Getting off to a Good Start

Welcome to this week's vocabulary post.  Last week I read an article about motivation and I saw the phrase 'get off to a good start'.  This then got me thinking of other forms of the expression. "As a small business owner, you need to maximize revenue and increase productivity, which means you need your staff …

Vocabulary Monday: A Bank Holiday

This weekend was an extra long, 4-day weekend for many people in Spain. In British English we call these extra holidays a bank holiday.

Fussy eaters and healthy appetites (Words and phrases to describe the way we eat)

Here is another great vocabulay post from the Cambridges dictionary Blog, this time on the topic of appetites and eating habits. A recommend read for vocabulary lovers 🙂

About Words - Cambridge Dictionaries Online blog


by Kate Woodford

Do you eat to live, or live to eat? If you’ve never heard this phrase before, someone who eats to live, eats only because they have to in order to carry on living. For this type of person, food is just fuel. Someone who lives to eat, on the other hand, regards food as the best part of living and is always looking forward to their next meal. I think it’s true to say that most of us fall somewhere between these two extremes!

View original post 394 more words

We’re on the right track to learn a new expression

This week's vocabulary post 'be on (the right/wrong) track to do something. Lean the meaning and see some more examples of this phrase

ReBlog from Cambridge dictionaries: You look a million dollars! (Describing appearances) — About Words – Cambridge Dictionaries Online blog

Here is a nice collection of language on the topic of appearances from the Cambridge Dictionaries blog. It contains lots of language and expressions you can use to describe how people look people.

A quick share from Nik Peachey’s blog: Using Fake Text Messages to Create Learning Activities Fake your text messages

I was just looking through LinkedIn and I came across this post from Nik Peachey: It's another great technology tip from him, an interesting site for creating fake text message conversations.  However, not only is it a top tip but the article the post links to is packed full of great ideas for using the …

6th Visit to British Council Bilbao’s Teaching For Success Conference

Header image credit:  Yesterday (Saturday 21st September'18) was my 6th year attending the British Council's annual conference, Teaching For Success, in Bilbao - an annual highlight in my calendar. As with previous years, there were many great moments and takeaways, including: meeting up with CELTA colleagues; Robin Walker's use of Sting's An English Man in New …

Twist on a classic: Ranking

Today I discovered the blog. It’s definitely a site that’s going to be well worth spending some time with.

This post that I’m rebloging is a great simple twist on classing ranking activities. Enjoy!


Not quite as ubiquitous as the past two classic activities (brainstorming and warmer questions), rank-ordering is nonetheless a TESOL mainstay. Here’s a nifty adaptation…

A classic

Rank-ordering activities generate lots of discussion. Presented on the board, on paper, as little cards, or even on screen, we often get learners to rank things from 1 to 10 in order of preference or importance, like:

  • Holiday destinations
  • Restaurants in the local area
  • Personal qualities in a best friend
  • Ingredients for success (see example here)
  • Goals for a language course (see First lessons with adults or teens)

Ranking is often chosen as a way to engage learners in a topic or personalise a lexical set. But beyond that, it’s a great for critical thinking.

The twist

A ‘priorities diamond’ is a simple graphic organiser that takes ranking to the next level. I’ve used it several times, even in training…

View original post 259 more words

Using news stories/newspapers in the classroom via

An intersting blog post share from the blog

A year in Review 2017-2018

Image Credit: Tumisu on

Before the new academic year starts up it's time to look back and carry out the (third) annual review of my practice and development as an English language teacher (previous yearly reviews can be found here: 2016-17 and 2015-16 ). With these reflective pieces I want to make myself look back at the previous academic …