Welcome to pie plus, our magazine with extra learning worksheets - updated weekly.
Hurray for May - one of our favourite months! One of our Podcasts of the Month is all about The merry month of May. Listen and find out lots of interesting things about the month, it's not just about the flowers! This is for level 1.
Also for this level we have Four little birds. This is one of our pie videos and tells the story of a strange place to build a nest. For level 2, we talk to Naomi in Call the midwife, about her training to become a very important person on the maternity ward. For level 3, Nora tells us about her unusual life as a professional dancer in The dancing queen.
We already celebrated May Day (did you?) but for the first podcast of the month we also celebrate Britain's best loved tree: The mighty oak. Listen and find out why it's so important to us. This is for level 1.
Our second podcast is all about the latest cybercrime: Ransomware. We talk about how computers have been attacked and give some good advice for those who want to stay safe in the future. This is for our business listeners but we do hope our regular listeners enjoy the podcast too!
Our third podcast this month is all about light bulbs; when was the last time you bought one and what type was it? Listen to The light fandango and find out how happy we are with the growing popularity of LED bulbs. And listen to a previous podcast Cool blue to remind yourself why the LED light won the Nobel Prize for Physics. These are both for level 3.
We have updated our lists of podcasts making it easier to find what you're looking for. Go down to Find a podcast and print the list for your level.
As always do write to us if you have any suggestions for the site, or if there are any topics you would like to listen to, we love hearing from our listeners!
We hope everyone has a successful 2017 teaching or learning English,
Richard and Jackie
The pie team
Well done Yurre, who comes from the Basque Country in Spain for winning last month's competition. She correctly said that Jackie's favourite book by William Boyd is Brazzaville Beach. This month another listener can win free pie membership by answering this question:
Where is the strange place the birds are making their nest? Is it a) the phone box, b) rubbish bin or c) the letter box? The answer is in the level 1 video and podcast Four little birds. Send your answer to email@example.com with your name and where you are from. One winner gets free pie membership for 3 months. Good luck!
We have our own facebook page. Please like us and meet us there - and why not write some suggestions for podcasts, we'd love to hear from you!
Students' information worksheets
To help you make the most of the site. There are more information worksheets for teachers on the teachers' page.
► Using PayPal (pdf 60KB) How to find your pie log in details and how to cancel your subscription. For everyone.
► Listening to the podcasts (pdf 23KB)Ten top listening tips to help you to listen to and understand real conversations. For members.
► Watching the videos (pdf 23KB)Eight great ideas on how you can watch the videos and understand the podcasts better. For members.
► Using the webquests (pdf 205KB)An explanation of the words and phrases we use on our webquests. For members.
► Natural spoken English 1 (pdf 55KB)Tasks to help you recognise the key features of natural spoken English. For members.
► Natural spoken English 2 (pdf 35KB)This worksheet helps you recognise fillers - and encourages you to use them yourself. For members.
Find a podcast
Almost 500 podcasts! There are now three ways to find a podcast. One, go to the extras page where they are listed under topics. Two, type a topic into the search box (on the left). Three, by browsing the new lists of podcasts which we have compiled for each level:
And we have podcasts linked to special days throughout the year: ►Special days list (pdf 156KB)
If you have a school subscription why not copy the lists and put them on the notice board for all your teachers to read.
PS Fill in the blanks as new podcasts come out until we renew the lists.
Take a text
Take a text is a collection of 30 activities that you can do with your course book readings. There are 23 pre-reading activities, and 7 post-reading activities.
Each activity has information on what it practises, its uses, preparation before the class and clear intructions on what to do in class. There are also example texts used from a variety of course books so the activities are super clear.
Who is the book for?
■ It's ideal for new teachers. We remember not knowing what a 'jigsaw' reading was, or a 'dictation race'. We also remember thinking that we could do a lot more with a text in a course book, but not knowing what exactly. Over the years we have collected loads of exciting ideas, and these are what we want to share.
■ It's great for more experienced teachers too. Having so many ideas collected together means that it's a practical, easy reference book and one that should remind teachers of tasks they may have forgotten about. We're sure there are some new ideas included too!
Is it free?
Almost! It's just 5 Euros.