Happy new year!
We are currently taking a few days off while we prepare to return to Italy after the Christmas break, so there’ll be a smaller blog update this week. Christmas may be over for us in the UK, but in Italy there’s still one big event left to finish off the Christmas period – Epiphany.
The lovely lady you see above us is ‘La Befana’, who visits children on the evening of the 5th January bringing sweets if you’re good, or leaving coal in your stocking if you’ve been naughty (sound familiar?).
The tradition is hugely popular in Italy, more so in some parts than Santa Claus (Babbo Natale) and is uniquely Italian. She is also definitely not a witch, despite the hat, broom, nose… her entire outfit really. Alessandra assures me she’s a kindly old woman, who just happens to fly around on a broom.
Strange Christmas traditions… there’s a great ESL lesson idea in there somewhere!
In the meantime, if you haven’t read them already, why not check out parts 1-3 of our blog series ‘Promoting and Nurturing Conversation in the Classroom’? Part 3 – ‘Pair ‘Em Up! A Culture of Collaboration’ has become the most shared post on our page after being shared by the Teaching English – British Council Facebook page. The blog explores how to maximise student talking time in traditionally solitary activities.
2017 will be an important year for us, not least because of the launch of the DimmiDeck Kickstarter campaign in January. DimmiDeck is a fun, versatile card set for language teachers and learners and it is quickly becoming an indispensable part of our activity planning!
If you’re curious, you can see some example DimmiDeck activities, games and information on our Facebook page. We promise – if you’re a serious language teacher you will want to check it out!
There will be further blog updates twice a week in 2017 as well as further teaching activity ideas, DimmiDeck info and more great giveaways! We really recommend that you subscribe to our page using the widget on the right hand side so that you don’t miss anything, as well as get advanced notice about any upcoming giveaways and product launches.
Happy 2017 – we hope you’ll join us for our adventure!
Anthony and Alessandra