Me, Myself and Dublin

It was one of dreams to go to Ireland and luckily I had the opportunity to fulfill this dream combining a conference attendance and a short city break.

James Joyce Centre
The Writers Museum

Being a fan of Irish writers, the Friday I spent seeing the city was an extraordinary experience for me. I started the day visiting James Joyce Centre, then the Writers Museum. Being fuelled with literature and culture, I walked down the O’Connell Street, crossed the River Liffey and I arrived at the Trinity College in the heart of the city. Then I tried to follow the footsteps of Stephen Dedalus to Grafton Street, St Stephens Green, Belvedere College and I went back to my hotel, tired but happy.

beautiful doors of Dublin

ELT Ireland was on February 16th and 17th. It was a well-organized and friendly event. I had the chance to attend talks, which really gave me food for thought. It was really interesting to listen to Conor O’Reilly on Brexit and Impacts on English Language Learning in Ireland. This talk was also very interesting for an English teacher like myself outside the EU and gave me a very clear idea how the industry could develop in the coming years.

Attending a few ‘Train the Trainer’ courses at home in the recent years, I decided to listen to Chris Farrell on Mentoring in Teacher Development. The workshop focused on how mentoring is important as a bottom up teacher development tool and how it can help novice teachers when implemented effectively.

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Charlie Hughes at his talk

Another inspiring talk was ‘Experiencing Language: English Drama Technique and Methodology where Anna Kadzik-Bartoszewska briefly explained how drama techniques can be used in class and how it will be useful to promote self-esteem and self-confidence. The second part of the talk was delivered by Charlie Hughes who made us realize how our presence can effect others, how it can make a difference when we change our mentality and say what I’m going to bring when I enter somewhere instead of just participating and saying what I’m going to take from here.

From my workshop: Using Film in Language Classroom

My workshop ‘Making Connections: Using Film in Language Classroom’ was on Sunday morning. I briefly talked about why and how we can use film in language classroom. I mainly focused on short films as they actually give us more opportunities to make our students produce the target language.

I also attended another interesting talk delivered by Ian Brangan titled ‘CELTA uncovered: The Subtle Art of Unlearning’ For me, the conference was really fruitful and it gave me a chance to meet new people, listen to their perspectives and add new things in my luggage.

The most difficult part was leaving Dublin, as there were many paths to walk and many gems to be discovered. I hope I will be able to visit this beautiful city again.

beautiful River Liffey or as Dubliners call ‘An Life’

Tense Review

“Time is the longest distance between two places.”
― Tennessee Williams, The Glass Menagerie

I’ve been doing some creative writing workshops with a group of young learners. They love writing stories, poems but they still have problems with the tenses so today we revised them. As they love writing and hate drill-like exercises, I prepared a handout and had some fun guessing what people around the world are doing while we were revising the tenses. The handout may give you an idea and you can customise it according to your students’ needs and level.
You can download the handout.
TENSE REVISION-1zjok5g

Baamboozle

Baamboozle is a tool that allows you to create games for your classes. The tool is very easy to use. It is free so just sign up and start creating your game for your class. You can also use the games existed on Baamboozle. Browse the library and choose the most suitable game to play. You can assign different point values for each question depending on the difficulty of the question. You can edit later. You can make your game public or private.
You can use the games to warm up, energize your classes. You can review or introduce a new topic. It can be used as an assessment tool. You can create games for vocabulary and grammar revision or reading comprehension.

What I liked most?
The players don’t choose from the options provided by the teacher. They must produce their own answers. Study mode permits the students to revise before the game.

Once you are ready to play you can divide your class into teams and then choose the game option and play.

If my kids become bloggers

Here is a really cool writing activity you can try with your students.

Today we started with some questions written on cards about reading, watching movies, book characters, new trends on social media, etc. Then we read a paragraph about JK Rowling and Harry Potter, why it was a huge success, why we love it, the similarities between the real world and Hogwarts. Then we talked about YouTubers, BookTubers, bloggers, Vlogs, microblogging, Instagram and some hashtags. Some of the terms were new for them but they managed to define the ones they know very well. I introduced them the hashtag #bookstagram and we checked some accounts on Instagram. We found some accounts who share books and beautiful photos of what they are reading.

We also read the bios, checked the user names and then I told them to write their Instagram bios as a book blogger. After that, I told them to choose a book from the bookshelf to read later on so they spent some time to choose their books. When they were ready, I gave them a handout with an Instagram template on and told them to write about the book they chose, why they chose, etc. Once they finished they passed their paper to the person sitting next to them for writing comments. Once they received their own papers, they replied the comments. Then we took the photos of their books with some cool decorations.

Below you can see the photos we took to be posted on Instagram with the hashtag #bookstagram. They carefully arranged the tables, windowsill, the coffee cup and we enjoyed the whole session a lot and I hope they’ll read the books they chose from the shelves today.

Roll The Dice

You feel tired and have no energy to plan a lesson for tomorrow,
Your students have been too fast to finish the tasks you planned for this lesson,
You see they sulk, they feel bored or tired and can’t understand the lesson,
then why not roll a dice and let the fun begin.
What can you do with a dice?
There are wonderful no-prep activities to liven up your class, to motivate your students to speak or even to write. Here are some activities you may want to use whenever you feel the need:
1. The student rolls the dice and tells things aboult herself according to the number on the dice. If the number is three, for instance, she must say three interesting facts about herself.
2. Write what each number is for (from 1 to 6) on the board. Such as, 1 something you’ve done so far today; 2 something you want to buy this year, etc and the students roll the dice in turns and talk about themselves.
3. Dictate them an opening sentence for a story. Tell them you’ll throw the dice and they have to continue to write the story. The dice will decide the number of sentences they’ll write. If the number on the dice is 4, they will write four sentences. Then dictate them another sentence, tell them they can change the subject but they have to fit the sentence into their story. Then roll the dice again and students continue to write. Roll the dice for the last time and tell students to finish their stories.
4. Ask students to write questions on cards. Put the pile of the cards in the middle of the desk. Roll the dice. The students must answer questions according to the number on the dice in turns.
5. Divide students into 6. Give each team a number from 1-6 and a topic such as travel, school, celebrations and then tell them to write questions on their topics on small slips of papers or cards. When the questions are ready, ask them to roll the dice and answer the questions in turns. If 1 is travel and they’ve rolled 1, then they will choose a question from that pile.
6. Assign a task for each number 1: draw the word, 2: use the word in a sentence, 3: define the word, 4: spell the word, 5: give a synonym, antonym or a derivative of the word, 6: ask a question using the word.

And the list goes on….
Hope these will help.