Nothing more important than your family and friends

Teaching English to speakers of other languages usually means living far from home and we don't often get the chance to see our families at this time of year. Once you've been doing it for a while, traveling around the world, friendships become stretched across the continents (but thank g, for Facebook, right!).

Are you in this situation too?

Me, I always dread Christmas - it's the most prohibitively expensive time to go on home and most of the time I can't afford to do this. Too much competition from the tourists ;-).

However two years ago my sister and I plotted to return just before my Dad's 70th birthday.

We spent Christmas day together in London and then flew on over to Grenada on the 26th. We'd set it up with my uncle to go directly to his house from the airport and then hid there on the 27th. My mother was in on the secret as was my little brother.

It sure was murder looking out at the beautiful Grenadian sea, watching the sun slip into the ocean, realizing what both of us had been missing out on by living in Europe and knowing that we still had to stay hidden for yet another day.

Of course, Marty came on over to visit us - to give us a big hug, check that we'd really made it and to find out what we'd got him for Chrimbo. It was wonderful seeing him but we quickly sent him off with pleas not to give the game away.

Our greatest fear was that Dad would pop 'round to see our Uncle so our eyes were peeled out for his car all day.

On Dad's birthday we sneaked over just before breakfast, giggling the whole way, laden down with chocolates, sweets and gifts.

When we arrived, around 7.30am, we knocked forcibly on the door and heard my mother calling out "Now who could that be, bothering us at this hour?"

When she opened the door up wide we burst into the room singing "Happy Birthday, Daddy!" - my father just about had a heart attack!

His girls were home.


Do you have a great memory like this? Do your students? I'm pretty sure that you do and isn't it lovely to talk about these.

This month, registered users of the Kalinago English website can download a free set of conversation cards all about family and friendships.

Click here to get your students telling their stories - laugh and cry through their memories and impressions.

And for the teachers who teach with technology, looking around for a great pre-teaching/vocabulary review activity, what about using this video from the Boston Globe, on America's first-grandma:

If you're uncertain how to download video on to your laptop come here - if you're interested in getting a mini-computer, come here.

And, as it's coming up for Christmas, all teachers can also download a set of excellent Christmas conversation prompts.

Supportive materials related to Christmas

For more lesson tips and ideas about Christmas, check out these blogs and sites:


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