A web site for the developing language teacher

January 2002 - issue 1/02


Welcome to the January Newsletter & a Happy New Year.

Trust everyone has had a relaxing break. Thank you for all of the Christmas greetings & messages of support that we've received over the holidays. A new year is upon us & here at Developing we'll be continuing to offer more of the same as we continue to expand. We have added a bit of interactivity to the site with a talk page, otherwise known as a chat room. Get along, check it out, say hello & exchange ideas, experiences & activities! Interact with all there or open up private conversations. Hope you find it useful.

Talk Talk Talk

As a reminder as to what else the site has to offer here are the different areas:

Back issues of the Weekly Tips & Monthly Newsletters, together with the accompanying lesson plans
Training by e-mail
Recommended training links in Spain & the UK

Phonology ideas
News material
A weekly English-to-go lesson
Articles & lesson plans
Recommended books
Teacher CVs
Job adverts.

Don't forget that inclusion on the Jobs & CV pages is free. If you have any ideas about what you'd like us to offer to help with your teaching & schools please don't hesitate to get in touch & let us know.

The theme this month is the text version of the Year 2001 Quiz for you to use with your students.

Happy teaching & a good year ahead!



1. YEAR 2001 QUIZ

2. THE SITE - articles & lesson plans








10. PS - Internet/computer-related links




1. YEAR 2001 QUIZ




There are some new articles on the site this month.

Jeanette Corbett's excellent article & plan are up. Titled, 'Developing Effective Reading in Exam Classes'. This is about the what, why and how of reading & a look at the practical treatment in the classroom.

Dimitrios Thansoulas has sent in a series of excellent articles, which we'll be putting up over the next few months. The first is 'Language and Power in Education' . Here's the introduction to the article:

'When we speak or write, we "tailor" what we say to fit the particular situation in which we are communicating and, at the same time, how we speak or write creates that very situation. 'We fit our language to a situation or context that our language, in turn, helped to create in the first place' (Gee, 1999: 11). Furthermore, it seems that we always build and rebuild reality not just by dint of the language we employ but through language as discourse, i.e., language used in tandem with non-linguistic cues and symbol systems, tools, actions, interactions, technologies, and particular ways of thinking, feeling, or believing (ibid.). According to Gee (1999: 12), when we speak or write, we build six 'areas of "reality"': the meaning and value of aspects of the material world; activities; identities and relationships; politics; connections; and semiotics (an in-depth analysis of these areas is not within the purview of the present study). Here, one of our aims is to show that language is social practice and not a phenomenon that functions in a vacuum; it is not an 'autonomous construct' (Fairclough, 1989: vi) but action, both shaping and shaped by 'the structures and forces of [the] social institutions within which we live and function' (ibid.). Moreover, we will be concerned with the construction of discourse within the classroom, where the seemingly salient participant, that is, the teacher, may negotiate meaning while still remaining the main purveyor of knowledge and wielder of latent power. Thus, we will draw upon several teacher-students sequences, with a view to shedding light on the role of discourse in establishing the teacher's authority over the students, as well as the power relationships attending the construction of knowledge in the classroom. It is hoped that the present study will 'help correct [the] widespread underestimation of the significance of language in the production, maintenance, and change of social relations of power' (Fairclough, 1989: 1), and draw our attention to how language contributes to people's domination.

For the rest of the article.

Emma Metcalf has another offering in the articles section. It is titled, 'The Implications of Teaching Conversation in the Classroom with Specific Reference to Advanced Learners & Genre'. There's also an accompanying lesson plan.

Some good news - do you remember Edna Aphek's articles about children training oldsters in internet skills? She's just been given the go-ahead in Israel from the Ministry of Education to put the project into operation nationwide. Congratulations Edna!

For the original article 'Children Tutoring Seniors at Internet Skills: An Experiment Conducted at One Israeli Elementary School' & the follow up article, 'A study in reciprocity: Minimizing the digital divide and the intergeneration gap - Children tutor seniors at computer and internet skills and get a lesson in history.'

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 - If you are interested in advertising on the site or the Weekly Teaching Tip & this Monthly Newsletter then please get in touch at:

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Here's a nice puzzle to begin a lesson. Give the instructions orally or give out the text.

1. First of all, pick the number of times a week that you would like to study English. (try for more than once but less than 10 times)

2. Multiply this number by 2.

3. Add 5.

4. Multiply it by 50 - it starts to get a bit tricky here!

5. If you have already had your birthday yet his year add 1751. If you haven't, add 1750.

6. Now subtract the four-digit year that you were born. You should now have a three digit number.

And here comes the good part:

The first digit of this number is your original number i.e. how many times you would like to study English each week). The next two numbers are your age.

You must have a favourite warmer! Send it in & we'll publish it here & put it in the warmer list on the site.



Time to help out a fellow teacher.

Can we have something in the newsletter about teaching large-ish classes? I have classes of 30 to 35, for Oral English (i.e. speaking skills development) here in China, and would welcome advice and suggestions directed at class management, and monitoring and feedback (hearing anything in a concrete classroom with that many people speaking at once is impossible).

Jennifer Wallace

Please send any ideas & activities to

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Maximise your time by getting started on a quality personalised teacher development course.



Don't know about you but I have difficulty keeping up with it all flying around these days & being out of the UK certainly doesn't help. A site to recommend to your studes & for you to use for those tricky slang questions. Mostly from the UK, Ireland, Canada, Australia, and the West Indies with a good links page.

Dillon's Online Vocab for you & your studes.



Fancy working in China?
'Join our great teaching team at EF English First, China. EF English First is currently seeking qualified, enthusiastic teachers for its schools all over China. You are enthusiastic about teaching, want to work in an academic-friendly environment, enjoy learning about other cultures, career-minded and interested in advancement & have a good sense of humor.

Minimum qualifications are at least two of the following (please do not apply if you do not meet these requirements): an internationally recognised TEFL teaching qualification (e.g. RSA CELTA, Trinity TESOL), at least one year's experience in TEFL & a university degree.
The benefits of working as a teacher with EF English First in China include: return airfare, visa and work permit arranged, 12 days paid vacation (in addition to numerous public holidays - total 11 days), high-quality accommodation shared with one other person provided free of charge or allowance given, free Internet access & medical insurance provided.
- 5,500 RMB (approx US$670) per month net salary (approximately twice the salary of a university lecturer), professional training provided on-site, support from the academic department of the EF English First, China, the opportunity to share professional development and ideas with colleagues within the EF English First organisation world-wide, the chance to contribute to the growth and development of the world's largest language organisation, great and genuine opportunities for career advancement
EF is the world's largest international language organisation. We have many divisions which include study abroad programs and our English First schools where we have been teaching English as a foreign language for more than 35 years. We also have three Websites at, and China is the focus of current expansion for our EF English First schools and we are presently opening all over this vast nation offering a wealth of exciting opportunities for EFL professionals.
We are a very supportive group of professionals who are keenly aware of the value of teamwork and enjoyment in teaching that we feel provides all our staff with a great sense of value and accomplishment. English First is expanding rapidly in China during 2001; watch these postings for new and exciting opportunities during the year of the Snake!
Please contact: · Mrs. Lynn Xu (China Recruitment Manager) To help us with our advertising, please inform us where you saw our ad. Thanks.'

(The above was written by EF)

Teachers can post CVs on the site & employers can post job adverts - both are free services at the moment.

Even if you don't want to post a full CV on the site, if you are looking round for another job do send us the basic information, as you'll get prospective employers e-mailing you with offers. A simple way to stay in touch with the job market & find a job.

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As always, free weekly practical teaching tips by e-mail. Sign up!



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

Part-time twelve-week course, January >> Easter
Full-time four-week courses, January & February

Six month part-time course: January >> June '02

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

You can see brief descriptions of all of the current courses on the BLC web site The postal address of Teacher Education at the British Language Centre is Calle Bravo Murillo 377, 2, 28020 Madrid, Spain.
The phone number is (00 34) 733 07 39 & the fax number is (00 34) 91 314 5009.
The e-mail address is

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10. PS - Internet/computer-related links

'Google does it right: they are fast. Their loadtime is quick. Their searches are instantaneous. Voila! What could be faster? Good question. You know that the I'm Feeling Lucky button speeds things up. So does a shortcut to Google on your taskbar, and so does the official Google Toolbar. And maybe you're already using all that. Still need to go faster? Install Dave's Quick Search Deskbar. It launches Google, Yahoo and other searches straight from your desktop taskbar.' Free.

So you haven't got enough search engines - this should keep you busy for a while - 1400 search engines from 174 countries.

For those in need of transforming their own fonts into a 3D effect this is the programme you need. Works with TrueType fonts.

'Stressed out by love, life and relationships? Revenge Lady gives advice on using the ancient art of revenge to bring humor and happiness back to your life. Come rediscover this traditional code of honor. It's justice, plain and simple.'

Get it out of your system, check out one man's gripes & maybe learn what to do when you have a problem.

Giving Google Image a run for its money.

Check out your system - quick & simple.

Tamale Loco: Rumble in the Desert II - 'Think you can gather enough fresh mexi-munchies to win the hand of the beautiful Esmerelda before a host of evil creatures pounds you into guacamole? If you haven't met Tamale Loco, get yourself over to Hobo Alley for some south-of-the-border fun featuring everyone's favorite burrito-building mouse. Now get two full levels of's most advanced side-scrolling game for free! Play now!'

Games, games & more games.

Cool game 1 - The Fool's Errand

Cool game 2 - Reflections

'your internet filter & webzine' - very good, bookmark.



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 goes for any job advertisement.

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