A web site for the developing language teacher

February 2000 - issue 2/00

Developing Teachers Newsletter

Welcome to the Newsletter

The theme this time is all to do with that ubiquitous four-letter word as we have Valentine's Day on the way - the one beginning with īlī!
It's worth spreading the theme over a week or two as it is very exploitable - the 14th could be a good time to start it. The mini-timetable might follow the chronological order that traditional romance follows: like/fancy > chat up > get on well with > go out with > fall in love with > get engaged > live together > get married > have children > go off > split up > get divorced. Time spent on each of the areas can add up to at least 5/6 lessons.
As with anything you look at in class don't forget to think about your students & be sensitive to them & their lives - with this theme e.g. anyone going through a difficult relationship at the moment, using the term 'partner' rather than 'girlfriend' & 'boyfriend', careful not to assume that everyone is heterosexual etc.



6. PS

1. THEME - romance & relationships

As with all of the themes sections the ideas are not comprehensive or very detailed but we hope they will spark off your own ideas.

- Valentine's Day on the Internet - there are a lot out there but most sites are trying to sell you something although check out lots of links on www.nerdworld.comnw6945.html - Information about the Chicago massacre can be found at & from there you can find your way to where you can actually buy a brick from the very wall!

- Short mystery stories, with a touch of romance connected to Valentine's Day can be found at

- Debate on V day - commercialism v romance.

- Who to send a V card to - personal/the famous.

- The above could be extended to stds deciding what presents the famous people give each other, where they go to eat, what they eat, what they say to each other (reported speech) etc. Or the game 'Consequences' - name of fam. woman (met) name of fam. male (at) place ..(he said to her).. (& she said to him) . (& the consequence was) .- each piece of information is written on a paper which is folded over each time obscuring all that came before so that at the end when all is written it is unfolded & read out - lots of fun.

- Romantic films - stds make a list of the top ten romantic films e.g.. Love Story, Casablanca, An Affair To Remember, The Piano, Brief Encounter, DR Zhivago, Now Voyager, Four Weddings & A Funeral, Gone With The Wind, When Harry Met Sally ...

- Lexical set: like, fancy, chat up, ask out, go out with, get on well, fall/be in love, 'go steady', live together, get engaged, get married, have children, go off, split up, get divorced ..rather heterosexual so change to suit.

- Heart to Heart/Lonely Hearts ads, the more diverse the ads the better - first decide which sex is advertising for which sex in each
- they could put a M-F code next to each ad & then compare ideas before general feedback - Then onto some scan reading; you ask a question e.g. who is looking for a red head & stds quickly look & when found answer put hand in air & when half group got hands up ask one for the answer & locate for those that didn't find it. Could do this with about ten questions. Could then get them to see if any of the advertisers could be matched up or do the stds like the sound of any of them - write their own ads or for others in the group ....

- Language of physical & character description could be related to Blind Dates which could be in the form of a letter describing self, where to meet, etc..

- Language of chatting up - could come from a tape of mini conversations & then pull out the different language being used >> practice with mini-roleplays. Useful & lots of fun for a youngish group.

- Language of invitations..could combine with a What's On Guide to use for scan reading & the language of preferences before going onto invitation role-plays, maybe on the phone which then involves telephone language .

- Role-play about parental disapproval - Mum, Dad, brother & girl who is going out with older boy. Dad is dead against it, Mum too but is more delicate, brother sides with sister & girl determined to carry on seeing boyfriend - do battle!

- Marriage: vocab - bride, groom, vows, reception etc./

- Discussions on: British v stds country wedding traditions compare/civil v church weddings/sex before marriage/alternative weddings/gay weddings/debate: live together v marriage/4 Weddings & A Funeral - the reception speech is very exploitable & enjoyable for higher levels - could lead on to a writing task/

- Problem page - there are many ways to use these e.g.. give out problem & stds write answers/ give half stds problems & other half advice & they write the opposite & after the written problem is read out to see if it matches they read out new written advice/ match up half a dozen short letters with the advice given leading on to a discussion of whether the advice given was the appropriate & if not any better.. role-plays from these: writer with friend, couple with marriage guidance counsellor. Advice language e.g..: It might be an idea to. Why don't you .?, etc.

-Hypothetical relationship situations - 2nd conditional practice - What would you do if ..all related to romance.

- The 'Couples' activity in 'Discussions That Work' by Penny Ur (CUP) works very well (well worth checking out if you haven't already!).

- Divorce - discussion on associated topics e.g.. stay together for sake of children v split up - Life after marriage / sex before marriage/life as a single person .

- All You Need Is .a song - songs & more songs.


Pre-Diploma course - in need of new ideas? thinking about the Diploma course? Then this is the course for you. An eight week mini-Dip course to give you exciting new ideas & a taster of the Diploma course without the hard work! 32 hours, 2x2 hours a week, Monday & Wednesday mornings. Begins on 14th February 2000.
Teaching the Younger Learner - we ran this earlier this year & it was a great success. It is packed with ideas & activities to give the different age groups fun lessons. Eight week part-time, 32 hours, 2x 2 hours a week, Tuesday & Thursday mornings. Begins on 15th February 2000.
Teaching Phonology - isn't it time you got to grips with it? Do you find yourself looking for ways around it & feel guilty? A very practical course with the theory clearly explained. A six week course, two & a half hours each Friday. Begins on 18th February 2000.
Do get in touch very soon. You can see brief descriptions of all of the current courses on our web site



A very long list of ELT links for teachers & students alike.
A mystery story resource with a link to which e-mails you a weekly mystery to solve. Lots of short stories ideal for the upper intermediate/advanced learner.



Sci-fi & fantasy on-line books from Planet Magazine
Sci-fi & horror story resource site.


How to get in free! If you are already a paid up member of TESOL & would like to help out at the conference - a 'Helper' - then you don't have to pay to get in. If interested then contact Annie McDonald at .
The conference is on March 24th, 25th & 26th. It is 3.500pts for a yearly membership - contact Teresa Murray on


6. PS
Don't know about you but I like having many different fonts to choose from - the wackier & chunkier the better. Lockergnome recommended Mashy & quite rightly so. There are some original fonts from Mashy & loads of TTFs (True Type Fonts) - 1098 different ones when I was last there - all free & downloadable.
This & the next site come from Gerard's travels. This is a very useful site devoted to explaining the net & related topics with a dictionary of net terms at the top of each page.
An essential site to have under your favourites if the thought of a virus entering your computer worries you. When you find a virus, go to this site & enter the name in the search & you'll be told if it is genuine or a hoax & if it is genuine, & you have opened it, what to do about getting rid of it. A good free supplement to your anti-virus programme.

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