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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Inspiring China - It's an amazing world - ISSUE #6 NEW! - Articles - HighLight

Inspiring China - It's an amazing world - ISSUE #6 NEW! - Articles - HighLight

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Ecological issue of Highlight

Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little.
Edmund Burke 1729 - 1797

Dear friends!

EVERY DAY the world is losing an estimated 137 species.

2000 trees a minute are cut down in the Amazon alone. That is 7 football fields A MINUTE!

200,000 people A DAY are moving to cities from environments that no longer support them....

No one on Earth feels safe and secure.... but our future is in our hands, isn't it?

This issue is all about ecological matters: global or local;about the things people do to save endangered animals, to protect forests and to stop any kind of pollution, etc.

Our aim is to attract your attention to the world around you and raise the awareness that you are a unique and irreplaceable part of it. And you can make a difference!

It's high time to go green.

Best regards,
Marina Shvets.

The issue is here

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Unplugged teaching An idea from Scott Thornbury

After 14 years of teaching English I'm quite bored with all those predictable course-books, and I feel like teaching something my students really need to improve their language skills, something really relevant for them. I know it might be more time-consuming than just following the instructions in the Tachers's book, but the results of such teaching I mean meeting exact students' needs is absolutely amazing and rewarding.

I made my first steps in this direction when I was preparing some students for IELTS. I gave up using the text book in 3 weeks as I realised it was "eating up" our prescious time. I started modelling every class according to my students' weak points in a certain skill. Let me boast a bit - My students' IELTS results are 6.5-7.5)))

It goes without saying, it's a risk. But Russians say "Those who don't risk, don't drink shampagne!" What's more I lke all sorts of experiments) This year I launch a course that is't based on a single textbook,actually, it's a number of books focused on particular skills. Hope I'll manage to do my best. Keep my fingers crossed.

This idea I 've stolen from Scott Thornbury and going to use it in practice asap!

"Paper conversation" - students in pairs have a conversation but written, passing paper back and forth (like on-line chat). Monitor and extract interesting errors. Change partners and do this spoken. Introduce "back channel" devices - e.g. showing interest - and they change partners a third time, trying to incorporate these. Students report to class on partner's day.

Friday, July 1, 2011

One of discoveries in 2011 :

In our school every teacher makes a monthly audio vocabulary for the students. Some of them use Audacity, but for me it appeared a bit of a problem since you need to install that software onto your computer and then keep all MP3 files on the hard drive. So I started looking for online voice recording resources.

The 1st one that I found was I kept using it for 3 months but finally quit because there was some bug, sometomes it close while I was recording:(

The second resource was but again I ended up looking for something else due to the fact that on this platform it's possible to record only 5-minute tracks, which is absolulely inconvenient.

Voila! God answered my prayers - I came across on the net! It's brilliant, very easy to use, you can record your voice as long as you like and to top it all, you can use poctures with your adio:)

Try it and you'll like it!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

My article about Cuba - in our school ezine HighLight

Cuba - Cuba - Articles - HighLight

I'd appreciate if you left your comments to the article:) If you want to write an article about your home country, we'll publish it in our ezine with great pleasure! Join us:)

Friday, April 8, 2011

Phrasal verbs with TURN

According to research, phrasal verbs are the most common verb forms in spoken English. They are often used by native speakers, especially in everyday English. Significant part of the English vocabulary is made up of phrasal verbs, but EFL students tend to dislike and procrastinate learning them. WHY? Because they feel confused, they don't see the difference between them, cramming doesn't help, etc

Our aim is to help them:) If our students can learn and use common phrasal verbs, their vocabulary will enlarge, their listening and reading skills will improve, and they end up speaking more fluently, like natives.

I think that the easiest way is to use spidegrams and images (even draw them). It impossible to remember more than 10 verbs at once. It's better to learn phrasals based on one verb ( ex. go- go out- go on - go off - go up - go down - etc) and brush them doing at least couple excercises)

To begin with, I made a set with TURN on Feedback from students is positive:)

And follow-up activities

It's obvious that the best way is to learn phrasal verbs in context, through reading and listening, the fact that you’re interested in the context will make it much easier to remember the phrasal verb later.

Some more useful links
8 podcast episodes "Write me back soon" on Radio Lingva

Prasal Verb games

Matching Cards 2 - Phrasal Verbs

Saturday, March 19, 2011


One of our most innovative, popular thinkers takes on-in exhilarating style-one of our key questions: Where do good ideas come from?

With Where Good Ideas Come From, Steven Johnson pairs the insight of his bestselling Everything Bad Is Good for You and the dazzling erudition of The Ghost Map and The Invention of Air to address an urgent and universal question: What sparks the flash of brilliance? How does groundbreaking innovation happen? Answering in his infectious, culturally omnivorous style, using his fluency in fields from neurobiology to popular culture, Johnson provides the complete, exciting, and encouraging story of how we generate the ideas that push our careers, our lives, our society, and our culture forward.

Beginning with Charles Darwin's first encounter with the teeming ecosystem of the coral reef and drawing connections to the intellectual hyperproductivity of modern megacities and to the instant success of YouTube, Johnson shows us that the question we need to ask is, What kind of environment fosters the development of good ideas? His answers are never less than revelatory, convincing, and inspiring as Johnson identifies the seven key principles to the genesis of such ideas, and traces them across time and disciplines.

Most exhilarating is Johnson's conclusion that with today's tools and environment, radical innovation is extraordinarily accessible to those who know how to cultivate it. Where Good Ideas Come From is essential reading for anyone who wants to know how to come up with tomorrow's great ideas.

I think this video from TED also might be interesting:)

Just liked this quotation

If you are interested, you will do what is convenient. If you are committed, you will do whatever it takes.”

Sunday, March 13, 2011


Today on EFL Classroom 2.0 site I came across the topic concerned teaching poetry , how it might be challenging at times, in fact it is really difficult - tomorrow I give a class for Upper-Intermediate teens and it will be all about poetry (metaphor and simile)! I'm a bit nervous today - the thing is I need to get tuned somehow...
Otherwise how will I be able to get my students interested in the lesson material?
So I spent plenty of time just reading and listening to random poems on the net, started making a glogster poster and finally I found this poem. Honestly, it's not  Shakespeare but it touched some cords in me , 'cos it expresses my personal and teaching philosophy.

The Challenge

by Dr. Heartsill Wilson
Blessed is the man, indeed,
Who in this life can find;
A purpose that can fill his days,
And goals to fill his mind!

The world is filled with little men
Content with where they are;
Not knowing joys success can bring,
No will to go that far!

Yet, in this world there is a need,
For men to lead the rest
To rise above the "average" life,
By giving of their best!

Would you be one, who dares to try,
When challenged by the task;
To rise to heights you've never seen,
Or is that too much to ask?

This is your day--a world to win
Great purpose to achieve;
Accept the challenge of your goals
And in yourself, believe!

You will be proud of what you've done,
When at the close of day;
You look back on your battles won,
Content, you came this way!