May 20

An interactive adventure

Thanks to everyone who came to my session at Innovate on Saturday. I’m currently in the process of working out how I can share the story with the audio as part of it. I realised after doing the session that obviously the audio wasn’t working because it wasn’t saved on my pendrive – I did warn you all I’m not particularly techy!

Anyway, a quick recap of some of the tips and thoughts from the session:

* You can download the Plickers app on your phone and get the cards here. As I mentioned, it’s better to cut the cards a little bigger than I had them as it’s important the whole square of the QR code can be seen when scanning. If you decide to assign each student a card, you can set up class groups – this means as well that you can use one set of cards across multiple groups. I’d definitely laminate them and the site recommends using non-glossy laminating sheets so there’s less reflective glare when scanning.

* Here’s a very quick video of how to insert action buttons into a Powerpoint in case you want to make a similar story (if you do, I’d love to see it!). This was created using Jing – great for when you want to make videos of what’s happening on your screen.

* I’m going to (hopefully!) upload two versions of the story – one with the productive speaking element and the other without. As I said in the session, I wasn’t sure whether the questions broke up the flow of the story too much.

September 16

Prep-free speaking activities

I had a great time Thursday morning, sharing some ideas for prep-free speaking activities with the fab team of teachers at ELI in Sevilla. Below the presentation you can find links to the activities I presented and if anything is missing, I’ll write about it soon!

Prep-free speaking activities from verybouncyperson

Definitely, maybe

A cloudy day

Picture dictations

Guess the question

Character builds

Spot the difference


Keep talking

I’ll be doing a session on Guided Visualisations at the ACEIA conference in November, so if you enjoyed the one we did in the session, come along for more ideas!








May 15


I had a truly amazing time at the InnovateELT conference this weekend. I’ve wanted to go since it first started four years ago and am so happy that I finally got my act together, submitted a proposal and went.

As a huge fan of professional development, and especially conferences, I generally have a good time whenever I’m off TEFLing – meeting other ELT professionals, sharing ideas, confirming and questioning beliefs – I get a real buzz out of it. But Innovate felt especially special…

Firstly, it was incredible to finally meet lots of people who I follow and admire on social media, namely Twitter – Amy Blanchard, Sarah Priestly, Zhenya Polosatova, Melody Philip and more – and professional contacts who I’ve only conversed with via email – Dan Shepherd, Karen Spiller, Nicola Meldrum, Fran Austin and others.

Secondly, I got the sensation that everyone who was there was genuinely engaged and involved. So often attending conferences can feel like a teacher’s CPD obligation for the year but it was clear from the levels of enthusiasm for ELT that this isn’t the case with InnovateELT attendees.

I’ll admit the promise of craft beer was also a decisive factor in my applying for InnovateELT and the social atmosphere surrounding the conference didn’t disappoint. With the beautiful backdrop of the OxfordTEFL garden, the Espiga flowed, as did the conversation.

Congratulations to the InnovateELT team, eltjam and OxfordTEFL for such an incredible conference and thank you as well to everyone who came to my session on Guided Visualisations – I’ll post up all the ideas from the session over the next few days.

February 15

Engaging Exam Exercises

Here are the slides from the talk I gave at the FECEI annual conference, held in Madrid last weekend. If there are any questions about any of the activities, leave a message in the comments below or feel free to email me.

Engaging Exam Exercises from verybouncyperson
Thanks to the wonderful Sandy Millin for reminding me that I was going to post links to the activities from the slides:
Spot the difference
Ask the Experts
Phrasal Verb Jeopardy
Dice Games – these can be downloaded from my Activities page
Word formation 4-in-a-row
You can find an explanation of SPRE in this blogpost  and there’s a bit about using guided visualisations in this blogpost. The idea of the final activity was to helo learners with creative writing – by doing a guided visualisation and using the SPRE format for story-writing, we can help our learners become more effective writers, especially when they’re trying to do so in the pressure of an exam