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Saturday, 5 June 2010

New Teachers? Read This!

This posting is a bit random, I admit. I was watching our current TEFL Certificate trainees do their first ever teaching practice and was noting down a few things I noticed, and suddenly thought it might be interesting to post them here.

So in no particular order, with no-one in mind specifically, here are some of the things that went through the mind of this teacher trainer on week one of our teacher training course. Some of these observations are things I liked, and some are things that worried me. I didn't actually tell the trainees any of these because we like to be positive, especially on the first day of teaching. But they could be useful to consider nevertheless. Here we go.

Listenings: "See what you understand" is a very woolly reason for listening to a recording or dialogue. Give them an easy, concrete question to answer, such as 'Does he like football?' or 'What does the man order?'. And if the answer is towards the end of the listening - bingo! - they will need to listen right the way through to get the answer, which has to be better than them getting the answer after two seconds and contemptuously throwing their pens down and semi-surreptitiously checking their e-mails.

Grammar Points: Watch out for long, boring 'explanations' of grammar points by the teacher with no interaction or eliciting of patterns and rules from the students. An average grammar exercise book like English Grammar in Use from Cambridge or Practical Grammar from Heinle would probably do a better job.

Approach: Nice and friendly is definitely the way to go as far as I'm concerned, in the context of our 'guinea-pigs, who are coming of their own free will and for many of whom English is simply their hobby.

Voices: A nice clear voice, possibly slightly slower and crisper than usual, is something to aim for. You need to both be understood by your audience and also make it clear that you are the boss, after all. Many teachers have developped a special 'teacher voice' for this purpose, but watch out that it doesn't sound too babyish or patronising, and don't forget to switch it off when you're with your friends, or they'll think you've lost it.

Drilling: Good to see some first attempts but the thing that strikes me is... two things. First of all, only say what you want the students to repeat, in a crisp, clear voice. Avoid mumbled phrases along the lines of 'Right, what I'd like you to do is if you could just repeat 'I come from Spain', ok, 'I come from Spain', all right, so can you just repeat that...?' like the plague. Silence and incomprehension will follow. Secondly, the students must know when they are supposed to start. This calls for some quite dynamic conducting skills and tons of enthusiasm from the teacher.

Spelling: Not always easy to spell everything correctly when you're on the spot, but try to watch out for silly mistakes which may confuse the students - this gets easier with experience and confidence.
Grammar: Watch out for slightly unnatural sentences due to nerves or interference from other languages, such as 'I would like for breakfast some bacon and eggs'. Sounds like some French word order creeping in there I reckon.

Teacher Talking Time: Vastly too much of this from certain trainees. This is absolutely normal! Many people seem to equate talking with teaching. However, I consider teaching to be more about asking questions and getting people to work things out for themselves. A greater variety of student-focused activities will quickly remedy this.

Boardwork: Try to plan board layout before the lesson: clear writing, organised and not falling off the wall with the weight of the words all over it.

Checking Understanding: "Does everyone understand?" is not a CCQ (Concept Checking Question)! Nor is "Do you know what 'syrup' is? - Good." Ask yes and no questions such as 'Is syrup a liquid?' 'Is syrup a solid?' 'Can we eat syrup?' 'Can we swim in syrup?', where some of the questions demand the answer 'No' to prove that students are getting it, and not just saying 'Yes' to keep you happy.

Pronunciation: Don't forget to correct dodgy pronunciation during the Practice phase. That's what this phase is for before leading into the freer Production phase.

Questions: What is teaching about? Is it fundamentally about asking questions and making  people think for themselves? What do you think?

Student Spelling: There should be a moment when written exercises are checked somehow (even by the students self-checking with a text) to avoid things like 'straigt on' and 'nexto' installing themselves in the students' notebooks. Wandering around and indicating mistakes over their shoulders can be effective and not too disruptive or teacher-focused.

Rapport: "You!" complete with stabbing finger indicating the next student to contribute is a bit aggressive. If you have forgotten the name then substitute it with 'Yes?', a smile and a friendly open-hand, palm up gesture.

Drilling: "Let me see. -One two three..." The aim was to get the students to repeat 'Let me see.' Personally, I would have make the 'Let me see' function almost as the 'One two three' and throw it over to them with a suitably dramatic open arm gesture towards the students just after the word 'see', and an appropriately expectant look, oh, and shut up too! By that I mean that as soon as you can, try to turn your volume down and the students' volume will increase to fill the silence. Many consider it rude to speak while the teacher is speaking and the tendency for panicky teachers is to fill the silence of the non-repeating students with more teacher talk - not the greatest drill in the world!

That's it for now - an A4's-worth of quick notes from a very respectable first attempt to stand up and teach from this months batch of trainees. Of course there are millions of things that could have been pointed out but I hope that this little list is of some use to you. Let me know what you think!

© 2010 Sab Will / Hotch Potch EnglishWill Power English : New Teachers? Read This!
Sab Will is Course Director at TEFL Paris, a TEFL Certificate Teacher Training Centre validated by IATQUO

Friday, 23 April 2010

A Wandering of Websites 3: Useful On-line Resources for English Teachers

Here's another collection of amazing websites easily exploitable by teachers everywhere.

The only danger is... they're so interesting you might forget that you're supposed to be planning your lesson until it's too late!

So be careful, and let us know if you use any materials from these resources in your lessons, and how. Happy hunting.


If you want to base a few moments of your lesson, or indeed a few lessons, on music, but don't know where to start, this interesting site can help. Far from being an on-line version of some awful written-for-English-teaching 'song book', Song Facts isn't for teaching English at all. Which makes it all the more fun trying to exploit it.

You've got all sorts of off-the-wall stuff in there: curious song facts, a trivia quiz, interviews with artists, a pretty hectic forum and you can add strange song facts of your own if you know them.

Clearly, this site is both for the more sophisticated (higher level) learner, and for teachers who have the right to devote chunks of their time to such, well, trivia, but you've got a great resource here, and plan a lesson right and your students'll love it. Getting them to create their own music trivia quizzes immediately springs to mind as a follow-on activity.

This site should be banned, or knighted, or something. It's just too much! As it suggests in the title (see left) there are tons of 'Top 10 Lists sites, hell, I've even created a couple of Top 10 Lists for this very blog! But they go one better... literally. These are Top 11 Lists, and the topics, to say the least, are... varied. Many would provide some scintillating material for the adventurous English teacher in the right situation.

Some categories which just might tickle your fancy, amongst far too many to choose from, would be (they're clickable, don't thank me, don't thank me ;-) 11 Gorgeously Ironic Misspellings In Protest Signs; 11 Hidden Secrets in Fight Club;  11 Greatest Mug Shots of the 2000s; Interesting Facts About Our Presidents and Their Money; 11 Unbelievable Stories About Twins.

The list creator's intelligent wit just makes these lists even better. So click on some of those links above if you dare, but please come back after an hour or so to finish reading this page!

A brilliant collection of thought-provoking and discussion-inciting pictures. Why so? Because they all look like they can't be real (or most of them anyway), at least until you start to understand what's going on.

If your aim is to get an inimated discussion going with your students, either from the front of the class or in groups, print out a few of these and you won't be able to stop them. Of course, it would be best to prime them with some targeted questions to answer, such as 'Do you think it's real?' or 'What is it?' or 'How did they do that?' otherwise the students won't know what to talk about and will just say 'Ooohh' and start talking about it in their own language.
Another visual one, this, and sure it harks from my city of residence, but hey, we did it you you guys didn't, so just get over it, ok ;-) It caused a massive buzz when it was released a little while ago so have a look and see what you think.

What they've done is, climbed up (well, taken the lift) to the top of the Montparnasse Tower I reckon, and then taken a whole heap of high-res pictures then stitched them all together seamlessly with software. If I were an American I'd probably say 'Awesome!', but I'm a Brit so I'll content myself with saying... 'AWESOME!'.

You can zoom in on practically all the major landmarks of Paris and the creators have even slipped in a few anomalies to make you smile if you can find them so I'm told. (a giant tortoise on a balcony way up is probably the best known one).

Is this better than Google Maps or Google Earth? Well, to be honest, it's just different, and it's really quite refreshing to get away from the Big G for just a while and see what some of the other geniuses on the planet can get up to for a change.

Here's another incredible resource, both for the language class and our daily lives. It's one of those sites, a bit like the 11 Points site above, that once you get there is very difficult to leave.

Need I need to give you any more incentive to make you check it out than telling you that there are the Top 5 Tips for Using Twitter, 10 Off-the-wall iPhone Apps to discover (I love the one where you can write a text message and still see where you're going on the screen..), and hey, what about the Top 5 Tips for Preventing Underarm Odor? You know it makes sense.

But it's not all weird or wired. The site has a vast, and I mean Vast range of categories and subsections covering pretty much most of human life as far as I can see.

And if all of this is just making you go boggle-eyed then relax with this silly-sounding but actually enlightening item on What if I crossed my eyes for 10 minutes? Or any of the other few thousand fascinating time-wasters you'll find there.



© 2010 Sab Will / Hotch Potch EnglishWill Power English : A Wandering of Websites 3: Useful On-line Resources for English Teachers

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Poetry Pause: 'Jean-François's Nodding Off'

Little poem for ya...


Jean-François is nodding off,
In his English class to the distant thrum
Of a past imperfect, roughly taught,
Through an eardrum pierced by a holy thought.
No searchlights could get through that fog,
So leave it out; Jean-François's nodding off.

Thank God It's Friday, weekend's come,
And his English teacher's having fun
With the unreal present;
Teacher-man is droning on,
Then spits out fire,
Like an air-raid siren, all gone wrong,
'Bout a future tense, but the eyes are limp;
No hail of tricky traitor verbs
Can cut cut cut through this thick gauze,
So keep the noise down, J-F's nodding off.

Still wounded eyelids struggle up,
To a present shot with sly conjunctions-
Run and hide; turn in; fall out;
Consciences pricked with wry compunctions-
Foxhole, cover, weapon, webbing;
Wife a-waiting, in the wings,
Future bridesmaid cries and sings,
Pulling cold hand grenade rings
Damp trenches and life ebbing,

But Jean-François is far away,
On a mushroom cloud of conditional days,
Young teacher shoots his sniper gaze,
To a bleary eye,
In a foreign field;
He's focused on
Another phase;
There is no future real in English;
Just ask... oh, Jean-François's nodded off.

© 2005 Sab Will



© 2010 Sab Will / Hotch Potch EnglishWill Power English : Poetry Pause: 'Jean-François's Nodding Off'
Sab Will is Course Director at TEFL Paris, a TEFL Certificate Teacher Training Centre validated by IATQUO

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

A Wandering of Websites 2: Useful On-line Resources for English Teachers

It's polling time! With elections coming up (aren't there always elections 'coming up') in many countries, we thought we'd do a little polling of our own.

As we discovered one of our great teaching resources below we thought it would be fun to show you some of the functionality, sorry, I mean what you can do with it, ourselves. We'll publish the results in another posting on this blog once a few of you have had a go at filling it in. So go and have a look now - it's fun, interesting, and should give you some great ideas on how to use this cool tool with your students.

Of course, the Survey Monkey is just one of the five great new teaching resources we have found for you this time. Check out the rest below and be sure to let us know what you think... and to recommend your own favourites!

NEW This offers a series of short This is one of those sites where you can type in some text and get the computer to say it. I must admit I'm wondering exactly how useful this could be for language learners, but there's a definite schoolboy thrill, along the lines of looking up naughty words in the dictionary when you were a kid, in getting Heather from the US, or indeed Rachel from the UK in her lovely 'proper' English accent to tell you to... oh well, let's not go into details, I'm sure you can amuse yourself no end with your inventive phrases and I defy you to keep a smile off your face as you listen to the results. I just hope they don't display a link of past requests anywhere...

'The world's most popular web-based survey tool', they claim, and it's true that this is a great site to incite interaction with your users. It's free, and allows you to easily bang up questionnaires in a jiffy. Fast, that is. Look, I've created one just for you, to show you some of the question types available...!

The image here shows an attempt I had at 'branding' the survey with the Hotch Potch English colours, but it was just at the end of the process that I realised this was part of the 'pro' option. Shucks, but you are probably thinking 'Thank god for the Pro Option, judging by those colours'... I chose their 'Purple Passion' standard option in the end. It ain't Hotch Potch English, but it's better than nothing.

I wanted to give you access to the results of the survey without giving you my account login but... it's a Pro Option! So I'll content myself (and you?) by posting a brief summary of the results here once a few of you have done the survey - watch this space... and let us know if you have had fun using the site - why not create a survey and send us the link in the comments section below?

And as it says on the box... (or the home page, at least) this site is all about 'funny and weird news about stupid crimes, ignorant politicians, heroic toddlers and much, much more' and it certainly delivers.

Current headlines include: Will love songs put sharks in the mood to shag? / Prison van carrying convicted bank robbers crashes into security van, thousands missing / Man auctions permanent advertising tattoo on back of neck...

Current fun facts include: Barbie's full name is Barbara Millicent Roberts / American Airlines saved $40,000 in 1987 by eliminating one olive from each salad in first class / 200 million people in China live on less than $1 a day...

Fascinating stuff, and clearly exploitable in class by the innovative English teacher, n'est-ce pas?!

I was just about to recommend the authoritative yet amusing daily word e-mail posting from Your Dictionary, one of the best of these things out there in my opinion, when I realise I haven't been getting them for the last few days. Searching frantically through my inbox finally turns up a message soberly announcing the last word of the day e-mail from Your Dictionary! This is a shame, as it was one of the few which managed to inject a bit of humour into these po-faced thing, but never mind. Apparently this is so they can concentrate on making Your Dictionary even better blah blah blah, but anyway, do have a look at the site as it does, in fact, provide a LOT of interesting language content, including a large resource section for teachers which is worth browsing.

OK, I'd better get this one out of the way! If you type '' into your browser you immediately get a rather nasty page from a weary-sounding company called 'Audacity, Inc' and a curt black message telling us in no uncertain terms: 'We DO NOT make audio software'. It is some indication of the success of the company which does make the excellent free audio software known as Audacity that the company which owns '' have to devote their prestigious home page to telling people who they are not!

Well, whatever the story, if you follow the link above you'll get to the Audacity which does make audio software, and a fine product it is too, especially regarding it's free. It does take a while to get to know, and I would certainly recommend getting a knowledgeable colleague (look for someone with thick glasses and spots and sticking out teeth wearing a 'Kiss a Geek Today' T-shirt...) to get you started. Oh, sorry, Audacity allows you to record stuff in lots of formats and do some fancy stuff too. I use it to take the hiss out of my dodgy podcasts and free weekly English lesson recordings.

I must admit, I've seen worthy educators giving valiant presentations to enthusiastic souls on how to use Audacity to make their lessons the next best thing to being there, but I can never convince myself that your average teacher actually goes straight home and starts using the thing. Like a lot of the amazing technology out there, I have a feeling that many teachers, even if IT-ready, still prefer reading about it than actually using it just yet, or - same old story - simply don't have the time. Tell me if I'm right. OK, or wrong...!


© 2010 Sab Will / Hotch Potch EnglishWill Power English : A Wandering of Websites 2: Useful On-line Resources for English Teachers
Sab Will is Course Director at TEFL Paris, a TEFL Certificate Teacher Training Centre validated by IATQUO

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

One-to-One English Teaching: Top 10 Tips for Great Lessons!

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Although some professional language schools here in Paris tell us that up to 70% of all professional language teaching is on a one-to-one basis, not all TEFL Certificate courses actually prepare you for this.

So here is my first attempt at a list of ten key points to bear in mind when it's just you... and... him (or her of course)! Let me know what you think and feel free to add some more, thanks.

Great One-to-One English Lessons: Top 10 Tips List

1) Ask Them What They Want
And give it to them! It's their lesson - their private lesson - and everything should be directly relevant to them.

2) Keep Your Shareholders Happy
You often have to keep several people happy: the student in front of you, the student's training department who chose your language school, your language school's director of studies, without forgetting yourself! So be aware of what all of them are looking for - often not the same thing - and try to give them all something to make their lives better.

3) Variety, Variety, Variety
Provide lots of varied activities for the student - it's more intense in a one-to-one situation so you need to keep changing the exercises regularly or you will both get bored.

4) Get Personal
Prepare highly personalised topics for your student based on his or her interests or needs - there's no excuse for not doing so. (but see No.7 below)

5) Personality Counts
So let's hope you've got one, eh?! If normal group teaching is a highly personal experience, for one-to-one teaching we need to replace 'highly' with 'intensely'! Personality clash? No-where to run. Boring, unmotivated student? No-where to hide. The fun, fast-moving lesson buck stops with you. So do your best to establish a friendly, professional approach from the start so that any problems down the line will be seen as being the exception rather than the rule and you should be able to work them out.

6) Perform Regular Rain Checks
Just because you get on well with them and they still smile quite often doesn't mean that they are totally satistied. Indeed, exactly because you have built up a friendly atmosphere may make it more difficult for them to let you know that they're not as happy as before. So ask them regularly if they are still getting what they want, if not why not, and change to rectify the situation.

7) Stay Professional
As long as money is changing hands, you ain't friends. You can never be friends. As long as money is changing hands. That's an important thing to remember. As long as they are the client and you the service provider they will be expecting you to bend over backwards to improve their English and if they don't feel that is the case, and you don't address it because you think you have become 'friends' and can get away with any old stuff, problems WILL arise.

8) Provide Structure, Not Content
The teacher provides the structure to the lesson but it is the student who will provide the content - the actual topics they want to study. Of course, the teacher may end up providing most of the materials, articles, etc., but in a one-to-one these should be closely linked to what the students has said they want or need.

9) Have Different Hats
At one moment you have to be interested in the student's son's soccer game at the weekend, the next firmly getting the student down to work and finally reassuring them that they really are making progress when they can't see it. If only we got paid in relation to the number of skills the average teacher needs!

10) Follow The LTP Approach
This is my own invention, what I call the Three Pillars of Being a Great Teacher, and is applicable, in my opinion, to any kind of teaching. LTP stands for Language Teaching People, and the idea is that to be a great teacher you need to love all of them. You need a love of Language (your chosen subject), a love of Teaching (the competences needed to help your students learn) and a love of People (the fundamental requirement to lead a happy life in our society). Read more here.
Top 5 Related Posts

Comments, as ever, are very welcome.
Sab Will is Course Director at TEFL Paris, a TEFL Certificate Teacher Training Centre validated by IATQUO

Thursday, 18 February 2010

A Wandering of Websites: Useful On-line Resources for English Teachers

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While a herd of cattle, a flock of sheep, a school of fish and, at a stretch, a gaggle of geese might not have too much trouble rolling off your tongue, could you happily take on board (and not feel totally ridiculous saying) "Oh my goodness, did you see that intrusion of cockroaches / squabble of seagulls / paddling of ducks / murmuration of starlings the other day - weren't they quite something?"

(That was all one sentence, by the way - I'm rather proud of it...)

I suspect not.

But a wandering of websites... well I don't see why not. Never let it be said that I never neologise, right?!

And here they are: a handful of interesting, and potentially teacher-exploitable websites that I've come across over the last few days. There have been others, there will be more, but this is what I have for you today...

This offers a series of short videos of people talking about stuff quite similar to what I do on the Hotch Potch English Mega Minute, but it's always nice to have a choice. There are also some interactive exercises and the script which is useful, and lots of different accents which is good too.

This is a very useful on-line depository of newsy stuff, the most interesting of which may be the collection of newspaper front pages from all over the world. They are available in printable pdfs and can be used in class quite easily. Relevant and up to date - what more could you ask for?! Good for comparing approaches to news stories from around the world, with a good collection of English titles to choose from.

This is a great idea in principle but pretty useless in practice... for native speakers. But excellent for students of English. The idea is that people - anyone - creates a short video where they define a word on camera and put it on the site. They can, of course, peruse all the other efforts and there's nothing to stop you from setting exercises based on watching the homespun definitions of certain words. It would be pretty fun for students to define their own words in their own English and immediately see their efforts on the internet. All you need is a free You Tube account and you're away. The reason I say it's useless, or rather pointless for native speakers is that the fun of watching some boring definitions of words we already know wears off very quickly. But for learners this is less the case.
A great site, not only for its large collection of quotes, but because you can sign up for a daily e-mail for free with an inspirational quotation and some other stuff. I just read the quotations and sometimes share them with my students. Why not have a look?
Check out this site for a really cool, and curious little interactive story. There are resources for exploiting it with students and it is very unusual and strangely engaging.
Feel free to also send in your general ideas and thoughts by commenting below, and... read you shortly!
Sab Will is Course Director at TEFL Paris, a TEFL Certificate Teacher Training Centre validated by IATQUO

Friday, 12 February 2010

What On Earth Are... CCQs?

Have you ever spent a good five minutes explaining something to students and had them nodding and smiling happily making you feel they've totally 'got it'... only to prove thirty seconds later by some simple mistake that they totally 'haven't'? It happens to all of us, and that's where CCQs can help.

CCQs, or Concept Check Questions, are a very effective way of checking students' real understanding of vocabulary or even grammar you have just taught them. Let's take an example:

Imagine you are teaching your students 'snow', and you explain it by saying 'It's cold and white', and they nod and smile. You even ask them 'Do you like snow?' and they still nod and smile and maybe even say 'Yes!'. All is going well, you may think. Except that half of them think you are talking about vanilla ice cream!

How about explaining what a strawberry is? It's small, you say. And round. And sweet. Oh, and of course it's a fruit. You can eat it. It tastes good! Do you understand? Good. And you move on. With one third of the students thinking it is indeed a strawberry, one third thinking it's a raspberry, one third thinking it's a cherry, and probably someone who just hasn't got a clue, but what do you know? You haven't checked to see if they've understood the concept asking questions!

Asking 'Do you understand?' is one of the least useful questions you can ever ask in an English language classroom! Why? Because if students do understand the question 'Do you understand?' they will probably just say 'Yes' to keep you happy. And to not lose face if they don't. They may not even understand the question 'Do you understand?' but will say 'Yes' anyway, just to keep you happy. And even if they do understand something, are they understanding what you want them to understand?!

Another example: Imagine, like me, you are a less than useless artist. But that not having a map to hand during your explanation of the continents you draw a hasty map of South America on the board, and label it 'South America'. You then ask 'Do you know South America? And they all nod and smile. But half of them are thinking that 'South America' is actually the English for 'Africa'!

So how can we be more or less sure that our students really have understood? Let's take the snow example earlier. We need some really simple questions which, if answered correctly by the students, will prove to us that they've 'got it'. We could ask:

Is snow is white? The student answers 'Yes' but so is vanilla ice cream and cotton wool and fluffy clouds and sheep.
Is snow cold? The student answers 'Yes' but so is vanilla ice cream and ice and winter and fridges and snowmen...
Does snow come from the sea? (mime waves) The student answers 'No' - a good sign.
Does snow come from the sky? (point to sky) Student answers 'Yes' - another good sign.
Does snow fall in summer? Student answers 'No' - still looking good.
Does snow fall in winter? Student answers 'Yes' - very good - it looks like he's got it.
Do we eat snow? Student answers 'No' or laughs and says 'If you want!'. Really looks like he's got it.
What can we make with snow? Student answers 'A snowman!' Yes, he's probably got it.

Of course, there are many other things you could do along the way if you have the tools, such as simply drawing some snow falling from the sky or a snowman on the board. But often concepts are harder to picture than that, or the required tools are not available and CCQs can come in really handy.

They work with grammar forms too. How would you be sure that students had grasped the concept of 'I used to live in London'? Maybe they think you still do. Or that you are used to living in London. Or that you want to live in London. Who knows?!

So we need some more CCQs. What about...

Do I live in London now? The students should answer 'No'.
Did I live in London? The students should answer 'Yes'.
And why not some optional questions to test deeper understanding, such as:
Do I like London? The students should answer 'We don't know!'

A final example before an exercise! Take the sentence 'I managed to get to the top of the mountain.' What are the essential facts or meanings of this sentence? Choose the best three from:

I succeeded.
I didn't succeed.
I will succeed.
It was easy.
It wasn't easy.
It was nauseating.
I didn't try.
I will try.
I tried.
I like mountains.
I had to do it.
I won't do it again.

The sentences which carry the main meaning of I managed to get to the top of the mountain are 'I tried', 'It wasn't easy' and 'I succeeded'. The other sentences may have some relevance to the event but they are not essential to understanding the meaning. Now, in order to get some good CCQs we simply need to change these essential meaning sentences into questions to elicit the appropriate responses, and be reasonably sure that students have understood:

'Did I try?' (yes)
'Was it easy?' (no)
'Did I succeed?' (yes)

It's often useful to have a question in your set like 'Was it easy?' which require the answer 'No', to check that students aren't just 'keeping you happy' with the answer 'Yes (teacher)' as we mentioned before.

Now here's the task:
Choose one of the nouns and one of the sentences below, write a small set of CCQs for it, and post them in the comments below. Read the comments first and try to write CCQs for a word no-one else has covered, but feel free to also include improved CCQs for words already covered. I'll post the best CCQs below.

Here are the words and sentences:

column / horse / bungalow / pebble / cup / laptop / deckchair
cucumber / barge / sandal / bat (animal or sports equipment!) / handbag / coast / path

Sentences (CCQs for the word(s) in italics)
She was limping badly when I saw her.
I've been living here since 1993.
They'd rather have stayed at home.
My dad went through the roof when he saw the house after the party!
Johnny was caught shoplifting the other day!
I was sleeping when you phoned.
We're seeing Avatar by James Cameron this evening.
I wish I were 18 again.
I'd only been in France for two weeks when I met my future wife.
(The phone rings) Don't worry - I'll get it.

Feel free to also send in your general ideas and thoughts by commenting below, and... read you shortly!
Sab Will is Course Director at TEFL Paris, a TEFL Certificate Teacher Training Centre validated by IATQUO


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