Six favourite things I wrote for Onestopenglish

As many of you know, I got started really on my writing career with Onestopenglish – Macmillan’s resource site for teachers. As I went rummaging through my old folders the other day to prepare for this post I found lesson plans that went back as far as 2002! While recently I haven’t written very much for Onestop it was sobering to think that for the better part of a decade I was producing something almost every month for that site. I started way back in the very early days of Onestopenglish, before web 2.0 had really arrived in the world of English language teaching, and long before I had even heard of blogs or wikis or stuff like that. It feels like ages ago, but 8 years isn’t really that long. Anyway, when I heard that Onestopenglish was launching its (much needed) redesign (read about the details here) I thought I’d celebrate in my own special way.

The new Onestopenglish some web 2.0 elements to it, I’ve noticed, but really it’s always been about supplying the materials. It’s probably the biggest out there. When I suggested this post to the Onestop editor she said “Won’t it be hard to narrow it down to six?!” and she was right.  However, my own site dictates that six is the magic number so here goes: half a dozen of my favourite lessons that I wrote for Onestopenglish. Now, even though many of these are in the Staff Room section of Onestop (aka the paying section), I got permission to share them all with you here for nothing!

1 A Metaphor lesson

After reading Metaphors we live by and checking out the metaphor section of the Macmillan dictionary I got really interested in this area of vocabulary teaching. Winning is like hitting is one of a series of lessons that explore metaphor in the English language.

Download the lessonWinning is like hitting

2 A Live from London lesson

Back in early 2007 I sent a proposal for the Live from London – a series of podcasts of real people on the streets of London from around the world. They were all to answer the same question and then I wrote the material to go with it. This proved to be a big hit, and spawned several other Live from Series. Buoyed by the success of this, I convinced Macmillan to include a similar thread in my new coursebook Global, called Global Voices. But this is where it started.

Download the lesson – LivefromLondonXmas and click here to get the audio

3 American Vocabulary Lessons

For around two years I wrote an American English vocabulary lesson every single month on a theme. When I went back to look at some of these I’m still amazed I could do it, and get away with some edgier stuff. This lesson is W for War, it addresses common war and peace collocations, prepositions connected to war and includes a text I loved doing with students: Six American Wars. These lessons were a bit different in that the teaching notes were quite detailed as well, so be sure to download them too.

Download the lesson AmericanWars and the teaching notes War teachingnotes

4 Hot Topics Tips (with Scott Thornbury)

Emboldened by some of the stuff that Onestop was letting me do with published material (albeit on the web), I proposed a section of topical lessons called Hot Topics. About this time Scott Thornbury was finishing a book called How to Teach Speaking, and had written some stuff for Onestopenglish already. I suggested a teaming up to produce these topical lessons on much “hotter” topics than usual – drug use, disaster tourism, the West Bank Barrier were some of the things we addressed. My favourite thing though was a series of tips that we wrote on dealing with controversy and taboo topics in class. Unfortunately I could not get a pdf of this, but the link is here, and this piece was picked up and republished in the EL Gazette.

5 The Road Less Travelled (with Jo Budden)

The latest series that I wrote was commissioned a few years ago when the editor of Onestopenglish called me up and said “Fancy writing a soap opera podcast?” I thought, why not? But I couldn’t do it by myself and so enlisted the help of Joanna Budden, a great teacher and fellow author. Together we came up with the idea of the Road Less Travelled, which actually turned out quite well. Best of all was when we created a Facebook page for Katie London, the main character in the show. This was almost three years ago remember, before Facebook had really taken off. Funny anecdote: Katie’s love interest was originally called Ricardo and was from Costa Rica or Mexico. They couldn’t find a Latin American actor and at the last minute they got someone to come in but he was from Ghana! So Ricardo became Michael Mensa and after some hurried last minute rewrites we went ahead with it.

Click here for the Road Less travelled section.

6 Teen talk Column (with Guardian Weekly)

As a university student, I had often longed to get an article or a letter published in the Guardian Weekly, a newspaper I devoured whenever I got my hands on it. So I was almost bowled over when in 2008 I was invited to have my own column in the Learning English section… for a whole year! I had just finished some courses with particularly difficult Spanish teenagers, and Teen Talk was born. The attached pdf is the one I wrote on end-of-year activities, called How to be so last year (from 2008). Events have of course changed, but the activity types and tips still work!

Download the tips here – How to be so last year

There you have it. This, combined with my earlier post on activities I wrote for iTs magazines brings to a close the materials fire sale here at Six Things. Hope you enjoy it! We’re coming very shortly to the end of this blog… so watch this space!

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Published in: on December 15, 2010 at 7:30 am  Comments (7)  
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7 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. This is a lovely collection of Onestop material. It’s interesting how the business has evolved from teachers’ handbooks (which still survive) through photocopiable worksheets to the kind and level of support that Onestop and you have provided in recent years. Congratulations to Onestop and to you and your collaborators.

    Not so happy about the valedictory ambience of this and recent posts on 6 Things. I’ve learnt so much from the blog. But you do deserve a rest.

    Thanks

    Simon Greenall

  2. Thanks for sharing Lindsay!

    God, I’m gonna miss Six Things 😦

    Good luck with all your new projects and congratulations on being nominated for the ELTons!

  3. Hi Lindsay!

    Really pleased to see The Road Less Travelled at number 4. It’s been really fun to write it with you. I’m eagerly awaiting to hear the recording of the final episode! 🙂

    Have a great Christmas. I hope you’ll have lots of screen-free and travel-free days to spend with your family. All the best, Jo.

    • Ooops – I meant number 5!

  4. Hi Lindsay,

    Great post (even if I am a little biased)! I was going to say that we’ve enjoyed commissioning and working on these materials as much as you’ve enjoyed writing them but – although true – it sounds a bit too much like the final chapter. I won’t say ‘goodbye’, just ‘see you later’.

    And Jo, the final episode of The Road Less Travelled has just gone live on onestopenglish – hope you both like it!

    Lucy

  5. Hi Lindsay

    I am amazed at the amount of stuff you do! How do you find the time. I was wondering if you could submit your 6 top tips on how to go about writing something for onestop.

    Michelle

  6. Hi there,

    I hope that I’m not the cheeky ONE now 🙂

    I came across http://sixthings.net/ and wondered whether you might be interested in mentioning my blog dedicated to “English speaking” up there?

    It is located here –> http://www.englishspeaking.org

    Thanks for looking into it!

    Sincerely,
    Anthea Sapon


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