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Archive for August, 2011

GERUND (-ing), THE INFINITIVE…theory and exercises

Gerund/Infinitive – English Grammar

Gerund – Use, Form
Gerund after adjectives and prepositions
Gerund after nouns and prepositions
Gerund after verbs and prepositions
Gerund after special verbs
Gerund after special phrases
Gerund after prepositions
Gerund or Progressive
Gerund and Infinitive
Gerund and Infinitive – no difference in meaning
Gerund and Infinitive – difference in meaning
Infinitive with to
Infinitive without to
Grammar Exercises – Gerund/Infinitive

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EarthCam: Trafalgar Square Cam details

London, England

Enjoy a live tour of London‘s Trafalgar Square, the junction of some of the busiest streets in London and its famous landmarks.


Albert Bridge Webcam details

London, England

Check out this live London HD web cam in the centre of London overlooking many well known and famous landmarks on the River Thames.


Beatles Abbey Road Crossing details

London, England

A webcam looking at the famous Abbey Road pedestrian crossing that was made famous by The Beatles by being on the cover of their Abbey Road album…





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BBC-London-Traffic Cams details

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royalwedding Over 160 traffic cams in the London area.





25 Most Interesting - 2003

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ABC Royal Wedding Cam details

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ABC News will have live coverage of the Royal Wedding in London, England. They should have streaming video and sound so you can watch the event o…


London Movie Premiere Webcam details

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This webcam offers the best views of Leicester Square, London. The webcam has 8 set views to choose from including close ups of the Odeon Cinema …





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London Monument details

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A computer controlled digital camera provides a 360-degree panoramic view from the top of the Monument. Webcam image refreshes every 60 seconds.





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London 2012 Olympic Park Webcams details

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These are the latest London 2012 webcam images taken of the Olympic Park site. The webcams update you on the progress taking place on the Park an…





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Tower Bridge Cam details

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A live view of the Tower Bridge. Was instantly hailed as a London icon and one of the great engineering marvels of its age. Images are flash stre…





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London, Ont. Canada details

London, Canada

Two webcams located on Dundas St., one looking east towards Wellington Rd & the London Public Library (central branch), with the other looking w…





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British Council Website for parents and their kids- Απίθανη σελίδα για γονείς

Home › parents

Welcome to Parents

LearnEnglish Kids is the British Council’s website for children who are learning English as a second or foreign language.

This site has free resources for children to use at home, either independently or with family members or friends. The resources have been created and developed by teachers and professionals who work with children who are learning English. They have been designed to help children learn English while having fun, or while learning about something else.

It is a good idea to look at the materials on LearnEnglish Kids first to see which ones are best for your child. You can use our search tool under learning resources to quickly find exactly what you’re looking for.

Remember, if you would like to receive news about LearnEnglish Kids, sign up for our newsletter, join our facebook page or follow us on twitter.


Approaches to process writing
Submitted by TE Editor on 28 July, 2003 – 15:00

It is a myth that all it takes to write is to sit down in front of a blank page, to begin at the beginning and write through to the end, with no planning, break, editing, or changes in between. And yet, this is sometimes what we ask our students to do. Good writers plan and revise, rearrange and delete text, re-reading and producing multiple drafts before they produce their finished document. This is what a process writing approach is about.

  • What is process writing?
  • Why should teachers be interested in a process approach to writing?
  • The changing roles of teacher and students
  • What stages are there in a process approach to writing?
  • Classroom activities
  • The importance of feedback
  • Writing as communication
  • Potential problems
  • Further reading


What is process writing?
The process approach treats all writing as a creative act which requires time and positive feedback to be done well. In process writing, the teacher moves away from being someone who sets students a writing topic and receives the finished product for correction without any intervention in the writing process itself.

Why should teachers be interested in a process approach to writing?
White and Arntd say that focusing on language errors ‘improves neither grammatical accuracy nor writing fluency’ and they suggest instead that paying attention to what the students say will show an improvement in writing.

Research also shows that feedback is more useful between drafts, not when it is done at the end of the task after the students hand in their composition to be marked. Corrections written on compositions returned to the student after the process has finished seem to do little to improve student writing.

The changing roles of teacher and students
The teacher needs to move away from being a marker to a reader, responding to the content of student writing more than the form. Students should be encouraged to think about audience: Who is the writing for? What does this reader need to know? Students also need to realise that what they put down on paper can be changed: Things can be deleted, added, restructured, reorganised, etc.

What stages are there in a process approach to writing?
Although there are many ways of approaching process writing, it can be broken down into three stages:

The teacher needs to stimulate students’ creativity, to get them thinking how to approach a writing topic. In this stage, the most important thing is the flow of ideas, and it is not always necessary that students actually produce much (if any) written work. If they do, then the teacher can contribute with advice on how to improve their initial ideas.

Focusing ideas
During this stage, students write without much attention to the accuracy of their work or the organisation. The most important feature is meaning. Here, the teacher (or other students) should concentrate on the content
of the writing. Is it coherent? Is there anything missing? Anything extra?

Evaluating, structuring and editing
Now the writing is adapted to a readership. Students should focus more on form and on producing a finished piece of work. The teacher can help with error correction and give organisational advice.

Classroom activities
Here are some ideas for classroom activities related to the stages above:


  • Brainstorming
    Getting started can be difficult, so students divided into groups quickly produce words and ideas about the writing.
  • Planning
    Students make a plan of the writing before they start. These plans can be compared and discussed in groups before writing takes place.
  • Generating ideas
    Discovery tasks such as cubing (students write quickly about the subject in six different ways – they:

    • 1. describe it
    • 2. compare it
    • 3. associate it
    • 4. analyze it
    • 5. apply it
    • 6. argue for or against it.
  • Questioning
    In groups, the idea is to generate lots of questions about the topic. This helps students focus upon audience as they consider what the reader needs to know. The answers to these questions will form the basis to the composition.
  • Discussion and debate
    The teacher helps students with topics, helping them develop ideas in a positive and encouraging way.


Focusing ideas

  • Fast writing
    The students write quickly on a topic for five to ten minutes without worrying about correct language or punctuation. Writing as quickly as possible, if they cannot think of a word they leave a space or write it in their own language. The important thing is to keep writing. Later this text is revised.
  • Group compositions
    Working together in groups, sharing ideas. This collaborative writing is especially valuable as it involves other skills (speaking in particular.)
  • Changing viewpoints
    A good writing activity to follow a role-play or storytelling activity. Different students choose different points of view and think about /discuss what this character would write in a diary, witness statement, etc.
  • Varying form
    Similar to the activity above, but instead of different viewpoints, different text types are selected. How would the text be different if it were written as a letter, or a newspaper article, etc.


Evaluating, Structuring and Editing

  • Ordering
    Students take the notes written in one of the pre-writing activities above and organise them. What would come first? Why? Here it is good to tell them to start with information known to the reader before moving onto what the reader does not know.
  • Self-editing
    A good writer must learn how to evaluate their own language – to improve through checking their own text, looking for errors, structure. This way students will become better writers.
  • Peer editing and proof-reading
    Here, the texts are interchanged and the evaluation is done by other students. In the real world, it is common for writers to ask friends and colleagues to check texts for spelling, etc. You could also ask the students to reduce the texts, to edit them, concentrating on the most important information.


The importance of feedback
It takes a lot of time and effort to write, and so it is only fair that student writing is responded to suitably. Positive comments can help build student confidence and create good feeling for the next writing class. It also helps if the reader is more than just the teacher. Class magazines, swapping letters with other classes, etc. can provide an easy solution to providing a real audience.

Writing as communication
Process writing is a move away from students writing to test their language towards the communication of ideas, feelings and experiences. It requires that more classroom time is spent on writing, but as the previously outlined activities show, there is more than just writing happening during a session dedicated to process writing.

Potential problems
Writing is a complex process and can lead to learner frustration. As with speaking, it is necessary to provide a supportive environment for the students and be patient. This approach needs that more time be spent on writing in class, but as you have seen, not all classroom time is spent actually writing.
Students may also react negatively to reworking the same material, but as long as the activities are varied and the objectives clear, then they will usually accept doing so. In the long term, you and your students will start to recognise the value of a process writing approach as their written work improves.

Further Reading
Hedge T 1988 Writing Oxford University Press
Krashen SD Writing : Research, theory and applications Pergamon Press
Kroll B 1990 Second Language Writing : Research insights for the classroom Cambridge University Press
Raimes A 1983 Techniques in teaching writing Oxford University Press
White R & V Arndt 1991 Process Writing Longman

Written by Graham Stanley, British Council, Barcelona

10 WAYS TO assess learning….

10 ways to assess learning without tests…

September 15, 2010

A tweet by @wmchamberlain which caught my eye the other day,  was the catalyst for this 10 ways post.

Today’s #edchat discussion about the arts got me thinking further (as always).  The arts can be integrated across other disciplines and can add another powerful layer to learning, be it history, maths, literature or bible! (but that can be another post). For now, why not replace some traditional testing with opportunities for creative expression? I’ve included some such options in my list of alternative assessments.

Every one of these tasks includes natural differentiation for different levels of ability. They are written in general terms and can be adapted and applied as required. Use the ideas individually or combine aspects of different ones.

1. Create a cartoon.

Use the online cartoon creator, ToonDoo, to create a cartoon (or toonbook) which demonstrates your knowledge, explains your thinking about a topic or illustrates your understanding of a concept.

2. Produce a play.

Work with your group to produce and present a play which demonstrates what you have learnt. Make sure to include your own interpretation and analysis. Show how your new knowledge can be applied in other contexts.

3. Make a video.

Make a video to demonstrate your learning. Your video can include acting or singing. You might create an animation or a documentary. Show what your have understood and add your own interpretation.

4. Create a slideshow.

Select a series of images that relate to your learning. Take your own photographs to include in your slideshow. Include your own paintings. Make connections between the images and what you have learned. Add text that explains why you have chosen (or created) these particular images.

5. Thinking routines.

Create a headline that shows your understanding of the topic. Choose a colour, symbol and image to represent the essence of what you have learned. Explain how your thinking has developed using the ‘I used to think, now I think’ routine. (More options at PZ Visible Thinking )

6. Write a blog post.

Write a blog post that shows your learning, or clarifies your thinking. You might choose to express yourself  through poetry or narrative, or any genre of your choice. Remember you are writing for an authentic audience who might respond and ask questions. Add appropriate images. Include a reflection on your learning.

7. Compose a song.

Compose a song that expresses your learning, understanding or opinions. Compose your own music or write new lyrics that can be sung to the melody of an existing song. Collaborate with other musicians to compose and present your piece.

8. Solve a problem.

Use your skills and knowledge to provide a solution (or solutions) to a real life problem posed by your teacher. Show how you can apply your learning in a different context. Or create your own problem. Exchange with a peer and solve each others’.

9. Concept mapping.

Show your understanding of how the different parts of your learning are connected using a graphic organizer. Use a thinking map from Exploratree, one provided by your teacher or create one of your own.  Show the development of your ideas by creating a concept map in Spicynodes.

10. Student choice.

Best of all. Present your understandings/ learning/ findings/analysis… in any way you like.

I know this post is an over-simplification. It depends on what you’re assessing. It might depend on who you’re assessing. And the purpose of the assessment. But irrespective of the age or ability of your students, whether you’re assessing skills, knowledge, understanding, technique or application of knowledge to other contexts… all of the above are valid, more engaging, more meaningful alternative to tests.