July 2001 - issue 7/01
DEVELOPING TEACHERS.COM Newsletter
Welcome to the July '01 Newsletter
This month's theme looks at e-mail &
how to write it, something that a lot of our students will
eventually need to do in English at some time. We have included
some materials for classroom below as well as the lesson plan
on the site.
There are the usual section links' sections;
for teaching & the computer/internet links. If you come
across a site that you think would be useful for all to know
about then do send us a mail. BTW, the links are all checked
& working at the time of sending out the newsletter -
apologies if you sometimes find yourself 'we
can't show you this at the moment' message - links are changed
If you're after some summer reading &
you want to get some books through Amazon, don't forget to
go through the site -
either the listed books or the Amazon search. Every bit
helps to keep both the Tips & the Newsletter free. Thanks.
2. THE SITE
4. E-MAIL COURSES
7. WEEKLY TEACHING TIPS
8. TRAINING COURSES
9. PS - Internet/computer-related
1. THEME - E-mail
E-mail is everywhere. I use it more than
the phone these days. It's quick & convenient. I imagine
all of you reading this use it. But do we know how to use
it 'properly' & how do we teach our students to use it
effectively. What is 'proper' e-mail writing? Who decides
what is right & what isn't? I've never read anything
about how to write an e-mail, just getting on with it &
transferring my ideas on letter writing to the e-mail format.
I seem to have done OK but I'm not sure that that's enough
A few people have tried to define e-mail writing guidelines
& I have listed the links below to the more interesting
ones. 'Netiquette' is the term for these 'rules' for sending
effective mails & not upset anybody. As the e-mail is
ubiquitous we do
need to look at the genre with our students. What might be
straightforward in their own language can easily become a
struggle in English. It's not enough to expect them to transfer
L1 skills to English.
In the lesson plan on the site there are
a list of Dos & Don'ts taken from a Guardian Weekly article
about e-mail plus acronym & emoticons matching tasks &
a reading text about an e-mail hoax - the writer's child is
turning into a monkey! To
see the plan:
There are many ways of looking at e-mails
with your groups at every level. Communicative activities
you have done with letter writing can be done with e-mails
with even greater effect due to the almost immediate arrival
& response times. Project work is easy & fun. I have
felt guilty in the past asking students to write off for information
that you know that they are not going to follow up & buy
the product. The information they receive is used as a comparative
activity only. With e-mail it is much easier for companies
to send information out at next to no effort
Students match up acronym & definition, emoticon &
BTW "By the way"
FWIW "For what it's worth"
FAQ "Frequently asked question(s)"
FYA "For your action"
FYI "For your information"
IMHO "In my humble opinion"
IMO "In my opinion"
IMNSHO "In my not so humble opinion"
TIA "Thanks in advance"
X-) I see nothing
:-X I say nothing
:-s after a bizarre comment
A short quiz compiled by netiquette experts.
The Yahoo! Mail Netiquette Quiz tests your understanding of
expressions commonly used by 'savvy' e-mail and instant messenger
A Chris Pirillo article - of Lockergnome
fame - a general
article about netiquette.
A 10 minute course in online writing style.
The Smileys and Acronyms Dictionary.
Common e-mail terminology.
The Net: User Guidelines and Netiquette -
Index By Arlene H.
They say 'Business Netiquette International
is the Web's prime "Netiquette" site for business
etiquette, keeping international business in mind. This means
company to company e-mail, not personal messages between business
'A Beginner's Guideto Effective Email'
About's section on e-mail.
Emily Postnews, foremost authority on proper
net (tongue-in- cheek) behaviour, gives her advice on how
to act on the net. Material for the savvy students - if they're
not then they won't get it!
'How to Hoax-Proof Yourself' by Walt Howe
Charles Hymes provides great tips for spotting
Internet hoaxes so you don't end up participating in them.
He also includes a list of famous hoaxes and links to related
I was recently sent the hoax about the file
you need to delete in order for Windows to work well - which
in reality would disable your system. The sender was clearly
just passing an e-mail on without investigating whether it
was true or not so if
recipients of her mail had deleted the file she would have
been directly responsible for the damage caused. Not an envious
position to be in! So here's a text I found on
http://www.madmail.net/index.html It would make a good classroom
introduction to e-mails & e-mail hoaxes. As mentioned
above, the lesson plan on the site contains a chain mail hoax.
THE GULLIBILITY VIRUS
WASHINGTON, D.C.--The Institute for the Investigation
of Irregular Internet Phenomena announced today that many
Internet users are becoming infected by a new virus that causes
them to believe without question every groundless story, legend,
and dire warning that shows up in their Inbox or on their
Gullibility Virus, as it is called, apparently makes people
believe and forward copies of silly hoaxes relating to cookie
recipes, E-Mail viruses, taxes on modems, and get-rich-quick
schemes [perhaps conspiracy theories should be included here].
"These are not just readers of tabloids
or people who buy lottery tickets based on fortune cookie
numbers," a spokesman said. "Most are otherwise
normal people, who would laugh at the same stories if told
to them by a stranger on a street corner." However, once
these same people become infected with the Gullibility Virus,
they believe anything they read on the Internet. "My
immunity to tall tales and bizarre claims is all gone,"
reported one weeping victim. "I believe every warning
message and sick child story my friends forward to me, even
though most of
the messages are anonymous."
Another victim, now in remission, added,
"When I first heard about 'Good Times,' I just accepted
it without question. After all, there were dozens of other
recipients on the mail header, so I thought the virus must
be true." It was a long time, the victim
said, before she could stand up at a Hoaxees Anonymous meeting
and state, "My name is Jane, and I've been hoaxed."
Now, however, she is spreading the word. "Challenge and
check whatever you read," she says.
Internet users are urged to examine themselves
for symptoms of the virus, which include the following:
the willingness to believe improbable stories
without thinking the urge to forward multiple copies of such
stories to others a lack of desire to take three minutes to
check to see if a story is true
T. C. is an example of someone recently infected.
He told one reporter, "I read on the Net that the major
ingredient in almost all shampoos makes your hair fall out,
so I've stopped using shampoo." When told about the Gullibility
Virus, T . C. said he
would stop reading e-mail, so that he would not become infected.
Anyone with symptoms like these is urged
to seek help immediately. Experts recommend that at the first
feelings of gullibility, Internet users rush to their favorite
search engine and look up the item tempting them to thoughtless
hoaxes, legends, and tall tales have been widely discussed
and exposed by the Internet community.
Courses in critical thinking are also widely
available, and there is online help from many sources, including
Department of Energy Computer Incident Advisory Capability
Anti Virus Research Center at
McAfee Associates Virus Hoax List at
The Urban Legends Web Site at
Urban Legends Reference Pages at
Datafellows Hoax Warnings at
Those people who are still symptom free can
help inoculate themselves against the Gullibility Virus by
reading some good material on evaluating sources, such as
Evaluating Internet Research Sources at
Evaluation of Information Sources at
Lastly, as a public service, Internet users
can help stamp out the Gullibility Virus by sending copies
of this message to anyone who forwards them a hoax.
Here's a combination of hoaxes that have
been sent over the past few years - the mother of all hoaxes!
I know this guy whose neighbour, a young
man, was home recovering from having been served a rat in
his bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken. So anyway, one day he
went to sleep and when he awoke he was in his bathtub and
it was full of ice and he was sore all over. When he got out
of the tub he realized that HIS KIDNEYS
HAD BEEN STOLEN, and he saw a note on his mirror that said
But he was afraid to use his phone because
it was connected to his computer, and there was a virus on
his computer that would destroy his hard drive if he opened
an e-mail entitled "Join the crew!" He knew it wasn't
a hoax, because he himself was a
computer programmer who had worked on the software that saved
us from Armageddon when the year 2000 rolled around. His program
prevented a global disaster in which all the computers get
together & distribute the $600 Neiman Marcus cookie recipe
under the leadership of Bill Gates. (It's true - I read it
week in a mass e-mail from BILL GATES HIMSELF, who was also
promising me a free Disney World vacation and $5,000 if I
would forward the e-mail to everyone I know.)
The poor man then tried to all 911 from a
pay phone to report his missing kidneys, but reaching into
the coin-return slot he got jabbed with an HIV-infected needle
around which was wrapped a note that said, "Welcome to
the world of AIDS."
Luckily he was only a few blocks from the
hospital---the one, actually, where that little boy who is
dying of cancer is, the one whose last wish is for everyone
in the world to send him an e-mail and the American Cancer
Society has agreed to pay him a
nickel for every e-mail he receives.
Isent him two e-mails and one of them was
a bunch of x's and o's in the shape of an angel (if you get
it and forward it to twenty people you will have good luck,
but ten people you will only have ok luck, and if you send
it to less than ten people you will have BAD LUCK FOR SEVEN
So anyway the poor guy tried to drive himself
to the hospital, but on the way he noticed another car driving
along without his lights on. To be helpful, he flashed his
lights at him and was promptly shot as part of a gang initiation....
To use the two texts above in an e-mail format all you have
to do is copy the text, paste it into a new e-mail & send
it to yourself - then print off an authentic looking e-mail
Back to the index
2. THE SITE
There are some new articles on the site this
Darron Board, who has previously been featured
with his article
& lesson plan about ICT in language teaching, offers a
perspective on vocabulary & learning strategies.
If you've given a course or seminar &
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:
This is a bit of fun pop psychology. Put
the following symbols on the board & ask the students
to copy them down. Then tell them to draw some pictures very
quickly, each one incorporating a different symbol - so they
draw 6 pictures - & put a one or two- word description
above or below the picture. The symbols are a
small circle, a key, a small box, a vertical line, a wavy
line, a dot.
The first picture is sometimes a flower,
the third a window of a house, the fourth a tree & the
last the top of a mountain. The interpretations are that each
picture tells you how you see an aspect of yourself. In the
order of the pictures they are how you
see yourself, your friends, your family, your sex life, your
job & lastly your future. In the feedback ask what they
a few of them had for each picture. Lots of fun.
If you've got a favourite warmer that you'd
like to share, then
send it in.
Back to the index
4. E-MAIL COURSES
Maximise your time by getting started on
a quality personalised
teacher development course.
5. LINKS FOR TEACHING
Called the 'E-mail Projects' - not sure how
much e-mail comes into the projects but the site could be
a useful springboard for developing your own internet projects
for your students.
A very useful stop off for you & your
students that helps to make you as better writer. Paste in
your text & it gives you a word frequency analysis.
I came across this site recently - it should
have figured in the last newsletter about storytelling. My
first taste many years ago with what could be done in the
classroom with computers came through 'storyboards'. I was
& remain impressed by these.
They consist of texts, all blanked out, &
the user has to supply a word & it is inserted whenever
it occurs in the text. Gradually the text is built up. If
you get stuck a 'hint' button supplies a letter or word. It
is a challenging &, if the text is chosen
well, interesting activity. Get your students along here.
Similar to http://www.magportal.com/
this site looks for specified articles. Excellent resource.
Dumb everything - facts, crimes, laws, warnings
etc - lots of fun reading & discussion material.
'Linguistic Funland' - An extensive site
for teachers, students & educational web designers &
a full links page. Worth a trawl.
'This web site (from Kevin Cunningham) is
designed to provide an overview of the Internet and some of
its uses, and to help teachers incorporate the Web into the
EFL / ESL curriculum. It also introduces some of the many
resources available to EFL /
ESLteachers on the Net. We begin by taking a look at the Internet
itself and how it works. This is followed by a brief foray
into the functions of the two most popular browsers that people
are currently using. After that, we examine some search engines
and learn how to find things efficiently. Next, we see how
e-mail works and how to compose, send, and reply to messages.
Then we look at WebQuests and find out how they can be powerful
learning tools for students. Finally, we examine the pedagogy
behind including the Internet in the EFL / ESLclassroom, with
suggestions for its use, and finish up with a collection of
EFL / ESLlinks that should take you on further paths of discovery.'
Back to the index
can post CVs on the site & employers
can post job adverts - both are free services at the moment.
Here's a job in China - this one printed
We're searching for ESL teachers to teach
in China! We are looking for 3 ESL teachers to work at Shanda
International House in Jinan China in the Shandong Province
and International House Qingdao. Shanda International House
is in the grounds of Shandong university. It has been recently
renovated to western standards and well equipped with a large
computer room ( internet access), self access centre, movie
room (DVDs). There is a wide selection of teaching resources
and teacher support systems. The majority of classes have
students from 16 to 35 years old with a few junior classes.
General English and IELTS exam courses are the
main types of classes. We are also running a foundation course
Job title: English TEFL teacher
Location: Jinan or Qingdao China
Starting date: Various - initially 16.7.01, 3.9.01 and 18.2.01
Qualifications: Minimum a degree and a RSA CELTA certificate
or equivalent EFL/ESL qualification.
Experience: None necessary. Your salary will be worked out
on the experience you have.
General job description: Teaching 24 face to face teaching
hours and 3 hours material development hours in a school of
approx 200 students (Jinan) or 60 (Qingdao) ranging from juniors,
high school to adults. Most classes are general English and
IELTS exam training courses.
Pay and benefits:
Salary: 4000rmb(Approx. US$530, AU$ 850) per month if no experience
5200rmb (Approx. US$680, AU$1100) per month if minimum 600
hours of appropriate teaching experience. Remember living
expenses are very low in China with teachers living on approx
$80 AUD a week.
Accommodation: Free 3 shared western style flat with all modern
facilities, a room each, a utility (power) allowance 5 minutes
walk from the school (Jinan) or a similar 2 shared flat 10
minutes walk from school (Qingdao).
Medical: Basic insurance cover for within China plus 1000rmb
allowance per year for medicine and doctor visits
Holidays: 27 days per year
Flight: An allowance of up of $1400AUD ( approx US $748) allowance
which easily covers a return economy flight from most major
cities in the world
If interested contact Julia Bishop -
email@example.com - International House QLD, 130 McLeod
St, Cairns , 4870, QLD, Australia - fax: 00 61 7 40 313 464
- Website: http://www.ihqld.com
7. WEEKLY TEACHING TIPS
As always, free weekly practical teaching
tips by e-mail. Sign up!
Back to the index
Train in Spain - Courses running in the near
future at the British Language Centre in Madrid:
CAMBRIDGE CERTIFICATE IN ELT - CELTA
Full-time four-week courses: August, September, October &
CAMBRIDGE DIPLOMA IN ELT - DELTA
Six month part-time course: October '01 >> March '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 http://www.cospa.es/blc/TED/ttframe.htm
The postal address of Teacher Education at the British Language
Centre is Calle Bravo Murillo 377, 2, 28020 Madrid, Spain.
phone number is (00 34) 733 07 39 & the fax number is
(00 34) 91 314 5009. The e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Back to the index
9. PS - Internet/computer-related links
'News for Nerds. Stuff that matters.'
'Our weekly newsletter is devoted to helping
you get the most out of the Microsoft Office suite, whether
you're using Office 97, Office 2000, or Office XP. In addition
to news, advice, tips, tricks, advice, and opinions, you'll
find reviews of the best in
office products, from printers and low-cost scanners to Office
add-ons. We invite you to explore our Standard (free) edition
of The Office Letter online.'
If you happen to be a budding writer check
this out: 'E2 can be a very, very confusing place at first.
This website has grown from being a very simple user-written
encyclopaedia to a very complex online community with a focus
to write, publish and edit a quality database of information,
insight and humor. When you make an account here you join
not only a team of dedicated writers but an entire micro-society
and community with its own pop culture, politics, beauty and
blunders. It's not perfect. In fact, it can be pretty messy.
It's cool as hell, though...'
An interesting collection of voted 'top ten'
sites, products, news headlines & people - each sub-divided
'Wordmap is the leading specialist in knowledge
maps' - a very popular search engine with some. Do a general
search or choose the theme. Some say it gives more accurate
results than Google.
Walt's Navigating the Net Forum.
Informative & clear computer-related
site - bookmark it for when you have a need.
A walk on the dark side - well, looks pretty
harmless to me & anyone who pre-empts hate mail with a
set of readymade responses can't be all that bad! They say:
'Congratulations on your decision to join the forces of darkness!
Evil always needs more tools... I mean... agents... for its
unholy army of the night, and by joining now you can rest
assured that your remaining years will be spent pursuing the
'good' things of life: lust, greed, debauchery, the slaughter
of hapless innocents... Your favourite hobby can become a
lifelong career! Thus, this handy guide has been created to
nurture any potential lunatic into a lifetime of evil and
To the Past