Friday, December 2, 2011

Listening Practice for the BME exam

On the right side of this blog in the LINKS list, you can find "Science, History, Health" listenings. These are 4-minute listenings about news of many things.

Practice listening two times with a 1-minute pause between listenings. Make notes and think about what you hear.

Science, History, Health listenings are from VOA special English. VOA means Voice of America.

"What did you say??"

"Louder, please!! Can't hear you!"

"Hmmm...let's hear that again..."

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Wikis and teaching

I am thinking about wikis today. How do I use them in teaching business English? Before I answer my own question, this side comment: business English teaching is often not the stuffed-suit affair it appears to be. Using wikis to teach business English to business people is like playing with an octopus. Lots of arms, wiggling in different directions.

About a year ago, I created a wiki for a group of business English students. It was my slightly desperate response to their sporadic attendance in their weekly 90 minute face to face meeting with me. "Meeting" describes it well, because lesson it wasn't, in other words, no sustained or consistent teaching and learning was possible.

The octopus part: the wiki I made has about 8 arms, or pages. How they wiggle is the students grab different arms and give them a shake from time to time. Different students grab different pages of the wiki. One likes to follow the assignments page, and is methodically working through them, dressing things up with extra links, opinions and so on. Another goes for the page of grammar exercises and vocabulary (Quizlet-based, mostly). Then there's a guy who found some really funny youtubes and dropped them into the wiki. And there's one student who has never written a word.

That's not at all how I envisioned it! I thought the wiki would run parallel to our face to face meetings, providing a consistent source of learning and lessons that everyone would do in order and use when they couldn't attend the f2f. A way to keep everybody in step...

This use of a wiki is far from the wikis described in "the literature" but everyone, including me, is really happy with it. Recently I've started using bits of the wiki materials as warmers in our lessons, just to keep up awareness.


Sunday, June 26, 2011

MNB English Monday

Hi everybody! Its a blue Monday for me, because we dont have English. But you can practice with the links on this blog. Games! Reading! Grammar! Have some fun!


Thursday, June 9, 2011


Dear Students,

I have found some very nice exercises for you. The first one is about present simple and present continuous verbs. Here is the link:  present simple or present continuous?
After the little quiz, you can continue with a gap-fill story and a letter.

The next link is practice with verbs in past simple and continuous forms.

Write down your results and tell me when we meet next Thursday.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Pete Sharma Networking

I especially like the cultural awareness exercise in slide 8.