A web site for the developing language teacher

December 2004 - issue 12/04


Welcome to the December Newsletter.

The Independent online published an article about present happenings in the UK reshaping vocabulary. Here are some of the new tongue in cheek words they coined:

Dawn of a new word order

The new Future Dictionary of America imagines how the language of tomorrow will be shaped by the society of today. But what of Britain's vocabulary? Our resident lexicographers offer their suggestions

Published: 04 November 2004

anachrophobia [an-akra-fobi-ah] n. a violent intolerance towards time-travellers who have escaped the stresses and strains of life in the future and downshifted to the past. In 2030s Lincolnshire, there was a spate of attacks on owners of digital watches, most of which turned out to be cases of mistaken identity.

apologhoea [apo-lo-gea] n. uncontrollable outpouring of apology (often specious), characteristic of early 21st-century world politics. See also: blerror (n) a mistake made, allegedly, in good conscience, first attributed to British Prime Minister Tony Blair (1997-2005).

acupuncher [ak-yuu-pun-cha] n. one who alleviates the stress of physical or verbal taunts by striking out at the assailant.

astronot [ass-tra-not] n. space virgin, person who has yet to leave Earth's atmosphere.

attheendoftheday [aah-thuh-enuv-aday] adv. of a fundamental proposition; a term much favoured by sportspeople in post-match interviews. NB has no relationship to any actual 24-hour period, e.g. "What I'm saying is, when you get up at six in the morning to train, attheendoftheday, you've got to be focused on the job."

Blair-faced lie [Bleuuurgh-fayced-ly] n. an untruth that you admit to only inasmuch as you blame someone else for misinforming you.

Desanitation [dasani-tayshun] n. the act of completely ignoring, denouncing and/or refusing to buy bottles of bogus mineral water marketed by a major soft-drinks multinational.

Google [goo-gul] n, vb, adj, adv. an archaic word thought to be associated with a primitive version of the Transgalactic Omninet; a "search engine" that facilitated access to a "webpage" that offered fanciful textual information, flashing lights and pictures of naked celebrities, alongside inappropriate

hypertonsion [hi-per-tonshun] n. feeling of anxiety, social exclusion etc resulting from the (perhaps ill-advised) shaving of one's head.

iGod [ay-god] n. a portable device (typically of 500-yottabyte capacity) that simulates the wisdom and /or awe-inspiring terror of an omnipotent deity. eg "I downloaded Buddhism on to my iGod last week and I've already reached a state of nirvana."

moreality [maw-al-itee] n. economic principle based on ever-increasing consumption.

moreality clause [maw-al-itee clorz] n. the 2020 Parliamentary reform requiring tax to be paid on any household item proved to be in householder's possession for longer than 18 months.

never-never-lunch [neva-neva-lunch] n. a lunch date that is cancelled and deferred every few days, for an indefinite period of time. It evolved in the 2010s as a mutual agreement between people who didn't like each other very much but wanted to fill their blank diaries. But with the advent of a new generation of intelligent electronic personal organisers, it became possible for these negotiations to continue for years without either party knowing about it.

omnisexual [om-nee-seks-yu-al] adj. the condition in which everyone and everything becomes sexualised. Origin: early 21st-century neologisms such as metrosexual, pomosexual, fauxmosexual and retrosexual.

quiddicity [kwid-iss-sitee] n. a revolutionary form of fossil fuel which transformed the British economy in 2035, after a team at Oxford University discovered that bad writing produced the most heat - and that consequently, a copy of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire could warm an average family home for more than a fortnight. Charity shops and landfill sites disgorged their contents, and the elderly JK Rowling became the poster girl of the anti-nuclear lobby.

shamponics [sham-pohniks] n. a branch of theoretical chemistry which gained academic respectability in the 2020s, when it was discovered that far from being meaningless bafflegab dreamt up by overpaid marketing executives, the "science bit" in shampoo adverts actually meant something. Even the stuff about pro-vitamins, quaternium and nutrileum. The first incumbent of the Pantene Chair in Advanced Shamponics was Professor

truth [troof] n (obs). an archaic term indicating an essence of ultimate logic and concordance with observable facts, now used, paradoxically, in an opposite sense in such phrases as "the truth of the matter is", where the speaker wishes to equivocate or generalise to the point of meaninglessness.

Trusstafarian [truss-ta-fah-ree-an] n. any member of the cult of grammar and punctuation fundamentalists who enjoyed a brief period of popularity in the early 21st century, before the passing of the Greengrocer's Apostrophe's (Preservation) Act of 2011.

virtual meality [ver-tyoo-al mee-ali-tee] n. deleting andairbrushing every digital image of yourself until you believe that that really is how you look.

yummy mummy [yuh-mee muh-mee] n. advances in genetic modification in the 22nd century enabled the growing of extra body parts - with optional strawberry flavour and vitamin enhancements - that provided a ready source of nutrition for hungry toddlers.

youtopia [utoh-pee-ah] n. an ideal state of being in which neighbours, fellow passengers and all other external irritations are eradicated by means of noise-cancelling headphones, video-glasses and/or flotation tanks.

Zooillogical [zoo-ee-loji-kal] adj. of young males; to look for sex and lifestyle advice in cheap magazines that feature sex and lifestyles that only occur in cheap magazines.

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7. PS - Internet/computer-related links


Starting a website or thinking of changing hosts? Developing has three very affordable hosting plans - all with CPanel

Forum installations - up & ready to go without any new to know anything about wed design.

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To DVD or not to DVD - Is that the Question? by Deniz Dündar & Adam Simpson

For many years visual aids such as videos, films and specially produced language learning programs have been part of the language learning landscape. More recently, formats such as DVD and DivX have greatly enhanced the value of movies as a language learning tool. However, when movies are used in teaching, do we know what we are doing? Do entertainment movies have a place in the curriculum, or should they merely be viewed as an optional extra?

This article will look at the contemporary movie formats, what pedagogical relevance they have in language learning and suggest ways of assessing their usefulness. Additionally, it will discuss the ways in which entertainment movies are currently used in an English preparatory program. Specific examples will be discussed with regard to the use of subtitles, pre-viewing, while-viewing and post-viewing tasks.

To view the article:


Thanks to Deniz & Adam

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

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.


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No ordinary Master's: become an action researcher with Aston University's MSc in TESOL Aston University Language Studies Unit:



A few recent Forum postings:

Lotte needs some help:
I'm teaching English conversation to young people who are studying to become preschool teachers in Ethiopia. I can't find any books which are not either too childish or too difficult for them. Maybe someone has an idea for me. I have been thinking that there might exist something for refugees learning English. Preferably made by someone who has English as his/her
mothertongue. Please help me.

andyref7 is wondering:
Just wondering if anyone can help. I have been working as a teacher 3 years now and am looking at going to Thailand to work for a few years. When I return will I lose my 3 points on the main scale? Or will I be able to come back into a job over here in the UK with my 3 points?

Vasela asks:
I'm teaching beginner, elementary and intermediate level at a state school in Bulgaria and I'm looking for penpals for them in order to motivate them. I think I'll get some suitable letters from you.

Taray asks:
What is the role of using pictures in grammar teaching or presentation?

myprofe tells us:
Who says you can't survive teaching English in Madrid? I got invited to a radio program yesterday. Learn more and listen to the interview

noushin asks:
Hi I am from Poland and I study English at 3rd year. I am going to pass my final exam to get bachelor degree. I have to write a work (about 30 pages), this is my topic: "Techniques of English vocabulary testing at primary and secondary school" (methodology) My supervisor told me that I should choose one: primary or secondary school. I chose secondary. My questions: Did I choose right? How should I write plan of my work? What should it include? I do not know how to write it because it is my first work!!!! I even do not have any book of methodology.

gicicd offers:
4 years Teachers Education at DNS in Denmark, Studies and travels in India, China and Vietnam. Work and teaching practice in Denmark, USA and Africa. Studies and examinations in 10 subjects at the college in Denmark.

ayusa offers:
Excellent part-time opportunity for teachers - AYUSA International is a non-profit high school foreign exchange student organization. We welcome teenagers from over 60 countries worldwide and provide host family placement and ongoing supervision for 5 and 10-month academic programs. The Community Representative is a part-time position designed for people with a strong desire to do something rewarding in the community and earn
some extra money to help supplement their income. Applicants best suited for this work should enjoy teenagers, have a strong interest in cross-cultural communication, and feel comfortable networking in the community. Basic responsibilities include recruiting and interviewing host families, providing ongoing support to families and students and maintaining professional contact with local high schools. All applicants must be available during some evening and weekend hours. Full training and support will be provided through branch offices located throughout the U.S. Positions available in most states.

putianenglish offers:
Teaching in Putian - The beauty of belonging to a center that is privately run means the teachers get a huge variety in their teaching, thus enabling the teachers to truly become apart of the Chinese education system. The students start at the age of two, our babies in the kindergarten. Classes then extend through Primary, Middle and High Schools. The average class size in China is around 50-60 students, as daunting as this sounds, it is not. The students are so well disciplined and dedicated to study, that behavioural management is not an issue the foreign teachers have to face. Teaching content varies dependent on the schools wishes, generally lessons are derived from a textbook. The textbook however is merely a base, teachers have the freedom to make their classes exciting and interesting for the students. The aim of teaching English here is to get the students to speak, they are all quite literate in English, but have never had the opportunity to speak English. For the majority you will be the first foreigner they have ever seen! The lessons are between 40-45 mins. 20 lessons per week.

TOSIC offers:
Are you looking for a teaching job in China? We can help you to find one there. We are TOSIC (Teach Or Study In China). Our mission is to find teaching positions in China for foreigners all around the world. The best thing is the services we provide to all teachers are FREE. We have positions ready for you in BeiJing, HeiBei, HuNan, ShangHai, and many other provinces now. Therefore, if you were interested in teach in China, E-mail your resume

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.

To the index

'The Catalyst Web site brings you tools, resources, and support to help you teach with new technologies.'
ESOL Online - links to Readers material.
ESOL Online - units of work for primary & secondary.
10001 uses for the digital camera in the classroom. 'his site is designed as a reference tool putting educators in touch with creative educational applications for digital cameras in educational settings.'
'Smile! Digital Cameras Can Make Your Day' - article
Classroom clipart.
'A free site where you can search the Web for sound effects and musical instrument samples.'

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Some days to plan your lessons around in December:

1st - World Aids' Day
7th - Pearl Harbour Day
21st Winter Solstice (& June 21st)
World Peace Day
24th - Christmas Eve
25th - Christmas Day - Xmas in general
26th - Boxing Day
31st - New Year's Eve
Tolerance Week - 1st week of Dec.
International Language Week

Links to Christmas material on the site:
Xmas lesson plan
Xmas activities 1
Xmas activities 2
Beat the Cheats & some Xmas links
Lesson ideas

To see the Days of the Year
Some holiday origins.

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No new reviews this month yet. Do check out the recommended book index for Xmas present ideas. The Cambridge Encyclopaedia of the English Language by David Crystal would make a great present. To check out the review:

To buy this from
To buy this from

To see the recommended book index

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.

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Free weekly practical teaching tips by e-mail.

Recent Tips have included:

- Beautiful words - using an article about learners' favourite
- Buy Nothing Day 2004 - lesson ideas
- Three approaches - a brief look at presentation approaches
- In Flanders fields the poppies blow - Remembrance Day lesson

To see the Past Tips

To sign up to receive them

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

Full-time four-week courses, next courses January & February '05
Part-time course twelve-week course starts January '05

Full-time two-month courses, January/February, April/May,
July/August '05

10% discount on all courses if you mention the newsletter!
Reasonably priced accommodation can be arranged for the duration of all courses.

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7. PS - Internet/computer-related links from

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

The following links are taken from the Site Linkletters. Sent out free every fortnight, fifteen links everyissue to follow up & help you enjoy the internet. To subscribe:

'Music and the Brain - What is the secret of music's strange power? Seeking an answer, scientists are piecing together a picture of what happens in the brains of listeners and musicians.'
'The Single Best Source for Facts.' Get out of that page alive if you dare!
'The web site is dedicated to the gardens of Japan, and more specifically to the historic gardens of Kyoto and its environs. Although many of these gardens are located within Zen monasteries, this site does not explore the influence of Zen Buddhism on Japanese garden design, an influence that is often conjectural at best. Instead, the site is designed to provide the visitor with an opportunity to visit each garden, to move through or around it, to experience it through the medium of high-quality color images, and to learn something of its history.'
'Hidden Lives Revealed provides an intriguing encounter with children who were in the care of The Children's Society in late Victorian and early 20th Century Britain.'
The Hipster Handbook - 'Definition of a Hipster - Hipster - One who possesses tastes, social attitudes, and opinions deemed cool by the cool. (Note: it is no longer recommended that one use the term "cool"; a Hipster would instead say "deck.") The Hipster walks among the masses in daily life but is not a part of them and shuns or reduces to kitsch anything held dear by the mainstream. A Hipster ideally possesses no more than 2% body fat.'

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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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