Monday, 13 June 2011

Moments of Truth: End of term/course ideas

In the last session of the DELTM, we looked at ways of enhancing Moments of Truth, particularly at the beginning and end of courses. You will find below a list of suggestions for end-of-course activities from the IATEFL BESIG Yahoo Group ( Please feel free to add your own suggestions and comments on the activities.

1 Give out certificates at a formal ceremony. Show a slide show of the course with musical accompaniment.

2 A mobile video project where students plan and film a short piece to show and represent their life together and what they learned on the course.

1)Put them in groups
2)Explain the types of scenes they may want (interview, fly-on-the wall, action, still shot)
3)Have them create a voice over monologue perhaps
4)Give them time to film it
5)Come back, swap phones, watch the films and discuss.

6)After class ask students to upload them to a blog or video page like Winkball. They can then add video comments too.

It can be adapted to any topic and I think interviews with classmates would work well.

3 Just in case you might want a writing task, ask your students to write their names on a card/piece of paper (you could buy some nice postcards for them to write on or just provide some fancy coloured paper). The task is to write something personal for each group member. The cards are passed round so that everybody will get a chance to write a thank you/farewell text on each of the cards. What every student takes home in the end is a nice and usually very positive Course Souvenir.

4 As a warmer you can use Intermediate Communication Games (Jill Hadfield) Activity 40: The Last Game. Find someone you would like to thank for......

5 Luke Meddings and Scott Thornbury's "Teaching Unplugged" is full of suggestions for speaking activities. I especially like their "Pocket Pecha Kucha" idea.

Thursday, 31 March 2011

My one real experience of using online reference tools

My only real experience of using an online reference tool comes from doing task 11.3, so what follows includes an element of self-plagiarism. I looked at
This is aimed at the general public (L1 speakers) but would be useful to teachers and intermediate/advanced learners, including those wanting to gain admission into English speaking universities in the US, as there is reference on the site to GRE, which according to wikipedia stands for The Graduate Record Examination (GRE): “a standardized test that is an admission requirement for many graduate schools in the United States, in other English-speaking countries and for English-taught graduate and business programmes world-wide.”

Overall, I would describe the site as having an impressive array of word resources, The site is sub-divided into sections: dictionary, thesaurus, reference, flashcards, quotes, translator, Spanish. I was taken by today’s quote, which sums up my current attitude to online learning on a good day!
“An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered”. (GK Chesterton)

I liked the flashcard activities and came across one called syllables and semi-vowels: phonetics word preparation, which would be really good for teachers and possibly advanced learners learning about phonetics.
The Miss Spell’s Class is a great way of testing your spelling.
Also several parts of the site are available as iPhone and android apps.

I think it might have been helpful to have had some tutorials to help you navigate about the site as well as tutorials for particular resources.

It could be used with advanced learners to extend or reinforce vocabulary, to try out new words in writing tasks, to analyse their output and to find synonyms and antonyms.

I think the advantages of  using an online reference site as opposed to printed versions are:

·  they are available 24/7
·  they are portable, particularly through mobile telephony
·  searchability that isn’t just alphabetically based
·  possibility to bookmark and personalise
·  they are fun to use, particularly for digital natives
·  you can test yourself and track your progress more easily than with a printed alternative.

The disadvantages are:
·  You need to learn how to maximise the use of the online resource
·  You can get sidetracked and end up “wasting” time. I spent three hours “researching” this site!

Guess which job?

"someone with an important position in a bank"

"Often used in cockney rhyming slang, this person lends you an umbrella when the sun is shining, and asks for it back when it starts to rain."

Can you guess the job?

Monday, 21 March 2011

One of my favourite videos

Can you guess when I might use this clip in talks?

Workshops and Seminars

I have delivered workshops and seminars on a large number of topics including:
  • Coaching and mentoring
  • Communication skills
  • Continuing Professional Development
  • Customer service
  • Leadership development
  • Managing change effectively
  • Motivating your team
  • Performance management
  • Personal effectiveness
  • Project management
  • Stress management
  • Time management

Information about George

Some information about me:
·  independent educational coach, trainer and consultant.
·  delivered training and seminars in over 50 countries throughout the world.
·  co-ordinator of the IATEFL Leadership & Management Special Interest Group (SIG) and editor of the SIG Newsletter.  
·  lead trainer on the English UK Diploma in Language Teaching Management (accredited by Trinity College London).
·  tutor on the International Diploma in Language Teaching Management (accredited by Cambridge ESOL).
·  British Council inspector of language schools in the UK (Accreditation UK).
·  treasurer of IATEFL from 1999 to 2005.
He can be contacted about coaching, leadership, management and training issues at:

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Welcome blog

Hello and welcome to my first blog in a series about leadership and management.
Over the next few months I hope to share with you my thoughts and reflections on a number of topics and look forward to reading any comments you want to leave on the site!

Best wishes