at the Macmillan Teachers' Day in Valencia this Saturday (31st).
Above, you have one of the tasks I will be suggesting, with the example from The Princess Diaries 3 (Pre-Intermediate), though it's one you could adapt to many other readers.
I like tasks that force the learners to read (and re-read) carefully. Here, they have to pick out all the "texts" in the [...]
More Slideshare presentations from Tom Walton.
Hi and welcome to my blog if you're coming to the talk on using graded readers with technology which I'm giving at various Macmillan Teachers' Days in Spain between now and early May (see dates).
You now have an edited version of my presentation here and on Slideshare.
Below, you have links to some of the tools I'll be mentioning and let me add this: class readers (unabridged versions as well as graded readers) and technology are unquestionably among the most successful things that I've done in language classrooms in the last 30 [...]
Another of the ideas from my talk last Saturday, with a quote from my former DELTA course tutor…
At the previous talk I gave at the IH Barcelona ELT Conference, a year ago, I explained how I'd taken a vow of abstinence, had had my own photocopy code disabled, and not made a photocopy since, using instead some of the wonderful digital alternatives (blogs, Edmodo, shared Google Docs, wikis…).
Because we now have free online access to a vast number of articles on subjects of all kinds [...]
Here's a story I spotted this morning when I opened Google Reader, as I do first thing every morning. I do that because almost every morning it brings me something I could use in class.
The headline that caught my eye was Miami Invaded By Giant, House-Eating Snails, and I immediately bookmarked it on Delicious, in fact even before I'd actually read the whole article. I'm not sure when I'll use it or with which class but it's exactly the kind of thing I'm looking for…
What I'm thinking as I scan the headlines is that any story with a [...]
Orange News (formerly known as Ananova), as well as having some great quirky news stories, which are great for class, also has a "News in pictures" section with some fun things in its quirky photo gallery.
At Yahoo, you have a similar source of bizarre news stories, in its "Oddly Enough" section. I find that they are particularly good for dictogloss, and both the stories and images work great on the interactive whiteboard.
On the IWB, it's so easy to import things, for a start, and separating pictures from captions gives you and easy-to-create drag-and-drop, matching exercise.
One from one of my favourite blogs, BoingBoing, of a man caught on security cameras smashing 27 TVs with a baseball bat he'd picked up in the same store.
The video itself isn't that interesting, perhaps but played with no prior explanation it would give rise to some speculation about what is actually happening (try it in pairs, with half the class not looking at video, the other half commentating for them).
The comments, as with most YouTube videos have lots of language in them (particularly of a colloquial nature), which can also be exploited nin various ways, including [...]
Karaoke: if it's such fun, can it really be the most annoying invention ever?
Because its quirky news stories make great texts for use in class, Ananova.com is one of my default home pages: I spend 20 seconds a day there when I log on scanning the headlines in case there's something I could use in class.
One that caught my eye today: The most annoying invention ever: the Karaoke.
As well as the language and reading comprehension work that might come out of [...]
Reading: what kind of help and motivation should you provide?
Over on TeachingEnglish.org.uk, Dave Willis has started a four-part series on reading, the first being Reading for information: Motivating learners to read efficiently.
Among other things I liked in the first article of the series was the idea that we should we should provide "a context and a reason for reading", though if — as suggested — we're reading to answer the questions generated by discussion, I think some at least should be student-generated questions.
If some of [...]
My husband… Now would that be "Google search" or "I'm feeling lucky"?
Ananova.com's bizarre news "Quirkies" section is one of my default start pages — partly because some of stories amuse me greatly and partly because there's often a text there that you can use in class.
Among the headlines this morning, "Wife's £5m Google surprise":
A woman is suing her husband after she Googled his name – and found out he had won £5m on the lottery. >> Full story
What could [...]
This Wednesday (October 10th) is World Mental Health Day, the "Weekly Teaching Tip" from DevelopingTeachers.com tells me.
If you like your lesson plans gifted to you without too much thought on your part — and directly into your own mailbox if you subscribe — the Tip is a good place to look.
Personally, I like students as involved as possible from the start. This week's Tip quotes an article on stress from the BBC. The headings are: Symptoms of stress Dealing with stress Work-related stress Tackling work stress
I'd suggest starting there and, before the students read the article, get [...]keep looking »