Posts tagged #besig


Pete Sharma Associates and Digitalang – An Exciting New Collaboration!

We are delighted to announce that Digitalang have teamed-up with The Pete Sharma Associates, and we’ll now be “officially” offering courses on behalf of PSA in Italy. We are really excited about this, not only because such a top-quality teacher-training company has recognised the standard of the courses we offer, but also because Digitalang training material, along with the already established training material available from PSA, will now also be offered worldwide by the network of PSA trainers.

For those of you who know him, you’ll be aware that, apart from being a lovely guy, Pete Sharma is a real guru when it comes to pedagogically-sound ways of using technology in the classroom. He has co-written some exceptionally well-received books such as Blended Learning , 400 Ideas for Interactive Whiteboards along with many other really well-known Business English books. What is sometimes not quite as well-known, is that working with Pete, is a highly-experienced and skilled group of professionals, The Pete Sharma Associates. PSA run courses and offer consulting for language schools internationally, along similar lines to Digitalang does here in Europe. They offer in-house training, online training, and of course blended training courses to language teachers from as far afield as India and Bangladesh; to Spain, Germany and Chile.




Teacher Development Webinar – “Using Virtual Meeting Tools with Students.” #besig

The excellent English360 online learning platform are holding a community webinar next week, with the guest speaker Mike Hogan. (Disclosure: English 360 is one of the companies I do consultancy work for.) The webinar is on the topic of Virtual Meeting Tools and even though it’s geared towards those using, or thinking of using the English 360 platform, it will definitely be of interest to any language teachers who are using online meeting tools, or who want to, with their students.

Valentina Dodge, on the English360 blog has the following to say:

Are you using English360 in conjunction with real-time tools?

Do you have experience teaching in WebEx, Adobe Connect, or on Skype?

How can these virtual meeting environments be used with learners?

Come along to our English360 Open Community Webinar to find out more on delivering lessons in real-time when learners are geographically dispersed or unable to attend face-to-face classroom lessons.

Register now to enjoy Mike Hogan ‘s expertise and experience of using virtual meeting rooms.

Send us an email to Register for the Community Webinar 28th Feb 13.00-14.00 CET


I’ve personally spoken to Mike about e-learning quite a bit over the last few months and he certainly seems to have a good deal of practical experience of what “synchronous” e-learning requires. As it’s being organised by Valentina Dodge, too – I’m pretty sure that it will be well worth attending.

You Suck At PowerPoint!

Or you might suck at PowerPoint if you don’t try to cut out the common mistakes many presenters make. I know that I used to suck – badly, too!
Over on his Slideshare page Jesse Dee has prepared a presentation for The World’s Best Presentation competition that he’s called, you guessed it, You Suck At PowerPoint.

As Jesse points out, there are countless other books and Slideshares out there that discuss how to improve you PowerPoint slides, I’ve posted several presentations with hints and tips here in the past myself. Jesse’s managed to condense all these ideas down into 5 easy to remember rules here though. Take a look – it might just save your talk!

View more presentations from @JESSEDEE.

I think I am probably still guilty of breaking the editing rule. My talks often contain too many slides. I’m going to have to work on that next. I Which of Jesse’s 5 rules do you break? Let us know in the comments section!



The Language of Successful Presentations

Ever wondered how Apple manage to do such great presentations? Well, apart from the fact that they have fabulous designers who make wonderfully simple, easy to understand slides, they also use exceptionally positive language in their presentations.

Take a look at this video, what do you notice about the language used?

So, okay the video is actually a bit of gentle fun-poking at Apple (it’s a summary in 120 seconds of a 90 minute recent Apple talk) but it does illustrate really well the power of positive language in a talk. I don’t even remember what I saw in the vidoe, but I do remember that it was “great, fantastic, incredible, amazing” and other things like that.

Next time I, or one of my students present something, I’ll be sure that it’s amazing, incredible, fantastic, great, too. Won’t you?

Have you got any other key language, phrases or words that you encourage your students to use in their presentations? Be sure to share them in the comments section!
All the best, Seth.

The 10 Best Ways to Look Professional Online

Maintaining a professional image on-line is vital nowadays for everyone. From  newly qualified students looking for their first job to top managers with years of experience under their belts. If you’re on-line, you’ll be seen more easily, so it’s a good idea to make sure what they see of you on-line makes a positive first impression, hey?

A positive image goes a long way.

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The How Stuff Works site is often a great source for authentic material for EFL teachers. It is regularly updated with articles about, well… how stuff works and things like that 😀 More than this though, it also often has some handy little “Top 10” lists which are easily exploited by language teachers. The article they’ve just published today, 10 Tips for Maintaining a Professional Image Online is perfect for in-class activities, both for business English students and for high school students. To be honest, it’s pretty darn good advice for a lot of language teachers, too. Here’s the introduction:

Whether you like it or not, you probably already have a significant online presence. Between government documents, newspaper articles and self-generated content, it’s not hard for others to dig up information about you. And whether those people are potential employers, co-workers or casual acquaintances, it’s generally a good idea to put your best foot forward on the Web.

For example, although social networks like Facebook were designed more for casual socializing, more and more human resource managers use these sites to screen potential employees. You must realize that personal Web content can have an effect on you professional life.

As a class activity, I will probably give 1 of each of the 10 pieces of advice to a different student. Ask them to read it, then do a mingle activity where they summarised their advice to each other, noting down what their partners told them. Probably afterwards I would read one or two of the key articles again as a class and do some vocabulary or comprehension work.

Anyhow, without further ado, here are the 10 headlines, or the 10 best ways to look professional online. Click the individual headline to read more.

10: The Best (or Worst) Stands Out

9: Professional Perception is Reality

8: Defend Your Reputation

7: Protect Passwords and Other Vital Information

6: Control Your Branding

5: Use an Alias

4: Establish Your Expertise

3: The Internet Never Forgets

2: Prepare for Potential Employers

1: Privacy is Still Real — If You Want It

What do you think? Do you agree with How Stuff Works’ list? Would you add anything else? Make sure you let us know what you think in the comments section!

EFL Learner-Blog – A Rubric

Last year, collaboratively with some great colleagues from Twitter and Posterous, I wrote a blogging rubric for my EFL students, based on the excellent work by Andrew Churches. The idea of the rubric was to help them gauge what they should aim for in a “great” blog post. Although I didn’t continually refer back to the rubric all year, it did give my students an idea of what I considered, and is considered, “excellence” in blogging. I think that a mix of my students’ enthusiasm, their talent, and the clear nature of the goals in the rubric helped many of them to achieve the excellent results they did last year.


Time to shift

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Below, there’s a copy of the rubric if you’d like to try it out with your students, but before you look, there’s a link to a Google docs version beloiw, too. So if you are feeling in the mood, you can improve the rubric / alter it etc and of course USE it with your own students, too!

Again, please, please do feel free to add, remove, alter or in any other way you feel fit improve this EFL blogging rubric. If you’d rather just print it, or browse it, here it is 🙂

Quality Blogging for Language Learners – A Rubric


All the best, and happy blogging!


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