Musings




Do you work with low literacy esol students?
Have you tried using video to present new topics or themes to your students?



If you are looking for inspiring tutor-generated resources and ideas then you should visit www.esolvideos.co.uk, a new website that offers creative approaches to a range of language forms.

Whether you visit the site and come away with ideas for a cracking lesson or you feel inspired to have a go at making your own videos; this website its well worth a visit.




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********************** The Importance of Sangha - 365 Days of Blogging *************************



In my first ever post I put my fingers to the keyboard with a feeling that I was entering into a new world. I knew that blogging was going to change the way I work, teach, think, share and reflect on my work. I was intimidated by the void of the internet.

Was anyone going to read my writing?

Did it matter?

I've found the comments and the network I have joined to be the most nuturing and supportive group of people. Inspiring and willingly to share their jewels of wisdom.

I'm my own worst critic - yes the Sergeant Major is still inspecting - and I have found that there are many teachers who are like me in that respect. I've taken comfort from that.

My role within my ESOL team is evolving: the 16-18 age group has grown over the last 5 years and I have specialised in this area. This has brought a need to develop every aspect of my classes; from disciplinary policies to making bridges out of newspaper.

As a result my blog is evolving.


Even as I write this post I find my mind reflecting upon the previous posts I've made. Are they too diverse? Should I be more focussed on specific areas? How does this mirror my job and the many roles that I have?


I compared teaching to  Buddhism, in my first post. Meditation and self awareness are keys to realising one's own potential. This is very hard to achieve. Even more so when you are alone in your mission,. Buddhists talk about belonging to a Sangha and how that will give support to a novice in their quest for enlightenment.

I've found my Sangha and I'm enjoying my journey!





************************* Inspiration from www.ESOLUK.co.uk ***************************************


Inspiration - ESOLUK This is an educational website for those wanting to develop their English language and learn about different subject specific topics. For tutors by tutors is the aim of ESOL UK, to bring you language learning mediated by video, audio and the internet; the internet for independent learner access but with conventional worksheets for classroom use as well. These materials are suitable for both language and literacy learners.


Visit the website to browse a galaxy of audio and visual teaching and learning materials that will help in the search for classes and free resources.


Click on any of the large icons and access a large number of sub-categories

The clear and easy layout gives more choices 

with a number of videos within each section

and even offers free worksheets.
Transcript thanks to ESOLUK and Peter Clements for suggesting the adverts and providing the worksheets.

*************************** My First Post - Mantras of a Mad Man ************************ 



Mantras of a Mad Man
I woke up this morning at the usual time but I felt a little strange. Little did I know that this was to be the day that I started my first blog. Even now, as I write, I wonder why on Earth I’m bothering, who would want to read about what’s going on in my dreaded head?

I know this place all to well having spent a large part of my adult life developing my reflective practice and closely examining my professional work with the scrutiny of a Sergeant Major on the parade ground.

I’ve also spent a large part of my free time delving into the world of mantras and meditation and find these two worlds to be mutually beneficial for both my students and my own development.

So what should I record on these pages?

I spent at least five whole minutes thinking of a title; Mantras of a Mad Man seemed to bring together both worlds.

The Mantra of ‘Om Mani Padme Hum!’ is one that not only adorns my left arm but also resonates with my own world view.

Literally translated it means ‘The jewel is in the heart of the lotus’. This may seem a little fluffy, hippy and confusing. If you know me then you’ll know that some would describe me using these exact words!

However, once you know that in Tibetan Buddhism the Lotus flower is a symbol of ‘wisdom’ or ‘potential’ you may begin to see that there is a deeper meaning. I translate this mantra as ‘Realise your potential!’ (or ambition or dream).

Easier said than done but if you have an insight into your dreams or a clear idea of your potential then this mantra has plenty to offer.

We all have wisdom to offer and wisdom to learn so I hope that I can share these pages with that in mind.

First blog finished, that wasn’t so difficult after all…

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