A web site for the developing language teacher

April 2008 - issue 4/08


Welcome to the April Newsletter.


6. PS - Internet/computer-related links


1. Hello

DEVELOPING - Blog, share, communicate & collaborate...

We are up to 186 members at Developing (, a networking site for English language teachers.

In addition to the following Communities, we have also added a Moodle Teachers Community, a Teaching 1-to-1 Community & a Lounge Community.

* Pre-school teaching
* Primary school teaching
* Secondary school teaching
* General teaching of adults
* Teacher Trainers
* Business English training
* Academic English teaching

Each community has its own wall, blog & file upload area. You can
join as many communities as you want.

Please take time out to have a look, register & join in at
- The more people the better.

See you there.


If you're based in China:

'The First Annual Conference of Teachers of English as Foreign Language in China, originally scheduled for June 14th, 2008, is rescheduled and will be held on November 8th. 2008.

For those of you who do not already know, the Chinese Government has asserted a new rule that non-native English Speakers will no longer be allowed to teach English. We have contacted the Local Public Security Bureau and they have confirmed this. However, for now it is only in Guangdong Province.

The conference committee has decided to reschedule the conference to November 8th, 2008 in order to re-evaluate our target audience. We will re-release the "Call for Speakers" at the end of April and teachers form all areas of South China will have an extended opportunity to participate.
We are committed to making this conference not just a reality, but also a great success, so please monitor the conference website ( for regular updates and information. On behalf of the ATEFLC Conference Committee I thank you all for your continued support.'

A real shame that non-native teachers cannot teach English in China. Many steps in the wrong direction for sure. A link for an article about the non-native teacher:

TED talk - 'Neuroanatomist Jill Bolte Taylor had an opportunity few brain scientists would wish for: One morning, she realized she was having a massive stroke. As it happened -- as she felt her brain functions slip away one by one, speech, movement, understanding -- she studied and remembered every moment. This is a powerful story about how our brains define us and connect us to the world and to one another.'

Unit 5 of Michael Berman's upper intermediate business
course is now available for download at:

Download Tony Buzan's iMindMap. Try it out & see how efficient it can make you.

If you have any information you'd like to include in the Monthly Newsletter, please do email it with the subject: 'Monthly News addition'. Thanks.

Happy teaching!


ARTICLES - If you've given a course or seminar or have a lesson plan & would like to give it a public airing, do get in touch.

ADVERTISING - We reach more than a few thousand teachers every week with the Weekly Teaching Tip & the same each month with the Newsletter, not to mention the 2000+ unique visitors a day to the Site, & the site has the Google PR5. If you've got a book, course, job...anything that you'd like to advertise, then do get in touch.





A choice of online development courses to enhance your teaching.

A range of web hosting options for teachers.

Blog, share, communicate & collaborate with other teachers.



Why dogs chase cats lesson plan by Michael Berman

Level: Pre-Intermediate
Target Audience: Adults
Language / Skills Focus: Listening, Speaking, Creative Writing, and Use of the Tenses
Materials: Photocopies of the worksheets to hand out after the storytelling.

To view the plan:

The long-awaited Tell Us A Story, a resource book for teachers on storytelling, can now be purchased in downloadable format from the Brain Friendly Publications website (see "Special Offers" section)

Tell us a Story
A download resource provided in .pdf form to introduce storytelling to the classroom. The book is A4 size with 76 pages.
This book gives a description of the history and art of Storytelling.
Included are 30 stories based on myth, fable, fact and fiction from around the world - from Georgia to Wales to China to Germany to India and Japan.
Good English is based on the speaker's ability to paint a verbal picture to entertain, excite and inform the listener. This book gives much needed practice to the teacher and to the student based on the art and ability to tell stories.
Full notes for teachers are provided on how to exploit the stories to gain the most from the story and from the language.
Designed for teaching at Council of Europe language level CEF - B1/B2; Intermediate to Advanced English Language Level. Where CEF is Common European Framework.


Transportation: Walking Class Hero by Alicia

Let's get started…
National Walk to Work Day is held the first Friday of April in the United States. Each spring, people promise to walk to work on that day. The date varies around the world according to climate; for example, it is 24 April 2008 in the UK. Here is the version from Australia:
I hereby pledge that I will be a Walking Class Hero and participate in "Walk to Work Day 2008.” Barring unforeseen or extraordinary circumstances, I pledge to leave my car at home on Friday 3 October. I will catch public transport to within walking distance from my work and then walk the rest of the way. If public transport is not an option I pledge to leave my car at least a kilometre away from work and walk the remaining distance. I also pledge to actively encourage my friends and colleagues to take part in the event.

To view the plan:

For more lesson plans, check out the lesson plan index:


At Developing we occasionally carry out consultancy work. The different projects have included tutoring DELTA candidates by email, offering advice on curriculum design & materials choice & short training courses in person & by email. If you would like us to help in any way, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

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'Your one stop small business resource centre.'
'We are a UK publisher creating graphic novel adaptations of classical literature. True to the original vision of the authors, our books have been further enhanced by using only the finest artists - giving you a truly wonderful reading experience that you'll return to again and again. Timeless stories, receiving our own original and exciting treatment; from Shakespeare to Dickens to Bronte......our range has something for everyone!'
'A monster online dictionary of the rich colourful language we call slang... all from a British perspective, with new slang added every month.'
'The Critical Literacy in ELT Project is now getting to the end of its second year and we are glad to announce the publication of a new online document entitled Collaborative Approaches to Critical Literacy in ELT.
What is Critical Literacy? Critical Literacy (CL) is an educational perspective that focuses on the relationship between languages and worldviews, social practices, power, identity, citizenship, intercultural relations and global/local issues.
Critical Literacy is an approach that sees language as a cultural construct and proposes the analysis of the relationships among texts, language, knowledge and society. It leads us to question texts - written, visual or oral - to assess the assumptions, values and beliefs that make texts be written in a given way.'

'Online Creative Writing Courses Offered Free by Top Universities and Educational Websites.'
Wired for Language - ScienceNOW Daily News - 24 March 2008
We humans can do all sorts of things other animals can't. Take language, for example--an ability researchers have long chalked up to our big and specialized brains. But size isn't everything, according to a new study, which suggests that important changes in the brain's wiring played a key role in language evolution.
learn- online-and-counting/#Online_Tutorials_and_How-to_Sites

More than 100 Free Places to Learn Online - and Counting.

How To Spark Remote Learning - "Second Life," the online world that brings players together from across the globe to socialize, shop and even fly, is developing a second career as a hot spot for learning English as a second language (ESL).

If you've visited a site that you think would be beneficial for all or would like your site to appear here, please get in touch. Thanks.

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A few days, among many, to plan your lessons around in April:
1st - April Fool's Day
2nd - International Children's Book Day
7th - World Health Day
14th - Anniversary of Titanic sinking
International Moment of Laughter Day
18th - Crossword Puzzle Day
22nd - Earth Day
23rd - St. George's Day - England
25th - International Noise Awareness Day
Carnival time
London Marathon

To see the list of Days:

Wikipedia's excellent focus on days of the year:
Some holiday origins.

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You've probably heard lots about Moodle, the framework for providing online courses. Have you thought about having your own? At Developing (a sister site of Developing we provide you with your own Moodle for only $12/month or $60/seven months. Your Moodle installation comes with 300mb of space & 1gb/month of bandwidth.

We set it all up for you & you provide the courses. You don't need to provide the actual course, this can simply be an online presence, a way of keeping in touch with your students, a meeting place with individuals or whole classes, an extension of your lessons.

We like it so much that we run our own online development courses at Developing with Moodle. For more information:

Reliable & affordable Web Hosting for the English Language Teaching Community!



Free weekly practical teaching tips by e-mail.

Recent Tips have included:
A grid, clues: down & across (9) - Materials & lesson ideas
Models 2 - Communication awareness
Models - Communication awareness
Logos everywhere - Lesson ideas
Early Spring - lesson ideas

To see the Past Tips:

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6. PS – General internet/computer-related links

A few computer use rules of thumb:

- make copies of all
- important files
- run scan disk & then defragment the hard drive
- use firewall software - use a virus scan & update the files
every week
- install security patches that software providers offer
- update your DirectX files regularly
- don't open attachments without scanning for viruses first
- don't respond to spam
- just delete & forget
- don't send personal or bank information by email
- turn off your computer at night

101 most useful sites - according to the Telegraph newspaper.
How Products Are Made.
Do the test - it's not always what it seems.
Incredible Firefox Keyboard Shortcuts Which You Probably Don’t Know About.
'Welcome to, where you can download the I.I.I.'s new home inventory software for free! This software makes creating a home inventory fun and easy. Once you have completed your inventory, it is easy to keep your information up to date.'
Top 50 goals.
101 free games.
Spot the difference quiz.

5 Tools to Track How Much Time you Waste while Online

5gb free to store your files.

University Rankings for Technology OpenCourseWare

The Best Places to Watch Documentary Movies Online.
Catch your fish.
12 Essential Rules to Live More Like a Zen Monk
Have you ever received a link from a friend, but weren't sure why?
The Awesome Highlighter allows you to highlight text in a webpage so that when you send a link you can be certain the recipient will know why.
National Geographic Photo of the Day.
High Quality Royalty Free icons for Windows, Mac and Linux, Offers Ico, Gif, Bmp, Png various icons format.

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Disclaimer - all of the recommendations for computer-related software are personal recommendations. We take no responsibility for anything that might go wrong when downloading, installing or running them - not that anything should, but you never know. It's your decision, your responsibility. The same applies to the jobs mentioned above. And anything else that you can think of that we might be responsible for as a result of this newsletter!

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