Well I Never…..

Every day is a learning day, as they say in Bournemouth. Today, one of my students was telling me all about her new project in “Transverse Management”. It’s been a long time since I trousered the corporate dollar, thankfully.

Let’s hope School Managers don’t get wind of this or there’ll be Hell to pay.

“Project management, task forces, managing central or support roles, process control, network managementtransverse management is essential in complex organizations where cooperation and responding collectively are essential. Transverse management both goes beyond and complements top-down management.”

Idioms & Collocations: Colours

Do you have a blue sky dream?

It was Millennium Eve December 31st 1999. Several of us were musing about where we might be in 10 years’ time. I hadn’t given it much thought, but chipped in that I would perhaps like to live abroad again, having spent an enjoyable year in Lausanne back in the 70s. And so it came about: 10 years or so later, we moved to Puglia in Southern Italy. That was my “Blue Sky Dream.”

I am now using this as a lesson intro: “What’s your blue sky dream?”. The lesson then develops  into a discussion about other idioms using colours. I am not a fan of prescriptive lesson plans; I much prefer a student led lesson based loosely around my prompts. Here is my list of “colour idioms” which I dip into at regular intervals.

  • Black & white
  • A black hole; a black look, blacklisted, in the black, Black Friday
  • As white as a sheet,
  • Purple with rage, to hit a purple patch
  • A red rag to a bull, a red line, to turn red/red faced, in the red, a red letter day, a redneck
  • Feeling blue, blue sky dreams, once in a blue moon
  • Green with envy, a green-eyed monster, to give the green light to, green (inexperienced)
  • Browned off, a brown study
  • In the pink
  • To have a heart of gold
  • Every cloud has a silver lining
  • Incandescent
  • Rainbow alliance

Is it important or does it just keep failed teachers in highly paid, worthless jobs ?

Now here’s an interesting comment which appeared in the week 2 review of my course (FutureLearn: Understanding Languages, Steve Wright, Tutor):


“start out with the idea of making the important measurable, and end up making the measurable important”

I really like this comment as it neatly encapsulates reality.
Unfortunately it also encapsulates Ofsted’s raison d’être.

How difficult can it possibly be ?

So, what do I find most difficult about teaching or learning a language ? Here are my thoughts from a couple of days ago.

Learning1I find the most difficult part of teaching and/or learning languages is using collocations confidently and consistently. Teachers are often reduced to saying things like “There is no logical reason why we say this, we just do.” This of course does not satisfy eager students who have a burning desire to learn. It often ends in a blazing row. (As opposed to a blazing desire and a burning row !)