Change the default start page of your browser

One of the suggestions made in the sessions yesterday on our Celta course was that you could change the default start page on your browser to something more useful to you as a teacher. Among my own default start pages are various sources of texts: with a quick glance, and without having to waste time trawling the Web for them, articles which I might be able to use in class come to me.

Also suggested was that your students should change their home pages on their computers at home/work to something of interest — a page on which they would stop and read or listen to some English. I liked the idea of that being a class blog, if you have one, and here's another that site that you might recommend, Nik Peachey's Daily English Activities. Designed for students, every day it has "a new simple online activity to help you improve your English".

Personally, I always recommend my learners to set their home page to the BBC World Service; to stop when they get there; to pick the most interesting looking headline; then to spend 2-3 minutes reading (or listening); and — because a lot of exposure is necessary for learning a language — to do that every day.

It doesn't have to be the BBC: it could be any site on any topic that interests them. Someone in one of our workshops yesterday argued that if you didn't set them a task or an exercise to do with it, then they wouldn't bother to do it. My counter-argument would be that they don't need more tasks or exercises: what they need, as learners, is to get themselves into good habits.

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