December 1999 - issue 2/99
Developing Teachers Newsletter
We have had a lot of very positive feedback
about the first newsletter - thank you for your comments.
It has been really nice to find out what many of you are now
We often chat about it, wondering who is
still teaching & where people may be. If you have interesting
news of colleagues from your course then do let us know. Also
if you know of anyone who hasn't done a course with us but
would like to receive the newsletter then just tell them to
send us an e-mail.
This newsletter has a festive theme - Xmas
& the New Year. It's always nice to do the Xmas lesson: British
customs incorporating vocab comparison with Spanish customs
etc. - it all means that the holidays are nearly upon us.
Hope you find some of the activities useful.
The Millennium will soon be here so, if we survive all of
the Y2K hype, the next newsletter will be about Millennium
things. Please send in ideas - thanks.
By the way, this week's article from the
'English-to-go' site mentioned below has four articles about
what people will be doing at the turning of the Millennium.
Whichever part of the world you happen to
be in we all wish you a very happy holiday.
Enjoy & be merry!
THEME -Festive activities
It always seems to be the last lesson before Xmas that actually
deals with Xmas. Why not build up to it from now on?
- presents - stds decide which presents they give to famous
people - Clinton, Milosevic, Blair, Aznar etc. They could
secretly decide on the person individually & then decide on
the present - they then read out what the present is & the
others guess the famous person. What would they give each
other (/their teacher)?
- there are literally hundreds of sites offering all things
to do with Xmas. Here are just a few.
www.scifi.com/xmas/ takes a look at the conspiracy theories
surrounding our man with the white beard. Nice short readings
for intermediate & up. http://homearts.com/ you need to do
a search for Xmas things - this is the general site for the
Hearst group of magazines - lots if you look. www.the-north-pole.com/around/
click on the country/continent to see how they have a good
one. Jigsaw reading/speaking activity www.snowdog.com/links-christmas.asp
loads of links. www.shastahome.com/christmas/links.htm
loads more links ranging from the weather report in the North
Pole to Santa's FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) through
to recipes & jokes.
- roleplay: a variation of the What's On decision making roleplay
- the family sit around with the TV guide & decide what to
watch.Each has a rolecard with preferences on it e.g.. Little
Johnny wants to watch the war film while Grandad wants the
the King's speech etc. All do battle to come to a decision
- makes it more productive if their rolecards are written
in such a way so that they can come to an eventual decision,
everybody conceding something but getting something as well.
It might be an extended period of viewing - give them all
a copy of the TV guide beforehand (some scan reading activity
beforehand? & discussion about Xmas activities & TV habits
& programmes at Xmas afterwards?).
- if you can use the Internet with your students you could
get them to send festive e-cards to each other.
- here's a Xmas vocab list: Christmas Eve/Day, Boxing Day,
New Year's Eve/Day, Merry/Happy Christmas, Happy New Year/Millennium
advent calendar, nativity scene, inn, stable, crib, wise kings,
shepherds cards, carols, carol singers, tree, decorations,
midnight mass, presents, wrap up, mistletoe, parties, Queen's
speech, cracker, snowman, holly mince pies, turkey, cake,
pudding, champagne, Father Christmas, sleigh, reindeers, jingle
bells, chimney, stocking Christmas Carol, Scrooge
- get stds to design an alternative Xmas &/or alternative
customs.eg taking in a homeless person for a week or giving
a % of your money to charity..
- storytelling - tell the stds the story of Christmas Carol
- try to do it from memory & not from notes as it comes out
much more authentically- stds then write a summary of the
story & maybe change it around &/or give it a different ending
- prize for the most imaginative version.
- festive problem pages - stds write Xmas problems & another
replies e.g. don't know what to buy boyfriend, how get out
of visiting Grandma on Boxing Day .
- New Year resolutions - how can they make their learning
more effective - follow up on it to see if they are using
these new strategies.
- there's a nice piece of material in Streamline Directions
unit 51 - consisting of a series of letters to someone who
failed to get the job as Santa - lots you can do with it -
originally taken from The Times Countdown to Christmas in
- misc. ideas: recipes, remembrances on Xmas' past (used to/would),
debate for/against banning Xmas, write alternative Queen/King's
In addition to the CELTA & DELTA courses, we are offering
the following in the New Year; Pre-Diploma course - in need
of new ideas? thinking about the Diploma course? Then this
is the course for you.
An eight week mini-Dip course to give you exciting new ideas
& a taster of the Diploma course without the hard work! 32
hours, 2x2 hours a week, Monday & Wednesday mornings.
Teaching the Younger Learner - we ran
this earlier this year & it was a great success. It is packed
with ideas & activities to give the different age groups fun
lessons. Eight week part-time, 32 hours, 2x 2 hours a week,
Tuesday & Thursday mornings. Teaching Phonology - isn't it
time you got to grips with it. Do you find yourself looking
for ways around it & feel guilty? A very practical course
with the theory clearly explained. A six week course, two
& a half hours each Friday.
Interested? Then do get in touch soon. You can see brief descriptions
of all of the current courseson our web site www.cospa.es/blc/
If you don't know this site, consider it as an early Xmas
present. You get a free reading-based lesson plan each week
sent to you by e-mail. It comes from Reuters & the standard
of the lessons is very high - both the texts & the way they
are exploited are interesting & they are usually integrated
with other skills too. For a small fee you can also have access
to the 'Teachers' Room' & other lesson plans & activities.
There are quite a few ELT sites offering plans & activities
but they do tend to be quite basic & this one is more than
This is the web site of the very popular daily newsletter,
with a weekly summary newsletter as well, all to do with personal
computers, Windows etc. This is written by Chris Pirillo who
has a friendly, chatty style. The headings he uses include
GnomePrograms, GnomeSystem, GnomeCandy, GnomeFavourite, GnomeDesktop
& GnomeTip & each of these contains a link & brief description.
4.FREE LITERATURE www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/webbuy/freebooks.html
Apart from hosting a very interesting site, Adobe are
giving away a stack of literary classics for free. Among the
titles are Through the Looking Glass, Christmas Carol, Frankenstein,
Gulliver's Travels, Northanger Abbey & Walden & On The Duty
Of Civil Disobedience. All you do is download the ones you
want. Check it out soon if interested as it's not sure how
long they'll be there. If you have problems getting to the
page go to www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/webbuy/
first & then click on the 'free books'. Pass the address on
to your students.
Many thanks to all those who took time out to fill in the
questionnaire. If you haven't actually got round to completing
it yet, then there is still time. So far I have managed to
amass about 30 responses and am hoping to receive about 100.
The research is forming part of a talk that I shall be giving
at TESOL-SPAIN in March 2000. The title of my talk will be
- Cultural Diversity: Managing same-sex orientation in the
ELT classroom. which should fit in quite nicely with the theme
of the Convention which is "Managing Learning". The Convention
itself will be held at the Universidad San Pablo-CEU, Calle
Julián Romea 23, 28003 Madrid. Dates 24, 25, 26 March 2000
If you would like more information about TESOL-SPAIN, then
you can visit their web site at;
I look forward to receiving more questionnaires. Henny
For the Xmas sites mentioned above I used the WebFerret &
it has made life much easier for general web searches. Write
in 'Christmas' & this device queries all configured search
engines simultaneously, discarding duplicate results (not
always!) & gives you a list of 500 sites! It takes seconds
to get results & then all you do is click in the list on the
site you want to visit. No more laborious opening of the search
engines.. You can download it for free from
www.ferretsoft.com - There are pay versions of their products
too. Slap it on your desktop.
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