A web site for the developing language teacher

January 2007 - issue 1/07


Welcome to the January Newsletter.


7. PS - Internet/computer-related links



A Happy New Year to all.

We start the year with an exciting collaboration. Developing has teamed up with 'Fullspate', an advanced coursebook, to provide you with a free download of the first five units of the book. The Fullspate Pre-Proficiency Primer contains the following:

* 24 units with topics chosen to grab the interest of post-FCE/ECCE students and keep them motivated.
* Passages specially written to help students get to grips with the ideas and issues they are expected to be able to speak and write about at this level.
* Designed to help students build up a solid core of truly useful advanced vocabulary and structure that they can use with confidence.
* Maximizing the opportunities for communication and discussion.
* Extra help with writing. Meticulous preparation and guidance for the writing tasks. No tasks stuck on the ends of units leaving students at a loss to find things to say.
* With an academic bias that will particularly suit students aiming later for exams such as the Michigan Proficiency, IELTS or Edexcel level 5.

If you like the free units then the whole book is yours for the special promotional offer of $10 = 7.5 euros.

To download your free units, go to:

We are also getting lots of interest in our online development courses - personalised & individual courses for every level of teaching experience. Check it all out at:

If you've got something to say, you'd like to dust off that old conference talk or dig out a few lesson plans, then do send them in for publication on the site. All contributions are very welcome.

As ever, thanks for reading.
Happy teaching!


ELT training in beautiful Switzerland! Zurich center offers semi/intensive CELTA, CELTYL, YL extension and DELTA courses year round. Join this globally recognized program with A++ tutors in the heart of Europe. Housing can be arranged. Visit for more info or write to teachertraining@flyingteachers .net for an info packet.




Time to develop your teaching from the comfort of your computer?

The online courses are hosted at one of our sister sites, ( ). The individual, personalised courses develop with the experience, needs & interests of each participant at their own rate.

We use Moodle, an excellent course management system, each course having its own password so only the individual participant plus the trainer can gain access. The central focus on the courses within Moodle is the forum & where there may be three or four different threads going on at the same time. Attached to these are a variety of resources. All are very easy to operate in Moodle. Choose between the full, seven-module course, & an elective four-module course.

For more information, get in touch & check out


Demystifying the ‘horrible phrasals’: a closer look at learner problems and the ways of approaching teaching multi-word verbs by Malgorzata Bryndal

The ‘horrible phrasals’

There is a general consensus that the focus on vocabulary right from the very early stages of language learning is a prerequisite for later proficiency (cf. Thornbury 2002, Nunan 1995, Rivers 1983). Still, certain areas of vocabulary remain underrepresented in teaching materials and avoided by teachers and students. Multi-word verbs (MWVs thereafter) are prime example of this. Despite their high frequency in English (hence great communicative value)(1), MWVs are not promoted in learning early enough. From my learning and teaching experience it seems that they often begin to surface in textbooks and are formally addressed by teachers at intermediate or higher level. Suddenly students are being flooded with them (especially in exam course books), which causes confusion, deters both students and teachers and creates the myth of the ‘horrible phrasals’, as my students call them. These ‘horrible phrasals’ become “…one of the major sources of bewilderment and frustration in the process of
learning English”(Marks 2005, p.1).

Adding to this bewilderment are deeply instilled (in learners and teachers) misconceptions about MWVs in English, such as, e.g., the belief that they are unique to the English language or that they are all informal or colloquial, and illogical. Yet, there is enough evidence from comparative linguistics, corpus linguistics or semantics to contest such claims and prove that MWVs are no different than other categories of vocabulary in English. Marks (2005a) explains that MWVs are part of a broader lexical formation process of combining verb elements with a limited number of particles which is common in Germanic languages just as much as it is in Slavonic and Romance languages(2). These combinations are semantically motivated and not arbitrary (cf. Moon 2005, and discussion in paragraph 2.2), and as the data in Longman’s language corpora indicates, the distribution of MWVs across different text types is roughly the same as the distribution of English verbs in general(3).

My learners, despite being exposed to MVW from the beginning of their course(4), have recurring problems with them. This made me realise that MWV needed to be addressed more systematically: students needed even more exposure, more consciousness-raising exercises and more guidance with organising their internal lexicons.

To view the article:

Lesson plan

Level: Intermediate

Main aims:
* To introduce the SS to 6 MWVs related to the theme of work (stage 2).
* To sensitise the SS to the form, syntactic behaviour, meaning and use of MWVs (stages 3 & 4).
* To provide the SS with controlled written practice and freer speaking practice to activate personal engagement with the targeted MWVs (stage 4).

Sub aims:
* To provide comprehensible input (stage 2).
* To raise SS’ awareness of possible collocates of the presented MWVs (stage 4).
* To introduce SS’ to one possible way of storing new vocabulary (stage 4)
* To foster learner autonomy and encourage the SS to use a monolingual dictionary (stage 4 especially, but peer teaching and correcting encouraged throughout the whole lesson).

Lesson rationale:
The reason for focusing on MWVs with this particular class is threefold: 1. at intermediate level these students have reached a plateau in their language study and can become discouraged and lose interest, therefore they need language input that is not only useful and practical to them but also challenging and giving them a real sense of progress; MWVs fit these criteria; 2. SS have some awareness of MWVs and I would like to build on that and expand this area of lexis with them, especially when SS’ productive knowledge of these items still needs improving, as does their skill of noticing MWVs in spoken and written texts; 3. SS are currently preparing for the ESOL qualification in speaking and listening and will be assessed on their lexical range. The lesson on MWVs (and subsequent systematic work) will support their speaking and listening skills; good productive and receptive knowledge of MWVs is the distinguishing feature of a good command of English and will make the SS sound more authentic and natural.

The choice of the six phrasal verbs presented and practised in the lesson was primarily dictated by the SS’ learning needs and learning environment. Most of my learners are immigrants who need the sort of vocabulary that helps them with their search for employment and in everyday life. Therefore, the chosen MWVs are linked by the theme of work which they will hopefully find engaging and relevant, therefore easier to learn.

The procedure I intend to follow in the lesson is Lewis’s OHE -Observe-Hypothesise – Experiment (Lewis 1993). Unlike the teacher-centred and over-elaborate PPP - Present – Practice -Produce procedure, OHE allows my students to better exploit their learning strategies and preferences, and also leaves room for the teacher to employ well-proven vocabulary teaching techniques such as: lexical drills, and/or to help the students organise newly acquired lexis.

In the observation stage of the lesson, the MWVs will first be presented in 6 short listening texts. The listening input is then reinforced with written input. This is to support learners who might have problems with the listening material, and also to help SS notice the targeted MWVs. Having two kinds of input is also motivated by the SS’ learning styles and preferences.

In the hypothesising stage SS’ attention is refocused on the form, meaning and use of the MWVs. The learners are encouraged to notice the form and the syntactic behaviour of MWVs, and to work out the meaning of MWVs for themselves through guided discovery-type tasks and with the support of concept questions asked by the teacher. Such approach gives me a chance to find out what learners already know or partially know. It is also cognitively engaging, which, as mentioned in part I, facilitates successful learning and retention.

In the next, experimenting stage, ex. 5 is designed to provide two ways of putting the new words to use, first in the reformulation of the original questionnaire from ex. 1, and in the follow up speaking activity by interviewing each other. Task 4 focuses on meaningful chunking and reinforcing the SS’ awareness of the fact that certain MWVs can be separable. Task 6 provides the SS with a neat record of all the MWVs presented in the lesson and encourages them to find collocations for each of the verbs. Task 7 is an extension of task 6 and offers the SS a chance to personalize the new lexis in their own sentences.

Throughout the lesson the SS are given multiple exposures to the targeted MWVs (both in isolation and contextualised in sentences and short texts), which as I argued in part I is essential for better retention. The SS will be closely monitored at all stages of the lesson, and I will make note of any persistent errors or problems to deal with through feedback or in the future remedial and revision work.

The 6 exponents I have chosen for the lesson are fill in, take on, get on with, dress up, look for & slack off.

To view the lesson plan:


Thanks to Malgorzata.


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

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At Developing we occasionally carry out consultancy work. The different projects have included tutoring DELTA candidates by email, offering advice on curriculum design & materials choice & short training courses in person & by email. If you would like us to help in any way, please do not hesitate to get in touch.



Help out a colleague?

Dear Colleagues,
A request for help with MA research regarding `teachers adapting to new contexts and roles'
Could you spare some time to complete a brief questionnaire?

Explanatory Statement
I am a member of IATEFL and a student on the Masters in ELT at Nottingham Trent University. I am currently researching my dissertation, investigating the process of how teachers adapt to new teaching contexts and roles.

It is for this reason that I am appealing for participants to complete the attached questionnaire. Please feel free to forward a copy to any teaching colleagues that may be happy to assist. If you would like any more information regarding this research project, please contact me at:
Thank you in anticipation.
Kind regards,
Darren Elliott

To view the questionnaire:

'This site supports advanced learners of English who want to develop their top-level speaking skills and communication strategies.' Excellent stuff - pass the link on to your advanced learners!
The FCE Blog - An afterclass meeting point for all First Certificate in English Students
Developing an Association for Language Teachers - Edited by Ana Falcao and Margit Szesztay.

TA Handbook - This handbook has one simple purpose. That is, to provide some practical suggestions for language teachers. It may be that you are thinking about setting up an association or that you have already started an association and would like more ideas on certain aspects. The suggestions which are presented here are all based on the practical experience of teachers in many parts of the world.
Creative writing from the Barbican.

If you have visited a site that you think would be beneficial for all or would like your site to appear here, please get in touch. Thanks.

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A few days to plan your lessons around in January:

1st - New Year's Day
Eid ul-Adha - on the tenth day of the Islamic month of Dhul Hijja - varies in the Grgorian calendar
6th - Three King's Day
8th - Elvis Presley's official birthday
Martin Luther King Jr Day - 3rd Monday of Jan.
25th - Robert Burns' Day - Scotland's national poet
26th Indian Republic Day
26th - Australia Day Chinese New Year - lesson plan:

To see the list of Days:

Wikipedia's excellent focus on days of the year:
Some holiday origins.

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There’s a review up on the site of The Internet by S.Windeatt, D.Hardisty & D.Eastment (OUP - Resource Books for Teachers). Here's how the review starts:

You are probably fairly proficient in internet skills to have found your way to this page. But is this enough to deal with this huge area in your lessons? The Internet is at hand to help with an array of very practical information & activities. You might be lucky enough to carry all this out in your classroom, but even if you cannot, you may still be able to use a lot as homework tasks as your students may well have an internet connection at home.

To read the review:

To buy the book from

To buy the book from

BUYING BOOKS 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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More web space & bigger bandwidth!

Developing TheWeb, our associate web hosting site offers three very affordable hosting plans - all with cPanel - Bronze $8/month, Silver - $12/month & Gold - $15/month. For details:

Online Course Support: Moodle installation, 300mb of space, 1gb of bandwidth/month - $12/month Even comes with a PayPal module so that you can integrate charging for your courses. For details:

Pay for the year to get two months free & your bandwidth doubled! Pay for six months & get a month free! Very reasonable domain registration also offered - .com -$20/year. Reliable & friendly hosting services. For more information:



Free weekly practical teaching tips by e-mail.

Recent Tips have included:

- Looking back - a look at tests & planning.
- Redrafting - getting the students to redraft instead of correcting their work.
- SWOT - an activity for the business group as well as a way of reflecting on our role as teachers.

To see the Past Tips:

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7. PS – General 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
'The 50 Greatest Commercials of the ’80s - We love the (rampant commercialism of the) '80s!'
'From Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, The Old Foodie gives you 400 words each weekday on a topic related to the day, plus a historic recipe, and sometimes a menu. And how much fun is that!'
Holiday party excuse generator.
The Quote Garden.
'Virtual Guitar & Chordbook is our main application, this features a flash modelled guitar, over 1300 guitar chords and inversions. You can save chords to your chordbank (mychords).'
'A resource for the Guitar Chords of your favorite Guitar Tabs.'
'Our goal is to be "The Library To The World", in which books, education materials, information, and content will be provided freely to anyone who has an internet connection. Bookyards has a total of 11,123 books, 38,292 web links, 4,108 news & blogs links, 378 videos and access to hundreds of online libraries (500,000 eBooks) for your reading pleasure.'
'Our website offers thousands of free books for students, teachers, and the classic enthusiast.'
Website with no clicking.
'Free Classic Audio Books site where you can download free audio books in either mp3 format or m4b audio book format for iTunes and the iPod. Some of our audio books are human narrated Librivox recordings and others are narrated using the latest high quality text to speech voices.'
Excellent way to choose the music you listen to.
10,000 free fonts and counting!

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