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What is the secret message in the Wordle above?

Have you guessed it?

If you are pretty happy following your coursebook page after page and exercise after exercise without omitting anything, then this post may read somewhat strange to you.

If on the other hand, you have spent the best part of every book exhibition hunting for the perfect coursebook for your class, here is what the message above says:

“There is no one ideal coursebook! Even the one you yourself wrote for last year’s class will probably not be good enough for next year’s class!”


Resign to this idea



no coursebook is perfect! 

You might be interested in exploring a principled way of looking at and ‘fixing’ coursebook faults.

But First things First!


Learn to …

  • ·     Analyze it
  • ·     Evaluate it
  • ·     Keep the good stuff
  • ·     Throw out the bad stuff

Then, learn to…

Animate it! 


You might ask “Why? Is is dead?”

Heaven's Gate
Photo Credit: Hartwig HKD via Compfight

Well, if your coursebook is not motivating your learners to talk, if learning English is a chore for them and for you, if your learners cannot contain their yawns, even if they are motivated adults, if they have better things to do in class, like send text messages or tease their friends, you might as well have brought a dead cat in to teach your lesson!




With or Without technology?


A good teacher should be able to do both!

You don’t need to use technology to be a good teacher, but if you learn to use
it, you will be an ever better teacher!!

Join my workshop on Sunday March 30th  at

the International

Publishers’ Exhibition in Athens

This workshop is aimed at teachers who have to use a coursebook with their classes and find it hard to motivate their learners or find little evidence of real progress in their pupils’ ability to communicate
effectively despite the numerous exercises they cover on a daily basis.

Technology can come to the rescue but technology without sound pedagogy behind it can be a problem rather than a solution.

In this workshop, we will look at coursebook materials critically, evaluate their overall effectiveness as well as the effectiveness of individual lessons and activities and learn to make good decisions about
‘points of teacher intervention’
which will increase effectiveness, motivation and engagement in our learners.

A variety of tech tools will be used during the workshop, from simple applications such as using Word and Powerpoint, to making use of free online tools such as

·  Picture editors

· Voice tools

· Audio recording tools

· Animation applications

· Word cloud tools

· Videos and video channels

· Screencasting tools

· Blogs for students

· …and much more…

Teachers need a variety of options to make their lessons come alive and even if they can’t adopt all these ideas in their current context, they need to develop their own digital literacies and those of their

Many will be able to make use of them for privately tutored students as well as if they are trying to learn the skills of online teaching.

Workshop participants should bring their laptop, ipad or tablet, or arrange to go with a colleague who can bring their own machine to the workshop.

Information on how you can register and pay for your participation can be found here 

P.S. I will be presenting two more talks at this event – both on Saturday 


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