Have you ever thought that using a nice image could help your students to improve their oral skills?
After coming across this site I thought why not looking for nice images to foster impromptu speaking. Impromptu speech is one of the most difficult areas of speaking, mainly because of the short time you have to prepare your words. In the classroom, this is a very useful tool to see how well students have developed their communication skills, and how good their command of the oral language is. And, instead of giving students a topic to talk about, I thought of providing them some images for them to relate to anything they like.

Sites with excellent royalty free images:

Impromptu Speech Ideas:


{September 27, 2010}   Giving Presentations

When you are giving a presentation, you usually talk in front of a group of people in a clear, structured way (about a certain topic). Presentations are a very useful tool for teachers to make students develop different skills and study strategies.

How to succeed in giving presentations?

Must-remember tips:

  • Before the presentation, be sure you have all your materials ready.
  • Introduce yourself and the topic of your presentation. The audience needs to know who is talking and what is he/she talking about.
  • Be ready not to read all the time, people will get bored!
  • Keep the presentation simple, giving new and significant content. Remember that your audience can read the full paper later, and look for information on the net.
  • Show your knowledge of the topic: be ready to answer any question that may arise!
  • Always remember that the end of the presentation is as important as the beginning!

Tips, useful language and tons of ideas:

{January 16, 2009}   Online Learning

For the past 4 or 5 days, I’ve been taking part on a series of online teaching and learning sessions, and I’m really looking forward to tell you all about them.They are 6 week courses and this was the first week.
Some courses’ topics are blogging, digital media and education, teaching a language and conflict resolution in the classroom.
I’ll try to upload a weekly summary of the activities, so you can see what this geekyteacher does during her holidays!

BTW, I have to sit down here and order my bookmarks! I’ve got lots of nice things to share with you, but first, they should be in the right place 😉

This last month was terrible for my annual plannification. At the institute I work, there were parties, movie watching classes and now, today, there is a Nations Fair.

It’s not that I don’t like taking part in this kind of events, but just by looking at the calendar, I’m starting to go crazy. We have 5 weeks left and I still have to introduce one more topic, make the corresponding final exam practice and, if there’s nothing new to add, by December 17th my little chickens will learn to fly.

What is the problem? I asked if we could choose whether to participate or not, and I was told it was compulsory. Not only had I worked more hours at home than expected (preparing leaflets, some snacks for visitors) but I also had to make parents work at home preparing material with their children. In my opinion, it’s really nice to participate in such events, but, thinking about it twice, I would add:

*It’s not the time of the year for such an event – guys, I don’t work just there, I’ve got tons of work to do from everywhere (and the other teachers too).

*What’s the point of having students investigate about a NON English speaking country (not my case) when they go to an institute to learn English? Having such an amount of English Speaking countries in the world… why do we have to choose countries only from America?

*The idea of this fair was a copy of what other institute did last year. I know that people are not that original, but I’ve got to thank them not to tell us about the fair two weeks before the event, like they did last year with the end of the year rehearsal (Oh, yeah, I went crazy then).

*This kind of events should be organized from the very beginning of the year, by the headmistress/headmaster of the institution and they should be in charge of all extra work, to avoid overwhelming teachers with extra work they have not time to do. It’s just that I could hardly sleep 5 hours a day this last week to avoid leaving things unprepared. And being tired all day long is not what I want. I want to enjoy my classes.

So, now, as I have some more minutes to spare, I take a deep breath and think if I prepared everything:
-work for those children who were last week – ready
-thank you notes for visitors – ready
-snacks – ready
-big book (oh, my kids did such a nice work!!) – ready
-videos – ready

I guess I’m ready for the event of the day.

*”the pig and the twenty” refers to an Argentinian proverb (“la chancha, los veinte y la máquina de hacer chorizos”) where it’s stated that someone wants everything without effort or money.

{October 24, 2008}   Wow!

If you are in London or just near that wonderful city, you can’t miss The Language Show from 31st October to 2nd November!

More info form the Independent

Official Site of the Event

Professor Henry Widdowson is an internationally acclaimed authority in applied linguistics and language teaching. He is perhaps best known for his contribution to communicative language teaching. His many books, articles, and lectures have been seminal in establishing both the field of applied linguistics and its mode of enquiry. However, he has also published on other (though related) subjects such as discourse analysis and critical discourse analysis, the global spread of English, English for Special Purposes and stylistics.

The Routledge Encyclopedia of Language Teaching and Learning says, ‘Widdowson consistently defends clear-thinking and clear presentation of ideas. For international ESOL, he has probably been the most influential philosopher of the late twentieth century.’

Professor Henry Widdowson previously held chairs at the University of London and the University of Essex, and is now Professor at the University of Vienna. He began his career with the British Council, working in Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, before taking up an academic career in Edinburgh where he obtained his doctorate in 1973.

He is the Applied Linguistics adviser to Oxford University Press and series adviser of Oxford Bookworms Collection. Widdowson is co-editor of Language Teaching: A Scheme for Teacher Education and the series editor of Oxford Introductions to Language Study and the author of Linguistics (1996) in the same series. He has also published Defining Issues in English Language Teaching (2002), and Practical Stylistics: An Approach to Poetry (1992). His most recent book is entitled Text, Context, Pretext. Critical Issues in Discourse Analysis (2004), published by Blackwell’s.

Presentations in Argentina

Henry Widdowson will be opening the FAAPI Conference ( in Santiago del Estero and will then deliver presentations in Buenos Aires, La Plata and Santiago de Chile.

La Plata

Tuesday 23 September – 1800

Organised by the British Council in partnership with the Dirección de Educación Superior y Capacitación, Dirección de Cultura y Educación de la Provincia de Buenos Aires


Buenos Aires

Wednesday 24 September – 1800

Facultad de Derecho, Universidad de Buenos Aires

Organised by the British Council in partnership with the Ministerio de Educación, Gobierno de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires




et cetera