Etwinning-trying to find your twin sis or bro


Last weekend I attended a 2-day-professional development workshops on etwinning for beginners. I must say I learned a lot. I’ve been registered etwinning with a hope to find a Comenius project partner for almost a year but attending the workshops I realised I knew nothing about the site.

Etwinning gives teachers a wonderful opportunity to find partners from everywhere (mainly Europe but then you can add others to your project) start a project and work together. When you start a project, the site allows you to use the learning labs where you can find ideas and resources.

Etwinning not only gives teachers a chance to collaborate but it also gives them professional development opportunities.

If you aren’t there, just visit the site and see what’s going on.


image source here

Skyping Discussions






image from here

I’m thinking about a new challenge. This year thanks to twitter and my PLN, I and my students experienced wonderful things. We had global projects and skype chats now I’m thinking to move it one step further.

Sometimes we organise debates in the class. I thought maybe we could do it using skype but then I realised we would need judges and a winner team so I gave up with this idea. Now I’m thinking to find classes for my classes to discuss a given topic.

They can read and research and then we can talk about it. 5 students for each class, a student can have maximum 90 seconds. Student As sit face to face, one of them speaks and then the other. Then they leave the seats to student Bs.At the end of each session each class writes a report and prepares a post activity on the topic using one of the web 2.0 tools.

I know we have a curriculum but may be we can arrange a discussion at the beginning of each month. This can give them a chance to chat with other teenagers and I strongly belive that these types of activities will boost their confidence.

My students will be grade 10,11 and 12. They are intermediate to upper-intermediate. Let’s think about the topics before September.

We can start a wiki and add the recordings and explanations there.

Would you like to join me? Please RT this post and drop me a line here.

World Cup Lesson Ideas


worldcup2010Well, partly because I have classes with no football enthusiasm and as schools close this Friday, I can’t do any World Cup themed lessons with my students.  I believe the event itself can be a great resource for a speaking activity. However, there are other great things which can be done while the world cup is going on.

1. This one is in South Africa so it can be a good opportunity to reasearch the country. You can ask your students to learn something about Nelson Mandela or Nadine Gordimer as they also have Nobel prizes.

2. You can group students as A, B, Cs and ask them to reasearch the countries in their groups and present them to the class. They can even prepare a World Cup corner somewhere in the school with some information about the countries.

3. You can ask them to create trivia quizzes on past world cups.

4. They can prepare a presentation on unforgettable moments. I still remember how Maradona scored a goal with his hand and stayed unpenalised and as a result Argentina won the cup.

5. You can ask them to research the top scorers of the games.

6. You can ask the students to research some football legends like Pele, Cruyff, Socrates, Zoff ,Puskás, etc and  how they continued their lives.

For more ideas visit

Sean Banville’s Blog and read The Beautiful Game 2010. Sean is also determined to prepare a 9-page-lesson for each game so keep visiting Breaking english News.

Esolcourses for lots of lessons.

World cup project ebook by David Deubelbeiss

The Beautiful Game – South Africa 2010 by Chickensaltash


When I’m sixty-four - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more  

In pairs brainstorm ideas:

1. When is the retirement age?

2. What do people do when they are retired? You can talk about what  people do in our country and other countries.

3.  Why do you think some people want to go on working even after they get retired?

4.  When do you want to retire? Why?

 What do the following phrases mean?

 1. send me a Valentine

2. be handy

3. it’s not too dear

4. scrimp and save

5. State point of view

a) you manage to live on very little money in order to pay for something.

b) Send a card to someone you love or would like to have a romantic relationship with

c) Say or write your opinion clearly and carefully

d) Be able to use something skillfully

e) Not expensive

Match the halves of the sentences

1. If you say the word,.

2. When I get older losing my hair

3. Will you still need me, will you still feed me,

4. If I’d been out till quarter to three

5. Every summer we can rent a cottage In the Isle of Wight,

a) I could stay with you

b) When I’m sixty-four.

c) Would you lock the door

d) Will you still sending me a Valentine

e) if it’s not too dear

Listen to the song and see if your matches are correct.

Class Project:

Listen to the song and in groups choose a different scene and draw it. Make a video clip using movie maker.

Think about your life, your goals and prepare a list and publish it on your blog

Here is my example:

Ten Things I want to Do before I become 64

1. See my kids grow up I want to see them grow up and find the right job and the person for them:-)

2. Learn Italian I have always wanted to learn Italian but I can’t find the time, so before I become 64 I want to learn Italian, at least, to be able to sing the great songs I love to listen.

3. Start or participate a Comenius project my students want to be part of these collaborations. I’m sure meeting other students all around the world will boost their confidence.

4. Live at learst 3 months in Paris or Florence I love these two cities and will never get bored being there.

5. Attend an IATEFL conference I’m sure that will be a great experience. This year I’ll try to follow the livestream but I hope I can manage to be there next year.

6. Write a book when I was a teenager I used to write short stories and novels, imagining to be like the teenage writer I watched in the TV series or Jo of ‘Little Women’ by Louisa May Alcott.

7. Write a cookbook Cooking is always a great hobby for me. I’d like to write a cookbook, compiling my mum’s delicious recipes.

8. Start painting I really want to be able to paint pictures. If I weren’t a teacher, I’d be an artist or an interior designer so before I become 64 I must definitely create something.

9. Open a cafe where mothers of little kids will be able to come and take some breath and the kids will play and socialize. The cafe will have a bookcorner so that everybody will enjoy the freedom of reading.

10. Study comparative literature I love being a student and I’d like to study literature. Maybe I can give myself an other chance to be a student again and take the university exam once more.

When I’m 64 – The Beatles

When I get older losing my hair,

Many years from now.

Will you still sending me a Valentine

Birthday greetings bottle of wine.

If I’d been out till quarter to three Would you lock the door,

Will you still need me,

will you still feed me,

When I’m sixty-four.

You will be older too,

And if you say the word,

I could stay with you.

I could be handy,

 mending a fuse.

When your lights have gone.

You can knit a sweater by the fireside

Sunday morning go for a ride,

Doing the garden, digging the weeds,

Who could ask for more.

Will you still need me,

will you still feed me,

When I’m sixty-four.

Every summer we can rent a cottage,

In the Isle of Wight, if it’s not too dear

We shall scrimp and save

Grandchildren on your knee

Vera Chuck & Dave

Send me a postcard, drop me a line,

Stating point of view

Indicate precisely what you mean to say

Yours sincerely, wasting away.

Give me your answer, fill in a form

Mine for evermore

Will you still need me, will you still feed me,

When I’m sixty-four. - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more

Variation 1: You can even ask them to write an other list:

10 things I want to do after I retire

Variation 2: using animoto create a song review or a summary.

I must thank , Tara Benwell and Lindsey Vincent for some of the ideas and inspiration for this lesson.


I’d be glad if you can add some more ideas to this lesson.


Here I’m adding the clip my students created with movie maker

When I’m 64 from Eva Simkesyan on Vimeo.

You can find more lesson ideas here and here and here  and here.

I’m thrilled

Yes, I’m soooo thrilled that some of my students have been doing great jobs on their own on the blogosphere.

This year we read The Great Gatsby with grade 11. They had to prepare a project trying to relate a topic with all the lessons they were taking. As they were the language department students, we thought they should do something related with the book they were reading.

When I introduced the era and talked about Scott Fitzgerald, some of them thought it would be great to do something related with the Jazz Age and the concept of American Dream as they all had dreams to pursue. They even thought they could find people in the streets of Istanbul and taking their cameras with them they interviewed people.

The more they researched, the more they liked the rythm of the era.

When we finished reading the book, they were all sad for Jay Gatsby and angry to Daisy.

On Tuesday they are going to present their projects. I saw their drafts but they keep the presentation as a  secrets and they are really excited about it. They say they have great surprises for us. I’m curious about it. One group started a blog and used it as a file and put everything they’ve done there; their own articles, articles from web, videos, interviews they’ve done… I think this will be a totally new approach to presenting projects at our school and I hope that on the day of the presentation, they will also use some tools that we tried this year.

When I see their enthusiasm, I feel motivated. I know I can’t reach all of them, the demotivated ones or the ones  who resist the idea of studying but I feel when they see their friends’ enthusiasm and motivation, they will start to move too. They will be some motivation for the others  and soon some others will join them or I want to believe they will feel they have to join them, too

I think these students make our days brighter and when I see their faces expecting an approval from me, I feel great.

I’m proud of them…