"Dream On ..."

I remember this being a common catch-phrase when I was growing up.

“Mom, can my pocket money be increased?”
“Dream on.”

“Dad, I wish we were going to the sea for Christmas…”
“Dream on.”

And even to myself…”I want to run away from home… dream on!”

So, it was with some trepidation that I undertook to write the study manual for a book with “Dream” in the title! And ironically, there is that same sense of ennui that goes with the catch phrase.

But there’s also so much more.

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Teaching 'North and South'

A Labour of Love

Labouring through Tess of the D’Urbervilles in matric is the reason my husband proffers for not reading novels today.  He describes the book, one which for many is a great classic, as a boring book about a milkmaid who falls pregnant and dies. I often reflect on his response to literature when reading the latest novel set for matric, especially if it’s a classic.

The truth is that I really didn’t expect to enjoy Elizabeth Gaskell’s novel, North and South, as much as I did.

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Teaching Tenses

Need to review the twelve tenses in your language lessons? The following sites and games can help you do this in a fun way …

An understanding of the different tenses in English can be challenging for Additional Language learners, so finding fun ways to get students to use and practice their tenses can go a long way towards helping them succeed in this area of their language learning.  One useful online site for this is Dave’s ELS Café, (http://www.eslcafe.com/), a treasure trove of ideas for numerous aspects of teaching language.

Categories: Technology Trends


5 Reasons you should subscribe to the Ratpack Resources

Don't miss out on Macrat's most versatile product!

A teacher recently asked me why she should subscribe to the ‘Ratpack Resources’ if she already has a text book to use in class. I immediately thought about my first high school English teacher who assured us that she had learnt English despite only having one single book. (How thankful I was that I had been able to enjoy a wider choice of books to develop my love of the English language.) The question about subscribing, however, is a valid one and I wanted to respond by providing five of the most compelling reasons why English teachers should subscribe.

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Macrat’s word of the year: COPYWRONG

Competing with ‘fake news’ that was recently voted the 2017 Word of the Year (WOTY), and the 2016 WOTY ‘post-truth’, you might wonder why we have selected ‘copywrong’.

The short answer is: Because it is wrong to infringe copyright.

This year has brought the question of copyright into sharp focus at the Macrat office, as a number of DBE curriculum advisors saw fit to copy Macrat material and distribute it to teachers in their groups (without paying for it).

Categories: Macrat Musings


'Antony and Cleopatra', a play for the 21st century

'the Shakespeare play most likely to feel essential in the 21st century'

Three decades ago, Herman Northrop Frye, whose contributions to cultural and social criticism earned him widespread recognition as a literary theorist, described Antony and Cleopatra as ‘the Shakespeare play most likely to feel essential in the 21st century’.

This seems a remarkable prediction when we consider what type of world we live in now – a world of rapid globalisation and with an ever-increasing speed in the flow of information; a multi-cultural world in which we can eat Swiss muesli for breakfast, Italian pizza for lunch and Japanese sushi for dinner; a world in which we can stay at home but still witness the opulence of a first-world resort, the decadence of a casino, the devastation of a real-life war zone or the aftermath of a terrorist attack on TV.

So why would Frye predict that this play would ‘feel essential’?

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Next-Generation Learning

21st Century Learning vs Next-Generation Learning

We talk a lot about 21st century learning but Global Digital Citizen team member Andrew Churches suggests that the term “Next Generation” learning may be a better description now that we are almost twenty years into the 21st century.  His take on the 8 habits of next-generation teachers highlights practices that he believes are essential to prepare our students for the future in a fast-changing world.

Categories: Technology Trends


Media Literacy and Fake News

Students today have access to online information all day every day, and at the same time there are more and more fake news websites being created and shared unthinkingly.  It is essential in this environment that students be guided in how to evaluate online information.  Several web resources are now available to assist teachers with this and this review considers two of them: Checkology and Common Sense Media.

Categories: Web Watch

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