Tag Archives: oxford

Teaching Teenagers – Challenge Accepted!

In the second week of the English Language Teachers’ Summer Seminar at Exeter College Oxford we looked at some of the challenges involved in teaching teenagers. Thanks to the fantastic teachers from all over the world – your stories, ideas and enthusiasm made the course extremely enjoyable and, I hope, useful. Thanks also to Roksana for the reminder to upload the slides 🙂

If you would like an e-copy of the handouts for this course, just get in touch.

Promoting Speaking Skills

It’s time for Oxford University’s two-week English Language Teachers’ Summer Seminar in the beautiful setting of Exeter College.

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My course in the first week was on the topic of Promoting Speaking Skills. It was a pleasure to work with fantastic teachers from Colombia, Turkey, Netherlands, Russia, Romania, Czech Rep, Ireland, Peru, Chile, Brazil, Taiwan, Yemen, Japan, Hungary, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, Thailand, Spain, Mexico and Bangladesh: we had a fascinatingly diverse array of classroom experience with which to work and I enjoyed leading the course very much.

As promised, I have put the slides from the week together in one file.

If you would like e-copies of the handouts for each day, email me at legyened@yahoo.co.uk

Summer Seminar, Exeter College, Oxford

The annual summer seminar at Exeter College, Oxford provides English teachers from more than twenty different countries with the chance to spend two weeks in Oxford. It’s such a pleasure to be one of the tutors: it’s an amazing opportunity for us all to broaden our horizons culturally, academically and socially. The fact that the sun has been shining makes it even more special.















With the Olympics now upon us, it’s also been a thrill to see – and then chat to – two Chilean Olympic athletes. Thanks to Google, I know that they are Edward and Yerko Araya, competing in the 20km and 50km walking events. Surreal to watch them tear up and down the Iffley Rd walking faster than some of the cars in Oxford morning traffic. Good luck to them both!


Summer Seminar for English Teachers at Exeter College, Oxford

I spent the first two weeks of August in Oxford, working as one of the trainers on the annual summer seminar for English teachers. It was great to work with the other tutors – Adrian Underhill, Hanna Kryszewska, Jon Hird and Charles Boyle  – and also fantastic to get to know so many dedicated teachers from all over the world. My two courses were on ‘Teaching Teenagers’ and ‘Promoting Speaking Skills’ and I got to work with teachers from Spain, Greece, Italy, USA, Slovakia, Argentina, Peru, Turkey, Brazil, China, Japan, Norway, the Netherlands, Chile, Colombia and Germany.

There were also some great guest lecturers, including Ken Wilson and Shaun Wilden. It was a great experience. My only regret is not having my camera with me.

One outcome of my trip to Oxford is that I finally got around to reading Philip Pullman’s ‘Northern Lights’ – the first part of the His Dark Materials trilogy. The book begins in the great hall of Jordan College, Oxford – which is actually based on Exeter College. And what a great book it is, too!

Puzzles and Wordplay in the Language Classroom

I’m teaching at the Summer Seminar for English Teachers at Exeter College, Oxford.

Exeter College, Oxford


Click on the link to download the slides from my talk on puzzles and wordplay in the language classroom

The main aim of this talk is to  celebrate some wonderful examples of wordplay in English, from puns and palindromes to lipograms and anagrams. If Inspector Morse’s beloved cryptic crosswords are not your cup of tea, then the crossed words of Professor Spooner just might raise a smile. One way or another, we will see how playing with language can be fun for learners of all ages and language levels, whilst thinking about ways of using wordplay to brighten up our lessons. I would also like to address the broader question of how puzzles can help our learners to think about language learning in a positive and creative way.