Collaborative idea generation for ELT


One of my favourite things about Twitter and facebook is the fact that whenever you ask for help with planning a lesson, lots of people respond. Here is an example of a lesson revising ‘have’ and another about TV shows that I was helped with. This has inspired me to create a whole blog for lesson ideas, to complement my main blog at

Each week I will post a prompt for you to exercise your teaching muscles by making suggestions on how you could use it in class. You can also take a look back at some of the old prompts. Some of the ones with the most ideas so far are:

All ideas are welcome – there are no wrong answers! I will cover as many areas as possible with my prompts: pictures, realia, texts, pieces of software…

As the ideas come in, I will add tags to show what has been suggested. Together we’ll build up a bank of inspiration for you to turn to whenever you’re stuck, which you’ll be able to search by clicking on the tags for the blog.

Thinking outside the box

Thinking outside the box Photo taken from ELTpics by Victoria Boobyer, used under a CC Attribution Non-Commercial license

It would also be great if you could share examples of how you’ve used the ideas in your lesson after the fact. Looking forward to seeing them!

Take a look at the most recent prompts here. If you have any ideas for future prompts, please let me know.

Comments on: "About" (18)

  1. A fantastic idea, Sandy! I hope to chip in when I can!

  2. I just wanted to say: This is a really good idea!

  3. Great idea! I’m in. 😉

  4. Yup. Count me in.

  5. […] The basic idea. Every week there is a different prompt and you have to make suggestions for how you’d use it in a class. […]

  6. […] Click here to find out the idea behind this blog. […]

  7. Oh my gosh, I have just duscovered you have three blogs?! How is this even humanly possible, I’m so impressed!
    This is such a gem as well, thanks! I have started doing a tiny bit of online teaching in advance of my CELTA so these little ideas are really helpful.
    Thanks again,

    • Erm…I have no life 🙂 You’ll notice that this blog has been a little neglected, as has Independent English, until Lizzie stepped in recently. Glad the ideas here can help you! The one-computer classroom post might be particularly useful. Good luck!

      • Hehe I’m sure that’s not true – in fact the existence of the blogs proves exactly the opposite 🙂
        I shall certainly use them, I can’t wait to get stuck in now – and hope I don’t get stagefright in the TPs!

        PS. This is the Durham + Newcastle weekend, so I shall wave at the dreaming spires for you!

  8. Hey
    I’ve been reading your blog and I think the content you post is brilliant.
    I’m a language enthusiast myself and along with some friends we’ve started a language app – VocApp. It is a flashcard mobile and website app that provides a number of innovative features, such as creating flashcards from a photo, creating flashcards with your voice, creating flashcards from a text (in just a few seconds you can make a set of words from your favourite song, e.g.
    I imagine that you must be very busy but if you were interested in testing our app (and possibly writing a short review of it if you want) I could grant you access to our language courses and paid options of our app, so that you can explore it thoroughly.
    Keep up the great work! I’ll be looking forward to hearing from you.
    All the best,

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