sabato 30 luglio 2016

ELT and Teaching Literature

An interesting webinar about  English and Literature with  Amos Paran

This month I had the opportunity of following an interesting webinar which was run by OUP.
The main speaker was Amos Paran who introduced interesting ideas about how to work in English and  introduce  Literature.

As I had appreciated him previously in a MOOC about  teaching reading in English lessons I was willing to learn more about  his ideas. I was not wrong as what  he presented were  good tips for working with any type of text while we can work in English with our  learners.

The approach to teaching  literature  has changed since I did it many years ago as now we work on the learners and their interests and how they are feeling. I must confess that I am going to use some of his  ideas and I hope I will put them into practice next year as I am likely to work more on literature with my students.

Some key  ideas about  teaching Literature :

-we do need to support our  learners who will be later  engaged in reading  longer texts

-tasks need to be  appropriate

-teachers should be passionate about literature

-it is important to design  learner-centred activities

- activities should be task-based and centred on the  meaning of the texts

- relevance to personal issues is important

When we want to develop  a reading project on extensive  reading we should let the students choose what they are interested in.

Students can later work on the homework and choose to make a video, a poster , write an article  or make an oral presentation .

I will write about extensive reading in my next post where I will describe the interesting MOOC which I did online thanks to Coursera and which I finished in July.

Among the many activities which he suggested we  have  discussions about the book/text,  creative writing and get the students  engaged. Reading clubs and reading circles are also a good way for practising the language.

I have collected some interesting links online in my padlet and they contain more tips and ideas about how to work on literature in ELT :


Here I am sharing a padlet about a novel - Pride and Prejudice-  which I created when I did a MOOC about  Jane Austen: modern tools can help us introduce the topic or we could ask our students to work online and make their own presentations.

Using new media and tools can enhance our students' skills too: today is Emily Bronte's birthday and when I checked on Twitter and found this hashtag:

It is important to remember that today we have plenty of sources and also a guided discovery online can be the starting point for getting our students involved and learning about topics, issues and also poets and writers we would like them to learn more about.

Literature is not only reading a book alone or analyzing a stanza , reading literature can become an engaging discovery while our learners are using English and developing their reading and writing skills too.


                            LEARNING ABOUT  PBL

Thanks to a European  Mooc platform-  
I could do an interesting  course online in June and July this year. I had come across it by chance and  I realized that I should learn more about the best practices which are needed in today's classes.

This is my  learning  Diary : we were asked to write about it every week and to work on our project. We shared ideas and discussed as developing  PBL  requires a lot of planning and information about what we want to achieve.

We used  new tools and we learnt a lot as we shared ideas and information about  PBL.

At the end of the  Mooc I could get a certificate and the badges for doing all the  activities  in the four weeks.

The activities were engaging and really interesting and provided tips for anyone who is new to PBL.  Teachers from different parts of the world took part in the MOOC.  We worked on peer assessment and we could see and share  our projects.

You can find here the  Twitter hashtag for the four weeks where the tutors and the teachers involved in the MOOC could learn together

What I have learnt :

-  PBL  requires  planning, thinking and  a group of  teachers who share ideas about the best ways for guiding and helping the students
- Students can learn a lot by working  together and by approaching  learning in a different way
- Learning can happen without  a  face-to-face approach  if we
rely on the students and their engagement.

A detailed guide about this online experience and more links can be found in my website :

venerdì 22 luglio 2016

Professional Development online

Summer : it's   time to  relax  but  we can also recharge our batteries  and learn from the others.  

This summer I have been working on my  CPD and I have done some  MOOCs and  some interesting webinars.   Now  I am going to share some interesting online events which  are offered  for free, most of  them  are also run  during the  school year. You just need to  plan your  timetable and see what is on.

                           Friday  Webinars   by  Shelly  Terrell

Just 30 minutes of  great ideas, web links and tips for any teacher  who wants to  change  his or her way of working.
It is a must for everybody who wants to learn about  new tools and also to  make  learning an interesting adventure. 

In Italy   I usually watch the webinars at 10.00 p.m. now- regularly on Fridays; time changes when it is  wintertime, usually it is 12.00  p.m..

Shelly Terrell is  a great speaker who can get everybody engaged and teaches what can work in learning environments and how we  can better our  lessons.  

Free Friday Webinars, by shellyterrell

Today she shared her ideas about  the best way for getting back to school:  it was a great " manifesto"
for getting our students  more engaged starting on the first days spent at school. Some activities were suggested for younger students but I feel that she has  provided plenty of ideas about how to get connected with families and students when we start a new school year.

Back to School Survival Tips from Shelly Sanchez Terrell

Mobile learning was the topic of  last week's webinar: although it is difficult to cope with new technologies also in my country, I feel that " mobile learning" should not be considered a problem and we should use technology to create  learning environments in which  our students can learn, create and work on their presentations while they are collaborating online.

Learning to Go: Mobile Learning from Shelly Sanchez Terrell

                                                   CLASSROOM  20.COM  
The link to the webinar page is  found easily on the web :

Every Saturday   there is a webinar which runs for one hour and the great presenter is  Peggy George who has worked  for this group of  teachers  who share their skills and knowledge in  modern  technology and education:  webinars are usually at 6 p.m. in Italy and you can receive a certificate of participation if you submit your form at the end of the webinar.
All the webinars can be found online  thanks to the recording which  are embedded and can also be found on Youtube :

The new webinars will be in August after they had a  holiday break  in  July.

                                            Free opportunities for  learning online

Peggy George  made  a great presentation online  about  free online webinars : the video and the material can be accessed online :

The great  LiveBinder that Peggy  prepared for us is  a great source of web  links for anyone who wants to learn on line:

Click here to open this binder in a new window.


I have come across   Globinars   -  and I have found some interesting  webinars in English : one was  the above mentioned webinar  by Peggy George while  on Monday I watched an interesting one about  the FLIPPED CLASSROOM:

The access to the list of webinar is online :

The activities are all  managed by Juergen Wagner  who works in Germany :

Webinars are in German, in  Spanish, in English and in French. You can enroll and then you get  the web link for accessing the room of the webinar. Most of the webinars are  planned until next year.
If you register , you will have the links to the presentation and also the slides once they have recorded the webinar.

It is a great opportunity for  learners living all over the world, usually the time is  7-8 p.m. now.

                                                            AUGUST   2016   

From  5th to 7th  August a  VIRTUAL CONFERENCE ON LINE thanks to Nellie  Deutsch who has worked on different projects  dealing with teaching and  learning by using   modern technology:
the webinars are a source of interesting ideas - just follow this link to see what she has planned to do

                                                       September   2016

            Edupassion:  a free conference online 
                                    3rd September 2016

Lots of interesting  ideas and  lots of people who are  working  in education and sharing what they have learnt and achieved........

I am looking forward to watching some  webinars  and see if I can implement my teaching.

venerdì 15 luglio 2016


14th July 2016

“Every individual matters. Every individual has a role to play. Every individual makes a difference.” 

Jane Goodall    

I cannot believe that it happened again. Too many innocent  people died in Nice on 14th July: on a day when  many  were celebrating in France.
I feel so sad for the many children who died. Why so many  tragedies ?
It is our   world which is out of control, our  world has become a place   where  violence seems to be prevailing. But I  do hope  we won't surrender.

I do feel that education plays an important role in teaching values like respect as we are different and belong to different cultures and religions but we  belong to the group of human beings and we should  respect how the others feel and  what they think .

Let's remember the dead and  pray for them and the world - a world which needs changes .  VIOLENCE IS NOT THE TOOL TO STOP CRUELTY IN THE WORLD.

lunedì 4 luglio 2016

WIESEL Never shall I forget

                    Remembering the  HOLOCAUST 
Never shall I forget that night, the first night in camp, that turned my life into one long night seven times sealed.

Never shall I forget that smoke.
Never shall I forget the small faces of the children whose bodies I saw transformed into smoke under a silent sky.
Never shall I forget those flames that consumed my faith for ever.
Never shall I forget the nocturnal silence that deprived me for all eternity of the desire to live.
Never shall I forget those moments that murdered my God and my soul and turned my dreams to ashes.

Never shall I forget those things, even were I condemned to live as long as God Himself.



Source of the image :

On 2nd July 2016  Elie Wiesel died. We have listened to the sad story of his life while reading his books  and  could learn about how he lost his family because of the Nazis who hated the Jews. He wrote about the sad experience he had had because he was a survivor  and wanted us to remember and to think about the atrocities that happened and might happen today too.

In an interesting article on line we have been reminded that today many of those who survived the atrocities of the concentration camps are still alive but  they are getting older and we need to remember what happened to them after they leave this world.

I cannot but agree with the ideas expressed in the article online :

“The loss of Elie Wiesel represents a loss not only to Jewish Nazi victims, whom Elie tirelessly advocated for over the course of his lifetime, but to humanity as a whole,”

Some speeches or ideas  can be found online to remind us of the man and his attitude to human beings and his past history: the XX century was the century  of the  Holocaust.

"No human race is superior; no religious faith is inferior. All collective judgments are wrong. Only racists make them. "

These words are  important for us now as in the name of  God and religion people are killed and suffer all over the  world.

I have been to Auschwitz and Buchenwald, I have learnt about what happened there and I am still wondering why and how this  happened. It is important for our students to study history and see how men can destroy other people's life if they do not respect them as human beings.

Wiesel was an great supporter of the ideas about the importance of remembering but he must have sufferred a lot as he shared his  thoughts about his little sister who was killed only in the last years of his life .
Remembering his sister

This is  a touching video  and shows us how  the man had sufferred when he was a young man and was left alone after his beloved had died:

He also visited Auschwichtz- from which we was able to escape death and could  tell us about his feelings when he was imprisoned there and what had  happened to his family:

In his work Night we can find the meaning of what had happened to him and the symbol of  the Night  has links with the inner thoughts of the man who had to see the death of many people he had met and those who disappeared from his life.

I think that we should continue  reading about the man and his works and as  teachers of foreign languages we can develop our students' critical thinking and thoughts.

It is a sad day to know that the man and  great Nobel peace  prize winner has died but we can still rely on the important message  which he has left us in his works. We can continue reading his texts and discuss them with our  students. It is a great lesson which we can teach and share  and will continue for us in the XXI century.

Introducing   Wiesel's work into our syllabus as  ESL teachers

An interesting guide about this text can be found online

Some ideas about  teaching  Night  can be found online :

For students of English with a good  level of English we could  read some pages from the book: here is an interesting link online for reading which is worth sharing