Tuesday, 30 September 2014

new-look bbc learning english

The BBC's Learning English website has been relaunched:

In your language

BBC Learning English - Learning English

Monday, 29 September 2014

school of youtube

A new, free resource for schools:
YouTube for Schools - YouTube

Something silly:

Welcome to the School of YouTube: #LaughLearnGive - YouTube

With plenty of other resources on every subject:

steven pinker - and language

Steven Pinker is very interested in language:
Steven Pinker - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

He brought out a book, starting with Chomsky's theory that we are born with a capacity for language:
The Language Instinct - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Language Instinct | Department of Psychology

He has produced lots of accessible material:
Steven Pinker: Linguistics as a Window to Understanding the Brain - YouTube
Steven Pinker: What our language habits reveal | Talk Video | TED.com

RSA Animate - Language as a Window into Human Nature - YouTube

He's got a new book out:
The Sense of Style review – lessons in how to write | Books | The Guardian
The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century | Department of Psychology

BBC Radio 4 - Open Book, The Brethren; The Sense of Style
BBC Radio 3 - Free Thinking, Language

clil: content and language integrated learning

More and more schools across the Continent and beyond are integrating English into other subjects:

For example, in the Basque Country, the aim is to have school students become 'trilingual':
Humanising Language Teaching Magazine for teachers and teacher trainers
Towards Multilingual Education: Basque Educational Research from an ... - Jasone Cenoz - Google Books
FACT - Basque, CLIL, Content and Language, Content and Language Integrated Learning, Bilingual Education, FACTWorld

There's a lot more help out there than there used to be:
CLIL: A lesson framework | TeachingEnglish | British Council | BBC
Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL)
Thinking skills for CLIL | Onestopenglish

And there's a lot of help out there for specific groups/countries:
Immersion and CLIL in Switzerland: An interview with Eveline Reichel | Onestopenglish
CLIL / Immersion Switzerland - home

Enllaços d'interès | CLIL

CLIL - Content and Language Integrated Learning - Goethe-Institut

There have been projects where it has been tried, but the debate is still going on as to the effectiveness of CLIL:
Article 5 - Vol 1 (3) 2010 - International CLIL Research Journal
To teach English is human, to teach CLIL is divine? | Jeremy Harmer

every song has its lesson plan

ESL Printables has got something for almost anything, including songs:
English teaching worksheets: Stevie Wonder

For example:
“Superstition” by Stevie Wonder – Lesson Plan | efl-resource.com

Which can take you anywhere:
Superstitions - ESL Resources

Stevie Wonder Superstition - YouTube


Stevie Wonder - Superstition (C2C Remix) - YouTube

grammar songs worksheets from esl printables

A lot of good stuff from ESL Printables:
ESL Printables: English worksheets, lesson plans and other resources

Especially using songs for teaching/learning grammar:
English teaching worksheets: Grammar songs

For example:

Conditional songs worksheets
Worksheets and activities for teaching Conditional songs to English language learners (kids, teenagers or adults). Here you can find printable worksheets for many levels: beginners, elementary, intermediate or advanced.
All these worksheets and activities for teaching Conditional songs have been designed by English language teachers.

 Song - IF I WERE A BOY (By Beyoncé) - Second ConditionalThis song is perfect for a lesson on the second conditional. I´m sure your students are gonna enjoy it. Have fun! =) 
Level: intermediate
Age: 12-17

 SONG ACTIVITY - If You Were a Sailboat (By Katie Melua) - Second ConditionalThis song is so sweet and easy to understand and sing along. Besides, it is such a rich resource of language in the second conditional. On this WS, students are supposed to listen to the song, match the if-clauses (illustrated by the pictures) to the main clauses (in the text boxes on the right), and then complete the blanks in the lyrics. 
Level: intermediate
Age: 12-17

 2nd Conditional "Joan Osborne - What if God was one of us?" SONG LESSONA very good song for teaching Second Conditional. the song is such suitable for the topic that I couldn´t help thinking it was composed for the sake of esl :) btw I also included some pretty exercises about 1st and 2nd Conditionals. the grammar chart is taken from www.oup.com/word/es/ products/nitrbgram6. doc?cc=es - Hope your students like it to... 
Level: intermediate
Age: 12-17

 FOCUS ON ´FIRST CONDITIONAL´ & ´PHRASAL VERBS´. GRAMMAR+ LISTENING + SPEAKING THROUGH U2 SONG + KEY INCLUDED + NOTES FOR TEACHER.In this worksheet, your students will learn and practice the ´first conditionals´ and some ´phrasal verbs´ through a beautiful song from U2 band. They will practice grammar, listening and speaking with activities based on this song. In notes for teacher, you will have some suggestions to use this song through the video clip and let your students re... 
Level: intermediate
Age: 14-17

 SECOND CONDITIONAL & CONTRACTED FORM & PHRASAL VERBS THROUGH BEYONCÈ SONG + KEY INCLUDED!In this worksheet your students will practice ´contracted form´, ´phrasal verbs´ and ´second conditional´ through song "If I Were a Boy" by Beyoncè. They will practice grammar, listening and speaking through an interesting video clip with this song. I hope you´ll enjoy it! Have a great sunday! Hugs!! 
Level: intermediate
Age: 14-17

 Conditionals Song If I had a Million DollarsThis song has really helped my students use the conditionals: would, could, should, wouldn´t and so on. Listen to the song If I had a Million Dollars by the Barenaked Ladies and have students fill in the blanks with what they hear. I guarantee by the end of the song they can say, "If I-------- I would--------" We used this with one class and not ... 
Level: intermediate
Age: 11-17
English teaching worksheets: Conditional songs

Thursday, 25 September 2014

money and debt

What is money?

Here is the classic explanation:
What Is Money?

Here's what Wikipedia has to say:
Money is any item or verifiable record that is generally accepted as payment for goods and services and repayment ofdebts in a particular country or socio-economic context.[1][2][3] The main functions of money are distinguished as: amedium of exchange; a unit of account; a store of value; and, occasionally in the past, a standard of deferred payment.[4][5]

And there are lots of lessons out there on the subject of 'money' and 'debt':
Vocabulary lesson: Money | TeachingEnglish | British Council | BBC
Money conversations | TeachingEnglish | British Council | BBC
Breaking News English ESL Lesson Plan on Money Worries
What You Can Do With Money: 10 Activities For Your ESL Classroom
Money,spending and finances lesson plans for teachers: eslflow webguide

A very provocative book came out a couple of years ago challenging the ideas around money and debt:
Debt: The First 5000 Years - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Here's a good introduction:

Are we slaves to debt? David Graeber on the history of spending more than we have

Almost forty years ago, on August 15, 1971 President Nixon took America off the gold standard, declaring, “We must protect the position of the American dollar as a pillar of monetary stability around the world” — which meant, among other things, that there were really no longer boundaries on the amount of money that could be printed.This began what anthropologist and author David Graeber says is the latest pendulum swing away from an economy based on hard currency to one based on virtual money, or credit, which can lead to debt spinning out of control —everyone’s favorite topic this summer.
Graeber’s new book, “Debt: The First 5,000 years,” traces the origins of owing all the way back to Mesopotamia, and explores how debt and morality became intertwined, among other intriguing details.  Need to Know’s Alison Stewart spoke with Graeber to help explain why being consumed by debt is nothing new.

Video: Are we slaves to debt? David Graeber on the history of spending more than we have | Need to Know | PBS

Here's another video to follow up:
Interview with Graeber on Debt Part 1 Part 2 (Conversations with Great Minds)

And an hour-long video:
Authors@Google: David Graeber, DEBT: The First 5,000 Years, lecture about the book by David Graeber

60 second ideas from the bbc

The BBC is proving a very interesting place to go for not-so-difficult pieces
- here, because they are short and manageable:
BBC World Service - Forum - A World of Ideas
BBC World Service | The Forum 60 Second Ideas

For example:

The Forum 60 Second Ideas
60 Second Idea

60 Second Idea 


Each week one guest presents an idea to enhance the world.

This week it's Gregory Berns who believes everyone should learn to play music.

 Listen to the 60 Second Idea To Change The World

Are you convinced by this week's 60 second idea and do you have any thoughts on the programme? Let us know us what you think by clicking here.

60 Second Idea banner

BBC World Service | The Forum 60 Second Ideas

60 seconds news from the bbc

A very useful site from the BBC:

These pieces are the perfect length and are as authentic as you're going to get:

BBC News - In 60 seconds: What is Ebola?