Being Tagged

As the Secret DoS put it, the spectre of 11 is haunting the blog-world. I was tagged by @worldteacher (Thank you, Andrea!), and here’s my 2p.

Eleven random facts about myself (why does this remind me of eleven doctors? do I spot a blue box somewhere in the background?):

  1. I love the smell of freshly mown grass.
  2. Although a vegetarian I can’t stand Brussels sprouts.
  3. I really dislike talking to people on the phone.
  4. In 1988, I went to the 8th Pioniertreffen (an international meeting for Young Pioneers from the socialist world) and was spoken to by Margot Honecker. I’m not sure I was able to give a coherent answer.
  5. I trust in the laws of physics, but I’m still scared of flying – humans can only be trusted so far.
  6. My team won 2nd place in the Taiji championship in Shanghai in 2006.
  7. I’m rubbish with numbers and parking cars.
  8. I’m also rubbish when it comes to household chores.
  9. I fell asleep the first time I watched ‘From Dusk till Dawn’.
  10. As a birthday present, I once got a piece of land on the Moon. I know someone made a lot of money from a lot of gullible people; still, I’d love to go there.
  11. Up to grade 8, my dad painted most of my pictures for my art classes at school.

The eleven questions that Andrea asked me:

  1. What’s your favourite Christmas song? ‘Jauchzet, frohlocket’ from JSB’s Christmas Oratorio.
  2. Who would you most like to meet (dead or alive) and what question would you ask them? Possibly Alexandra David-Néel, asking her about all her travels.
  3. What’s the worst thing that’s ever happened to you in the classroom? Being video-recorded by a student against my wish.
  4. If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be? Durian. Or maybe chocolate.
  5. What would you like your epitaph to be? A decent Human (written in an alien language on some distant planet …).
  6. Which film is the most likely to move you to tears? Edward Scissorhands.
  7. What’s the highest altitude you’ve ever been at on earth? Not entirely sure, I’ve been on Mt Teide, but also crossed some pretty high passes in Qinghai and Xingjiang.
  8. What was the first record you ever bought? Probably ‘Behaviour‘ by the Pet Shop Boys.
  9. Do you still write anything by hand?  If so, what? Lesson plans, shopping lists, the occasional card or letter, notes for my MEd … I love writing by hand.
  10. Silver or gold? Titanium. And chocolate.
  11. If you were offered the opportunity to travel into space, would you take it? When can I go?

With the rest, I follow @cioccas, because I’ve always been the party-pooper who interrupts the chain.


Lexical Approach

This is a summary of the #eltchat which took place on Nov 13 2013. There were only few participants present. For me, it was a bit of an eye-opener. I had heard about the Lexical Approach during my CELTA course, and found at that time it made real sense. But then I somehow never really followed this up, so I gained quite a bit of an insight through all the materials linked to during the chat (and I also realised that I’ve used this in class, just never noticed it would fall under the label of lexical approach).

First, there were some introductory websites:

Following the intro was a debate about to grammar or not to grammar, which ended in agreement that we should cherry-pick from each approach according to our students’ needs.

We then moved on to share ideas about how corpora can be used in the classroom, especially COCA:

Thereafter was a quick discussion of other classroom activities, e.g. (collocation grids)

 Dave Willis was on the forefront of the LA:

There is also a ‘flipside’ to the LA (@Marisa_C):

And this is the transcript:



Being with my parents usually turns into an eating marathon . All of the following was served with 24 hours. We were particularly happy about the vegetarian sausages now available.

cakes dinner with veggie sausages eggsalad and raspberries mushrooms on pasta tea and sweets

Over the years, I’ve turned into an acceptable cook (me thinks).

Still, I prefer eating!


Back in Germany, we visited the former mining area of the SDAG Wismut. We saw some huge pieces of equipment.


There were also very long German words and some small machines which would have been used in the pit.

machine with long namelocomotiveHaving grown up in this area, I am quite happy the mining of uranium has stopped. There are, however, still some issues with residual toxins like arsenic in the drinking water. But those are being dealt with and there is environmentally friendly energy generation going on.

solar panels arensic waterAltogether, the area has changed much to its advantage – you can compare what it looked like before by following the link to wikipedia above.

new landscape bridge