mercoledì 25 maggio 2016

Task based Learning

Having to learn about TBA for my course with Coursera  dealing with teaching Reading in ESL I carried out a research online dealing with the issue of the  Task based Approach : here are some interesting documents online which are shared online.

They deal with an approach which meaningful for the learners but requires  a new approach for the teachers:
" In a task-based lesson the teacher doesn't pre-determine what language will be studied, the lesson is based around the completion of a central task and the language studied is determined by what happens as the students complete it. "

Source :

Inclusive education A Mooc by FutureLearn spring 2016

"The Right to Education"- Breaking down the Barriers
Mooc course by the University of  Glasgow                       Spring 2016
 File:Pictgram running man.svg

A short MOOC about education and inclusion which offerred interesting ideas about what education should be be like. In my country we have been debating the theme as more and more  teachers are required to face the different needs of their students. 

The Mooc

 It was a great Mooc which portrayed ideas and a lot of information about how to work better. Often we  forget that inclusion is a must and all the students require our  attention and  the best techniques. 

Education should be for all, in particular for the students who are struggling but  want to carry on studying.
The course ran for  three weeks and provided videos and links to interesting sources. It was a source of interesting ideas and great help for me.
                                                                     WEEK   1 

The issue of  inclusion    



Created with Padlet

WEEK    3



The final part of the course presented this webpage with reference to education and in particular they suggested checking  the session about   " Teaching and  Learning  strategies".
Interesting topics were introduced:
Experiential learning


 Values education

Enquiry learning

Appropriate assessment

Future Problem solving

Learning outside the classroom

 Community Problem solving

It is worth checking  what we can do in order to  plan activities that aim at inclusion.  There are activities which we can plan together and can support the learners and all the students.

The issue is important for every country as education is undergoing  many changes but societies still present  problems: it is the problem of many disabled children, students who come from other  cuntries who do not speak our language. It is the problem of families who cannot support their  children and risk being not included.

What is  inclusion?

"It is described by some as the practice of ensuring that people feel they belong, are engaged, and connected. It is a universal human right whose aim is to embrace all people, irrespective of race, gender, disability or other attribute which can be perceived as different."    


We should all try to implement our  teaching and  help our students who are facing  education problems. Education is for all. 

martedì 24 maggio 2016



May is going to end soon and by 6th June we will have finished most of our activities at school in Italy.
It is a demanding part of the school year for teachers and students. More tests and finally the holidays, some will stay at home  while others are going to leave for the UK or seaside places in Italy.
I tried to see what we can do now to make our last activities  more meaningful.
For the students who have to prepare for the exams  it is time to recharge the batteries and work harder to face the  tests.
For the others and for me as a teacher it is time to think about what went wrong, what  I should have done and what I did not do well and  how I could help and support the students who have difficulties.
For all my students it is time to think about  free time and holidays, without forgetting their  English.  
I could see an interesting  webinar on line by  Shelly  Terrell this month  and she suggested some activities to do before leaving for the summer holidays.

It is time to use English  and write together and share pictures, images and do some conversation in English. Everything should be " guided" and" meaningful" .
For me it is time to think about the feedback from my students and see if I can find a way to implement my  teaching. I am a life-long learner and I need to see what is not working well and which activity needs improving.
You can find some interesting activities online shared by other other teachers and  we might  try to help also the students who are in difficulties.

Teaching can take place in difficult situations and I must say that this year has been hard . I do need to create some " engaging activities " which can motivate the students who have difficulties and are  struggling learners and my idea is to prepare some  work for their summer to help them overcome what is making their life difficult with  English learning. I would like to create an ebook with some extra homework and to provide positive feedback during the summer days before they start school in September.

Here you can find links and the " inspiring presentation "which was  commented by  Shelly Terrell some weeks ago. Great talk  for a great lover of  teaching and  learning.



End of the Year Activities! from Shelly Sanchez Terrell

"Summer  should  be the time for  having fun and  bettering your skills".This is my wish to the students I have taught this year.

Have fun and  don't  forget your English!!

martedì 17 maggio 2016


How to create  ebooks

In February I could do an interesting  EVO SESSION about teachers as creators of  ebooks. We worked online in a closed group which was created in GOOGLE+ and I could discover new tools . I also designed and developed  my first ebook about  Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet for English language  learners.  It was a great effort for me as I am not so tech-savvy as many  other  teachers but  we were guided on line and  Shelly Terrell was a  great supporter  for the  activity. In five weeks I learnt how to keep on working on my ideal ebook. 

I wrote some  posts  in the blog where I usually write about  my learning  about new technology . You can  see them online now:

Last March  I found an interesting ad about   Italian MOOCS and I found out that they were running  a course for teachers about the creation of ebooks. They seemed to have  a different approach but  I decided to try. I enrolled after 20th April and I have just finished my ebook based on the guide provided in the  MOOC course   -  Ebook per la scuola italiana  2016   -  you can find more  online

We were left  working online and we had to rely on the support of the other teachers, I was a bit confused at the beginning but then I followed the tutorial and learnt how to create my ebook in a short time. We were also provided with lots of information about the development of ebooks and ereaders.  I also googled the tools and the approach which I was presented and discovered that other  teachers have been working in the same way and with the same tools.

This is what I found online about  creating ebooks and based on the  steps which were provided. I also tried to see what is happening in Italian  schools now. Not everywhere we have ebooks but some schools are trying to start using them. The role of the teacher is crucial. I am aware that not many  are eager at learning about  these  new tools which we can use now.

References online:

Ebook e classi virtuali from Veronica Cavicchi


There is a project which is supported by some headmasters in Italian schools and which aims at creating ebooks for learners by their  teachers - see  Project  Book in Progress.

The steps suggested  in the MOOC

Some simple tools you need to have on your  computer:     you need to be  registered and have an account.  
This is useful for bookmarking websites you want to use in your  ebook
Once you have chosen the websites you need to create a folder for them. This will be your " ebook". The tool is used for downloading the document   in the epub form.
The tool is used for reading epub books and for  editing books. If you check online you will find this information:
calibre is a free and open source e-book library management application developed by users of e-books for users of e-books. It has a cornucopia of features divided into the following main categories:         
  • Library Management
  • E-book conversion
  • Syncing to e-book reader devices
  • Downloading news from the web and converting it into e-book form
  • Comprehensive e-book viewer
  • Content server for online access to your book collection
  • E-book editor for the major e-book formats

The tool helps you turn the epub book into  a doc document.

Once the document is  ready you can add pictures, index, any  personal text you want  to add. The links to the webpages will be active and will open in the ebook online. 


What is  Scribd ? It is an open publishing  platform where people can upload their books and they can read books. For reading books they are required to pay for some as the writers have published their books on the platform.
You need to upload the file and then in just a few minutes you have your ebook published.  The ebook can be downloaded and viewed by other people. It can be  read online,shared and embedded in blogs and websites.

Easy?  It is a different approach, but I have learnt about some tools which were new to me. 

My attempts: you can find online what I have  created.
It was  based on the introduction to  William Shakespeare, the play The Tempest and his sonnets. I wanted to create a summer work for students of English which could be " free" online and with interesting weblinks and also videos. The final product was not excellent but an interesting experience for me.  
To download the book students need to be registered: the book will be a pdf document.

My second ebook:

My third ebook, based on the second one but I wanted to add images and  more information about the sonnet and the English sonnet

What I could not add to the book: the background image which was present in the word document I had designed. Here is a screenshot of what I had created:

The experience was useful and I am going to use the platform on  Scribd for creating  some ebooks for my students.

domenica 15 maggio 2016

Professional Development : where to find events in education and interesting events for teachers of English and other subjects

The importance of  Professional Development
More and more we are  required to keep on learning and working on our CPD. I was pleased to learn about this helpful  calendar online for people who are teaching  and involved in education and which has just been presented.  
It is possible to learn about  most of the education events and we can all choose what to do. This is the link :

Here you can find the video presentation by Monica  Burnes who is a leading teacher  and an expert in modern technology.

I have come   across these interesting  website where  teachers  share  ideas :

EVENTS IN MAY   2016                                           


You  can  follow  the   Free Friday   Webinars  which are  presented by  Shelly  Terrell :  here is the collection which she has   shared online                                  

Free Friday Webinars, by shellyterrell
It is a pity which the events on Friday are late for people like me who are in Europe but I think it is worth  trying to follow some  webinars as  Shelly provides good tips and useful  slides about what we can do to enhance our learning. I get to bed late after I have watched them and  I feel that we can all learn by watching online webinars!