Looking back at 2012 on blendedmec


It’s almost the end of 2012 and soon, 2013 will be upon us! I love Christmas time and it’s the perfect opportunity to look back at what the past year has brought us before moving on to new and exciting things. With that in mind, I’d like to use my final post of the year to remember some of the favourite posts I’ve written this year. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading them as much as I have writing them!

Take your students on a virtual field trip

This was one of my favourite posts of the year, exploring the new Google Art Project. Using their street view technology, Google gives anyone with internet access the chance to walk around the most famous and most beautiful art galleries and museums in the world, no matter where you are. It also links to an amazing video that shows how the Google Maps team go about taking and putting together all the photographs necessary to put together a complete view of each particular location. There are also some good ideas for how you can use this new tool in the classroom, from asking students to guide you on a tour of a museum to describing their favourite piece of art to the rest of the class.

Top 5 apps to bring authentic materials into the classroom

One of my favourite postings in the Top 5 series was this one all about apps to help you incorporate authentic materials into the classroom. From Flipboard to aggregate all the best news sites, blogs and websites to tunein for radio stations that provide authentic and regional listening opportunities, these five apps can safely be your go-to downloads for last-minute lesson activities and interesting, engaging material.

Culture clash

Taking as its inspiration a wonderful animation of artist Varham Muratyan’s Paris versus New York series, this post gives loads of ideas of how you can get your students involved in the culture of England and their own native country. From designing posters to class debates, and even maybe making their own infographics, students will love these interactive and personalized ideas.

Identity and role plays

Personality changes are very common in the foreign language classroom, and this post looks at a couple of ideas as to why we’re different in our second or third languages then when we’re speaking in our native tongue. It also looks at a fascinating article by the linguist Guy Deutscher, about how the very grammatical nature of different world languages changes the way the native speakers of those languages see the world around them, and how they act within it.

“Tell me about yourself” – “Well, I don’t like job interviews!”

This is a more functional posting but useful nonetheless. You can read some absolute horror stories from interviews that will make even your most cringe-worthy moments seem not so bad, and you could create a great lesson around these texts. This post also points you in the direction of some great careers tips to help you make the most of your CV, job hunting, and the CELTA.

Stress can sometimes be a good thing

This was a really interesting post to write because word and sentence stress is quite a difficult feature of English for learners. The activity based on how the same sentence, stressed in different ways, can completely change the meaning of the sentence would be great to use in a first lesson that focuses on pronunciation, intonation and stress.

And one from a special guest…

From book to web: time to get creatical

I’m cheating with this one since it’s four postings in one, and I didn’t write it… but it’s really worth it so I’m going to include it anyway! This was one of our guest series, written by Rui da Silva, a teacher and all around digital guru based in London. This series is a great exploration of free and simple web tools that teachers can use in the classroom with their English students. From getting students to give directions with Google Maps to giving presentations with Prezi, Rui inspires a whole host of ideas that are easy to implement but yield fantastic results, engaging students and making classes a whole lot more fun. These postings tend to focus on academic English, but the ideas are very transferable to any type of English you might teach, and the web tools that he uses are not academically-focused at all.

See you all in 2013!





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