Friday, December 17, 2010

The Fifth issue of the magazine: call for articles

We will welcome a new year very soon and with it we will celebrate a second year of fruitful and delightful collaboration through The Tunisian ELT Forum magazine.
The fifth issue of the magazine ( January 2011) will focus on Teaching Writing and ICT in the ELT Classroom. Articles are now being accepted. So, if you have some ideas about how writing should be administered or if you want to share tips related to ICT, do not hesitate to give voice to them in writing.

To send your article(s), please use the "Contact us" button.

Monday, December 6, 2010

An Educational CD by Karima Boussaid

Karima Boussaid, a teacher of English form Tunisia, has recently developed an outstanding educational CD for 7th, 8th and 9th year students. The CD comprises a collection of activities including stories, songs, vocabulary games, a funny dictionary, flashcards, pronunciation and grammar activities, etc.. The content is highly motivating and meticulously varied. The CD, with its abundance of tasks, is an interesting reference for teachers of English teaching 7th year students in the language labs.
Copies of the CD, "Learning English Can Be Fun!", will be available soon in the CREFOC, Sidi Bouzid.
We congratulate  Karima and thank her for sharing this CD.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Calling all teachers, the Guardian Weekly

By Max de Lotbinière (*)

Teaching English is a truly global profession, so what do we have in common and what can we share? The Guardian Weekly's Learning English has created Class Report a space where  teachers can share insight into their challenges and achievements.

Class Report seeks to show the diversity and dynamism of the global English language teaching profession. If you are a full-time teacher, you are established in your current teaching role and you have an inspiring story to tell, we would like to hear from you. Perhaps you have overcome special challenges in your work or you teach in an unusual context. If so, we want you to share some of the insights you have gained - remember, your story will inform others and help them in their professional development.

The Class Report feature is presented as a short, "question-and-answer" style article, so we would ask you to answer, briefly, the following questions and to provide brief biographical information. Your name and location will be published with the article.
Please copy the questions and your answers into an email and send it to

We welcome all responses but the decision to publish responses as Class Report features rests with the editor. All information will be received in confidence and agreement to publish will be sought from the contributor before publication.

Class Report questions
Please keep your answers brief (no more than 75 words per questions). Answers should relate to your current teaching position only.
1 What keeps you motivated?
2 What has been your best teaching moment and why (in your current teaching situation)?
3 What has been your worst teaching moment and why (in your current teaching situation)?
4 What have you learned from your students?
5 What is the biggest challenge you face (in your current teaching situation)?
6 What's next (career development, ambitions, hopes etc)?
7 Top tip for other teachers (your best single piece of advice)?

Biographical information
brief summary of education/teaching career to date:
brief description of current teaching position (location, type of education establishment etc):

*Max de Lotbinière edits a section on English language teaching that appears in the Guardian Weekly newspaper, the international edition of the UK's Guardian, and online. The Guardian Weekly runs a regular column, Class Report, which aims to share the voices of teachers working in different contexts and to provide some insights into their experiences. Previous examples of Class Report columns can be read here and further instructions on how to submit a column are here.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

New in this forum: the new books section

We have just added a new section to our forum to inform our readers about new publications in the field of ELT in Tunisia. We encourage the forum's members to send us an email including a snapshot of their book cover pages and a few words about it and we will spread the word by posting the information here.

We will inaugurate this section by talking about two books which have been published recently:

English Is The Key for 9th year Basic Education:
This is a workbook for 9th Year Basic Education pupils with more than 90 activities covering vocabulary, language and writing. The book helps students to feel comfortable with reading comprehension, to boost their writing skills, and to review their vocabulary and grammar.
The book has more than 110 pages with an answers section.
The book's author may be contacted via email here:

You may have a look at some pages of the book here.

Mother Sissi And The Cozy Cat:
By Mohamed Salah ABIDI & Tarak BRAHMI
This is a short story for readers aged 10 to 15 years old (8th Year Basic Education, 9th Year Basic education, 1st year Secondary Education, and 2nd Year Secondary Education). The book is part of a new series of short books ( Smart Reader Book Series) in English targeting beginner, intermediate and upper-intermediate pupils.
The idea behind this series stems from the authors' conviction that reading stories should be part and parcel of the curriculum if we want our pupils to shine in the English language. This goes hand in hand with the general trend and conviction in Tunisia that the English language should have a prominent role in our students' education.
Teachers may use the books to foster the learners' reading skills and to enhance their appreciation of the English language both inside and outside the classroom. 
The book authors may be contacted via email here: and
You may have a look at some pages of the book here.

"The story is deeply seated in our cultural make- up.It is part and parcel of our collective memory .It has been beautifully revisited   because it carries along noble values.
Mother Sissi  and The Cozy cat is everybody’s book for  Mother Sissi  is everybody’s  story.
The title of  the story  pleases  the ears of both old and young  because it calls to mind ,for many, a  special  far off scent. The language is simple and the values triggered are universal .The content is framed in an easy to understand way
The authors’ use of Mother  Sissi  ‘s tale  is brilliantly  thoughtful and considerate.
In a word , Mother Sissi  and  her  Cozy Cat is worth reading because it teaches simple human values."
                                                                        Hamdi Hechmi
EFL teacher/Ibn Rochd School ,Maknassy

 "I personally appreciated Mother Sissy and the Cozy Cat for a number of reasons. First, the topic is very interesting (hard-working people are rewarded and wrong doers are punished). Second, many positive values have been highlighted (such as solidarity, maintaining family ties, importance of serious work, etc.). Third, the style of narration (particularly the language) has been very successful."
Mohamed Amri
English Language Inspector, Kasserine
“Mother Sissi and the Cozy Cat” is what we should recommend to our young sons and daughters. For beyond being a pleasure to read with three short songs throughout, the short story includes a three-page glossary at the end to round out information and an exercise section to test comprehension. It is a short story that our children will not be able to put down before coming to the last full stop."
Read the complete review here

Abdelhamid RHAIEM is currently teaching in the English department at l’Institut Supérieur des Langues de Gabes, University of Gabes. He is also a PhD student at the University of Manouba. His field of interest mainly includes Modern British Novel and feminist writings.

A Précis of Current English Grammar: grammar in context for upper-intermediate & advanced learners

This book is intended to learners of English who are in need to brush-up their English grammar knowledge, to review outside of class or to acquire new grammatical devices. It also presents information which can be consulted for reference. The book is also recommended for first & second year university students, CAPES candidates, candidates sitting for the TOEFL and TOIC exams.
The book's author can be contacted via email here:

The difficulties of language processing facing intermediate Tunisian learners of English in a CLT classroom

Article by Adnen Mansouri

Adnen Mansouri graduated from the College of Letters and Human Sciences of Sfax, Tunisia (FLSHS). He is undertaking an MA research on "The difficulties of language processing facing intermediate Tunisian learners of English in a CLT classroom".
Adnen Mansouri believes that his research "could be a good way to bring attention to a specific issue in the domain of TEFL. " He thinks that "intermediate Tunisian learners of English have problems with their oral proficiency and [...] that there is interference between L1 and TL (English) and there is appearance of an interlanguage."
Mr. Mansouri is sharing the introduction to his MA research on this forum. We thank him for allowing our blog members and readers to have a look at this interesting introduction and we will be glad to see your comments and reactions.  

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The fourth issue of the The Tunisian English Teaching Forum

We are pleased to inform you that the fourth issue of the The Tunisian English Teaching Forum is out.
In this issue you can read:

Teaching, Learning, and Fairness by Steve PEHA
Meeting the needs of all learners in a diverse society through reading.

Classroom Management for Young Learners by Noamen AMARA
How to create a positive learning environment through good classroom management.

With our special guest for this issue, Patricia Donaghy.

Tutorial by Tarak BRAHMI
Creating interactive activities with JClic author.

Ten great online resources for teachers
Review of 10 websites that provide videos, photos and audio files for free.

The lighter side
Riddles, puns,and jokes.

To download your copy of the magazine, use the "download" button on issuu. You can also email us and we will send you your own copy.
You can send your feedback and comments here or on issuu.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The website of the month: New Brunswick

By Tarak Brahmi

This website is a complete toolkit for the teacher who wants to be a tech-savvy. What is more, it has what we really need: video tutorials that show you exactly where to start and how to finish.
The video tutorials clearly and subtly show you how to unzip or compress files,  move files to and from your laptop,  research the internet,  manipulate and edit photos,  work with sound,  use the print screen, use PowerPoint, Photostory, MS Paint., etc.. It also has a handy list of keyboard shortcuts to help you save precious time. If you have ever thought about how to create a website from scratch, this site has excellent video tutorials to guide you through this process.
Check some of the site's content here:
Photostory 3 PowerPoint Working with sound Web Design

Everything is minutely organised and there are activities and quizzes with every tutorial.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Fun Ways for Foreign Students to Learn English

By Amira Anuar (*)

With the right games and activities, learning can turn into a lot of unexpected fun! A successful way of teaching English to foreign students is to teach them through games, allowing them to learn and reinforce lessons of grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation. There are many different kinds, ranging from simple to complicated, active to quiet, individual-based and group-based. Here are some of the most engaging games and activities for students of various ages and levels.

AgameAday: has thousands of games and puzzles for use both online and in print, with two different learning levels. They entertain and encourage learning, problem solving, and creative thinking.
Easy Vocabulary Quizzes with Pictures: Located here are interactive vocabulary quizzes that ask learners to match the pictures with the corresponding noun, verb, or adjective.
English4Kids: Here are a number of fun and interactive games that can be used in the classroom. There are printable board and card games, as well as interactive games similar to Wheel of Fortune, Billionaire, Show Down, and Quiz shows.
English Educational Games for Kids: Here you’ll find two fun games for children. There are two versions of hangman, one with colors and one with fruits and vegetables. There are two versions of the game called Memory Squares that asks you to match a word with each corresponding picture.
English Ladder: Take a few minutes to register (for free) and then take English quizzes that can be for ESL learners of all levels. The website will remember your score and allow users to see their progress as they take harder quizzes.
ESL Kids World: As the site states, these interactive games and quizzes will help kids do a lot of self-education. With over 40 games, there’s no end to the fun!
ESL Online Learning Games: For the beginner, located here are number of online games that teach the basics, such as the alphabet, learning simple vocabulary, and matching words to their appropriate picture.
Flash Quizzes: Here you can take interactive online quizzes nonstop, on topics including grammar, vocabulary, culture, and even random trivia.
I'm Reading!: This website has many colorful and interesting stories that students can read on the screen. Stories include myths, comics, folk tales, and Chinese fables. For those who cannot read all the words, you can click on individual words in the stories and a voice will read them out to you.
Interactive ESL Crossword Puzzles: These fun and interactive online crosswords are sure to reinforce your vocabulary skills. There are three different levels, as well as links to even more fun grammar games and interactive exercises.
iT's for Teachers: On this page are classroom activities from the quarterly magazine, iT’s for Teachers, a resource for teachers and learners of the English language. Here you can find a variety of fun games on topics ranging from Robin Hood to Toy Story 3.
LearnEnglish Kids: This colorful and attractive website is geared towards kids and teaching them to learn English. Young ESL students can take advantage of these games too!
Printable ESL Crossword Puzzle Worksheets: Here are a large amount of fun and attractive crosswords, for your printing pleasure!
Skillswise: On this website are a number of word games that teach grammar rules, spelling, reading, and writing. For example, a fun reading game is called “Can you find out who killed Angela Spelling?” which tests reading speed and accuracy.
SpellBinder: This cool game lets kids practice their spelling and writing skills by first selecting a topic to write on, selecting the words to practice writing with, attempt to spell them, and then use them in a story.
TeachingEnglish - Activities: Here you will find a wide variety of classroom activities in many areas. The activities are detailed, simple to understand, and easily duplicated. There are sections on reading, vocabulary, writing, revision, and many others.

(*) Amira Anuar is a guest blogger for My Dog Ate My Blog and a writer on online schools for Guide to Online Schools.

Best wishes for the new school year!

With the holidays in the rear-view mirror, teachers are now busy getting ready for a new and exciting school year. On the occasion of the beginning of the school year 2010-2011, we would like to express our best wishes  for teachers in Tunisia and all over the world.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Stream, a magazine by the students

Our colleagues- Sahbi Bouazizi, Sihem Amri, Fatma Baraketi, Basma Jellali, and Fadhel Tamallah-sent this elegant magazine by their students in 2 March Secondary School, Sidi Bouzid. The magazine, “Stream”, displays a nice collection of short stories, dialogues, puzzles and proverbs written by the students themselves.


The magazine is “ a crude attempt [that] invites [the readers] to have a look at various activities [...] that stem from [the] students’ eagerness to be high achievers”.

We thank our colleagues for the great effort invested in this lovely magazine and for sharing their work on this forum. Keep up the great work!



To see or download the magazine, click on the thumbnail below:

Friday, June 4, 2010

A play about environmental issues by the pupils in Abou Baker El Gammoudi prep school

"Learning is something students do, NOT something done to students."
Alfie Kohn
Falling back to the stance of teaching a language as if it is a set of lexical items to be learnt by heart or a collection of grammatical rules to be written in red may be easy but it is far from the real assignment and aspirations of a creative teacher; a teacher who will leave a lasting imprint and be remembered a long time past that year he spent with her/his students.
Latifa AZIZA, Nozha BAYAWI and Amal BOUAZIA,our colleagues from ABou Baker El Gammoudi prep. school, Sidi Bouzid, have chosen the harder way by thinking "outside the box" and taking their teaching skills to the next level. They got together in the preparation of a play which was performed by their students: A great job by the teachers and a wonderful performance by the students.

play by students in BGPS Sidi Bouzid, Tunisia from Tunisian ELT Forum on Vimeo.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Review Handouts by Mr. Dhahri

Maamar Dhahri, a teacher of English in Souk Jedid, sent two interesting handouts: The first one is a summary of grammar rules for 4th Year students. The second handout was prepared by Miss Salwa Mhamdi. It is a comprehensive recapitulation of the vocabulary covered in "Skills for Life". Both documents are meticulously conceived and organized into sections.
We thank our colleagues for sharing these two valuable resources.

Grammar rules

Vocabulary list

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

New Tests by Mr. Neji Ncibi

A smiling face, an eloquent and witty sense of humour, a caring soul and a generous colleague with a pile of ELT magazines or great resources for teaching English under his arm: This is how most of the teachers of English in the area of Sidi Bouzid know Mr. Neji N'cibi. He has always been a great inspiration for all of us either as a colleague or as a "conseiller pédagogique". Mr. Neji sent these tests two months ago but we were busy preparing for the magazine.  We are really sorry for the delay. Thanks again for sharing!

Test 1 First Year Secondary Education

Test 2 First Year Secondary Education

(*Click on the thumbnails above to download or see the tests in full-preview mode.)

Side Note
Mr. N'cibi has recently published his new book "English Is the Key" for 9th year Basic Education.

Classroom Management for Young Learners by Noamen Amara

This is a  PowerPoint Presentation by our friend and colleague Noamen Amara*. In this presentation, Noamen stresses the importance of classroom management and draws our attention to some empowering and useful techniques for monitoring students' behaviour. These include seating arrangement techniques, praise and encouragement,setting time limits, role play, pair and group work, etc..
Noaman also sent an inspiring article that we will publish in the next issue of the Tunisian ELT Forum magazine.

*Noaman Amara is a Tunisian teacher working in Bahrain.

Side Note: 
We congratulate Noamen for his wedding. Best wishes of happiness and joy! 

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The third issue of The Tunisian ELT Forum

We are pleased to inform our readers and the subscribers to this blog that the third issue of the The Tunisian English Teaching Forum is out.

In this issue you can read:

Testing Speaking by Adel GHABRI
Techniques to promote speaking and to enhance the oral test in the EFL classroom.

As it is Written, So it Shall be Read and Said! by Steve PEHA:
Using reading to foster kids’ acquisition of the pronunciation and grammar of English.

Teaching Speaking by Farida BEN ABDALLAH
Factors teachers need to take into account while teaching speaking.

Using Videos in the Classroom by Faten ROMDHANI:
Videos in the EFL classroom to motivate learners and deliver high-quality lessons.

Will lLanguage Labs Promote English Learning? by Zohra AMMOURI:
Thinking about the CALL labs and the ICT experience in Tunisia.

Teaching the Target Language or the Language Culture? by Fathi BOUGUERRA
Getting students to know not only another language but also the target culture.

Boundaries by Abdelhamid R'HAIEM:
A post-conference report about the third conference organised by the Department of English in ISL, Gabes

David KAPULER was our guest this month and Tarak BRAHMI had an elightening and rich conversation with David.

Also in this issue: 
Bringing the news into the classroom and the lighter side..

To download your copy of the magazine, use the "download" button on issuu. You can also email us and we will send you your own copy.
 You can send your feedback and comments here or on issuu.

Comments on the third issue:
Steve Peha :
"Wow, I love the way the magazine looks. It's the coolest publication I get printed in. Thanks again for letting me contribute. [..]Congratulations on another fine issue."

David Kapuler :
"...Thanks so much for including me in such a beautifully created magazine.  I was blown away to see what you have done.  [...]Great job!!"

Faten Romdhani:
"You are Great dear colleagues ! May you always be successful and enriching the scene of publication with interesting and useful articles to guide and enlighten us in the World of Teaching ! Thanks a million for all your efforts ! "

Friday, April 16, 2010

Online resources for 4th Year Students

By Tarak Brahmi
Looking for materials for your 4th Year students? You have come to the right place!
Here is a great place to start: MacMillan is offering a few interesting worksheets that happen to meet the needs of our 4th Year students who are now getting ready for the baccalaureate exams.
Check the following pages and have a look at the archives. The topics that are suggested include:
Climate change
Film reviews
And more pertinent topics...
The site also offers the answers to the questions and nice glossaries of lexical terms.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Article submissions for the May issue

We have started thinking about and preparing for the third issue of the Tunisian ELT Forum, which will be published in May 2010. If you are willing to contribute an article to the magazine and if you are particularly interested in “teaching and assessing speaking in the English classroom”, magazine articles are now being accepted.
Articles can focus on any of the following topics:
  • Techniques to foster speaking skills in TEFL
  • How to assess speaking skills?
  • Fluency and accuracy in the oral message.
  • Speech and written message: similarity and difference.
  • What makes a successful speaking sequence in the English language classroom?
Please use the "contact us" button to send your articles or questions.

A wiki about Web 2.0 resources for teachers

Posted by Tarak Brahmi
David Kapuler,Technology Integration Specialist from Greendale School District, U.S.A. has recently created a great wiki displaying an extremely useful list of Web 2.0 resources for use in the classroom or for delivering online lessons. The list includes audio, videoconferencing, bookmarking, file sharing, photo editing, survey, web quest, digital storytelling tools, and much more. It is worth pointing out that David gives the wiki members the opportunity to download the six volumes of the Digital Books (aka Blog Companions).
You are invited to have a look at the contents of the wiki. You can also become a member and start adding useful tools that you have found interesting.
To visit David's wiki, here is the link.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Assessing Speaking

A PowerPoint presentation by Farida ben Abdallah, Trainee Inspector

Although there is a growing interest in assessing speaking in the EFL context, it is still one of the most problematic and intricate areas in teaching English not only because it is about assessing students’ speech production skills in a foreign language but also because of the inherent complexities of testing speaking in general.
In this PowerPoint presentation, Farida ben Abdallah outlines some of the major procedures related to the assessment of students’ speaking skills in the context of EFL in general and in the context of the Tunisian schools in particular. This PowerPoint presentation is here to serve as an initiator for an in-depth research about the many facets of assessing speaking. A more detailed article by Ferida ben Abdallah will be published in our next issue of the “Tunisian ELT Forum” in May 2010.

Here are links to some relevant articles and presentations:
Note: The presentation by Ferida ben Abdallah can also be downloaded from here

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Integrating ICT in ELT, a workshop organised by the British Council

Article by Fathi Bouguerra, teacher trainer in Sidi Bouzid.

Recently-published textbooks in Tunisia have taken into consideration the impressive development in audio, video and computer-mediated communication (CMC). There is a focus on the use of some technological resources ( web-based material/CD-ROMs), the focus is also on how students can use the internet to enhance their speaking, listening and pronunciation skills in a foreign language. Students can learn communicative skills in a less threatening environment using technologies such as chat rooms, discussion forums, email and activities such as webquests - a constructivist approach to learning.

It is within this framework that the Ministry of Education – with the coordination of the British Council organized  on January the 30th, 2010 a regional seminar in Sidi Bouzid. 45 teachers were invited to attend a session presented by Mr. Christian Charter who started his presentation with a familiarization activity. The stress was laid upon the fact that the wealth of information on the web will, by no means, exclude the role of the teacher. This latter is supposed to select the activities that best suit the level of his /her learners and the context where s/he is teaching.

The trainer also handed some worksheets about lesson planning, introduced new websites such as and reminded teachers  of other sites they are already familiar with, namely After that teachers sat in groups of six to browse the new websites and answer some questions that relate to the new material presented. What I personally appreciate is the discussion held on teacher development, showing to teachers-both novice and veteran - that growing as professional is lifelong; besides that no one is beyond training.
Because teachers in different parts of the world voice the same problem about the lack of authentic listening material, the trainer seized this opportunity to tell the audience about an easy way to download at least 20 passages from a link called Podcasts. Then, he made them listen to a fairy tale entitled Cinderella. While listening, teachers were asked to tick 10 'true or false' statements. The focus was also on the idea that such activities will not need much effort as well as time on the part of teachers who felt relaxed and eager to use the material with their learners.

As we need material for the third hour the trainer pointed out to the importance of using games and songs to involve learners (involve me and I will learn), make the classroom activities motivating for both teachers and students and thus avoid boredom. Music creates a relaxing learning environment and can also be used to help students concentrate while reading a text or to mark a brief pause in the lesson before moving to another activity. « Songs can increase motivation to learn the language » Throuton James. Learning from the proverb « All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy », games create good teaching and learning conditions. They, by their nature, generate interest, motivation and entertainment. Unlike the common tradition of teaching that all learning should be serious and solemn, communicative and creative methods preach ‘…having fun and hilarity ... ’. It is possible to learn language and enjoy oneself at a time. One of the best things of doing this is through games.
The seminar was another occasion for teachers to bear in mind that the days of amateur teaching are over. This means that teachers are compelled to update their methods and vary their techniques. One way of doing this is cooperation – inter and intra schools. The lack of material will no longer be an excuse as we have plenty of it and here lies the importance of the material delivered to us by the British Council .I mean here all the websites. So, the burden now is on us-teachers to prove that the teacher is an artisan, active creator of techniques and teaching material. «A teacher affects eternity; he can never know where his influence stops. » (Henry Brooks Adams). Last but not least, the seminar came at a crucial moment of the reform in the Tunisian schools and one of its aspects is the use of call labs.
I personally think that the seminar has removed all the clouds hanging over the issue of material that teachers will need first in the third hour and second in the call lab.

**Photos by Fathi Belhedi, CREFOC Sidi Bouzid

Monday, February 8, 2010

A new selection of tests

This is a selection of tests that was posted by some of our colleagues to be included in the Test Bank section of the forum. These tests are not, of course, expected to be taken as models to be followed. The contributors have generously sent them not because they assume that they are flawless but because they want them to be discussed and improved if necessary. Feedback and comments are highly encouraged!
The Test Bank section and the tests can be accessed from  here.

Sample test

*Special thanks to Mr. Bouguerra, our colleagues in Sidi Ali Ben Aoun, Mr. Dhahri in Souk Jedid and our colleagues in Ibn Arafa Secondary School for their valuable contributions.

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Tunisian English Language Teaching Forum, issue2

The second issue of the Tunisian English Language Teaching Forum (January 2010) is here.
In this issue you can read:
  • Testing Reading by Mohamed Salah Abidi
  • Issues in Testing Writing in Tunisia by Abdessalam Bouafia
  • To Assess the Assessment by Pedro Moura
  • Lesson plan: Teaching Poetry by Abdelhamid Rhaiem
  • Assessment: Types & Objectives by Nawfel Zouidi
  • Student Motivation by Fathi Bouguerra
  • An interview with Steve Peha,the president of TTMS
And more…
Many thanks for all the contributors for their time, patience and enlightening articles.


Gadget by The Blog Doctor.