23rd IATEFL Slovenia conference – some random thoughts.

Sitting at the Munich airport on my way back to school reality, I am once more amazed at the power of sharing experience. In Topolsica where 23rd IATEFL Slovenia Conference was held I met great figures of ELT world imageand regular passionates. I have come there, supported by IATEFL Poland and IATEFL Slovenia, to share my ideas and present. my talk on teachers’ burnout syndrome “Let your fire burn…”.
High spirited on arrival, I soon realised I don’t have much to offer the teachers who come to Topolsica. They know much more about fighting stress, fatigue, exhaustion, depersonalisation and low self-esteem. How? Simply by attending the event.image
The conference, by no means the cosiest networking and professional teacher development event on earth was truly the place where inspiration is born. Organized in the breathtaking spa resort of Terme Topolsica it was a perfect combination of the right place, fabulous people, well-chosen speakers and filled with the high rate plenaries, workshops, discussions and the most importantly time to pamper yourself.
imageIt was the tenth time that Slovens invited ELT professionals to Vesna Hotel and it couldn’t have been any other place. Located in a quiet valley, the luxurious Hotel was the venue to conference but also a place to relax in thermal water pools, jacuzzis, saunas. The surrounding ovegrown hills, perfect for trekking and running, gave me a lot of chances to discover budding spring.
It was by far, the most fruitful and inspiring conference for me. And even if I’m tired now and my head is steaming with ideas I know I will digest this rare delicacy very slowly and for a long time. I received the huge gift of observing Ken Willson presenting simple but powerful tasks developing students’ speaking and listening skills. Luke Meddings in turn, more philosophical in his plenaries, suggested the ways of teaching in dogme spirit.
I was rolling on the floor laughing at Thom Jones’s jokey comments on school’s reality and was touched by the way he talked about poetry. By the way, if you ever have chance of listening or talking to this jovial and bearded Summer Boarding Courses principal,, I thoroughly recommend it.
Mike Harrison introduced me to drawing tasks as a stimulus for speaking, but most importantly he made me realise the value of everyday sounds
Barbi Bujtas once more showed her in-depth understanding of generation “Z” and openness to her young students. Aleksandar Tonić showed us Nearpod application, a neat piece of ICT to be used in the classroom now and then.
I first met Margarita Kosior on-line while designing Holocaust Memorial Day lessons and I ever since I was waiting to know more of her inspiring ideas. Her energetic workshop was devoted to her University students discovering passion of teaching.
I had also pleasure to talk to members of ABELTA Alliance of Balkan English language Teachers’ Associations and I wish them long years of fruitful cooperation in order to bring together so many countries which share so much of history and culture.
I learnt new tasks, new perspectives not only from the people I mentioned, but also from so many new friends I met in the lobby or during the workshops.
It was the utmost pleasure to present my ideas of how to fight teachers’ burnout syndrome. I absolutely adored the energy of the participants of my workshop and I would like to especially thank to two of my colleagues for helping me during the workshop, Margarita Kosior for dancing bachata with me and Nicola Epps for showing us the yoga asanas that may bring us and our students peace and relaxation.
I would like to express my gratitude to both supporting me associations and special thanks go to Sandra Vida and Dragana Stegić from IATEFL Slovenia and Marta Bujakowska from IATEFL Poland for making my Topolsica experience possible.
Thank you very much! Najlepša hvala! Dziękuję bardzo!
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Let your fire burn.. IATEFL Slovenia, Saturday 5th March 2016

It has been a lovely Saturday here in Topolsica. I learned so much and met fabulous professionals. Thank you all for allowing me to present my ideas here in this beautiful spot where the inspiration is born.image
Below you may  find my presentation from IATEFL Slovenia Conference:
Let your fire burn… PPT
And here is a handout for some of the tasks presented: Let your fire burn- handout.
See you soon at another workshop somewhere in ELT world.
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20 (or more) great sites with TED lesson plans

If you like me love using TED talks in the EFL classroom, this post is a must. Probably, just like me, you design your own lessons based on TED talks. I find them absolutely inspiring, thought-provoking and an excellent resource for a lesson of English. Reasons for using TED talks are numerous:
  • the length of 5-20 minutes makes them just long and short enough to be used in one 45 minute lesson (state-run schools format),image
  • I personally feel watching a longer piece of video at the lesson is wasting of precious time, once again TED talks are just right choice length-wise,
  • usually, one TED video, regardless of the length is stimulating enough to wrap it up neatly in the web of speaking, writing, listening and reading, thus we cater for all skills in one lesson which is much context based,
  • the talks do include texts with a good level of grammar and vocabulary, which usually may be nicely isolated and practised afterwards,
  • they are so plentiful that you can always choose something what you like… or your students like 🙂
Wait a minute… If you are here, you’re probably in love with TED talks already, so there’s no need to present all the reasons and advantages. Though, if you need some hint how to go about it, the best source is IELTS Advantage site where you will find all the ways students will benefit from the talks. And what about assigning your students TED talks and making them comment and  blog about them? That’s what’s happening here: https://tedxproject.wordpress.com If you think of how you can use TED talks to teach CLIL, maybe http://teachingwithted.pbworks.com/ is a good place. Even if the website is maintained by non EFL teacher it may still be inspiring for us. Let me just state that I have developed some resources for TED talks and I will share them with you soon, but for now I want to list all the places in the net where I have found ready made TED-based materials and I find them really handy, especially when some sub teaching happens and I am not really prepared for some extra material :-). So, if you already searched through https://en.islcollective.com http://busyteacher.org  and www.teacherspayteachers.com/ you may look at the blogs of individuals and be amazed:
  1. http://esltedtalks.blogspot.com Creme de la creative!!! Here you will find ESL/EFL lessons for intermediate to advanced learners of English based on the TEDTalks and neatly designed by Doug Evans. What’s mostinteresting is Doug uses the scripts for reading comprehension!
  2. Kingsway Institute hold a very interesting wiki helping students learn English. If you look closely  that a goldmine of lessons, tasks or question lists for particular TED talks.  Here it is: http://kingswayupper.wikidot.com/search:site/q/TED . I found it especially useful when it comes to listening comprehension.
  3. Andrew Jones website is has not only matching design to TED portal but also the biggest number of lessons, meticulously prepared. The resources are well tagged and each is accompanied by a script and activities. http://tedxesl.com is a surefire choice 5 minutes before a lesson 🙂
  4. Freeenglishlessonplans by Tim offers two such resources: Pamela Meyer, How to spot a liar and  Daniel Kish, How I use sonar to navigate the world
  5. Collection of TED talks lessons on lessonplandigger by Gosia a Polish teacher workin in Spain – a beautifully designed website with valuable and easy to use lesson plans.
  6. Karen Joy Sylvester’s lessons based on TED are not only lessons but also various ideas on ur use of talks in EFL classroom.
  7. One of my favourite ELT materials bloggers is David Maninwood with his http://efllecturer.blogspot.com/ , his lessons are almost always CLIL like and insightful. The link will lead you to one of David’s evergreen lessons on sense of life but of you search his website for “ted” you will find a lot more.
  8. linguahouse has prepared their own share , 16 of them, however some resources are available only after registration, and well some of them are paid, but worth it!
  9. TEFLGEEK  has their share as well.
  10. Rachel Roberts is TED-wise resourceful at her blog: https://elt-resourceful.com/
  11. You may want to stay in touch with ELT Connect where you may notice a lesson on digital tattoos or awesome the word.
  12. It’s not difficult to bridge the students’ needs with EFL Tower TED talks mini lessons.
  13. Guess what?  TED talks are everywhere, Joanna Melefaki wrote two lesson plans which are available at her blog here.
  14. Next is Jamie Keddie and his stream of lessons, among which you will find a lesson on motivation.
  15. Mondo’s EFL/ESL world will invite you to http://mondosworld.blogspot.com/2014/10/ted-talks-jeff-smith-business-lesson.html
  16. Anita Lewicka’s Friendly Lingua website is also a place where she shares her lesson plans. One of them, on the body language is here.
  17. Not only Polish teachers do that, next on the list is Svetlana from Ukraine: https://svetlanaurisman.wordpress.com/?s=Ted
  18. Emma Segev has also something to say on Jay Walker’s ‘English Mania’.
  19. If you are still insatiable you may grab a lesson here:http://grabalesson.blogspot.com/2012/07/work-life-balance.htm
  20. Finally, remember the list is never ending with so many teachers contributing on a daily basis.  Please add more lesson plans in comments below. And maybe we will have a new lesson a day like at this webpage:http://alessonplanaday.tumblr.com
 
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Proverbs/ przysłowia

A bad workman blames his tools. Kiepskiej baletnicy przeszkadza rąbek u spódnicy. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. Lepszy wróbel w garści niż gołąb na dachu. A fool and his money are soon parted. Głupiec szybko trwoni pieniądze. A friend in need is a friend indeed. Prawdziwych przyjaciół poznaje się w biedzie. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. Niekompletna wiedza może być niebezpieczna. A new broom sweeps clean. Nowa miotła – nowe porządki. A penny saved is a penny earned. Grosz zaoszczędzony jest groszem zarobionym. A rolling stone gathers no moss. Niestały człowiek nie może liczyć na duże zdobycze. A stitch in time saves nine. Działanie w odpowiednim czasie zaoszczędzi kłopotów na przyszłość. A word is enough to the wise. Mądrej głowie dość dwie słowie. Absence makes the heart grow fonder. Rozłąka powoduje, że bardziej kochamy. Actions speak louder than words. Łatwo mówić trudniej zrobić. Czyny przemawiają głośniej niż słowa. All good things come to an end. Wszystko co dobre szybko się kończy. All roads lead to Rome. Wszystkie drogi prowadzą do Rzymu. All that glitters is not gold. Nie wszystko złoto co się świeci. All’s fair in love and war. W miłości i na wojnie wszystkie chwyty dozwolone. All’s well that ends well. Wszystko dobre, co się dobrze kończy. An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. Oko za oko, ząb za ząb. Barking dogs seldom bite. Pies, który głośno szczeka, nie gryzie. Beauty is only skin deep. Nie szata zdobi człowieka. Better late than never. Lepiej późno niż wcale. Blood is thicker than water. Koszula bliższa ciału. Clothes do not make the man. Nie szata zdobi człowieka. Don’t count your chickens before they’re hatched. Nie mów hop zanim nie przeskoczysz. Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth. Darowanemu koniowi nie zagląda się w zęby. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Nie stawiaj wszystkiego na jedną kartę. Every dog has his (its) day. I tobie kiedyś zaświeci słońce. I do ciebie los się uśmiechnie. Every why has a wherefore. Nie ma dymu bez ognia. Uderz w stół, nożyce się odezwą. Faith will move mountains. Wiara przenosi góry. First come, first served. Kto pierwszy, ten lepszy. Forbidden fruit is sweetest. Zakazany owoc smakuje najlepiej. Fortune is fickle. Fortuna kołem się toczy. Grasp all, lose all. Chciwy dwa razy traci. Half a loaf is better than none. Lepszy rydz niż nic. He commited a crime in cold blood. Popełnił przestępstwo z zimną krwią. He has met his match. Trafił swój na swego. Trafiła kosa na kamień. He has one foot in the grave. Jest jedną nogą w grobie. He is a dog in the manger. On jest jak pies ogrodnika. He is a good loser. Robi dobrą minę do zlej gry. He is a spoil-sport. Jesf człowiekiem, który psuje innym przyjemność. He is off his head. Jest niespełna rozumu (szalony). He is very absent-minded. On jest bardzo roztargniony. He judges by appearances. On sądzi po pozorach. He keeps himself to himself. On jest odludkiem. He lent me a hand. Pomógł mi. He lost his head. Stracił głowę (postąpił głupio). He reads between the lines. On czyta między wierszami. He works a lot overtime. On dużo pracuje w nadgodzinach. He’s a civil servant. On jest pracownikiem państwowym. He’s a scapegoat. On jest kozłem ofiarnym. He’s a self-made man. On wszystko sam sobie zawdzięcza. He’s hen pecked. On jest pod pantoflem żony. He’s out-of-date. On jest staroświecki. Heads or tails? Orzeł czy reszka? I am between the devil and the deep sea. Jestem między młotem a kowadłem. I earn my own living. Sam zarabiam na życie. I have a bone to pick with you. Masz ze mną na pieńku. I wash my hands of it. Umywam od tego ręce. I’m a white-collar worker. Jestem urzędnikiem. I’m always looking on the bright side. Zawsze jestem optymistą. I’m out of my depth. To jest dla mnie za trudne. I’m through with it. Skończyłem z tym. I’m up to my eyes in work. Jestem po uszy w pracy. It goes in one ear and out at the other. Wpada jednym uchem a wypada drugim. It is never late to learn. Człowiek uczy się przez całe życie. It is no use crying over spilt milk. Nie ma sensu płakać nad rozlanym mlekiem. It never rains but it pours. Nieszczęścia chodzą parami. Make hay while the sun shines. Kuj żelazo póki gorące. Nothing venture, nothing gain. Nie ma zysku bez ryzyka. Once bitten, twice shy. Kto się na gorącym sparzył, ten dmucha na zimne. Prevention is better than cure. Lepiej zapobiegać niż leczyć. The appetite grows with what it feeds on. Apetyt rośnie w miarę jedzenia. The early bird catches the worm. Kto rano wstaje, temu Pan Bóg daje. There is no accounting for tastes. Są gusta i guściki. Thunder does not strike a stork nest. Gdzie bocian na gnieździe, tam piorun nie uderzy. Time is a great healer. Czas leczy rany. Too many cooks spoil the broth. Gdzie kucharek sześć tam nie ma co jeść. Use makes mastery. Ćwiczenie prowadzi do doskonałości. When in Rome do as the Romans do. Kiedy wejdziesz między wrony zaczniesz krakać tak jak one. When the stork comes, you may come out kids. Jak bocian przyleci, możecie wyjść dzieci.
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