Friday, November 28, 2014

Teacher Research- CPD- Webinar ( By: Dr.Smith Richard- Dr.Robedollo Paula)

I am so delighted to share with you the slides of the webinar successfully presented by Dr.Smith and Dr.Robedollo, which is entitled Teacher research.The session has been moderated by Paul Braddock and the attendees were from different continents. How amazing to enjoy professional development at the click of a button. Thanks to technology, teachers can benefit from CPD month announced by the British Council.Stay tuned, because more inspiring webinars are going to take place in the coming days.
Below are the slides of the webinar. These are only a foretaste. To relish more the webinar, do not miss to listen to the recording.
Let us enjoy together reflecting on an area of research in our classes. Personally, I have more than one puzzle to solve. I need to start thinking seriously of these puzzles and why not conduct these researches.

Personally, I am so grateful to this opportunity offered by the British Council to develop professionally. Thumbs up for all of you and keep up the inspiring work.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A creative way to present a project!

With a lot of delight and contentment, I do publish one of the many wonderful projects " some"my students implemented after reading a short story by O.Henry. Reading literature can be very motivating for learners, especially if the topic rings bells for them. The story is a love story and this topic is seemingly an everlasting topic that interests teenagers.
The short story, the gift of magi, which is entitled the Christmas present in our textbook has whetted the appetite of , to a great extent most of our students, who are Third Arts students, to read more.
Yet, reading is a habit and if learners are not "pushed" to read, they are  unlikely to have a "spontaneous" tendency to read much. Sometimes, it is crippling for both teachers and students to have successful reading classes, because the majority of our classes are struggling readers, hopelessly .
Well, I do not like to spoil this moment of celebration by bleak thoughts of reality.
Here is what happened, after being involved in pre-reading and while reading activities of the story, students were invented to write a summary of the story and use ICT in their projects. After providing them with various forms of possible outcomes of their projects, while insisting and inspiring them to think creatively. I was very pleased to discover how willing the students were to use ICT and show their talents.
One of these "creative" students is Eya and she proved to be "highly creative" and exceptional. She drew all the pictures by herself and she is one of the few brilliant students who rejoice reading in all the three languages she is studying. Here is her project and I do hope you encourage Eya by leaving your constructive comments for such talents, who use technology wonderfully.
Using literature in the classroom, could possibly help learners improve much and the three days of training we had with Mr.Fitch O'connell were of great support to me.I have been inspired and the training days we had are still having a nice positive impact on my teaching!
        Why are students reluctant to read? A pertinent question ... which needs a lot of reflection...

To end up well, I would like my fellow colleagues to have a look at this site and make use of the lovely collection of literary works, in their classrooms.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Thank you Macmillan Publishers- Mexico!

Networking with fellow teachers and educators from around the globe always proves to be a rewarding experience.As a response to my latest post Mixtape, I got this feedback from Macmillan Publishers. As every blogger does, I yearn for feedback, any sort of feedback, which not only boosts my positive energy,(even negative feedback would help me see clearer in the future), but also helps us see to what extent are we seeing eye to eye with educators from all corners of the world. Thank you Macmillan Mexico Publishers, for making my day with your feedback on Twitter.

Monday, August 25, 2014


         This is a listening lesson plan.The idea has emerged spontaneously,  as a suggestion from a creative colleague (Lilia Ezzedine) on facebook .
  To think of a lesson plan , while we were rejoicing listening to Passenger's song Let her go, for the first time.This is a teacher's job. The teacher thinks of every opportunity in terms of teaching/ learning. That was months ago. I didn't forget that I promised her to think of a creative way to teach songs, not the ordinary way. I hope she and other teacher find this suggestion a different one, though I doubt it, because many would suggest this is nothing new. It's true I combined many techniques into one lesson, but the proof of the pudding is in the eating. We should wait and implement it in our classrooms and evaluate to what extent this suggestion worked, in terms of time management and the learners' readiness to compare two songs themes and tones.
 What's new? It's new (I think) because it is mixing two songs at once. The teacher is not going to teach one song, but two songs. The lyrics of the two songs are cut into strips and the learners are asked to order the lyrics and stick the strips on a separate blank paper.
     While listening, the learners put in order the lyrics. Afterwards, the learners enjoy the songs by focusing more on the meaning, or the message conveyed, the mood of the songs, the tones and the feelings of the singers. All of this is put into practice by comparing and contrasting the two songs' themes and the singers' feelings. Thus, learners enjoy listening to music, and recycle the comparison and contrast linkers.
     Here is the lesson plan of the two songs! Let her go, by Passenger and You're beautiful, by James Blunt.
Hope you like the idea of the mixing up of two songs. I am sure there are some points, I did not take into consideration and you think they are the bottom line of listening as a crucial skill. Let me hear of you, if you have suggestions. I'd be more than grateful.
Happy reading Wonderful teachers!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Best online tools to edit photos

 Free online tech tools with different functions  from photo creating, editing, adding special effects, etc.. are free, abundant, and available for everyone to try some "free" magic online.

In this post, I'd like to share with you some of the free online tools, which could be of some help for everyone of us, especially teachers. How can teachers use these free tools?
Teachers can create photos, add special effects, add text, etc... All depends on how teachers are going to use these images or photos. We have a plethora of possibilities to use these online tools, while planning our lessons and creating the materials we are going to use.
Today, I've chosen three photo editing tools, which are totally free and they are user-friendly. Besides, what is effective about these three online photo editing tools, is that you can download the image file directly on your computer and more than this, you do not need to create a profile.
Here are the three free photo editing tools I have fun using and I'd like to invite you to peek and plan a more focused visit later, so that you have more time to think about some creative ways to use photos, images in your lessons.
1-Phixr (

2-Photocat (

3-Picadilo (

Hope you will explore these online tools and more importantly ponder over some effective ways to use them while planning our lessons. This could inspire us and our learners in a multitude of ways.

Happy exploration!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Top Ten Questions

   I have started this post ,as well as many other posts , and here I am resuming it  after being totally taken by some family responsibilities and summer joys. The end-of-year is always as hard for some teachers as the beginning of the year.
   Working with kids for a whole year, giving them much of oneself and helping them to be active, positive and inventive critical thinkers is not painless..Leaving them is like one is keeping a part of his soul and heart cleft in equal pieces, much or less, among all the kids we have taught.
More importantly, the end-of-year is likely to be highly stressful and depressive ... Personally, I do feel like I'm in a state of agony and I start judging myself severely.. This could be profitable as well as harmful ...Let you decide .. Is it fine to give such a blind eye to all the good one has achieved along the whole year ? Much of the strain I endure is correlated with my concern of how much I  have achieved of my goals ...
   Hence, this post uncovers my top ten questions, at the end of a schooling year and the near start of a new one..Certainly, each one of us can add or subtract to this list ...

1- Did I do my best with everyone of my pupils? Did I care for each of them more or less equally?
2-Did I teach everyone of them some basic life skills such as respect, cooperation, tolerance, confidence, critical thinking?
3-Did I make a difference for those who needed me? Did I help them envision their goals?
4-Did I teach them in a creative way? Did I teach them to see differently? Did I provoke their thoughts?
5-Did I touch their minds as well as their inner depths?
6-Were my strategies effective and in congruence with my learners' needs?
7-Will my pupils remember me as a dedicated, passionate teacher? What is the image my learners have for teachers?
8-Did most of my learners grow autonomous or semi-autonomous learners? Or did I make of most of them robots, dependent  learners who are unable to go their ways , seemingly, so confident?
9-What kind of effects did I have on them? Would this help them in their learning process?
10-To what extent did I affect them positively?

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Art in ELT

This is one of the lessons I won't forget and I think my learners won't forget, too. 
Why so? The amount of engagement was high and learners were involved along the whole process, with varying degrees, of course.
Earlier than this, I had conducted a questionnaire with my learners and what I discovered is pretty telling. In fact, according to the results of the questionnaire (By Dr Silverman), 70% of my learners are Visual Learners.  They enjoy all sorts of visuals and retain better when they see the word, let alone when they engage in drawing or/and are asked to describe/ or write about their drawings. 
How: I explained to my learners that they wouldn't be judged upon the quality of their drawings or their talent in drawing. It was not a lesson in art. It is rather studying English via Art. Art encompasses many activities, but in my lesson , the focus was on drawing.What matters most is the fact that they share their insights , either by speaking or writing. They also engage in a collaborative activity after drawing. They try to describe their drawings to their peers before describing them to the whole class. They ask each other questions based on the wh-questions: who, what, where, when, why.They do not only practice the wh-questions, but they also ask for their teacher's help to translate to them some words, they've never come across and would like to know their equivalents in English.
Level: This lesson was taught with 7th grades of basic education.The age range is :12 to 14 years old.They are beginners and they are so enthusiastic about the language. This does not exclude the fact that they face difficulties, yet, they show a lot of energy and interest in their English classes. Though English is studied , starting from the age of 11 , which is a bit late and we are expecting a lot of reform to happen. English is the third language and learners, in public schools, yearn to study it at an earlier age. French is still the second language here. 
What:  What amazed me in the lesson itself, is that I discovered the favourite learning tools my learners used. Some low-achievers preferred to copy some ready-made pictures, though I asked them to imagine a scene and draw it. Well, I was observing them and relishing the moment they were fully-engaged, in the process. Some other learners started commenting on some learners "poor" talent in drawing. At that moment, I was there to tell them that there was no perfect drawing. More importantly, every drawing was a piece of them and this counts a lot. To my astonishment, the most shy girl showed great skills in drawing and her peers gathered around her and asked if they could learn from her. She felt extremely happy and proud that she was special in some way. I could notice those glaring lights in her eyes. She could assume a positive role and I could feel her joy. Another instance is of a boy, who, though very calm, in nature, displayed a lot of violence in his drawing. Does this reflect his environment? I am not certain. 
The drawings, helped me see my learners clearly. They reflected their innocence, their inner beauty and their wonderland. The beauty of the family, of  Nature, of the sea, of the people,of Tunisia,  is well-reflected in their drawings.

The While: The core of the activity was not testing the learners' talent in drawing, but it was using drawing as a means to engage the learners and push them to write about their own drawings. This activity helped them them discover a piece of themselves. What are their predilections? How far can they use their imagination to go beyond the world around them?How skilled are they? 

This short experience would never be forgotten for most of them, as they outspoke this with elation. After drawing, learners engaged for a while to write sentences describing the pictures they drew. The sentences were not perfect and they faced a lot of difficulties with some vocabulary they needed, but I was there to help them and the frowns on some faces disappeared.

Amazingly, the activity was engaging and the learners were contented that their teacher has taken some pictures of their drawings and would publish them. This type of activity is wondrous due to its positive impact on all types of learners. Some learners showed their hidden talents and others felt self-confident and helped their peers to draw and choose colours. 

One shortcoming was that one session was not enough, especially for stumbling learners. They did not finish the writing and they were invited to resume it at home, which is something I hate and I do not believe it could lead to better learners (IMHO). I believe every production (spoken or written should happen inside the classroom and whatever should be completed, should be at least a tiny proportion of the whole required from the learners). What I always cannot master very well is Time, which seems always to flee subtly. Will I be more proficient in managing time with my learners? I hope so! 

Happy Day!