November’s Newsletter – The Teacher is a Ghost

November's Edition of the now quarterly newsletter eCL may be downloaded as a pdf. Entitled The Teacher is a Ghost, it contains a practical step-by-step 60 minute lesson plan based on the classic CELTA Functional Language Lesson. It formalizes the previous discussion on Cooperative Learning and the silent approach, and demonstrates the power of CL in... Continue Reading →

…boiler room #2

So how does one integrate the shake-and-bake Lesson Plan Outline with the aforementioned Ghost Teacher Doctrine? One integrates a series of cooperative interaction patterns tailored to each stage, turning even the actual teaching stages into a discovery process - and if one wants to take it to the edge, even tasks and interaction instructions are just written on the... Continue Reading →

Wax on, wax off

One thing that has been eating at me while writing the CELTA posts is not so much the how, but the why of this focus on structure and planning you find outlined below. I would not blame my co-trainees of suspecting I was slightly autistic; as for me, I was deeply impressed by how naturally... Continue Reading →

Now no news is no longer good news

Finally, what I have been waiting for and worrying about - my former employer has published  the results of this year's oral English exam of the class I have taught since they had their first English lesson in 2006. Average 7,2 - well done. I still remember them saying "We is pupils..." Lots of good wishes for... Continue Reading →


Just to put the following posts into perspective, I'll just give a quick overview of the Cambridge CELTA course. CELTA is an absurd shorthand for "The Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages" (formerly known as "Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults" hence CELTA). It is an initial credential for teachers of English as... Continue Reading →

Were you down with

Sorry about the downtime - there have been more technical issues than time. But now, after having moved this blog with information on Cooperative Learning from,  we are now up at  a more suitable address (such as, well, My apologies to those who have hit the no access sign, especially to Ms. McLaughlin... Continue Reading →

COOPERATIVE LEARNING – or how I learned to love CL at gunpoint

Here's a question for teachers and learners as well as their parents, politicians and principals: So, how do you simultaneously: increase social skills, cooperation and caring, personal interaction and listening skills, suitable verbal expression and body language awareness? instil manners, respect and self-respect, personal responsibility and integrity? engage every individual learner's academic needs at a suitable level, including the timid girl in the corner? ensure equal participation and full accountability, without fights over teacher attention? give... Continue Reading →

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