Wednesday, 24 March 2010

What time is it, please?

Teaching how to tell the time is always interesting as it always highlights how, for some students, time is a phenomenon outside of their experience!

I find it incredible that some of my students have got to the age of 17 or 18 and they have never learnt how to read an analogue watch face. However when I consider that they were born in the early 1990's I realise that digital clock faces were well established internationally by this time. As a child of the 70's I remember digital watches (first seen in the late 1960's) being highly desirable.

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Functional Skills, Portfolios and teaching to exams

The word ROLA (Record of Learning Achievement) sends shudders down my spine but if this concept were transferred to a digital format it could become a very powerful tool. A student's progression could be measured by both traditional and digital assessments including VLE's and task based learning using the internet.

Saturday, 13 March 2010

8 Things British people like to complain about

PowerPoint about common things British people like to complain about that I used with my Entry 2 ESOL class to help prepare them for the discussion part of their Trinity Speaking and Listening Exam.

View or download the document here

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8 Things I like about living in Great Britain

PowerPoint about living in Great Britain and what I like about it. Includes - Free Education, Restaurants, Free health care, The architecture, Countryside, Utilities, Good Manners

View or download the document here

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Access to education for refugee and asylum seeking children - Leeds

I wrote this piece of research whilst working at the Children's Society LEAP Project in Leeds -
The work involved house visits, liaising with schools and Social Workers, interviewing EAL tutors, organising group work and recording the work to present to the Regional Strategic Safeguarding Board.
I am now working as an ESOL Tutor in Leeds teaching English to the diverse community of Harehills.

View or download the document here

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Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Domino story - Practising the past simple

Use a domino story to get Entry 2 ESOL students ready for their writing exam. A domino story is one which require little planning and is very student centred. In this post I explain where I found the original idea and how I adapted it to suit my learners.

I found this great idea on in their English as a 2nd language area. The post - by John Baker MAed TESL - describes how to deliver a collaborative writing activity followed by a domino story. You can read the original article here.

I did the collaborative writing activity and I will write about it in another post if I find the time but I was really inspired by the domino story and want to share that with you...

I found the activity to be very easy to prepare as most of the content comes from the students - the gist of it is that you get appoximately 16 students into 3 groups (a,b and c).

Within those groups you can put them in pairs and get them to complete the gap-fill activity / read their part of the story. You can find the gap-fill and pictures drawn by the different groups at

The groups then make pictures that they will use to retell the story to the other groups.

A pair from group a then goes with a pair from group b and group c.

One student from another group writes as the pair from group a tell the first part of the story, another student (from   group b) tells the middle part of the story and so on. Eventually the a,b,c group has the full story. 

The interactive nature of the activity promotes speaking in the past and collaboration between students with different skills - I found it to embrace different learning styles, to pronote the artistic and academic skills of students and to give the tutor the opportunity to observe and make notes.


Please leave a comment if you find this post useful or interesting!!

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