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With these lesson plans I’m trying to design learning activities that are:

  • Hackable – Teachers should be able to modify, remix and adapt these lessons for their own contexts
  • Context-independent – The lessons should have broad appeal, not be limited to one setting or context
  • Level-independent – The lessons should work across a variety of levels


What makes a lesson ‘decentralised’?

For a start, there’s no course book. I find that course books tend to drag everyone into their ‘orbit’.

As repositories of knowledge and power we set great store by books, and rightly so, but in the language learning classroom I think they are over-used.

As a result, we should be critical of the claim that ‘course books have their place’.

Why do they?

How can I recognise a decentralised classroom?

No central authority – The teachers acts more as a facilitator than an authority figure. The teacher provides the environment in which learners learn.

And shouldn’t we be striving for more democratic learning environments?


Power is devolved to the learner – Learners are encouraged to take on more responsibility for their own learning.


Responsibility is shared – The success or failure of an activity or project does not solely depend on the teacher but the active involvement of the learners.

This should free up some of the teacher’s mental energy to deal with more practical problems such as designing wonderful activities and syllabuses, and struggling with the ever-present ghost of testing and assessment.

So, enjoy the lessons – and if you use them – please leave a comment!

English for Special Purposes (ESP)


At Work: Speaking Activities for Business English

Conference Small Talk

Low-tech teaching

Paper Powerpoints

Paper emails

Paper twitter

Paper websites

Lesson Jam! lessons

How to…

Time flies


Draw who you are as a language learner

Graphs for your week

One minute Writing

How to say it

Small Wins

Teachee Filmee

Face Down!

Answers looking for a question

World Ball Throw

Red Herring questions

What mood are you in today?

Unusual Statistics

Other lessons

Toki Pona

Bad subtitles

Messy Desk!

The Homeless Coder

Start your own #startup

Decentralised dialogues

Syllabus 3

Week 0  Talking about your Office Space

Week 3  Food Waste – a global scandal

Syllabus 1

Week 11   Seinfeld lesson plan

Week 10  Appraisal Do’s and Don’ts/ Discourse Markers

Week 6    CV’s and Job interview questions

Week 5    Refugees lesson plan

Week 3    Sherlock Lesson ‘A Study in Pink’/ Spoken grammar


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Image : Free Offer by Gohibi. Deviant Art.



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