A new novel – Painted Dog – please read and vote!

Could you do me a favour?

My new novel ‘Painted Dog’ is out now on the Kindle Scout website. https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/165NEN69MTBD9

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It’s free for you to read the first few chapters and if you like it, please vote for it. If I get enough votes, Amazon will help me publish and market it.

‘Deep In the ancient jungle, the River Tribe find two of their own, dead. They send for a hunter from the city, but the young man who travels the tropical river to help them, is not quite what they expect.

He is the Painted Dog and with him, comes the old animal they call UkanDooAh.

There are dangers deep in the jungle, giants and ghosts too, but there is also something precious, the village girl, Atepe.’

 

 


Optical illusions- a PPT for your English/ EFL / ESOL classroom

This picture is not animated - it just looks like its moving!

This picture is not animated – it just looks like it’s moving!

I’ve just found more another optical illusion powerpoint on my hard drive.

I don’t know where it came from or who made it, or how I got it.

It’s an old favourite and perfect for a warmer, filler or just for when you have nothing else.

To get the most out of it

  1. Put students in pairs
  2. Have them discuss each one for a couple of minutes
  3. Ask for feedback.

You don’t have to do this for each one, but it will allow students to speak and produce more English.

Click the link below to download it.

If it was useful, please pass it on.

OpticalIllusions : https://chrisspeck.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/opticalillusions.pptx


5 Academic sentences for IELTS writing and speaking

5-academic-sentences

Learning academic sentences is a powerful way to make your language stronger.

Like learning karate moves in the dojo, the more times you say or write them the more you will understand how they work.

Also like karate moves, once you know how they work, you can use them in the real world!

5 Academic sentences

  1. Employment not only offers us a way to make money for ourselves and governments, it also gives us the opportunity to do something meaningful in the world.
  1. In my opinion, there’s a very strong economic argument for effective primary school education.
  1. As long as free healthcare is managed well, there is no need for it to be wasteful or expensive.
  1. Prices fell by more than 20% last year and as a result, sales increased by 15%.
  1. Teachers have many roles, in addition to educating students they can often act as role models.


Video: How to write a simple Task 1 IELTS essay

Here are some things my students said about IELTS task 1.

‘When I see graphs I feel sick…’bar chart.png

and

‘I just don’t understand all the pictures…’

and

‘I’m terrible with numbers and tables…’

BUT…

‘Task 1 is easy….you just write what you see.’


It’s Christmas again in the ESOL / EFL classroom

Christmas-Scene-christmas-9272952-1024-768

It’s time to dust off the old Christmas worksheets and pull out the tatty decorations. I’ve rounded up some of the best stuff on the web in terms of worksheets, shows, interactive games and song

Worksheets

The English Language Space Station has some good lessons on Christmas http://www.englishlanguagespacestation.com/ESOL.htm#Festivals and Celebrations in the UK

There are some really good Christmas worksheets from bogglesworld.com http://bogglesworldesl.com/christmas_worksheets.htm

Christmas Shows

Jackie Lawson has some really great, free Christmas shows which I have been sending and showing to my students for years and years, they’re brilliant. http://www.jacquielawson.com/cards_christmas.asp

Some great shows are also avaliable from Katie’s Cards http://www.katiescards.com/ecard-category-christmas-7763.aspx?gclid=CM_0_MGP2qUCFccKfAodLXjTkg

Interactive Games

Some great Christmas games here http://flashghetto.com/christmas

Watch as Father Christmas tells you what you will get for Christmas http://www.portablenorthpole.tv/home

Very funny dancing elf videos, you can upload your photo and watch yourself boogie at Elf Yourself http://elfyourself.jibjab.com/


Writing Cards – Christmas Cards for ESOL, ESL and EFL

 

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Can’t be bothered to read the post – Click here for the lesson on Writing Cards

cards

Sending cards is an enourmous business in the UK and the USA with the average person spending way too much time and money on them. There’s also a lot of social pressure to send and receive them especially at Christmas time. Who hasn’t been presented with a card for someone who is leaving the office, sick or getting married, and thought ‘I don’t know what to write!’?

It’s also pretty difficult for ESOL/EFL and second language English learners to write them to. I used this lesson with a group of pre-intermediate learners.

Here are the lesson stages

1. Ask the students to tell you when they last recieved a card of any description. Write a list of the cards they tell you about on the board. It might look something like this. Anniversary, wedding, congratulations, birthday, valentines, get well soon, sorry, condolences…

2. Pass out the sheet and have the students correct the mistakes then match the card messages to the people they are for.

3. Now ask students to write their own messages in response to the prompts. You could ask them to work in pairs or alone and could check the answers by getting to write on the board.

4. There are some really good electronic greetings cards on the net. You might like to show these to your students if you have an interactive whiteboad or projector.

http://www.jacquielawson.com/

Simle Box


Audiobooks – More practice for IELTS listening

Normally, I’d tell you that reading novels isn’t really going to help you get very good at IELTS academic reading….but…

…if you need some free practise for your IELTS listening, then audiobooks, might just be the right thing!

Like the radio or podcasts, you can listen to them anywhere, in the car, on your bike, in the gym or even at work. Here’s a list of places to find them.

1. Audible. You can get a month’s free trial and choose from an enormous number of audio books from Harry Potter to Emily Bronte. You can also listen to my novel ‘Warmstone’ here as well.

warmstone-flyerheights

 

2. https://librivox.org/ – totally free, LibriVox aims to have most classic literature in audio form. Click on the pictures below for Mary Shelly’s absolute classic – Frankenstein.

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3. Open Culture http://www.openculture.com/freeaudiobooks 700 free audio books here – there must be something good for you to read…and free too. Click on the picture for some free Sherlock Holmes stories to listen to

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open-culture