Wanna save lives? Help prevent cancer.

February 4 is World Cancer Day.

No matter whether you teach adults, teenagers, or young(er) learners, I’m sure you could spare 5 to 10 minutes to raise awareness on the importance of cancer prevention.  As a matter of fact, it just perfectly fits most syllabuses, e.g. healthy habits, food, body parts, conditionals, making suggestions, giving advice… even colours.

Here are just four suggestions, primarily for teenagers and adults: Continue reading

Recycling vocabulary literally

I almost trashed a perfect classroom material, without realizing its value.

The other day I just cut off the label from my son’s new pair of trousers and was about to throw it away when I discovered its unorthodox contents:

YES!  Recycling and reinforcing clothes and other everyday items vocabulary can be extended to practicing (creatively and fun) related verbs (good old -ing in disguise).

Scenario 1:

Students design similar labels for e.g. umbrellas, paper tissues, chewing gums, …

Scenario 2:

Students try to match the item with the label.

Scenario 3:

(It’s up to you to decide.)

European Antibiotic Awareness Day: never bug out

November 18 is the European Antibiotic Awareness Day. Considering that we are are facing the onset of the flu and cold season, we could stretch the awareness day to an awareness month.


In our English classes, it is also an opportunity for some CLIL about microbes.

You can ask your students to visit e-bug, “a free educational resource for classroom and home use and makes learning about micro-organisms, the spread, prevention and treatment of infection fun and accessible for all students.” The site contains special resources for junior and senior students as well as teachers.


No time to engage in the above activities?

Here are three half-a-minute videos created by the English Department of Health, with the same message: “Take care, not antibiotics“,  that we can use as a conversation starter, or for reinforcing health-related (and other) idioms, words, phrases and collocations.

  • And here is a just as short but more informative TV spot from the 2009 campaign:

Halloween infographics – no tricks, just real treats

Some of us teachers might be avoiding Halloween activities in the classroom for so many reasons:

  • I’m teaching adults, you know; they just don’t care about this stuff.
  • It’s just sooo commercialized. I’m not going to support it!
  • A festival that endorses horror and fear? Well, not for my little angels, uh-uh.
  • My students’ parents are dead against it. I don’t need another conflict.
  • What’s that got to do with the cultural heritage of the people in this country? And don’t come up with that argument that I could have my students compare Halloween customs with our Poklade, busójárás, or farsang.
But even these abstainers could take a peek at these fun and interesting infographics, and perhaps even dare to use them in class as fun 5-minute activities.
The first one is from history.com. It can be used for a scanning reading activity, where each student is given a number from the infographics and has to report on it to the class, or you could have groups of students racing against each other, or …


This one by Lemon.ly via visul.ly is more just for fun and a great visual prompt as a conversation starter for young adult and not so young adult learners.

If you are teaching business English, here is a real treat for you.
And some more infographics can be found here.
And more genuine, graphically digested facts could be created by your students.
Have fun!
                   – or not.