Friday, 29 March 2013


Quizdini is a free site which allows teachers to create custom quizzes for students.

You sign up and build quizzes.

It's that simple.

There are 2 types of games which you can create: multiple choice games and matching games.

To create a multiple choice game you enter the title of your quiz, add a question with the correct answer and 3 wrong answers, then add more questions.

There is even a box where you can explain why an answer is correct.

When you have finished you save the quiz.

You can add the link to a blog or wiki but I'm fairly sure that you can't embed them as yet.

There are a lot of quiz builder sites around but I like this one because you can use foreign characters.There is even a drop down box with accented letters in it which you just click on to insert them.

Here is an example of a multiple choice game which I built in only a few minutes which tests knowledge of irregular past participles in French.

The quiz can be played in "practice mode" or "race mode". In "race mode" there is a timer.

If students get a question wrong they lose a life or "magic wand" as Quizdini calls it.

After losing 10 magic wands, or answering all the questions, the game is over.

Personally, I wouldn't use this kind of exercise in class but they provide an ideal opportunity for students to practise and revise grammar and vocabulary independently.

Sunday, 10 March 2013

That's easy for you to say...

As you are probably aware, I like languages.

One of the things I love about different languages is that there are some words which cannot be translated into English.

I found this picture on which shows this to great effect:

I started searching the net for more examples and found a site called: which is dedicated to these types of phrases.

One of my favourites is the hungarian word,


which literally means "Donald Ducking" and is a word used to describe the act of wearing a shirt but nothing else whilst wandering around the house.

I also like: 


the Japanese word for buying books but never reading them and allowing them to pile up at home. This is something I do a lot.

A further search found this site:

On this site you enter a phrase in English and it uses various online translators to keep translating your phrase into different languages and then back into English when it has something incredibly amusing or just completely unlike the original text.

So entering: 

I love learning French.

was translated as:

France is correct.

It's the most fun you can have with an online translator.

Or as bad translator would say: 

Get the best in online gaming.

Friday, 1 March 2013

Newsmap - a fantastic resource.

I was made aware of Newsmap during my #ililc3 workshop on how to motivate students at AS and A2.

Sadly, I can't remember who it was who put me on to it, so I'm unable to give them the credit. If it was you, let me know.

Newsmap describes itself as "an application that visually reflects the constantly changing landscape of the Google News aggregator".

It brings together the main news stories from Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, Mexico, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain, The United Kingdom, and the USA.

It is ideal for anyone teaching foreign languages to a higher level as it is an invaluable source of current news in different languages.

It is constantly updated and provides links to international, national and regional news stories.

You can see how the page is set out from this screenshot:

All you need to do is click on the headline of your choice and the link will be opened in a new tab.

Because you are now saying to yourself "I wish I'd known about this 3 weeks ago" I'll tell you that there is also a search facility enables the user to find stories in any of the languages, too.

I thoroughly recommend it.

PS I've just been reminded that it was Annalise Adam who recommended it to me