A web site for the developing language teacher

August 2003 - issue 8/03


Welcome to the August Newsletter.

Summer is here in Spain with a vengeance - the locals say that this is the hottest summer for very many a year. Can't complain though. Maybe we can - we all took the Dolphin Stress Test & it is clear we all need a couple of months off - the link to the test is in the PS section.

We have been taking stock of the visitors to the site through the mini polls that have been appearing in the bottom right hand side of the Front Page of the site. There were several polls, each rotating to provide a different one when you returned to the site. Looking at the results of the different polls it would seem that most of you teach adults, have been teaching for an average of 10-15 years, spend 3-5 hours preparing their lessons, supplement your coursebooks quite a lot, are never observed in your teaching, never have training sessions in your schools, have had a couple of jobs in the last eight years, sometimes observe your colleagues teaching & prefer teaching intermediate levels & multilingual groups! Check out the results for each mini-poll below.

This month we've got more articles & plans. Sam Smith offers us another article + lesson plan about listening skills with his upper intermediate students. There is a lesson plan centred around an article about writing & sending e-mails. Keep checking this site during the month as new stuff keeps going up.

The winner of the Joke competition, taken out of a hat, is Kate Webster. Kate wins a copy of 'Laughing Matters' by Peter Medgynes & donated to the competition by Cambridge University Press. We did get many more than you can see on the site but we did say they should be about teaching, learning the classroom etc .....those not about these were not accepted into the competition. Do keep sending the jokes in & we'll add them to the list. To see the jokes

Thought you might like to see the following. We found it in a recent edition of the British satirical magazine 'Private Eye', in their Funny Old World section:

"The law is perfectly clear," Jerry Jelusich of Multnomah County's Department of Human Services told a press conference in Portland, Oregon, "and it requires us to provide information in all the languages our clients speak. Mental health patients in this county currently speak a total of fifty-five languages, including some rather unusual ones, and that's why we're advertising a post for an interpreter who is fluent in Klingon."

Jelusich was explaining to reporters why government money was being used to fund a post for a linguist specialising in a fantasy language, invented for the Star Trek TV show. "Although it was created by Gene Roddenbury for a work of fiction, the Klingon language was designed from the outset to have a consistent grammar, syntax and vocabulary. And recent research has shown that many people, and not just fans, now regard Klingon as a complete language. Moreover, we've had a growing number of cases involving mental health patients where Klingon is the only language they would speak. We need to communicate with them somehow, and if hiring a Klingon interpreter enables us to diagnose their problems more effectively, then it's money well spent." (Florida Sun Sentinel, 11.5.03)

Perhaps we should offer training courses for prospective Klingon language teachers!

Happy teaching!



1. THE SITE - plans & articles






7. CVs & JOBS

8. PS - Internet/computer-related links


STREAMING SPEECH: A Course in Listening and Pronunciation for
Advanced Learners of English - An electronic publication that
aims to solve the problem of the misrepresentation of speech.

If you'd like to buy a Streaming Speech course you will receive a
discount if you tell Richard you heard about it at Developing!



Here are the results to the different mini-polls we've had on the Front Page of the site:

Who do you teach?
1. general adults 31%
2. professional people 16%
3. teenagers 25%
4. younger learners: 7-12 16%
5. very young learners: 3-7 7%
6. other teachers 5%

How long have you been teaching?
1. more than 20 years 18%
2. 15 > 20 years 14%
3. 10 > 15 years 14%
4. 5 > 10 years 17%
5. 2 > 5 years 17%
6. 1 > 2 years 10%
7. less than a year 11%

How long do you spend planning lessons in a typical week?
1. 10 > 15 hours 13%
2. 5 > 10 hours 18%
3. 3 > 5 hours 29%
4. 2 > 3 hours 20%
5. 1 > 2 hours 11%
6. less than 1 hour 9%

You and the coursebook. Very generally speaking, you:
1. use the coursebook all the time 3%
2. supplement the coursebook a bit 24%
3. supplement the coursebook quite a lot 65%
4. don't use a coursebook at all 9%

In your teaching, you are observed by a trainer
1. once a fortnight 0%
2. once a month 19%
3. once a term 16%
4. once an academic year 13%
5. never 52%

In your school, you have training sessions
1. every week 13%
2. once a fortnight 19%
3. once a month 6%
4. once a term 19%
5. never 44%

In the last eight years, how many teaching jobs have you had?
1. 1 29%
2. 2 29%
3. 3 10%
4. 4 10%
5. 5 3%
6. more than 5 19%

As a teacher, you observe your colleagues teaching
1. often 7%
2. sometimes 43%
3. rarely 23%
4. never 27%

Favourite level: I prefer teaching
1. elementary students 25%
2. intermediate students 40%
3. advanced students 35%

I find it more rewarding to teach:
1. monolingual groups 24%
2. multilingual groups 71%
3. one-to-one classes 6%


Lesson plan:

Based round an article on the Guardian Unlimited web site titled 'Re: your pointless email', the aims are:

To give extensive & intensive reading practice
To provide stds with real world skills related to writing & sending e-mails
To extend the stds' store of vocab connected to 'e-mails'
To give freer speaking practice

To read the plan



Teaching Listening at Upper Intermediate Level by Sam Smith

At the beginning of an extensive (3 hrs/week) course with my upper intermediate group I conducted a needs analysis, I was pleasantly surprised by their very modern attitude to listening and how important it is. This ties in with my own beliefs and my observations of this class and of the problems of my students in general in this area.

Before going on to describe the argument for listening and how to carry out the listening lesson, I would like to spend a few words on my students' goals and needs.

· 25% of the group use English with Americans and British people on a regular basis at work.

· 50% of the group are learning English so as to use it in an English speaking country and 25% to live and work there.

· 87.5% put as a specific goal 'to understand native speakers and speak fluently'. (The other 12.5% put 'speak like a native speaker'.)

This shows a great need and desire to practice and be taught listening, particularly with authentic materials featuring native speaker speech and a need to be presented with and become aware of the features of this: stress, intonation, weak forms, elision, assimilation, catenation, using fillers, pauses, repetition, self correction, interruptions and all the discourse features used to
signal a speakers' intention.

Some of these features are of particular importance to my students, being Spanish, as there is a noticeable difference between Spanish and English in terms of word and sentence stress, intonation and weak forms.

To read the article

The Upper Intermediate level lesson plan to accompany the article has the following aims:

Main Aims:
To provide practice in listening to identify topic areas and also phrases key to meaning in fast connected speech at different rates, containing pauses, errors and corrections.
To raise awareness of listening strategies and students' own strengths and weaknesses in listening.
To raise awareness of speech features; fillers, repetition, correction, clarifiers and phrases for agreeing.
To practice integrating real world knowledge into the listening process to aid comprehension.

Subsidiary Aims:
To practice imitating fast speech.
To raise awareness of paralinguistic features of speech.
To practise speaking in the form of discussion, paying attention to agreeing, interrupting and paralinguistic features.

To read the plan

Thanks to Sam, all who voted in the mini polls & all who sent in jokes.

If you've given a course or seminar or have a lesson plan & would like to give it a public airing then do send it to:

ADVERTISING - We reach a few thousand teachers every week with the Weekly Teaching Tip & the same each month with the Newsletter, not to mention the 1000+ unique visitors a day to the site. If you've got a book, course, job...anything that you'd like to advertise, then do get in touch at:



Lots of different Forums to choose from. Post your jobs, your CV, your questions, finds on the net, ideas, activities, questions, grumbles, suggestions, your language courses, your training courses...they are there for you to use.

Is anybody using 'blogs' with their students ? If so, get along to the Forums & let us know what you're up to:



Relax & maximise your time by getting started on a quality personalised teacher development course.



'BritLit' is a British Council project, in conjunction with the Portuguese Association of English Teachers (APPI), designed to work with secondary school teachers using British literature in the classroom.

On this page you can find links to downloadable classroom resources:
* Short story - 'Weekend' by Fay Weldon
* Resource kit of classroom activities based on short story 'Weekend'
* Answer key for resource kit activities
* Audio of complete story 'Weekend' read by Fay Weldon

'Weekend' is a short story by the author Fay Weldon, and published by Penguin in 'Modern British Short Stories'. It originally appeared in 'Cosmopolitan' magazine in 1978. It concerns a middle class family from London with three children spending a weekend in their country cottage. Although the story deals with one particular weekend, in many ways it could be any weekend - what we are shown is a glimpse into the ordinary, the habitual, the norm; it appears that the family spend virtually every weekend at the cottage. The story examines the relationship between husband and wife Martin and Martha, and between Martha and Martin's friends as well as taking a tongue-in-cheek glance at what 'properly brought up' children are expected to be involved in. The themes that can be drawn from this 5,000 word story include 'the Family', 'Personal relations' and aspects of sexism or sexist behaviour.'

English in Britain - The Suite is the definitive source of information about accredited English language courses in the United Kingdom.

Hi, I'm Newschannel 19's, Chief Meteorologist Dan Satterfield. Welcome to my Wild Wild Weather Page. I've put these pages together for Kids between 6 and 16 years old and for their Parents and Teachers, too!

The Phrase Finder - could be very useful.

Educational portal.

Room Arranger is a shareware download. They say: '...., you sometimes reconstruct rooms or rearrange things placed in them. You move heavy furniture just to everything would fit with no problem, be handy, and have a good impact. This program enables you to simulate everything with no need to draw on a square paper, or to push things there and back repeatedly.' Would make for an interesting interactive pairwok task.



This month we have a review of 'Using Authentic Video in the Language Classroom' by Jane Sherman (CUP). The review is written by David Holden & he begins:

'"We want more videos !" tends to be that one comment students always make and teachers, resources permitting , have tried to satisfy that demand with varying degrees of success. Now, if you've ever needed more ideas for using videos in your teaching, or even if you need convincing that videos are essential in the EFL classroom then this is the book for you.'

To read the review

If you're going to or then please go through our Books page. You will pay the same & we will receive a few pennies to keep the site & newsletters free. Thanks.



If you or your students are thinking of the UK for an English language course then The New School of English in Cambridge should be at the top of the list of schools to consider.

Here are a few reasons for choosing The New School of English

- centrally located in the city of Cambridge
- small enough to provide very personal attention to our students in the classroom
- accommodation and in their social activities
- no large numbers of one nationality
- high-quality language classes with experienced, well-qualified staff
- self-catering residential accommodation in the summer for students who want more independence

If you mention that you found them at Developing, you'll get a 5% discount on the course fees. To visit their web site:



Free weekly practical teaching tips by e-mail.

Recent Tips have included:
- A grid, clues & answers (9) - ways of using them
- Autonomy & pronunciation - ways of helping the students with this
- Sophisticated ideas with little language - using English vocab & the students' mother tongue at lower levels
- In the News - ways of using the news broadcasts

To see the Past Tips

To sign up to receive them


7. CVs & JOBS

Some recent Job Adverts:

165+ Teaching Jobs Across Japan
The 7/1/03 issue of O-Hayo Sensei, the free electronic newsletter of (teaching) jobs in Japan, is now available. Issue #12 reports detailed information (salaries, qualifications, visa requirements, benefits, application deadlines/procedures, etc.) for 165+ currently available positions across Japan. New positions in this issue include: Professor or Assistant Professor. EFL Teacher & EFL Lecturer. Pick up a free copy by sending an e-mail message with just the words "get issue" in the body (or subject line) to (the complete issue will be e- mailed to you). Or visit the "virtual newsrack" at where you can click a button to receive #12 by e-mail or receive it immediately via FTP by clicking on a hyperlink. (Note: O-Hayo Sensei is a LARGE publication -- #12 runs about 43 single-spaced pages of text, or about a 144K plain text file.)
Good luck!
Lynn Cullivan - Editor, O-Hayo Sensei: The Newsletter of (Teaching) Jobs in Japa ,


Qualified Native Speaker - EFL teacher wanted for Poland
Please contact Patrycja Kochan at Language Union for details. E- mail address:


K-8 English Teachers needed in Honduras
Atlantic Bilingual School in Puerto Cortes, Honduras is seeking only North Americans English Teachers for our next school year that starts on August 19th 2003. Job is regulated by a workking contract which must be enforced from August 19th 2003 to June 16th 2004. Salary is around US$300.00 monthly, in addition to this the school provides housing and medical care. Subjects to teach are: Math, Science, Phonics, Spelling, Reading, Penmanship, Drawing. Teachers will be teaching around 30 periods per week each last 40 minutes. Knowledge of Spanish it is not requiered at all.
If you are interested please contact Mr. Dennis Coto at:

For the Jobs Forum


Train in Spain - Courses running in the near future at the British Language Centre in Madrid:

Full-time four-week courses, September, October & November
Part-time twelve week course, October >> December

Part-time, six month course, October '03 >> March '04

5% discount on all courses if you mention the newsletter!

Reasonably priced accommodation can be arranged for the duration of all courses.


8. PS - Internet/computer-related links

Take the Dolphin Stress Test - you know you need a rest.

Fling the cow!

Don't visit this page after a heavy evening at the pub. Are they really moving?

The truth is intradimensional.

Take the colour blind test - with a twist at the end! Don't forget to enter a number on the last one!

'Celestia is a free real-time space simulation that lets you experience our universe in three dimensions. Unlike most planetarium software, Celestia doesn't confine you to the surface of the Earth. You can travel throughout the solar system, to any of over 100,000 stars, or even beyond the galaxy. All travel in Celestia is seamless; the exponential zoom feature lets you explore space across a huge range of scales, from galaxy clusters down to spacecraft only a few meters across. A 'point-and-go to' interface makes it simple to navigate through the universe to the object you want to visit.'

'Press the "Curse!" button to be randomly cursed in grand Elizabethan style. Revel in insults that may have been spoken by Shakespeare or Ben Jonson! Relive a bit of history! Annoy your friends! There are more than 388000 curses possible!'

Tricky Master Funky!

Check out the virus mapping in real time.

Take the test to see if you have what it takes to work as a secret agent.

The Original Virtual Bubble Wrap

'Lunchbreak Adventures is a fantasy mini-adventure you can finish in less than ten minutes. You are trapped in a dungeon that changes every time you play, and must battle fierce creatures to find the exit in time. The dungeon is filled with interesting rooms and locations, powerful magic, and ancient treasure.'

Vent your anger.

You want links? This will keep you busy - 'a few irreverent or extreme sites, but pornography and sites that promote hate are excluded (hating Microsoft is allowed). Sites with excessive ad gimmicks or that attempt to download unsolicited files are not linked here.'

Keep your bookmarks online & access them from anywhere.

Fly the helicopter.

Build a virtual model of yourself

Are you a cheapskate?

WhoWhatWhen is a database of people and events from 1000 A.D. to
the present. Create graphic timelines of periods in history and of the lives of individuals.

Tells you all about file formats & what to do with them.

If you don't use Outlook Express, Hotmail Popper lets to check your hotmail account from your computer through your POP mail account. Free download.

Free image resource.

Set up your own version of Napster, legally. All you need is a couple of million dollars.

Back to the top

Tips & Newsletter Sign up —  Current Tip —  Past Tips 
Train with us Online Development Courses    Lesson Plan Index
 Phonology — Articles Books  LinksContact
Advertising — Web Hosting — Front page

Copyright 2000-2016© Developing