Author Archive

FUN READING with Miss Moureen!

FUN READING with Miss Moureen!

Typical reading will always start with a lengthy text to be read! It will definitely shaken students’ motivation to further reading upon seeing a lengthy text to be read.

So, what I have prepared is I come out with a word search sheet first. Normally, students will become fascinated when they first see a task that seems fun- like a word search. In order to complete this word search, students need to read a text and answer the questions and then followed by searching for words in the word maze. How about that? Isn’t’ it sounds more appealing to do a reading? Below I provide an example that I adapt from the ESL Galaxy websites.

Fellow teachers, try it!


Based on the reading text, students ca be asked to do a Word Search before they can actually answer the questions.


Know your listening strategies!

Listening strategies can be classified by how the listener processes the input to be comprehended.

Top-down strategies are listener based

The listener taps into background knowledge of the topic, the situation or context, the type of text, and the language. This background knowledge activates a set of expectations that help the listener to interpret what is heard and anticipate what will come next. Top-down strategies include:

  • listening for the main idea
  • predicting
  • drawing inferences
  • summarizing

Bottom-up strategies are text based

The listener relies on the language in the message, that is, the combination of sounds, words, and grammar that creates meaning. Bottom-up strategies include

  • listening for specific details
  • recognizing cognates
  • recognizing word-order patterns

Here is a good example of informative listening that can be viewed in You

Teacher can use this video as listening material and construct questions based on the information!

Photography for Creative Writing!

Photography for Creative Writing! 

by Moureen Padan.


  I have discovered an interesting way to learn writing which is through photography.! Since students nowadays develop interest in cameras, why not teachers encourage writing through photography? Students can use simple camera as in mobile phone or advanced camera.

This is a process of teaching writing in English as second language as suggested by Catherine A. Lutz of Georgia Military College, Kingsville Naval Air Station, Kingsville, Texas. According to her, the purpose of this instructional method is to CREATE EXCITEMENT AND INTEREST IN WRITING by using pictures taken (photo shoot) as the basis for writing themes. This type of writing could HELP STUDENTS OVERCOME THE FEARS THEY HAVE TOWARD WRITING.

Materials: Camera or mobile phone camera


        i.            Students provide their own cameras- phone cameras are allowed since most students have camera mobile phone

*If cameras are not available for every student, it is recommended to divide the class into small groups that could then share cameras.

      ii.            During the first lesson, teacher can provide example photos of people and objects, decide the theme and mood followed by discussion of the descriptions of the photos.

    iii.            Next lesson, teacher can ORGANIZE A FIELD TRIP to a local park where students can experiment with lighting effects as they photographed people, paths, and interesting objects for their themes. After the photos were developed (print) and essay written, teacher and students can discuss which photos and essay they like best and why.

    Example of activities:




The main concerns are to stimulate students’ interest and to develop creativity but not stressing on grammatical mistakes. Apart from that, this activity intends to help students overcome their fear of writing, to convince them that each had something of value to say about their photos. Only after the students have developed confidence in their writing ability, teacher can place more emphasis on correct grammar, punctuation, and spelling in students’writing.

SO TEACHERS…HAPPY TRYING and bring out the creative sides of your students!

Yay, learning Grammar using Alphabet Poem!

by Moureen Padan

Alphabet poem can be used to teach parts of speech or sentence structure while reinforcing dictionary skills.

Teaching Points

  • Verbs
  •  Past Tense – To write the poem, students had to start each letter with a verb in the past tense. This enabled the class to revise their verbs in the simple past tense while writing some wacky and often hilarious group poems.
  • Extensive dictionary Usage – The writing of the following poem requires students to use their dictionary extensively 
  • Cooperative Learning through group work  -Students are to work together to collate group ideas into one group poem

  Example of Alphabet Poem


What I Did The Last School Holiday!

 (Verbs + in past tense form)

Accessed information from the internet
Babbled with my friend
Conversed with my teacher

Donated some clothes to the orphanage
Escorted my best friend to see her boyfriend
Fought often with my sister
Gave my football cards to my friends
Hacked into the computer system
Insisted on colouring my room pink
Joined the army for a week
Kicked my neighbour’s dog
Learned how to cook
Murdered my a mosquito

Nagged my neighbour’s daughter
Opposed my parents’ plans to go to Langkawi
Puzzled why my parents went to Langkawi without me
Qualified to join the Newboyz group
Rebuilt my tree house after my brother threw stones at it
Sold my hand phone because it was broken
Took my young brother to his friend’s house
Unfertilized the soil behind my backyard
Vandalized a bus stop with my friend
Waited for my girlfriend at the bus stop which I had vandalized
X-rayed my body
Yelled at the field
Zapped my discipline teacher’s car!

(Adapted from Mohd Zarif, Mohd Khairy, Nur Dalila, Mohd Khairul, Nur Syahida)

It would be fun to play words using all the alphabets! So, try it out with lower secondary school!