A web site for the developing language teacher

May 2003 - issue 5/03


Welcome to the May Newsletter.

We've been thinking for some time now that the amount of lesson plans on the site has been building up. A very good thing but the plans are associated with different sections on the site & difficult to find. So, to make life easier, we've designed an index of lesson plans. There's the name of the plan, the author, level & main aims. Feel free to use them with your classes.

If you have any lesson plans lying around gathering dust, why not send them in & we'll add them to the list for all to use.

Another addition to the site is the CV Forum. This one is specifically for CVs. So if you're looking for a job, here's the place to tell everyone what you have done, what you can do & where you would like to do it.

Happy teaching!


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1. THE SITE - plans & articles








9. PS - Internet/computer-related links



This month Nigel McGloin offers us an intermediate lesson plan that reviews basic passives using the theme of paparazzis & tabloid newspaper reports. Here are the aims:

To present the passive through a text and then heighten students' awareness of why and how the passive is used
To introduce some new vocabulary items
To give some initial controlled practice
To give some extensive reading practice
To provide practice of spoken fluency

'This lesson's focus is on the structure of the passive, I have decided to focus the class on grammar as much of the coursework we are doing has placed an important emphasis on both listening and speaking skills; most of the students have talked about their interest in improving these skills. However, it is clear that many students still need to work on structural areas if they are to avoid fossilisation, therefore, in trying to maintain the communicative value of the class and at the same time give students some useful practice in manipulating grammar I will be using a skills focus to present the items. I often feel that helping learners take in new language can be made easier if we can get their attention using material that engages the student while at the same time motivates them, in this sense I hope the topic of the class, the text and the visual aids will do this; the topic is quite controversial in Spain at the moment with so many television programmes and magazines dedicated to gossip.'


Here are the new articles on the site:

Proposal for a Learning-Centred, Computer-Enhanced Syllabus for Japanese University ELT Classes by Gregory Poole

Although often deemed reticent and unresponsive language learners (see, e.g., Oxford, Hollaway et al. 1992), young Japanese adults, if given the chance, can be quite independent learners. Collaborative projects and team learning is familiar to every Japanese student (see, e.g., Passin 1982; Rohlen 1983; Azuma, Hakuta et al. 1986; Beauchamp 1991; Rohlen and LeTendre 1996). The passive lecture-style of most high school and university language classes in Japan fits more with the otherwise 'western' view of "banking education" (Freire 1985) or "empty vessel model" (Brandsford, Pellegrino et al. 1999) than with the more learner-centred models employed in Japanese primary and secondary schools (White 1987; Benjamin 1997). With careful thought and planning, there is every reason to believe that a more flexible approach to the language syllabus could be successful in a Japanese college setting.


Students Guiding Students Through the Web A Collaborative Web-based Project Developing Students' Autonomy and Life-long Learning Skills by Natalie Cigankova

Such a powerful tool as the Internet allows the teacher to use the wealth of on-line resources to enhance the students' learning at the Academic Writing lessons. As many educators have already noticed, a spontaneous, chaotic process of harnessing the Web by students is taking place independently from teachers, causing frequent cases of plagiarism and various citing errors in academic assignments. Even when students use the Internet for "proper" purposes, "one challenge for language teachers is to shape some of their computer-using experiences into language learning experiences" (Chapelle, 2001:2). The purpose of this article is to suggest one of the possible solutions: a collaborative web-based project aimed at incorporating the information technology (beyond word processing) into the process of developing advanced academic writing skills.


The Cultural Dynamics of Teaching by Dimitrios Thanasoulas

Introduction When children first attend school and embark on the formal processes of learning to read and write, school learning purports to enable children to realise and release, as it were, their intrinsic potentialities of interpreting written text. Moreover, this release of potential is supposed to help children acquire a higher-order cultural awareness of their society, so that they may engage in the use of logic, science and religion. This is what has been dubbed "the classical torch" view of literacy and schooling (see Thomas, 2000: 43 for further details), and it has been criticised on certain grounds-that, for example, it creates a void between literates and non-literates, and that if school fails to achieve its goals for many of its pupils, the latter are doomed, as they are incapable of participating effectively in cultural interaction and their society's high culture. Nevertheless, even if some students fail to become "literate"-mainly because much of school learning is concerned with the "technological" features of writing (ibid.: 44)-they still have a rich oral capacity, which has been neglected or even ignored by formal schooling. It is this rich oral capacity that will be the springboard for our discussion; yet, we will not focus on "non-literates'" tradition, which is said to be at variance with that of "literates." We will only briefly examine the cultural dynamics of teaching, which should take into consideration the needs of all students.

Thanks to Nigel, Greg, Natalie & Dimitrios.

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:



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...



Relax & maximise your time by getting started on a quality personalised teacher development course.



For you & your students to track down an explanation for those idioms.

'Welcome to the home of the Word Spy! This Web site and its associated mailing list are devoted to recently coined words and phrases, old words that are being used in new ways, and existing words that have enjoyed a recent renaissance. These aren't "stunt words" or "sniglets," but new words and phrases that have appeared in newspapers, magazines, books, press releases, and Web sites.'

Stendhal's syndrome (sten.DAWLZ sin.drum, -drohm) n. Dizziness, panic, paranoia, or madness caused by viewing certain artistic or historical artifacts or by trying to see too many such artifacts in too short a time.

hand-me-up n. A used object, especially an article of clothing, passed from a younger person to an older person. -adj. -v. Example Citation: Until knock-off time at 5pm from his Little India den, he maintains contact with the 'outside' world via an old, 'hand-me-up' Nokia mobile phone left behind by his son...'

'Wurdz is a stand-alone text analysis tool that examines a written document and displays statistics about the document. You may either type text directly into the program, open a file, or paste from the Windows Clipboard to begin. Once the text is opened in the Wurdz program, you simply click Analyze and the rest is automatic. You not only see the frequency of words used, but the word count, character count, unique words, percentage of unique words in the document, and a facility to find a particular word in a long document. The output from Wurdz can be saved and imported into a spreadsheet application such as Excel for extreme analysis. This program is primarily directed toward writers or those interested in dissecting and analyzing text documents. But even if you only write letters or similar small documents, you may find it helpful to look at the way you're putting sentences together, or word frequency in your text. Besides that, it's fun to analyze books that someone else has written. For example, a classic novel. You can ascertain the vocabulary, at least in the current document, of an author by seeing the percentage of unique words used. One of the more fun things to do is compare contrasting words in a document. How many times did you use me as compared to you, or love and hate? After you compare a number of words, you begin to see patterns emerge that go beyond mere words. If you're writing an essay about your parents, how many times did you use male gender words compared to the female gender words?'

'Gerry's Vocabulary Database is a superb new program for teaching and learning language through exposure to vocabulary in context. It provides a list of keywords, each of which is linked to a number of sentences which illustrate how the word is used. The user can search and edit these sentences, and add more keywords or sentences of their own. And with a couple of mouse-clicks, users can choose a sequence of sentences, and build them into a complete language exercise......You can download an evaluation version of Gerry's Vocabulary Database. This version is similar to the full program, but only allows you to use sentences from the first half of the alphabet. It also limits the number of sentences you can use in an exercise to 5.'

Now with a revamped site & a very nice extra for paying subscribers - the Instant Workbook - 'Here you will find the exercises you can preview and select for your students to use. Either list the exercises linked to your English-To-Go Lesson, or view all Instant Workbook exercises. Once you have selected the exercise you wish to use, you will be given a temporary username and password for your students to use to log into the Instant Workbook exercise.' Each time you set it up, the passwords for your students are valid for 5 days. Excellent.

Have you got any favourite teaching links? Post them in the Forums or send them in.



If you or your students are thinking of the UK for an English language course then The New School of English in Cambridge should be at the top of the list of schools to consider.

Here are a few reasons for choosing The New School of English

- centrally located in the city of Cambridge - small enough to provide very personal attention to our students in the classroom - accommodation and in their social activities - no large numbers of one nationality - high-quality language classes with experienced, well-qualified staff - self-catering residential accommodation in the summer for students who want more independence

If you mention that you found them at Developing, you'll get a 5% discount on the course fees. To visit their web site:



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Quanzhou City, Fujian Province, China. Two ESL native speakers teachers needed. Target group: Primary and secondary school students. Job description: The teachers concerned should be creative in working to perk the interest of these young people who are learning a language for examination purposes but generally has no chance to use in real life situations. Teachers assigned such classes have practically no papers to grade. Salary: Range from RMB3,000 to RMB4,000 per month depending on qualifications and experience. Working hours: 20 per week. Airfare: Return economy class air fare to city of origin; a year contract. Accommodation: Free of charge. Other benefits - provided on response.

Please submit full resume with passport/photo page. Reply email: Pei De Language Training Center Web site:


Linyi, Shandong Province, NE China Expand you EFL teaching experience while sampling life in a small city in China. Linyi EF English Training Centre is part of the EF English First chain of schools around the world. Summer positions are from July 1st-August 31st. Requirements: recognised TEFL certificate (min 100hrs tuition incl teaching practice) and /or one year EFL teaching experience. Must be willing to teach Young Learners courses (ages 7-14) as well as General English courses to teenagers and university students. A desire to experience life in a small city in China. We offer: reimbursed airfare,accomodation, insurance and work visa. Full induction to the school and it's courses, the chance to aid the development of a new school while sampling the benefits of belonging to an established education organisation. Salary is 4500 yuan per month. Our school is located in Linyi in Shandong province (NE China) Linyi has a very low cost of living and friendly people.

Send resume with cover letter to: by May 7


Changchun, North-east China English First Changchun is part of one of the world's leading English language teaching organisations. We are currently seeking to recruit motivated and open-minded people to teach children, teenagers, adults and business clients in Changchun, Jilin province. Requirements: 1 One year's experience 2 Internationally recognised EFL certificate (with teaching practice) 3 University Degree
Benefits: 1 RMB 5,500 salary per month (Net) 2 Accommodation paid for and provided by the school 3 Round-trip airfare for a one-year contract 4 Full health insurance

If you're interested, please send your resume to: To find out more about English First, please visit


Bursa, Turkey
UKLA Language Academy is looking for native ELT teachers with university degrees and recognized TEFL qualifications (CELTA or equivalent)to teach general English, TOEFL, and Business English. Experience outside of the English teaching field is an advantage. We are offering full time positions (approximately 24 hours per week) to teach a variety of levels. The suitable candidate should be energetic, self-motivated, flexible and able to work as part of a team. He or she will receive the following: - Orientation including collection from Istanbul Ataturk Airport - Basic Turkish lessons - A furnished, shared apartment - A competitive, local salary based on experience - Continued developmental support Interested candidates should send their CVs to

If you'd like to put up your CV or advertise a job, please post them in the Forums first. We'll take them up from there & put them on the site.



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, next courses June, July, August & September

CAMBRIDGE DIPLOMA IN ELT - DELTA Full-time eight-week course, July/August '03

5% discount on all courses if you mention the newsletter!

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


9. PS - Internet/computer-related links

Mr Wong's Soup'Partments - help the building grow by adding your own apartment. Nice idea.

Create your own snowflake.

If you really haven't much to do......

I know you have been wondering how many socks you've worn in your life.

'Leading the world to higher consciousness through mockery and cheap publicity stunts."

No shareware, no demos but over 1000 freeware games to download.

Puzzles - 'a unique collection of puzzles, games and optical illusions. With thousands of puzzles, over one hundred awards and around 1,400,000 Visitors per year, BrainBlisters is the world's most popular puzzle resource and is updated with illusions and games regularly and has 5 new puzzles added each week.'

Make your own cool online animated kaleidoscope.

Time & calendar-related stuff.

Translate a site into Cockney! Well, they're trying.

A quiet party? After all, "talking is so early 90's"

A users' guide to searching engines.

Create an online quiz and send it to your friends.

Type in text & hear it spoken, c/o IBM.

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