A web site for the developing language teacher

January 2004 - issue 1/04


Welcome to the January Newsletter. A Happy New Year to everyone & we hope you had a restful time if you had holidays.

This time of year is the time to look back over the year gone by & forward to the year to come. We have a Year 2003 Quiz for your students - the questions are in the site section below & accompanied with photos on the site.

The web site has published lists of words that have made the news this year. The complete list includes the Top 10 Words of 2003, the top phrases, the top names, the best and worst product names, top Enron inspired words, top YouthSpeak words, and others. The Top 5 Words of 2003 were:

1. Embedded - News correspondents embedded in military units suggested to many that news correspondents were in bed with the military.
2. Blog - Web logs have come of age and, regrettably, this lexical mutation with them.
3. SARS - Farm animals strike back at the humans who eat them again with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome. The Flu (with a capital "F") is pushing
right behind.
4. Spam - This old word now refers to a plague contending with SARS for destructive potential. Could the Flu (with a capital "F") be any worse?
5. Taikonaut - The Chinese astronaut distracted our attention from textiles and copyrights to remind us that China is a rising industrial power.

And the Top Ten Youthspeak Words
1. What Up? - Present incarnation of the ever popular: Wassup?
2. Give it up! - Replaces the square: please applaud for…
3. Shut up! - YouthSpeak for 'Really?'
4. Stog - Cigarette, short for 'stogey'.
5. SNAG - Sensitive New-Age Guy.
6. Hottie - Object of affection, either personally or in the cultural milieu.
7. Poppins - Perfect, as in 'Mary Poppins is perfect in every way.'
8. Tricked Out - Souped-up.
9. Rice Rockets - Tricked out Japanese compacts, as opposed to American 'muscle' cars.
10. Side Show - Temporarily cordoning off a freeway to perform outrageous car stunts in tricked-out rice rockets.

Top Internet Words Moving into Widespread Use
1. Ping - Send a reminder, as in 'Ping me about that!'
2. Multitask - To perform several tasks at the same time.
3. 10X - In high tech jargon, the competitive advantage that separates a company from its competition.
4. Off line - The replacement for "out of it," as 'Are you listening or are you off line?'
5. Bandwidth - Capacity, as 'We'll have to increase our bandwidth to handle the order.'

To see the full lists

And looking to the future, along with your new year's resolution lesson, we've got a speaking lesson plan for advanced learners about twenty ideas that might well be on people's minds during 2004. See the site section below.

In another article, 'Kill a rat - And 100 other things to do this year' by Tim Dowling on the Guardian Unlimited site, two of his points warn us of the dangers of 2004:

3 Repent. Every year has its own end-of-the-world predictions. A group called the Watcher Ministries has pegged 2004 as the year of the second coming, using complex calculations based on measurements of the Pyramid at Giza. Another apocalyptic number-cruncher named Clay Cantrell is more specific, setting October 17 as the start date for the Rapture. Australian doomsday prophet William Kamm, whose followers call him the Little Pebble, predicts the end of the world as we know it for Easter Sunday. In The Bible Code II: The Countdown, Michael Drosnin plumps for a June nuclear attack on New York City, touching off the third world war and hastening the end-time. One to keep your eye on.

6 Keep your head down. In August a large comet will brush northern France, raining debris on the Earth before exploding over the Aegean. At least that's what Nostradamus is predicting for 2004. Of course his lunatic quatrains have always been open to a certain amount of interpretation, but this is the central thesis of Comet of Nostradamus: August 2004: Impact!, a book which, it is widely predicted, will disappear off the face of the earth on September 1.

Have a look at the article/list. It's quite UK-centric but might be of interest to one of your advanced groups. Here's the link

A few minor cosmetic changes to the site have been made over the break. A forthcoming change is the disappearance of the Jobs & CV sections on the actual site. These functions will be moved permanently to the Forums in the near future. So if you would like to advertise jobs or your CV then please do so in the Forums. It's free.

Happy teaching & watch out for those apocalyptic days!



1. THE SITE - Year 2003 Quiz & plan






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!



Year 2003 Quiz - these are a selection of possible questions - adapt to suit - the answers. When using them with your students, use the opportunity to delve more into the different stories & provide lots of authentic speaking practice. The quiz on the site comes with photos.

1. Which famous virus swept Asia in July?

2. Which month featured the UN negotiations?

3. Which famous statesman celebrated his 85th birthday?

4. Which prince become embroiled in a sordid sex scandal?

5. Who did it for the fifth time in France?

6. A revolution in November - where was it?

7. Where were the big fires in October?

8. Which European country suffered more than most from forest fires during the summer?

9. The biggest dam so far - where & when?

10. One earthquake among many - this time in May - when? And the one in late December?

11. A UK scientist committed suicide in July - who & why?

12. England excelled at a sport for the first time in many a year. What is the sport?

13. The Iraq war began in which month?

14. Flash mobbing became relatively popular - what is it?

15. The biggest demonstrations ever took place in London in February. What was the demonstration

16. Which famous plane made its last flight?

17. Which mad disease was found at the end of the year in the US?

18. Terminator wins - who & where?

To read the quiz - with photos - at the site


There's a lesson plan for advanced learners '20 Big Ideas' about ideas that may take off in 2004. It is aimed towards a speaking plan but could easily be adapted to be more reading & language focused. It is UK-centric so careful to check out all the cultural references.

To see the lesson plan


ARTICLES - 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:

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



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.

A question from Ron - Hi, I am completely new to teaching and I am interested to go to work in Cambodia. I would be grateful if anyone could give me any information, such as, wages, qualifications, Living costs. Thank you in advance.

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'SearchEnglish is a news, information and networking tool for English language teaching professionals.'

'Connections is a new British Council web site which applies the principle of serendipity (making fortunate discoveries by accident) to finding Internet resources. The aim of Connections is to lead you to discover resources that you may otherwise not have found. Connections will take you on a
voyage of discovery of UK web sites.'

'TeachersDomain' offers: High-quality multimedia resources from public television, Correlations to national and state curriculum standards, Media-rich lesson plans, Customizable resource folders.'

'A collection of word oddities & trivia.'

Grammar & language courses - over 100 languages.

Keep yourself up-to-date - 'devoted to recently coined words and phrases, and to old words that are being used in new ways. These aren't "stunt words" or "sniglets," but new terms that have appeared in newspapers, magazines, books, Web sites, and other recorded sources……. Chrismukkah (KRIS.muh.kuh) n. A holiday celebration that combines elements of both Christmas and Hanukkah, particularly in households that have both Christian and Jewish members

Bedtime stories in English.

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Some days to plan your lessons around in January:

1st - New Year's Day
6th - Three King's Day
8th - Elvis Presley's official birthday
20th - Martin Luther King Jr Day
22nd - Chinese New Year
25th - Robert Burns' Day - Scotland's national poet
26th - Australia Day

To see the Days of the Year



This month the review continues to be of 'The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language' by David Crystal. To see the review

To buy the book at
To buy the book at

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.

To see the Past Tips

To sign up to receive them


7. CVs & JOBS

As mentioned in the introduction, please post all job adverts & CVs directly in the Forums. Thanks.

The Jobs Forum

The CV Forum

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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 12th, February, March '04
Part-time twelve week course, M/W/F 10.30-14.00, January 12th >> March '04

Full-time two-month course, April & May, July & August '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

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,14024,1108883,00.html

The best of British blogging.

'Huminity is an instant messaging chat software that combines in it full social networking capabilities. It can be installed on any Windows running PC. After installing Huminity and creating a personal contact-tree, Huminity becomes your 6-degree chat software. You can navigate your global map of personal connections, have private chats and chat in chat rooms.'

Project Orion - nuclear pulse projection.

'It is often said that a fool and his money are easily parted. This site aims to prove this is true. What do you need to do? Simple - just make a small donation to us! It's quick, easy and you can give as little as $2US.' Nicely designed site - just hope he finds the idiots he's looking for - he deserves it - take the idiot test while you're there.

'ClockWallpaper - cool clock and wallpaper for your Desktop'

Keep an eye on your computer systems.

Paul Neave's interesting site.

'Physics. Explained. Finally.'

Grand Illusions - '…the site for the enquiring mind. With optical illusions, scientific toys, visual effects, and even a little magic.'

A quiz about typefaces.

All things vegetables.

Send a singing message - original artists included! Really nicely done.

'It has come to the attention of the Management Cabal that numerous employees of the Office Diversions Corporate Family Fun Group have utilized company World Wide Web connectivity resources in the pursuit of activities non-essential to their functions. As you are aware (see Memorandum
X55-2 Dated June 2003), Office Diversions has taken steps earlier this year to install Surf Pattern Observation Software on our networks for the protection of our employees from the harmful effects of Internet browsing unrelated to their core functions.' Things to do when you should be working.

The amazing baconizer - 'Describe two items and see how they're linked by consumer preference via intermediate items. Choose from books, CDs, or films, and you can mix and match. '

Join up & make connections on this fast growing network site.

Remember when you were 13? Now give yourself some advice….

White ninja comics.

Rolling Stone's top 500 albums of all time.

Lots of tips each day - career tip of the day, cooking tip of the day, dieting tip of the day, gambling tip of the day, genealogy tip of the day, health tip of the day, personal finance tip of the day, relationship tip of the day, travel tip of the day & windows xp tip of the day.

Migration experiences

Marble mayhem.

Budding artists at Mr Picassohead.

Thinking of paying for music over the internet - check out the links in this article.

Daily rotation of tech headlines - a must for all would-be geeks.

The best of what's new in 2004.

Gardening, plants - the database.

'Shopportunity - A shopping opportunity. As they sped past the roadside flea market, she knew she was missing a golden shopportunity.'

Brian's Buzz bi-monthly newsletter about Windows.

Top ten internet fads.

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