A web site for the developing language teacher

October 2002 - issue 10/02


Welcome to the October Newsletter

Congratulations go to Professor Edna Aphek, a regular article contributor to Developing, on winning the Education Social Innovations Award 2002 at the Global Ideas Bank website - And this month Edna gives us a round up of on-going projects that involve children & ICT. If you are interested in developing some of these ideas in your own country then do get in touch with Edna.

Also below there's a link to a review of 'Discussions That Work' by Penny Ur, as well as a competition for a copy of the book. It's been out for quite a while & has turned into an ELT classic. There's also a question in the Forum looking for an answer, job ads plus lots of links for teaching & breezing around on the net.

Congratulations also to Gus Latchem & Cheng Ru who have had a baby. As Gus says 'Being a dad rules.'

We've been making a couple of improvements to the site of late. There are now links to both & on all of the books listed on the site. So rather than restricting Amazon to Europe we've opened it up for convenience to everyone.

And we've also recently added our own search engine to the site. It should do all the previous one did so if you have any problems with it please let us know. Thanks.

Hope you find the newsletter interesting.

Happy teaching!


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1. THEME - Learning and Growing by Giving









10. PS - Internet/computer-related links




Learning and Growing by Giving: Children as Agents of the ICT by Prof. Edna Aphek
Children and the New Technologies
"The kids really do know how to use the Internet and they want it to be exploited in the ways they know it can be exploited. Outside the classroom and outside of any formal instruction, the Internet is a key part of their educational instruction." Pew Internet and American Life Project August 2002
It's a well-known fact that children nowadays master computer skills at a very early age and often better than adults. Our youngsters also master many qualities usually attributed to grown-ups.
In a book called Growing Up Digital, Don Tapscott describes the youngsters, whom he calls the N-Generation (net generation), as: Tolerant, Curious, Assertive and more Self assured Emotionally and intellectually open. "The Net Generation", summarizes Tapscott, "is a generation that combines the values of humanism with social and technical aspects".
Educational systems have been investing much time, money and energy in teaching teachers computer and internet skills, often without spectacular results.
This process of teaching grown-ups a skill in order that later on they would teach it to youngsters, coincides with traditional and old assumptions - that the older teacher is the ultimate source of knowledge.
There has been a shift in the role and status of children caused by children's mastery of computers. Children speak the language of High-Tech as their mother tongue whereas older people are "immigrants" in the land of technology, not familiar with its language.
In a world where many children speak the language of computer and the internet as their "mother tongue", where many of them possess the qualities that make good teachers, it would be most appropriate and only logical to put children's mastery of computer and internet skills to use for the benefit of society at large in various ways and by means of different projects.
The digital divide has been looked upon in many countries and rightly so as a major problem. We, in Israel, try to look upon it as a "probotunity". I learnt of this term from the Brainstorming site .
This term probotunity means looking at a problem as an opportunity.
The opportunity is there, in combining the deep thorough knowledge of computer and internet skills, at the hand of our youth with the giving of this vast knowledge to others.
The following is a number of on- going projects in Israel .In all of them, young children, computer and Internet savvy, give of their knowledge to others, be it their peers, other children, their teachers or senior citizens. By so doing, they themselves are empowered: they take upon themselves new responsibilities and acquire new meaning in their lives, by extending themselves beyond themselves. (1)
These "computer kids" serve as "computer Trustees" in their schools and in the community. By Computer Trustees we are referring to a multi-age group of volunteering students, computer oriented, with high EQ (Emotional Intelligence), responsible and willing to give others of their time and knowledge. These students aren't necessarily the traditionally "good" students.
Here is the list of the different projects Edna talks about:
Supporting teachers and students
Computer Trustees serving as telephone helpdesk for the community
Constructing School Web Sites
Tutoring Special Education Children
Forming Expert Groups
The Intergeneration Connection Program
Children Tutor Other Children
Children tutor children in other schools
Reviving the Youth Movement: Computer Youth Movement
What these programs have in common
Impact on Society

To read the article….

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Also on the site is another article & lesson plan from Scott Shelton 'Teaching Listening to advanced learners: Problems and Solutions'. He begins the article:

Teaching advanced learners and preparing them for the Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English examination, I often encounter a majority of students who find the listening section of the test particularly challenging and difficult. In this paper I will attempt to outline a framework of what listening entails, identify some of the more salient difficulties that students typically have at advanced levels, look at possible reasons for this, and propose some activities and approaches in teaching that could enable students to improve in this area.

To read the article…

The lesson plan is for an advanced CAE level with the focus on listening. The main aim is to provide loop input and practice in exam type tasks of listening for specific information. The subsidiary aim is to raise awareness of exam strategies. The skills that are developed are listening for gist and for specific information, predicting, speaking, and reading

To read the lesson plan…

Thanks to Edna & Scott

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 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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This month's book review is a book that would still, twenty years after first publication, go into the top 5 of books recommended to the new teacher - 'Discussions That Work' by Penny Ur (CUP)

We've got a copy of the book to give away. All you have to do to receive this is to send in a favourite speaking skills activity to The winner will be picked out of the activities sent in at random.

To read the review & buy the book..

Please don't forget to go through the books page when you want to buy from & - we get a little bit & you pay the same. Every little helps to keep the newsletters free. Thanks.

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Michael needs information about Spanish computer programmes:

Does anyone know some good beginner computer programs for Spanish students in Elementary school (all grades)? How about any online tutorials for this same age range?

If you can help get along to the Front page & click the Forum image.



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

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Designed for the visitor to the UK, here's a guide to British pubs from the Social Issues Research Centre, - all your students need to know. Far too much but might be useful material for your classes.

'Google News presents information culled from approximately 4,000 news sources worldwide and automatically arranged to present the most relevant news first. Topics are updated continuously throughout the day, so you will see new stories each time you check the page. Google has developed an automated grouping process for Google News that pulls together related headlines and photos from thousands of sources worldwide -- enabling you to see how different news organizations are reporting the same story. You pick the item that interests you, then go directly to the site which published the account you wish to read.'

Lots to help you & your students with languages. Among it all there is a 'tool (that) lets you search the words from LangToLang. When you are surfing on the web, highlight the word or double-clicking on it by mouse, right click, and choose .... Langtolang window will be opened by your selected word's translation.'

Very useful starter page for the student. Loads of reference links.

'A language exchange is two or more people who speak different languages practicing each other's language. For example, an English speaker who is learning French will do a language exchange with a French speaker who is learning English. There are many ways to practice in a language uses the Cormier method of language exchange that has been proven for 3 years at the C.E.L.M. language school in Montreal, Canada. In this method, small mixed groups of native speakers of two languages spend half the time speaking in one language and half the time in the other language. Activities are structured to ensure all areas of language acquisition are exercised such as vocabulary, pronunciation and listening comprehension. In addition, the activities in the Cormier method are designed to enable students to discover the "conversation culture" - how native speakers of the other culture interact. The method relies on ensuring the students have fun and are relaxed to make language practice more enjoyable and therefore more effective.'

Could only find an e-mail subscription box for the magazine - perhaps that's all there is. A bit more info would be useful before giving away an e-mail address, no?

Free e-mail bulletins from the Economist - good material.

'Global Agenda is delivered three times a week and offers concise analysis of the international issues and events that matter most, when they matter most.

Business This Week and The World This Week are delivered each Thursday evening and will keep you informed of the week's key events around the world.'

'Containing nearly 51,000 entries (marshalling six and one-half million words on a vast range of topics), and with more than 80,000 hypertext cross-references, the current Sixth Edition is among the most complete and up-to-date encyclopaedia ever produced.'

Have you got any favourite teaching links? Send them in.

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Disclaimer - as with any job check it out carefully. We don't endorse the schools that advertise below.
The ads are sent in & we mention them here & put them up on the site.
A note for advertisers - please post your advert in the Forum - see the link from the Front Page - then we'll put it on the recruitment page & mention it in this newsletter.

Shenzhen, China
EF English First in Shenzhen, China is looking to recruit a full-time native English speaker to start around the beginning to middle of October. (We will also require a teacher to start around December time.) EF English First has thirty-five years experience in providing language training worldwide and at present we are rapidly expanding in China. Shenzen is a large, clean, modern and newly developed city situated on the border with Hong Kong, which is about a forty-minute train ride away. At our school we provide General English courses, Business English courses and we have courses for Young Learners. All courses have their own course books and we also have a wealth of supplementary material, which we encourage teachers to use. Training is provided in the use of all materials. Teachers teach 24-29(max.) actual contact hours a week and any overtime is paid at the rate of 100 RMB per hour. Remuneration is 5500 RMB per month and this is a very good salary for China and affords a comfortable lifestyle. It is easily enough to live on and travel and it is possible to save some. The cost of living here is very low. Fully furnished, Western style accommodation is provided free of charge and flight costs are reimbursed. Teachers also have free Internet access. We have six and twelve month contracts, however, preference will be given to those prepared to commit to one year. At the school there is a friendly and supportive atmosphere and environment for both teachers and students alike. Teachers must have a minimum of a Bachelor's degree or TEFL/TESOL qualification. People who have teaching experience in lieu of the aforementioned will also be considered. If this is of interest to you please send a detailed CV/resume in the form of an attachment (fax if needs be). Please do not hesitate to contact me should you require any additional information before sending your CV/resume.
Dave Matthews, Academic Coordinator, EF English First, Shenzhen

Madrid, Spain
I see offers both our clients and our team members a solid and innovative future with language support. English or French Teachers, and/or translators wanted for in company and/or telephone classes (Madrid, center and north). Please e-mail or call for more details. Jo-Anne Cardinal - I see - Integral Support for English Efficiency 91 804 30 24 - 657 90 26 72 -


Acquire valuable classroom experience, discover the culture of this highlands community, participate in the development of young minds and the community around them, live independently in a quality apartment and take advantage of the opportunity to explore the region & learn a 2nd. language.
Where: Santa Rosa de Copan, Honduras, Central America.
When: September - June
What: A wide variety of subjects to choose from for children in grades K-11th.
About the position: You will have a schedule of classes that is geared towards your academic strengths and background. Every opportunity will be made to match your classes with your desired subjects and grade levels. Classes run from 8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Monday - Friday. You will be provided with a quality apartment with private bedroom and kitchen facilities. Compensation, though nominal, will easily cover daily living expenses and afford you the opportunity to explore the region.
About you: You will be expected to make a 10-month commitment to help prepare the minds of our children. You need only speak English, though can count an adding a 2nd language to your resume after 10 months of residence. Have realistic expectations of what life is like in under developed countries. Are willing to share your heart and experience with the children and the community. Understand that what you give will be returned ten-fold.
We currently are seeking 3 individuals to fill various positions. Please contact us for more information. Contact Person: Mrs. Gloria Medina Position: Administrator Phone: (504) 662-23-53, Fax: (504) 662-23-54 E-mail Address: hemschool@globalnet.

Qualifications - English-speaking, College BA, BS. Working hours: 25-30 hours/week. Salary: min. 1,800,000 won/month & Up. US $ 1600/month depending on exchange rate. Benefits - air ticket (round trip), bonus (1month salary), free housing: single furnished, paid vacation: 2 weeks. Send resume to Dr. Han at CMU, Tel: 989-774-4487, 989-774-7035 E-mail:

Just some of the recent CVs on the site - a page is waiting for your CV.

Teachers can post CVs on the site & employers can post job adverts - both are free services at the moment. Check out:



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A question of time - staying on track while being flexible

Looking it up - pts 1 & 2 - dictionary training

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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 November '02, January & February '03


Six month part-time course: October '02 - March '03

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

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10. PS - Internet/computer-related links

Can you last for 60 seconds without laughing? Don't forget to turn on your speakers.

Far out flash movies.

The Guardian newspaper recently ran a competition for the best weblog - Al 'Scaryduck' Coleman was the winner.

'Grandpa says that those kids can hold the button for hours but they can't hold a job!'

Work out how long you're going to live & possibly come away winning a bit of cryogenic storage for you or your loved ones.

Alexa's top 500 web sites

Check out if that programme you're about to download is free of spyware or adware, or not.

And talking of downloads; check out this huge list of downloads.

'When you have questions, we find the people with the answers. When someone has questions, and you have the answer we connect them to you. We do this without exposing your email address'

All you really need for boot discs.

If you're concerned about what you put into your body 'this program was taken from the USDA Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release No. 12. With the almost 6000 items in this database you can view 31 food item components/nutrients and select up to 3 different serving sizes and dial in your number of servings.'

Like picking your way through a maze? Generate your own.

Find out what your name means - in several languages. Bit of a let down though when they couldn't come with anything for 'alistair'.

Fun stuff that shows you what Oddcast Media Technologies can do. If you've got time on your hands.

Headlines from parallel worlds.

' is dedicated to providing outstanding, expert quality information in the form of a free Windows Newsletter'

Fun site for the boys.

'Crazy Browser is a powerful Web browser. It has the ability to open multiple sites and windows inside a single browser task. It also has a Smart Popup Filter - it blocks all the annoying popups automatically!'

Stay informed on designated pages - when a change is made, new content is added, you're informed.

As you wait for it to load check out the status bar at the bottom of your screen. I never knew there were so many things to do when a page loaded.

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Disclaimer - all of the recommendations for computer-related software are personal recommendations. We take no responsibility for anything that might go wrong when downloading, installing or running them - not that anything should but you never know. It's your decision, your responsibility. The same applies to the jobs mentioned above. And anything else that you can think of that we might be responsible for as a result of this newsletter!

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