Sunday, 20 December 2009

Breathing places

After you have watched this video, go to the website.

Monday, 14 December 2009

Santa vs Nikolaus

The Local tries to explain the confusion that appears to reign in Germany as to who really is Father Christmas.....

Celebrating Nikolaus in Germany

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Pimp your vocabulary

Here's a less serious look at the modern English language, but one that may be useful if you have any contact with British students.

Pimp your vocab link

Link to online quiz

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

The trouble with interpreting

Every now and again I get asked to interpret - mostly at weddings. Although interésting it can also be tricky. So spare a thought for the poor man who had to simultaneously interpret Col. Gaddafi's UN rant/speech.

Gaddafi interpreter 'collapsed during UN speech'
Muammar Gaddafi's personal translator broke down towards the end of the Libyan leader's meandering 94-minute UN speech and had to be rescued by a UN Arabic speaker.
The Libyan translator matched the "Brother Leader of the Revolution" word-for-word for 90 minutes before collapsing from exhaustion, just after Mr Gaddafi denounced the popular Ottawa Treaty outlawing landmines

Read the rest of the story here....

Saturday, 12 September 2009

New Business lessons

Good news for those of you who teach Business English.
As of this month, to accompany each issue of Business Spotlight, there will be monthly ready-made downloadable and photocopiable, complete lesson plans with teaching notes - written by me, based around an original article from the current issue of the magazine.
The lesson plans are available on the Business Spotlight website and the onestopenglish website - see direct links below.
The first complete lesson and the introduction to the series are free for all to download. After that the lessons will be free for Business Spotlight subscribers and Onestopenglish staffroom members.

Friday, 21 August 2009

Do not embrace technology without knowing why and for whom you are doing so.

It seems we constantly hear about how using modern technology is the only way forward and to some extents this is so. But recently I've been wondering who the technology is for. My students do not write blogs, they have only disdain and contempt for people who twitter and they use other social networking sites in a completely different way to how we teachers do.
Now my feelings have been confirmed by a Microsoft researcher called Danah Boyd. You can read her article here
Some thoughts on technophilia
or simply go to her blog

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Are things looking up?

Time for some good news.....

Read the rest of the article HERE

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Infinite photo of Earth

go to the website via the link - INFINITE PHOTOGRAPH - keep clicking into the photo and see what happens

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

literal videos

time to have some fun with music, videos and the English language.
Have a look at the literal videos here plus more on youtube.

Monday, 25 May 2009

pronunciation workshop links

Just a quick reminder to those who were at my recent Pronunciation workshop that you can find all the links we talked about (and more) here.

Sunday, 3 May 2009

Business English videos

Business Spotlight have launched a new weekly video training session called Business with Bob.
The videos give you tips and examples for improving your communication at work. The first videos look at topics relating to Socializing and the second set of five videos looks at Business Meetings.

Sunday, 26 April 2009

nothing to do with teaching ...

... but, Yeah! for (auntie) Verena.
The full articlew can be read on the Argus website here

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Brand new free online dictionary for learners of English

Macmillan have brought out a brand new free online dictionary for learners of English. It's really easy to add this to your start page, toolbar or website so that you can look up words as and when you need them. You can also sign up for the Word of the Day keeping you up to date with new important terms such as this one ....

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Free mind mapping website

Do you know about It's a free website that allows you to create and save mind maps. Here's a very simple one I made for a course blog reminding my students what we covered in a certain time period.

Monday, 6 April 2009

IATEFL conference interviews, article and photos

Follow this link to see, hear and read about trends in English Language teaching and more from the IATEFL conference in Cardiff, Wales.

The correct lyrics?

There are times when it's difficult even for native speakers to understand what words are being sung in a song. When people sing what they hear rather than the correct lyrics, this is called mondegreen.
A good example of this can be seen on the video of the song "All by myself" which has been changed to "Obama's Elf". Listen to the clip; which words do you hear?
If you want to find the correct lyrics of a song just go to and write in the title of the song and the word lyrics. E.g. All by myself lyrics.
Many thanks to Jamie Keddie for introducing me to this clip.

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Political cartoons

Can anyone think of a good caption for this cartoon?
You can find this and many more at the following website Political cartoons from around the world

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Free photo manipulation website

Turn your photos into works of art at Be Funky
Here's a photo of our Ella which has been manipulated in two different ways.

Saturday, 7 March 2009

Lost in translation

Russian media have been poking fun at the US secretary of state over a translation error on a gift she presented to her Russian counterpart......
Read on by clicking here to find out what can go wrong if you rely on someone else to translate for you.

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Unfortunate names

There is an interesting, light-hearted article on the BBC about how unthoughtful parents can ruin a person's life by giving them names such as:

Pearl Button
Jo King
Barry Cade
Carrie Oakey
Priti Manek
Tim Burr

Link to the article

Saturday, 7 February 2009

In preparation for Valentine's Day...

Valentines Day Funnies (what not to say!)

A local newspaper ran a competition asking for a poem with the most romantic first line, but the least romantic second line. Here are some of the entries they received:

I thought that I could love no other
Until, that is, I met your brother.

Roses are red, violets are blue,
sugar is sweet, and so are you.
But the roses are wilting, the violets are dead,
the sugar bowl’s empty and so is your head.

Of loving beauty you float with grace.
If only you could hide your face.

Kind, intelligent, loving and hot;
This describes everything you are not.

I want to feel your sweet embrace
But don’t take that paper bag off of your face.

I love your smile, your face, and your eyes
Damn, I’m good at telling lies!

My darling, my lover, my beautiful wife
Marrying you screwed up my life.

I see your face when I am dreaming
That’s why I always wake up screaming.

My love, you take my breath away.
What have you stepped in to smell this way.

What inspired this amorous rhyme?
Two parts vodka, one part lime.

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Words and pictures

Here's a fun way to find the right words.
Go to Merriam Webster's visual dictionary.

The categories at first seem limited, but there are a lot of sub-categories.
The picture shows what you get when you go to plants and gardening - miscellaneous - wheelbarrow.

Have a go - see if you can find any special words for your field of work.

Monday, 26 January 2009

The best job in the world

Ever wondered why you need English? Have a look at the job description here for "The best job in the world". Would you like to apply? Download the application form and check out the tasks and job requirements. Are you tempted yet?

Friday, 16 January 2009

The kind of English you don't really want to aspire to... or, Goodbye George W

"One of the great things about books is sometimes there are some fantastic pictures."

This wonderful quotation is number 30 in the new list of the top 50 Bushisms
You can read the rest here on George Bush's 50 worst bloopers.