October 2001 - issue 10/01
Welcome to the October Newsletter
Back to work & the start of the academic
year over here in Europe. A struggle, for sure.
With the recent events in the US & everybody
turning to the different media for news, we thought newspapers
& the news would be a suitable theme this month. We look
at a few ideas on using newspapers & give lots of links
for you & your students to use.
If you are looking for a Certificate or Diploma
course to follow then, as regular readers know, we recommend
the British Language Centre in Madrid. This is a friendly,
professional & supportive school that tries to get the
best from each trainee. Both CELTA & DELTA results are
excellent - the June Diploma results were the best from any
centre running the course. See the Training Courses section
below for contact details.
2. THE SITE - lesson plans
4. E-MAIL COURSES
7. WEEKLY TEACHING TIPS
8. TRAINING COURSES
9. PS - Internet/computer-related
You could easily centre a whole language
course around the media; newspapers, magazines, TV & radio
news & online news. Perhaps some courses already do draw
most of their materials from these sources.
A lot of people read the newspaper for pleasure,
to keep up with events, & it is this inherent interest
that makes the news ideal for the classroom. We can use several
newspapers together, look at one & all of the sections
& narrow down to an article of interest to each std, just
look at the front page, a selection of articles or just one
article. Within the language, culture & the genre there
are a host of things we can do with newspapers.
By using newspapers & helping our stds
to read them, by providing efficient strategies, we are helping
them to read English-language newspapers outside of class
by choice & we are therefore helping them to teach themselves.
Here are a few ideas on using newspapers
- a lot of the activities can also be used for online news
- Stds buy one a month, bring to class &
- Encourage stds bring them in whenever they
can get hold of them.
- Buy several on the same day - compare stories
& styles - & discuss whether things in articles are
true/exaggerated or not by comparing with same articles in
other papers. Also could write a new article containing all
the info from the different newspapers about a story. Could
also compare with radio & TV broadcasts.
- Broadsheet v Tabloids comparison - read
article in broadsheet & rewrite in style of a tabloid
& then compare with real tabloid article - advanced learners,
- Buy a newspaper & then the same over
the next two/three days to collect the 'letters to the editor'
about the articles, news stories in original newspaper. Lots
you can do with them.
- Compare news in English paper with local
paper - how different/similar is the story.
- As a class a collection could be made of
articles that the students feel are typical of GB/US/Aus society.
As most of our students are more likely to use their English
to communicate with other non-native speakers of English this
may be a redundant activity - they might not be interested
in English culture - & you may feel it better to deal
with internationally available newspapers such as the Financial
Times or the International Herald Tribune.
- Front page: predict > quick scan to
confirm. When using the different sections of a newspaper
don't forget to train students to use the skills & strategies
that native speakers use with particular articles/sections
- we scan the TV guide but skim an article - match skill &
- Headlines - passives - present perfect.
- Pictures - write caption/headline &
then onto the story. Draw picture to go with an article.
- Read story & write headline - from
headline, write story. Compare with originals
- Scan read the different sections of the
paper with an accompanying question sheet to answer.
- Stds find article of interest, read &
- Language used in the articles - reported
speech - discussions on why used & why indirect speech
- stylistic choices. Lexical cohesion - students highlight
all vocab connected to the area - discuss choice & offer
alternatives. Cohesive devices in general.
- Stds make their own newspaper - project
work - team up with other classes of similar level.
- Take away beginning, middle or end paragraphs
or a mixture of them - stds fill in the missing parts - compare
- Responding to articles: roleplay characters
in articles, discussion & speculation, letter writing
to the editor, letters to characters in articles, alternative
articles e.g. a more optimistic version
I subscribe to The Guardian Weekly, a hard
copy newspaper, as this provides a round up of news not only
from the Guardian in the UK but also Le Monde & the Washington
Post. It offers a wide variety of articles & a bonus is
that as a subscriber I am e-mailed a list of all of the articles
each week & can request as many of these as I like to
be sent by e-mail. Great for classroom use - highly recommended.
Here are a few sites:
On Developing Teachers.com there is a
news page with current affairs & business daily headlines
as well as links with major news' sites.
'Your Gateway to Newspapers, News Media,
and News Sources' - over 9000 sites.
A search engine for world news.
UK-based online sites of newspapers
The Economist offers free weekly e-mail newsletters.
US-based online papers
The Wall Street Journal
International Herald Tribune
Australian & New Zealand-based online news
Sydney Morning Herald
Satirical views on the news & the papers
Back to the index
2. THE SITE
There are some new articles on the site this
a twenty-hour course' by Emma Metcalf. Emma discusses
the principles behind the designing of a syllabus for a group
of advanced learners. It is divided into two parts: Part One
looks at the considerations which were taken into account
when designing the syllabus; including explanations and justification
of why particular choices were made and criticisms of these
decisions with solutions that may be considered for future
syllabus design. Part Two includes the course outline and
the course plan. Course planning is a vital teacher skill
& Emma shows ways of doing it.
Edna Aphek has already contributed several
excellent articles to the Developing Teachers.com articles
section. These are not directly related to English language
teaching but more to do with education & training in general.
She has written about training computer skills in China, children
training children & children training adults. This present
article is an up-date of the Alon project where children trained
pensioners to use the internet. Here she talks of the extended
project where the pensioners task is to write a chapter about
themselves for an e-book. So at the same time that the children
are teaching internet & computer skills they also become
the learners as they are exposed to the history of their country.
Excellent two-way learning. The title of the article is:
study in reciprocity: Minimizing the digital divide and the
intergeneration gap - Children tutor seniors at computer and
internet skills and get a lesson in history' - Prof. Edna
The original article by Edna is 'Children
tutoring seniors at internet skills: an experiment conducted
at one Israeli elementary school.'
There's a lesson plan entitled 'Developing
students vocabulary range for describing people' by Gerard
Eley. This Intermediate lesson looks at the different
uses of 'like', brings in bilingual dictionaries & provides
If you've given a course or seminar or have a lesson plan
& would like to give it a public airing then do send it
ADVERTISING - If you are interested in advertising
on the site or the Weekly Teaching Tip & this Monthly
Newsletter then please get in touch at:
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3. WARMER - Good News
In these rather depressing times it is difficult
to open a newspaper & find anything uplifting to read
about. In class you could change this around & with the
front page of a newspaper in front of the group, ask them
to change it into positive news. Or without the paper, get
them to think of what has been happening in the world lately
& discuss what good might have come out of the events
or change the stories around into good news.
This could be an isolated speaking activity, an activity linked
in to the theme of the lesson &/or lead on to writing
practice. A positive beginning to the lesson.
You must have a favourite warmer! Send it
in & we'll publish it here & put it in the warmer
list on the site.
4. E-MAIL COURSES
Maximise your time by getting started on
a quality personalised teacher development course.
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5. LINKS FOR TEACHING
Mentioned above as well this site takes the
work out of keeping up with the news. There is an e-mail service
in which 'Jenny' sends you the stories you might be interested
in. There is also a 'Dear Jenny' section - letters to the
editor that are highly usable. Pass it on to your students.
The Jargon Buster 'is dedicated to plain
speaking' & allows you to play against a selection of
contestants. When you get the right answer they fly to heaven
but when it's wrong they come to a gory end. There's also
Death Row - useless jargon of the week, jargon offenders of
the week & a very silly 'humiliate a colleague' section.
It's in the links section for the advanced learners but you'll
probably just end up playing yourself. Takes a while to load
- needs Flash.
50 places you must go on your holidays, care
of National Geographic. Lots of links, lots of material.
From Boston University Libraries, 'the web
resources for teachers dot com' - loads of useful links divided
into Resources: Specific subjects, Resources: Multi-disciplinary
& The Teacher's Online library - a page to bookmark!
Back to the index
Here's a part-time job near Madrid - Alcala
de Henares, Spain
Exeter Centro de Idiomas in Alcala de Henares
is looking for a teacher for a few hours every evening to
teach younger learners & adults. Please phone/fax (00
34) 91 881 4866 or firstname.lastname@example.org
JEL Institute, Korea
'JEL has established about 40 years ago and have 20 branches
all over S.Korea. We need many quality teachers for our institutes
1. Starting date: throughout year, particularly we are looking
for 4 teachers for vacancies in Seoul who can start 10th October.
Location: Seoul. Salary/hours: 2,000,000won p/m, 120 hours
p/m, Mon- Friday. Students' age: Teaching mainly primary school
students and some middle school students. Accommodation: 2-teachers
shared APT. Free return airfare.
And connected to the above - Planet People, S.Korea
Planet People recruitment agency is seeking teachers for reputable
schools throughout Korea. We currently have a number of very
attractive positions available for teachers to start over
the next few weeks and months. You can find details of some
of these Jobs on our web site http://www.planet-people.net/L-2-Job_Offered.htm.
If you require further information please contact me by one
of the following e-mails;
email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org,
sending us details of the type of position you are looking
for. We will be happy to find a suitable job for you that
will fit your particular specifications.
We offer no Saturday work and often no split shifts, a salary
between 1.8 and 2.1 million Won per month (based on qualifications),
often no kindergarten, free roundtrip airfare and relocation
allowance, medical Insurance and furnished accommodation,
completion bonus equivalent to one month's pay.
Planet People recruitment agency always ensures that teachers
coming to Korea are given the best opportunity to find the
most suitable job and we offer a unique service to continue
to look after our teachers once they have been placed. Please
visit our web site for general information http://www.planet-people.net'
Resource Development International,
Madrid needs CELTA qualified teachers to teach General, Exam
Preparation and Business Classes. Send an e-mail to email@example.com.
Tel: 915746864 Fax: 915045458.
Please note that we accept no responsibility
for job offers in the newsletter or on the site. The adverts
are sent in & we put them up - nothing more.
can post CVs on the site & employers
can post job adverts - both are free services at the moment.
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7. WEEKLY TEACHING TIPS
As always, free
weekly practical teaching tips by e-mail. Sign up!
Train in Spain - Courses running in the near
future at the British Language Centre in Madrid:
CAMBRIDGE CERTIFICATE IN ELT - CELTA
Part-time twelve-week course, October
Full-time four-week courses, October
CAMBRIDGE DIPLOMA IN ELT - DELTA
Six month part-time course: October
'01 >> March '02
*** The June results for the DELTA were
excellent - all passed & there were 2 distinctions. Over
all centres running the DELTA these were the best results.
Reasonably priced accommodation can be arranged
for the duration of all courses.
You can see brief descriptions of all of
the current courses on the BLC web site http://www.cospa.es/blc/TED/ttframe.htm
The postal address of Teacher Education at the British
Language Centre is Calle Bravo Murillo 377, 2, 28020 Madrid,
The phone number is (00 34) 733 07 39 & the fax number
is (00 34) 91 314 5009.
The e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
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9. PS - Internet/computer-related links
Pretty quick & accurate metasearch engine,
calling on 12 search engines in lots of languages. All you
get is a search box - but what more do you want?
Touted as real competition for Google. This
search engine gives you three types of result; 'web pages'
- authoritative sites relevant to the search term, 'web pages
by topic' - top result pages are grouped based on their topics
& finally 'expert links' - pages that contain directories
of links for related general subjects.' An Ask Jeeves Property.
A really nice variation on the search engine.
This one compares 'stuff' - type in two things & the area
they are connected to & the results come fast.
A steady hand is needed - sure to be a resounding
success. Trace the bunny - you like the bunny or not - find
'SoulXchange is the world's first and only
online marketplace for the sale and purchase of human souls.
This new soul to soul exchange revolutionizes the process
of selling a soul -- cutting down on the cost, effort and
inefficiency of traditional soul acquisition.' Don't you just
love the internet?
The error page begins: 'The page you are
looking for is currently too stupid. The Web site might be
experiencing idiot writers, or you may need to adjust your
browser settings to accept more retarded objects.' And then
goes on to give invaluable advice - what you really want to
see on a 'Page Cannot Be Displayed' page.
Lots of categories with lots & lots of
A mini-maze activity called 'Staying Alive
- The Personal Identity Game
The aim of the game is to
stay alive! There are three rounds. In each round, you will
be presented with a scenario and then offered two choices.
The decisions that you make determine whether you stay alive
or perish. You should always base your decisions on nothing
more than the desire to keep yourself in existence. Also,
note that you should take each scenario presented to you at
face value. The situation will be as described - there are
no "tricks" - and you do not need to worry about
other 'what ifs'. At the end of the game you will discover
if you have stayed alive or not, although, being a philosophical
game, the answer won't be that straightforward...'
Gory stick people deaths - relaxation for
those not easily offended & have some spare moments. It
uses Shockwave so can take a time but worth it. Be warned
- Rob gets lots of Hate Mail.
'You can do anything, or nothing, at Zombo.Com.
The only limit is yourself. The infinite is possible. The
unattainable is unknown' . Well, if you get further than I
A healthy way to get rid of your irritations.
And while you're there check out what John Hiatt has to offer
on the rest of his site - there are some MP3 downloads from
his current tour.
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