Oct 15, 2017

This is Britain: Halloween

A "This is Britain" video on Halloween for younger learners together with worksheets to use in the classroom. 

Oct 9, 2017

All the World's a Stage

ALL THE WORLD´S A STAGE  by James C. Christensen

"All the world's a stage" is the phrase that begins a monologue from William Shakespeare's play As You Like It. The speech (Act II Scene VII) compares the world to a stage and life to a play, and categorizes the seven stages of a man's life: infant, schoolboy, lover, soldier, justice, old age and facing imminent death.

The man in the poem goes through these stages all expressed in a sardonic and sometimes bitter tone:
  • Infancy: He is a helpless baby and knows little.
  • Whining schoolboy: He begins to go to school and is unwilling to leave the protected environment of his home. 
  • The lover: In this stage he is always sentimental, expressing his love in a silly manner. 
  • The soldier: He is uneasy and hot-headed. He is always working towards making a reputation for himself even at the cost of foolish risks.
  • The justice: In this stage he thinks he has acquired wisdom. He has reached a stage where he has gained prosperity and social status and becomes vain.  
  • Old Age: He is a shadow of his former self. He loses his firmness and shrinks in stature and personality.
  • Incapacity: Dependent on others for care and unable to interact with the world, he experiences "second innocence, and mere oblivion."
The British Council offers interactive tasks together with printable worksheets for these famous lines, suitable for B2 students. They can be accompanied by the following video, which was one of my first attempts to combine audio with pictures in presentations. The audio is taken from a special trailer marking 80 years of original British drama from the BBC.


Oct 5, 2017

Akinator, the Web Genie

20 Questions is one of those "go to" games that require no preparation and can be used as a timesaver when the lesson finishes earlier than expected or as a student reward or even when you are too tired or ill to continue, (because let's be honest, teachers can have "one of those days"....).

A fun alternative to the game is Akinator, the Web Genie. Akinator is an internet game and mobile app based on 20 questions that can guess which character the player is thinking of by asking them a series of questions. It is
 an atificial intelligence program that can "learn" the best questions to ask you. What is interesting about the Akinator is that the more you challenge him the bigger his database becomes. 

With Akinator students can have the chance to see questions modelled for them before they actually try to ask their own - asking questions is not as easy as it sounds for language learners especially in lower levels. Akinator can also be used as a comprehension activity to help students understand what they are asked.  

Oct 2, 2017

Learning Apps


LearningApps.org is a Web 2.0 application that allows you to create interactive teaching modules to support your lessons. It is very simple and straightforward in its use and requires no special digital skills. Every module created is public and can be used by any teacher interested.

Among the formats offered are games like 'Who wants to be a millionaire?", matching pairs, clozed tests, crosswords, activities on audio/video material, group puzzles etc. 

If you feel it is too much work you can search among the already made modules, like for example this simple matching activity I created for my 1st Grade (of Junior High) students. It can be used as a pre-reading activity for Halloween related lessons.  

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