When I read Emma Herrod’s post on planning a lesson, I started thinking about my own style. Emma’s post asks a lot of useful question to the teacher and there are wonderful contributions to the post in the comments sections. I really do agree with most of them and I had some more ideas how to organize myself while reading those contributions.

Now let me tell what I can advise the teachers ‘in their first three years’ as Emma asked.

Planning yourself and your time should be a must but I’m sure you will soon apply your own planning method. In the first years of my teaching, I also wrote everything on my lesson plans but soon I learned how to organize myself.

  • Routines are important so have a routine.
  • Start each lesson with a fun activity, preferably related with the thing you are about to do.
  • Finish your lessons before the bell and have a few seconds to unwind with your students.
  • Spend some time with the homework you have given, otherwise; they will stop doing them.

I tend to plan my lessons weekly but sometimes I act according to a flow. I can change my plans even in the lesson when something interesting comes to my mind.

Unfortunately I can’t write my lesson plans on computer as I need a pen to hold while thinking or brainstorming so I have notebooks where I write my routes of that week and I keep post-it notes in my pencil case to add an idea when it comes so the course book I use is usually full of sticky-notes.

However, one fine summer, years ago I sat and filed all the exercises I wrote on my computer so I have tense files, activity files, relative clause files with some teaching ideas on my computer.

This year I bookmarked so many great ideas and links on delicious and it helped me a lot before planning my lessons.

For more ideas on planning your TEFL life you can read the followings:

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


My homework part 2

coffee As I said before, I really enjoyed this blog reading task partly because I love doing homework 🙂 and it allows me to discover more.

 If you like, make a cup of fresh coffee and do some extensive reading.

I’ll start with Murphy’s Law for EFL teachers from Natasa’s blog. Natasa Bozic Grojic writes how things may go wrong in a class when a teacher prepares really cool things for her class.

Denise Ozdeniz has just started blogging but she is one of the greatest teacher trainers I have had. Giving Presentations and Workshops is full of useful tips.

You can read What Now: Staying on top of your game by Bethany Cagnol if you are not sure what to do to stay on top of the game.

10 goofy ways to practise speaking skills. is a wonderful post from Berni Wall’s. One of my favourite posts werealso from here, Using Modal verbs Part One and don’t forget to read Part 2.

To be continued ….

For more hidden gems, visit The PLN Staff Lounge.

What I have bookmarked recently…

jelly beans for faves


Twitter enabled me to reach many links and resources and delicious is another tool which makes my teaching life easier these days. I try to bookmark the interesting articles, lesson ideas and tools. There are so many great things on my delicious list now and I can prepare a lesson wherever I am. I don’t have to carry my computer with me or I don’t have to wait until I go home.The list is growing bigger and bigger everyday because of that I sometimes feel I’ll forget them so I want to list what I’ve bookmarked recently.

And my  sweetest recent links are:

HistoryStuff  is a site which may be more helpful for history teachers but the activities are so fun that every EFL teacher can find something to do with this site.

Big Huge Labs is a site where you can create beautiful posters, jigsaw puzzles; make your magazine cover and so on. I can ask my students to prepare a magazine cover or their own movie poster for a project. It is easy to use and looks fun.

60 second recap If you are using any of the books Jenny is talking about, the site will be a good reference for your students. The site aims teenagers to understand literature.

I love using songs in my lessons. Songs helped me reach my students in the past and now in the present I choose the songs I love. As they know the songs on the lists by heart, I think it’s useless to bring them to the classroom so I choose the old ones that I think they will like. Here is an activity I really liked and twitted and bookmarked. It’s on EFL Classroom 2.0.  I want to do a similar activity as soon as possible. Another song activity is from Humanising Language Teaching magazine’s last issue.

Class Tools is a site I’ve just discovered thanks to the EVO sessions. It is great for vocabulary revisions. I prepared some games and added them on my class blogs. My students enjoyed playing with them. I think it will be among the most delicious of my favourites.

Definr is a very fast online dictionary and it looks cool.

I hope I’ll be able to make this list longer soon.