Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Happy New Year!

May the New Year bring all the health, light and hope we need...

T&L wishes you a HAPPY 2015!

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Merry Christmas!!!

To all our friends, readers and visitors, the warmest wishes of a very 
MERRY CHRISTMASfull of light, hope and love!

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

To know more about Thanksgiving, its history and traditions, read T&L hereYou may also check some relevant multimedia resources on this topic @:
You can get ELT resources (further info, lesson plans, printables, posters, slideshows, recipes, graphs, crafts, colouring pictures and greeting cards) on the topic @:

Friday, 31 October 2014


For all those who still had doubts... ;) 

Do enjoy a very spooky and witchy Halloween tonight!!!

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Halloween Class Activity - Idioms

Can you match these frightful, spooky idioms with their meaning?

1. I don’t recommend that horror film. It will scare the living daylights out of you!

2. My old car finally gave up the ghost, so I’ll have to buy a new one.

3. When she saw the dark shadow in the in the moonlight, she was scared stiff.

4. What’s the matter? You look as if you’ve seen a ghost!

5. Oh, don’t be such a scaredy-cat. Nothing bad is going to happen.

6. That spooky old house gives me the creeps.

7. I wouldn’t do that if I were you. It will come back to haunt you.

8. No one lived there anymore. It was a ghost town.


be a mistake
very frightened
make (someone) uncomfortable
make (someone) scared
very white, pale
stopped working 

World's Top Languages

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Ten Tech Terms We're Mixing Up

The Internet vs. the Web

The Internet is actually millions of computers interconnected in a global network. (Interconnected +
Network = Internet.) All of these computers can talk to each other to send and receive data around the world as fast as you can favorite a tweet.
The web, on the other hand, is the system where some (but not all) of that data is kept in the form of special documents. These documents are linked together and more commonly known to you and me as web pages. 
To put it simply, the internet is the equipment and connections, and the web is the information. Fun fact: While “world wide web” was the hottest term for the web a few years ago, Millennials prefer to call it “the cloud."

image credits: Skillcrush


Speaking of the internet, here’s a bit more about how the websites on it are made. HTML — or HyperText Markup Language — is the language used to write web pages. HTML is made up of “elements” (paragraphs, headers, lists, links, and the like), which give each web page structure and contain the content of the page itself (text, images, videos, and so on).
CSS — or Cascading Style Sheets — tell web browsers how to format and style an HTML document. In other words, CSS is what makes HTML look good. Using CSS, you can give a web page its own font, text styles, colors and, with the newest CSS version (CSS3), even multiple backgrounds, 3D transformations, and awesome animations.
To put it simply, HTML holds the content in place, and CSS makes it look pretty.

Front End vs. Back End

Now you know how websites are made, let’s talk about how they work. The front end of a website is the part that you can see. This includes HTML and CSS and all the other things you look at in your browser. Think Facebook posts that update or Google search terms that autocomplete—these are all thanks to the powers of the front-end programming language JavaScript.
The back end of a website is the part of a website that makes it work. It includes applications that tell websites what to do, servers where websites get data from, and databases where information websites use is stored.
On Twitter, for instance, the look of your feed is the front end, and all the data is stored in the back end.

App vs. Software

Speaking of telling computers what to do, you’ve probably heard the term “application” before. In a nutshell, an application, or app, is a program or set of instructions that you can use to do certain things on your iPhone or Android.
The general term for any instructions for your computer, tablet, or phone is software. So, apps are just one type of software. But, system software—like operating systems (think iOS7 or Windows 8), drivers (controls for your printer or speakers, for example), or utilities (like anti-virus or backup)—are a different type of software that run your computer as a whole and make it possible for you to use all those apps you’re addicted to.
That means: All apps are software but not all software is an app.

UX vs. UI

Even pros can get mixed up about these two abbreviations. UI — or User Interface — is how a product or website is laid out and how you interact with it: Where the buttons are, how big the fonts are, and how menus are organized are all elements of UI.
But UX — or User Experience — is how you feel about using a product or a website. So, your love for the way the new Apple Watch looks or your excitement that there’s finally a tablet-sized iPhone to watch those Corgi videos you’re obsessed with are reflections of UX.
So the new look of the Facebook news feed involves a change to UI, and the way you navigate that new page is the UX.


Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Stay hungry. Stay foolish. T&L is 3 years old!

Teaching & Learning was born three years ago on a rainy Saturday afternoon! It feels like it was yesterday.
Our main targets were: giving suggestions of ELT resources and Web 2.0 tools applied to English language teaching, gathering some practical examples of students' work and discussing their relevance/success in class context, creating an interaction tool with Students/ other Teachers and, above all,  keeping close to Steve Jobs motto: “Stay hungry. Stay foolish.” as we believe work can be done with pleasure and it can be much better if we don’t forget about laughing, enjoying and adding a pinch of foolishness!
More than 90000 hits later, I believe those objectives were positively achieved. Let's hope T&L audience continues to grow every day, Thank you for reading Teaching & Learning, for supporting it and above all for being here!
Three years and counting… HAPPY BIRTHDAY, TEACHING & LEARNING!!! Let's celebrate...

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Some Back-to-School Magic!

image credits: New Class/ Ice Breakers
Everyone loves a good icebreaker—it’s a great way to get to know other people and help people feel relaxed in stressful situations, such as the first day of a new school year.
Here are a few icebreakers and some variations to the icebreakers to try during the first week of school to build a good sense of community in your classroom that will last throughout the year!

1 - Name Chain Games

By far and away the best way to learn and retain student names is to do a name chain game to start off the class. You can vary the specifics to fit the needs of your particular class, for example: the first student says 1) his or her name, 2) his or her home country, 3) one interesting fact about himself or herself, and 4) his or her favorite English word. The next student must then repeat all of the information about himself or herself and then say the name and favorite English word of the preceding student. The third student introduces himself or herself and then says the names and favorite English words of the preceding two students, and so on until the last student.

2 - New Year’s Resolutions

Your students may be familiar with this popular tradition in January, but a new school year should bring about new resolutions for students and teachers alike. Have students partner up with each other and discuss what goals they have for themselves for the school year. Encourage them to be specific with the things they would like to accomplish and what they want to be different. Make sure that you as the teacher make some resolutions too!

3 - Name That Person

Another great activity to get to your students to know each other a little better is a guessing game. Pass out small pieces of paper or notecards to each student and tell them to write down two facts about themselves on the card without writing their name on them. Collect the cards in a basket and mix them up before redistributing them to the students. Students take turn reading out the facts from the note card and the other students guess which person wrote the card.

4 - Find Objects to Describe Me...

A classic get to know you activity is to have students go through their backpacks, folders, pockets, etc... and find 3 or 4 things that they feel describe them very well. Students then need to describe their objects and why they chose them as their defining objects. Put students into pairs to share their objects or share as a whole class so that way everyone can hear about their new classmates!

5 – I am cool because…

If students are getting sluggish and you need them to move around the first day, do this activity. Have all of the students seated in a circle and you as a teacher stand in the middle. To start off the activity, you will say “I’m cool because...” and then finish that sentence with something that’s true about you, for example, you’re wearing blue jeans, you speak 3 languages, etc... Then, every student who shares that fact in common with you must stand up and find a new seat. You also will need to find a seat meaning that one student will be stranded in the middle. This game is great for finding commonalities and getting in some good laughs!

Variation: Play “I have never....” instead. When students are in the middle, have them call out things they’ve never done and have the students move who have done those activities.

6 - 3 Common, 1 Unique

This activity is good for small groups. Randomly group students into three or four and give them a time limit to discover three things that all members of the group have in common and one thing that is unique for all of them. When the time is up, have each group report to the class. Then, change up the groups and have them do it again with their new class members. If it starts to get too easy, start ruling out common answers like “We’re all from different countries” or “We all breathe oxygen.”

Variation: Try this with the whole class after doing it in small groups. If they’ve been good listeners, they should be able to recall many things that all students had in common. It may take awhile, but there are surely at least 3 things the whole class has in common!

Source: Busy Teacher (slightly abridged)

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Reading online

image credits: Royalty Free Stock Images
Research suggests that online reading requires a different set of skills and strategies than offline reading.  These different skills and strategies are required because online reading is frequently information seeking, guided by the reader (rather than the teacher) and non-linear (readers follow a series of hyperlinks and navigate through multiple windows rather than reading something from beginning to end).  The skills required for successful online reading are: the ability to formulate appropriate questions, locate reliable information, and evaluate, synthesize and communicate that information.
Additionally, because online reading occurs within rapidly changing technology that may or may not be familiar to teachers, and students are frequently engaged with outside of school, lessons that build on students’ prior knowledge of these technologies can and should be employed.
Finally, research tells us that proficient offline readers are not always proficient online readers and vice versa.


There are a number of ways that you can help students formulate good questions:

- For younger students, teach them to use appropriate search terms and quotations marks rather than full questions when using a search engine.

- For older students, teach them Boolean Operators (and, or, not, near, ( ), *) to better refine their searches.  Ask students to perform a search before introducing Boolean Operators and then to perform the same search after. Ask them to reflect on the different types of information these searches find.

By asking students to reflect on their already established online behavior, you can engage in metacognitive reflection about their information seeking behavior and what skills they need to develop:

- Have students draw a map of their online reading behavior.  Start with a general research question and have them draw or take screen shots of the various steps and detours they take to find the answer. Students can share their maps or screen shots in class and reflect on the decisions they made at each point in their reading.

- As a class you can use this as an opportunity to discuss how students assess the reliability of websites, interact with their peers for advice during online reading, and what problems they encountered and how they solved those problems.

In order to help students learn to analyze and evaluate the information they encounter online you can:

- Teach a mini-lessons on the differences between .com, .gov, .org, and .edu domains.

- Design a lesson that asks students to examine websites you select (be sure to provide both reliable and unreliable sources). Elements for students to check for: can the information presented be corroborated elsewhere? Is the writer of the information reliable? Is the information current? Is the information documented? Is the website advocating for something and therefore potentially challenged as a neutral source? Is there a conflict of interest present?

- Have students examine a famous website hoax (like the Yes Men spoof of a Dow Chemical site that landed them interviews with the BBC and search for clues that suggest it is a hoax.

- Teach a mini-lesson on propaganda techniques and have students identify the use of the same techniques in online advertising.  Reflect with students on how the interactive medium of online reading can increase or decrease the power of a particular propaganda technique.

Thursday, 31 July 2014

T&L Summer Break 2014

It has been a hard year, but now it is high time to have a break and relax so we can face new challenges in September with energy and a positive mind.
Summer time mode, here we go!

Praia do Molhe, Foz do Douro, Porto - Portugal
Photo credits: Ana Figueiredo

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Lexical Distance among Languages in Europe

This diagram shows the lexical distance among the languages spoken in Europe. As I speak languages of Romance and Germanic root, I find Greek, right there in the middle, particularly tempting... What about you?

Diagram credits: Lingholic

Sunday, 27 July 2014

The World Map for THANK YOU

I really don't know if I agree with the "cheers" as thank you for British English... But let's assume the other suggestions are accurate. The Portuguese "OBRIGADO/OBRIGADA" should also be shown for Portugal! Do leave your remarks for your language as well! Obrigada. :)

Map credits: Lingholic

Monday, 21 July 2014

If you're missing London...

LONDON was shot by Alfred Marroquin in the UK while a small trip during the holidays. He wanted this short to be representative of London's diversity, culture and life. "When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford."- Samuel Johnson

Friday, 18 July 2014

Web 2.0 Tools applied to Primary School Teaching

Teaching English, and even History, to Primary School children doesn't have necessarily to be primary and Web 2.0 technologies applied to class activities and tasks may well be the answer to put it together.

This cute and interesting video was created from drawings by primary school children from Shapla School and special effects by young people from the Renaissance Foundation.

On Saturday 31st May 1533, Anne Boleyn was taken in procession from the Tower through London to Westminster where she was crowned the following days, find out what happened on that day! ;)

Friday, 4 July 2014

Happy 4th July!

Today, Americans celebrate their Independence Day.
Happy 4th July!
If you to learn more about this date, read here on T&L.

Image credits: WEBGRANTH

Bloom's Digital Taxonomy and ICT Tools

Many teachers use Bloom's Taxonomy and Bloom's Revised Taxonomy in developing and structuring their teaching & learning experiences. Bloom's Digital taxonomy is an attempt to marry Bloom's revised taxonomy and the key verbs to digital approaches and tools. This is not a replacements to the verbs in the revised taxonomy, rather it suppliments and supports these by including recent developments, processes and tools.
Many of these tools that are FOSS (Free or Open Source Software). Click here for a comparison between Traditional and Digital approaches.

So what is Bloom's Taxonomy?

Benjamin Bloom developed, in 1956, while working at the University of Chicago, a theory on Educational Objectives. He proposed 3 domains or areas:

- Cognitive - person's ability to process and utilize information (thinking), this is what Bloom's Digital Taxonomy is based on;
- Affective - This is the role of feeling and attitudes in the learning/education process;
- Psychomotor - This is manipulative or physical skills.

Bloom's Taxonomy is a taxonomy of activities and behaviours that exemplify Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) and Lower Order Thinking Skills (LOTS). Bloom's allows use to rank and structure different classroom activities and plan the learning process. In 2001, Lorin Anderson and others revised Bloom's original work, creating Bloom's Revised Taxonomy.

Bloom’s and Revised Bloom's give us a learning process:
- Before you can understand a concept or fact you must remember it;
- To apply a concept you must understand it first;
- To evaluate a process you must have analysed it.Each layer builds on the previous. The creative process naturally incorporates these elements. You must remember (even if you are learning as you go), understand and apply these principles and concepts, analyse and evaluate the success of your design, the process and concept.
However, we don't need to start at lower order skills and then build piecemeal throught the taxonomy towards higher order thinking like creativity. By providing a suitably scaffolded task, the lower order skills of remembering and understanding become inherent in the learning process. By challenging our students to be analytical, evaluative or creative, they will within these processes develop understanding.

Bloom's Original taxonomy
Bloom's revised taxonomy

HOTS is an abbreviation for Higher Order Thinking Skills and LOTS for Lower Order Thinking Skills.
Bloom's Digital TaxonomyThis diagram details Bloom's Revised Taxonomy with some of the original verbs.

Diagram of Bloom's revised Taxonomy showing the flow and process of learning. - A Churches
If you want to learn more about Bloom's Revised/Digital Taxonomy, read here.

Web 2.0 Tutorials
Without a doubt one of the best resources on the web for web2.0 Technologies is the commoncraft show. Lee LeFever's productions are clear, simple and to the point; most of all they are "In Plain English". Here are the links:

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

The Time Traveller’s Guide to Elizabethan England

Ian Mortimer takes us back to Elizabethan England and reveals, in vivid detail, a living, breathing Tudor world in the Golden Age. Viewers learn how ordinary Tudor housewives turned plants into medicine, how the middle classes kept themselves clean using linen cloths, how the poor made pottage, how cooks of the rich devised recipes for new ingredients, and how Tudors learned to read and write. Two incredible episodes by BBC.

Friday, 13 June 2014

Spooky warm-ups for Friday 13th

If you’re a big fan of superstition and the supernatural, you are surely in your element today. Not only is it Friday the 13th (supposedly the most unlucky date on the calendar), there’s also going to be a massive full moon in the sky tonight. The last time there was a full moon on Friday the 13th was in October 2000. We won’t see one again until August 2049! If you want to know more about Friday 13th tradition and superstition, read here.
In celebration of this creepy (and rare) calendar day, TED-Ed has gathered up five of their scariest lessons, sure to get you in the spirit of all things spooky. Check them out below.

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

RIP, Maya Angelou

Dr Maya Angelou in 1985: 
"What I would really like said about me is that I dared to love."
The world will miss you deeply, dear Maya. May you rest in peace.

Monday, 12 May 2014

Fibromyalgia Awareness Day - 12th May

For a dear FRIEND, who is an INSPIRATION for me, for everyone.

If you want to know more about Fibromyalgia, you can click here or here.

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Hidden Miracles of the Unseen World

We live in a world of unseeable beauty, so subtle and delicate that it is imperceptible to the human eye. To bring this invisible world to light, filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg bends the boundaries of time and space with high-speed cameras, time lapses and microscopes. At TED2014, he shares highlights from his latest project, a 3D film titled "Mysteries of the Unseen World," which slows down, speeds up, and magnifies the astonishing wonders of nature.

Saturday, 26 April 2014

T&L pageviews by Countries

T&L main traffic sources are from the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland and Canada! But we also have an important number of followers and visitors from Russia, Portugal :), Germany, Ukraine, India, Egypt and Brazil. It is an honour to have you around and to post contents which make some kind of a difference. Thank you!

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

What is a glog? is a social network which allows users to create free interactive posters, called glogs, under the motto poster yourself. A glog, short from for graphic blog, is a multimedia interactive image. Aparently, it is just a poster but users may interact with its content. Projet Glogster was founded in 2007, in the United States. Nowadays it is a social network with thousands of registered users, mainly youngsters. The user inserts text, pictures, photos, sound (MP3), videos, special effects and other elements in their glogs in order to create an online multimedia tool. Glogster is based on Flash elements, and the posters may be shared with other people, exported and saved in compatible formats or even published in a wiki or blog. Similarly to Facebook, Glogster allows you to create a profile, a network of friends and you will be able to comment your favourite glogs.