Author: ddeubel

Gifs as Universal Language Ideographs

Isaiah Berlin related that there are only two types of people, foxes or hedgehogs.  I’m a hedgehog.  A generalist. A slow plodder that sees the bigger, wider picture. When it comes to language learning, this has been very handy.  It’s valuable to cut through the...

Master Slave ELT

I’ve had some free time these days to rethink my role in education and in particular ELT.  So think of this post as the start of my St. Augustinian “Confessions”. English language teaching is great! It’s given me so much and I’ve traveled the world,...

Instant Printables Resource Library

I’ve been designing lesson materials for a long time and part of that has been printables for Gif Lingua. Each book has a set teachers can download to use to support teaching the topic of the book. Now, they are all available  in an accessible...

50 Ways To Learn A Language (without a teacher)

Teachers are great. But people have been learning languages for thousands of years without a teacher. It’s not only possible but actually in many ways better and more effective. Not all of these will work for you. There is no “magic bullet”, no “secret sauce”....

Fortune: A “Netflix” style video series

I’m a big fan of using video to learn language. “If I only had a dollar for every person who told me they learned English by watching Friends!”  Extensive watching works, it really does. Educational video works but it is too often dull, dim, uncompelling,...

A Volunteer Teaching Vacation

I am doing a bit of a U-turn in terms of my interests and career in education.  All for the better. Trying to be more “on the ground” and give back more than I receive. Last week I spent a few days visiting schools and...

Black Friday Special

I  do A LOT of hard work to bring great resources to teachers. Over the 12 + years I’ve been creating and sharing resources online – hundreds of thousands of teachers have used the resources in their classrooms.  It’s gratifying. So for Black Friday ONLY...

Teaching With EnglishCentral

I’m immensely proud of all the work I’ve put in and the team has put in to build the teaching platform – EnglishCentral. It’s been a great experience working with schools and universities around the world and building curriculum for them on the platform. We’ve...

Teacher Education & Stand Up Comedy

This is not a post about teachers being funny and capturing students’ attention through jokes, humor. Rather, it is about the premise that a teacher can learn to teach in a class. I have changed so much over my 30 year teaching career. My beliefs...

Conference Qualities

I attended a good number of conferences this spring, online and offline. Like I’ve done previously, I just have to comment on a lot of things I don’t think help the cause of making good teachers. I won’t dwell on those I’ve mentioned before. Read these...

The Dimensions of the present moment

When I was a young(er) teacher, quite cut off and alone in a town in the Czech Rep. — one of the books that were my best friends was “The Dimensions of the Present Moment” – a collection of essays by the Czech immunologist /...

Pop Song Workbook

I’ve done a lot over the years to promote the use of music in the ELT Classroom. From my days as a karaoke king in ESL classrooms in Canada to recent articles and research concerning the efficacy of music in the language classroom. Here is...

Best “Love” Video Lessons

It’s Valentine’s time and a great opportunity to do a lesson about “love”. Actually, any time of the year is a good opportunity to fashion a lesson on this universal theme! Here below are my most highly recommended video lessons (with materials) about “love”.  Please...

Updated: Teach | Learn Coursebook

My Teach | Learn coursebook has been and is being used in hundreds of classrooms. So happy to get emails from teachers and to promote OER (open educational resources). It’s been a wonderful success. I sold 200 in the first week and that paid for...

Top 20 EFL Classroom 2.0 Resources

We have a great community! Pioneering, always fresh.  So much to help teachers. See these testimonials from members.   There is a lot of content available to free members.  But please consider upgrading to Supporter to download all files, lessons, resources and access everything. Here are...

ELT Conference Pet Peeves

I attend quite a few conferences. The last year many as just a fly on the wall – attending sessions, taking things in …. I’m lucky, I know – able to travel and experience face to face professional development in many times exotic settings. I...

Words: A Lesson

This lesson has a distinct vocabulary focus and gets students thinking about root words, chunks and collocations/word associations. They gain an awareness of how words can be used in many ways…. It uses the amazing video – Words. (WARNING:  use this version, NOT the youtube version....

What Kind of Teacher are You?

This past weekend, I was rereading some Tolstoy and an old essay of Isaiah Berlin popped to mind. He uses an old story of Archilochus about the Hedgehog and the Fox to compare Tolstoy and Dostoevsky. The Hedgehog is driven by one idea, knows one...

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