Lions and Toilet Paper

March 30, 2009

Another two random things from the world wide web.

This made me laugh – a very detailed (with diagrams), well-written blog entry on the best way to have toilet paper hanging in the bathroom. I’m not sure what the English use of this would be, but I’m going to try and encorporate it into my lessons: Click here.

But, this is definitely useful for lessons. A YouTube video with subtitles already on there. If you’re doing vocab of animals, the wild, friendship etc. this video is bound to draw a laugh or a tear. The true story of Christian the friendly lion:

More info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_the_lion


The Beatles playing with Accents

March 29, 2009

It’s no news that I love playing with accents, especially the Scottish varieties. To my surprise, so did the Beatles!

Here’s a clip from the Get Back Sessions (Jan ’69). They’re performing Paul’s song but in a quite different way…The footage is from the Let It Be film. The bloke who posted the video on Youtube did a great job synchronising it.

How can this be used in your classes? Well, it’s up to you! ­čÖé

Click here for the lyrics.

Fernando Guarany


IATEFL Cardiff Online

March 22, 2009

Posted on the behalf of the Cardiff Team

Join us and fellow ELT professionals from around the world to discuss, reflect on and develop ideas. The 43rd IATEFL Conference will offer many opportunities for professional contact and development. The programme offers over 400 workshops, posters, talks, panel discussions and symposiums by international presenters from over 60 countries.

The 43rd IATEFL Conference, 31 March-4 April 2009

The British Council and IATEFL┬áhave launched┬áthe Cardiff Online website which will offer coverage of this year’s IATEFL Annual Conference in Cardiff.

The┬áCardiff Online website allows remote participants to take part in one of the world’s biggest ELT conferences through a variety of resources including:

Video recordings of selected sessions

Audio recordings of selected sessions

Live streamed plenaries and events

Moderated special interest discussion forums

Chat sessions

Blogs and photo albums

To visit the Cardiff Online website go to: http://iatefl.britishcouncil.org/2009

Class on photography

March 10, 2009

lego-menHi people,

I’m sorry I post so much on here. I’ve no idea if any of you read this, but this is too much fun to let pass. If you’re ever doing a photography themed class, you could use this set of pictures available on flickr. They’re lego versions of classic photos (like the one above of workers on a skyscraper having lunch). The guy who does them obviously puts a lot of care into getting them just right, and he also explains a bit about how he did it and he links to the original photo (with an explanation about why that photo is famous) so you can see how closely it matches. I’m sure there must be many ways to use this in a lesson – you could put up the lego ones and ask students if they know which picture he is copying, then show the original to check.

Click here to see his album, then click on the album Classics in Le


Sincerely faithful and Faithfully sincere

March 6, 2009

Sometimes higher-level students might ask you about how to construct a formal letter in English (useful for FCE and above for students and teachers!). Generally, “Yours faithfully” is the way to finish a letter to someone you don’t know (“Dear Sir or Madam”) and “Yours sincerely” is the way to finish a letter to someone who has a name or who you have a formal but known relationship with (“Dear Mr Smith”).

I found this page on http://www.dailywritingtips.com/yours-faithfully-or-yours-sincerely/ (I soooooo recommend this site!) which provides details on all of that and more if anyone has ever been confused by it.


“Romanes Eunt Domus” – Grammar Translation Revisited – Part 1

March 2, 2009

Communicative Language Teaching (CLT), a response to the Audio-Lingual Method (ALM), has been around for quite some time now. If you ask most teachers at language schools in Brazil today what “method” they use in their ELT practice, they’re sure to answer, “Communicative Approach.” But, is that really so? If you take a quick look on the table of contents (or course summary) of most coursebooks used by such teachers, you can get a totally different impression: Grammar rules, communication obeys! Coursebooks and lesson plans alike are still written heavily with grammar in mind. We seem to have a fossilised habit of feeding our students with “Grammar McNuggets”, like Scott Thornbury puts it. Free communication is still secondary in most language courses in Brazil. While conversations about authentically communicative lessons have been resounding all over the Brazilian ELT circles, genuinely communicative lessons are still a distant reality. In this series of reflective articles, I am going to try and tackle some of the reasons behind the issue and, simultaneously, offer a handful of possibly half-baked solutions. For the time being, to start on a humorous note, I offer you a snippet from Monty Python’s The Life of Brian which perfectly illustrates the topic.

The script may be found here

Fernando Guarany Jr