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Our Lexis students picked up the skill of surfing in no time today! What a wonderful way to finish the week! Happy Weekend everybody!

Dave’s TTT (Teaching Tips and Tricks)!

Grammar Books for Teachers.

For the majority of English language teachers starting out in the TESOL industry, there is one aspect of the job that scares the pants off us – teaching grammar. I’m not sure about you, but when I went through primary and secondary school, we weren’t taught English grammar, so when I first became an English language teacher in Hungary, notions such as subjects, objects, and past participles were, forgive the pun, foreign.  Not speaking a lick of Hungarian at the time, knowing that I needed to eat (and therefore make this teaching thing work), compelled me to set about teaching myself English grammar before I taught it to my students.

This week, I would like to share with you the grammar books that helped me at the various stages of my career. I don’t claim they are the best, as there are a lot of good reference books out there, but these are the ones I have used and still do use and so I can vouch for.

English Grammar in Use by Raymond Murphy – Cambridge University Press

This is a great book for new teachers with little grammar knowledge. The middle book in the series, this self-study reference book is pitched at intermediate level students. It consists of 145 two-page chapters covering the language structures that an intermediate student would need.

Each chapter starts with a page of ‘accessible’ presentations about the meaning, usage and form of the structures. I say ‘accessible’ because it is written for students, and therefore we teachers have a shot at understanding the content. This is a great starting point for new teachers. On top of this, the second page in each chapter has exercises for practice! No silly, not for you the teacher, but they are very handy for homework for your students. All in all, I would say this is a great book to get you started on your grammar teaching path and you will be able to refer to it and use it for years to come.

Notable mention – The Good Grammar Book by Michael Swan – Oxford University Press

Practical English Usage by Michael Swan – Oxford University Press

This book delves a little deeper into the English Language, providing fairly detailed information on grammar, vocabulary, idiom, style, pronunciation and spelling. I found I didn’t really appreciate this book until I had a slight grasp of the workings of the language. Sure I had used it in CELTA assignments, but that was about it. I found (and sometimes still find) that I used this book a lot more when dealing with students’ questions that were outside of what I was teaching in class that day. This is a great book that you will get years of use out of and it can (sorry, but I can’t promise more than that) sometimes stop you from looking silly in front of your class.

Notable mention – Grammar for English Language Teachers by Martin Parrott – Cambridge University Press

About Language by Scott Thornbury – Cambridge University Press

This is the book you turn to just before DELTA, to help bring out your inner grammar geek. The book consists of 28 ‘task’ units covering various aspects of the English language and looks at them in a high level of detail. The tasks really make you think about how English is used, and I must confess, when I began working through the book I had to look at the key and commentary a couple of times first to understand what exactly was being asked in each task. That brings me to the other great thing about this book – the commentary. It is easy to follow and a real eye opener. The way the language is analysed and applied to everyday usage is brilliant. It leaves you wondering a) just how smart is this Scott Thornbury bloke and b) surely he has better things to do. This is a must-have book for DELTA or MA level courses and a great source of PD for experienced teachers.

Anyway, that’s it for this week. Three grammar books to take you through your EFL teaching career, they have worked for me and I have a feeling they’ll work for you too.

DaveDave Fox is an experienced teacher and teacher trainer who has worked in Australia, the UK, and Europe

Jobs in and around Scarborough


Kitchen Hand – Rendezvous Hotel
As a Kitchen Steward your duties will include, but are not limited to:
Washing dishes, cutlery and service equipment, Maintaining cleanliness and sanitizing of all surfaces, Cleaning the kitchen walls, benches and floors, Taking out rubbish bins and assisting with deliveries, Using various types of commercial dishwashers and cleaning chemicals.
What you need:
Previous cleaning experience in a commercial kitchen or similar environment (preferred but not essential), Ability to work in a physical role (lift, pull and push a moderate amount of weight), Ability to multitask in a high pressure environment, Awareness of Occupational Health & Safety and food hygiene, Good communication skills. Click here for more information.

House Keeper

We are looking for a friendly, reliable local looking to work 8 – 10 hours each week on a regular basis.
You will need to :
* Clean  – 3 bedrooms/ 2 bathrooms – including dust/ vacuum/ mop etc
* Manage laundry – wash, dry, fold, iron and put away.
* Tidy the house – children’s toys etc.
May also extend to casual babysitting in future months. For more information click here.


We have a casual position available (25-40 hrs),
requirements: Must be available to work between Monday – Sundays 5.30am-6.30pm, be available to work more than 6 months, Have own transportation (plus). For more information click here.

Kitchen Hand

Bar staff required for ongoing casual work in Perth Metro and Regional WA.
Must have drivers license, own transport and be able to pass a pre-employment medical. A good attitude towards work a must. Please email  CV/Resume with cover letter. Click here for more information.


We are a 200 seats waterfront venue and need a strong, confident, passionate, reliable and very fast Chef for our busy breakfast, lunch and dinner trade. Must be able to turn over high volume quality meals. Must be able to prove experience in similar role.
Please send in CV or drop it in and speak with Micky wed-Sun. Casual at first, but can lead to full-time for right applicant. Click here for more information.

Casual Window Cleaner

Part Time/Casual Window Cleaner required for domestic and commercial work.
Must have experience in window cleaning, Would suit student or backpacker with legal basis to work here. Click here for more information.


Patisserie Cafe base in Subiaco looking for a casual Junior Barista All Rounder. Willing to train for the right candidate. Must be fluent English. Click here for more information.


Starting February afternoons 2-4 pm Mon- Fri as well as Wed and Fri 8:30- 10:30. All of those times or part of them…
Looking after baby Dexter age 10 months whilst I do stuff with the older ones. Possibly you would also look after easy-going Eddie age have lunch time/afternoon sleeps.
When they are sleeping, maybe some light housework please?
I am keen for an ongoing commitment if possible, also some casual evening babysitting once a month or so… Pay 20 AUD an hour. Click here for more information.

Pizza Delivery Driver

Drivers wanted for busy 7-night a week family Pizza business on Cambridge ST Wembley. Must have own transport, Suit University/semi-retired person, Casual weekday & weekend shifts. For more information click here.

Casual Support Worker

• MUST BE BILINGUAL, i.e. Dutch and English/German and English
• Good personal care and home help skills
• Good verbal communication skills
• Good time-management skills
• Demonstrated initiative
• Good presentation skills
• Able to physically assist/support frail elderly people
• The ability to maximise consumer independence and control in their lives
• Must have a registered vehicle and possess a current Drivers licence.
• Has a current police clearance, First Aid, Valid working visa

For more information click here.


Chica Catering is an award-winning catering company, we are currently looking to hire new staff. If you have a passion for hospitality and a desire to learn we could have a position for you!
Casual work available for the right candidate. Hours can range from 20-40 per week.
Must have kitchen experience. Must have a manual drivers licence.
Must be willing to work evenings and weekends. For more information click here.

Room Attendant

The successful applicant will demonstrate:

  • A can-do, responsible, and flexible approach to work
  • Excellent communication skills
  • A friendly customer service demeanour
  • A keen eye for detail
  • Excellent organisational skills
  • Discretion with guest interaction
  • A strong appreciation of workplace safety
  • Actively promote the Quest Scarborough business!
    We are looking for a candidate who is mature, seeking a long-term stable role and has leadership potential.
    Previous experience in a cleaning or housekeeping position in a business environment is essential and qualifications in hospitality would be highly regarded.
    The successful applicant must be available to work shift, weekends and public holidays. For more information click here.

Summerset Arts Festival

Now in its sixth year, the City of Stirling’s premier cultural celebration returns in 2014 jam packed with live music, comedy, theatre, visual art, children’s events & much more!

The community can look forward to an exciting mix of free and low cost events around the City including shows at the Sunset Veranda pop-up venue in Scarborough, the Kids’ Kerfuffle obstacle course, Paper Planet, Polka Dot Vintage Markets, the Lorax & dirtgirl kids show and Beach Concert with the Birds of Tokyo!

New Students

photo 2Welcome to Tuesday, I hope everyone enjoyed their Australia Day Festivities. Please join me in welcoming our NEW students this week. Chie, Takanori and Masashi from Japan, Ricardo from Colombia, Bruna and Thamires from Brazil, Benjamin and Emilie from France, Nattanan from Thailand, Hyuk Soon from South Korea, Sabrina and Marco from Switzerland. We hope you all enjoy your time here and make plenty of awesome memories. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to come and ask. 🙂

Dave’s weekly tips and tricks for teachers!

Concept Checking Questions

As a teacher, there are a couple of things we should never say or do to our students. For example, pointing at them and laughing when they make a mistake is often frowned upon and will most likely result in an upset student, poor classroom atmosphere, and a newly unemployed teacher. But this, in my opinion, isn’t the worst thing a teacher can say or do in the classroom. In my opinion, the worst thing a teacher can do happens regularly throughout the English language teaching industry and often goes unnoticed. It involves three simple words and is of absolutely no use to teacher or student – the question ‘Do you understand?’

In response to this question, nine times out of ten students will reply with a nodding of their heads, leading the inexperienced TESOL teacher to believe that they all ‘get it’. In actual fact, most students are reluctant to admit in front of a class that they do not understand something and so other methods must be used to check students’ understanding.

One useful method of doing this is through the use of Concept Checking Questions (CCQs). CCQs can be used to highlight the meaning of the target language item, be it vocabulary or a structure. They can be used to point students in the right direction when they are unsure and help teachers recognise whether or not their presentations have been effective.

To work out the CCQs for a particular piece of language, you first need to work out the concept for yourself. For example:

I managed to open the window

When breaking down this sentence into simple statements we can see that:

  1. I opened the window
  2. It was difficult.

So to create our CCQs, we simply turn these sentences into questions:

  1. Did I open the window? (Yes)
  2. Was it easy? (No)
  3. But did I succeed? (Yes)

Seems simple enough, right? But there are a few other things to remember:

  • CCQs should be easy to understand – you’re not checking their comprehension of the questions themselves
  • They should not contain the word or structure being taught – how can you check understanding of something they don’t know by using the exact language they don’t know?

DaveDave Fox is an experienced teacher and teacher trainer who has worked in Australia, the UK, and Europe

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