A web site for the developing language teacher

May 2000 - issue 5/00


Welcome to the Newsletter

Trust you are all well rested after Easter. The nice thing now about the long spring term is that the summer one is relatively short!

To coincide with May Day there are a few ideas in the Theme about Work. They are not intended as ideas exclusively for the business std as hopefully most can be used with a variety of stds.

The lesson plan is about 93 year old Jim Dowd who is still working.

Next month's theme will be about that well-worn ELT theme Travel & Holidays. It's in quite a few of your stds' minds at this time of year so all contributions are welcome.

Happy teaching!


Please e-mail a friend Developing Teachers. Thanks.



6. PS


  1. THEME
  • Have you ever secretly wished you were a spy? Come on, course you have. Now's the chance to find out more. Check out - MI5 in site, if not person! Lots of info about the service - Facts & Figures, Functions, Threats, Intelligence Work, Accountability, Myths & Misunderstandings. In this last section they feel a need to tell you that they don't assassinate people, tap phones or routinely monitor the lives of the famous - all sounds very boring if they don't do any of these but I reckon it's a double bluff - spies after all! There's a lot of material about employment - job descriptions, application & salaries (which are pitiful). Great material for upper intermediate onwards. Similarly, not to be outdone, GCHQ - another British intelligence centre at has its own site. There is again info about their history & functioning but it is more concerned with recruitment with job & benefits descriptions (access to the skittle alleys at the Civil Service Sports Association in Cheltenham, no less!), downloadable application forms etc. Definitely worth checking out in their own right (change of career?) & very useful material for your lessons!
  • - an excellent site for the business material & there are two weekly mailings of round ups of politics & business - very useful to have handy for instant discussion work.
  • chronological mini-timetable - going through the stages; unemployed, scanning job adverts, job application letters, forms & CVs, interview preparation, interviews, starting a job, different types of jobs & their attributes, trade unions, redundancy, retiring - spread it out over a couple of weeks. General work lexis: commute, salary/wage, well/badly paid, prospects, promotion, retire, pension, ambitious, perks, increments, commission, stress, company, location, responsibilities, job satisfaction, fringe benefits, work environment.
  • job interviews - vocab: references, short-list, experience, vacancy, qualifications, fill in, application forms, interview, applicants, apply - it's a good time to review tenses & question tags - checking information from the application form with a falling tone. Choose a job ad that you think that the majority might find interesting, the stds write a letter of application, discuss what they should/n't do at the interview, get an interview panel together of three stds & one by one the other stds are interviewed by the 'board' who then decide on the best candidate & give reasons for the choice. There's a lot of material in coursebooks about interview tips.
  • Ranking jobs in order of importance for society/financial return/interest/mental & physical effort/length of working week etc - balloon debate with jobs: each std has a different job & has to justify importance in order to stay in the balloon, one must be thrown overboard - decide on four attributes for the ideal job - 20 Yes/No present simple questions to discover the job. One std thinks of a job & others question e.g. Do you work with your hands/outside/wear a uniform etc.
  • the writing skill - CVs, letter of interest about a job, letter of application, application forms, acceptance/refusal letter, faxes, e-mails, memos, letter of resignation..
  • Discussion about the stds' companies - a SWOT analysis - the stds think of two things in each category related to their company S=Strengths, W=Weaknesses, O=Opportunities & T=Threats & a STEP analysis where they think of two factors that affect their companies in each of the following areas - S=Sociological factors, T=Technological factors, E=Economic factors & P=Political factors. The stds then discuss their ideas. There are worksheets on both of these in the Business English Teacher's Resource Book - Nolan & Reed (Longman) A couple of other very good resource books, among many, are Business English Recipes by Irigoin & Tsai (Longman) & Business Pairwork by Flinders & Sweeney (Penguin). Don't let the business titles put you off as there's a lot for all kinds of stds & groups.
  • If you are in need of some light but relevant business material the 'Successful XXX in a Week' series of short books is very good. Each book takes a different theme: Successful Negotiating /Marketing / Interviews /Business on the Net /Flexible Working /Web Sites etc in a Week. Published by Hodder & Stoughton & they come from the Institute of Management.

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    The summer will soon be upon us. It brings the busiest time for us at Teacher Education at the BLC. The CELTA courses tend to be large groups & there is a full-time DELTA course in July/August. If you know anyone who might be interested in a training course then do pass our address on. Tell them not to leave applying until the last minute to avoid disappointment.


    Full-time four week courses: June - July - August - September


    Full-time eight week courses: July/August & October/November



    You can see brief descriptions of all of the current courses on our web site If you would like to contact us by e-mail, snail mail, phone or fax then please use the details at the end of the newsletter.

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    3.      LINKS
So we've had &
& now to make donating even easier there is the freedonation site. Here you can choose the charity to donate your clicks to. The last time I was there these include helping the AIDS problem, the homeless, the fight against cancer, to end hunger, to save children from diseases, to promote the arts & education. It is also informative about the different areas. Groove along & click to your heart's content.
Lots of interviews with a variety of US-based people - highly usable in class.

As they say at - -"An urban legend:

  • appears mysteriously and spreads spontaneously in varying forms
  • contains elements of humor or horror (the horror often "punishes" someone who flouts society's conventions).
  • makes good storytelling.
  • does NOT have to be false, although most are. ULs often have a basis in fact, but it's their life after-the-fact (particularly in reference to the second and third points) that gives them particular interest."

Some more sources / - I always thought Manchester was an urban myth.
Great material for storytelling & reading skills development.
This is a new site from a past trainee, David Harris, & it is devoted to job matching in the ELT world in Spain. If you are looking for a job or if you are on the other end & looking for a teacher then go along & post it up.
What the younger learners love - all things yucky! A scientific site that explains all these disgusting things!

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Feel a bit incomplete with only the newsletter? So you still haven't subscribed? Have you had a look at the back issues at ? There's a free teaching idea straight to your in-box each week - usually more than one idea! If it's not new then it'll make you think about it a bit more. Check it out & sign up. Or send an e-mail directly to Get that complete feeling. It's free!


  1.    FOR SALE

Here's your chance to try it out for yourself - there's a thriving language school up for sale. It's fully functioning in modern premises situated to the north of Madrid in a booming area. Personal reasons for selling & a good price. If interested then contact me:

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6.     PS
Talk of the web at the moment - check it out - go play!
And if you've got some more time on your hands take a random trip to some quality web sites. All you do is choose a category & go with the flow.
And still even more time on your hands then get along to Emode for a quiz or two. Are you a sex goddess/god? What breed of dog are you? Are you a loony? What's your emotional age? All these & lots more crucial quizzes in Personality, Relationships Career & Health categories.
If you're just starting out with the Net & you're in need of information then these sites are for you - clear, very informative & lots of links.


7.      FEEDBACK

Please send me comments, suggestions, or questions about this newsletter. Please don't be bashful about telling me what you like or don't like. Any ideas for 'themes'? links?

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