Spicy Tooth

ESOL – Literacy – Numeracy

Eye halve a spelling chequer

I have recently been looking at the peculiarities of English spelling, which prompted me to dig out a poem I came across a number of years ago. I believe the poem below is the original version, although various modified versions of the poem also exist. The British Council website has a good activity for the…

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Spot the mistake

This was spotted and taken in Sudbury, London in December 2016 by one of my students. Can you see what is wrong?

Maths worksheets

There are numerous (geddit?) websites offering maths worksheets. Here are some of my favourites. I have replaced one of my previous recommendations because of the high number of trackers the site uses. themathworksheetsite.com themathworksheetsite includes a limited range of free worksheets that are generated dynamically. I particularly like the free number line generator, which generates…

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Teaching Reading Skills

Here is an infographic I created to accompany a session I gave on teaching reading skills to a group of trainee teachers.

Word clouds – Wordle, WordArt or Tagxedo?

Word clouds are a method of displaying words on a screen. It is particularly useful for showing the frequency of words in a text, with words that occur more frequently in the text appearing in a larger font than words that occur less frequently. An example of their use could be to get learners to…

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Teacher’s Corner

Teacher’s Corner is a fantastic website, full of resources for teachers. Grouped under the ‘printable worksheets’ tab are a range of ready made worksheets, including crosswords, word searches, word scrambles, telling the time worksheets, money worksheets and maths worksheets. There is also a word cloud generator. What sets this website apart from others is the…

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English Speaking Board (ESB) ESOL Exams

The organisation where I work has all but dropped Cambridge ESOL exams and are offering exams from ESB (English Speaking Board). Reading At the time of writing I am preparing a class for their ESOL Entry 3 reading exam. While the reading texts in the sample papers do not appear to be particularly difficult, the…

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Arcademic Skill Builders

Arcademic Skill Builders is a fantastic website for ESOL and numeracy learners. The site contains a variety of games that enable learners to practise maths and English. What’s great about the games is that learners can play against each other by creating a private room that others can join if they know the password. Examples…

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Mouse pointer training

With the widespread use of smartphones and tablets, fewer people own computers. As a result, there are more students that lack the confidence with using a mouse and moving the pointer around the screen. I found this great game on the Internet that lets learners practise moving the mouse pointer through various mazes. The aim…

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Improving learning with hard-to-read fonts

As teachers, we often choose an easy-to-read font when making materials in order to make it easier for learners to read. However, research by Diemand-Yauman, Oppenheimer and Vaughan suggests that we may not be doing learners any favours. By deliberately using hard-to-read fonts to incresase the disfluency of the materials, the recall of information seems…

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