Louise B


I have been teaching EFL for nearly 20 years.
I'm interested in all aspects of language teaching and learning.
FutureLearn gives me the chance to refresh some skills and learn some new ones!



  • As an EFL teacher currently in Germany this is very interesting.
    I work with adults who learnt English at school many years ago and who now need English in their professional lives.
    Some of the most common forms of spoken English seem totally new to them. It will be interesting to find out which books were used at school when they first learnt English.

  • Louise B made a comment

    Thanks again for such a great course.
    When this pandemic is over and we can travel freely again, I will definitely be going back to Rome to have another look around.
    Who else is going??? :)

  • Louise B made a comment

    Thank you to EVERYONE who was involved in putting this course together.
    It's be extremely interesting and very informative.
    It was great to read comments from fellow learners, so thanks to everyone who contributed.

  • I hadn't realised it only took about 10 years to build. Impressive when you consider there was no modern machinery to help.
    I wonder what the human cost was of constructing all these buildings?

  • I'm surprised by the sheer scale of these bath houses.
    As with lots of other things we have seen so far the engineering and building work is very impressive.
    It must have been a great day out to visit one of these grand bath houses and visiting one of the smaller venues would have been a good opportunity to find out the latest gossip in your own neighbourhood.

  • Louise B made a comment

    Very impressive that it took only around 6 years to build the Baths of Caracalla.

  • History being brought to life once again. Fascinating!

  • A quarter of a million people?!
    What a fantastic crowd. Imagine the noise and the atmosphere!

  • This was another really interesting week.
    Lots of new information for me about how 'ordinary' people lived.

  • Louise B made a comment

    Thanks to EVERYONE who was involved in putting this course together.
    The videos and course content were both very informative and interesting.
    It was also great to read the comments from other learners - thanks to all who contributed!

  • The was a really interesting and informative video.
    So many things to think about when preserving these objects and deciding which ones to display.

  • Louise B made a comment

    It must have been very noisy (not to mention smelly!) to live in such close proximity to other people.

  • Very impressive logistics operations in place here to keep 1 million people fed.

  • Another very interesting week. Lots of new information for me. Thanks!

  • As with many other buildings and structures we have seen so far on this course, it is simply an amazing feat of engineering to be able to build something like this without modern technology and equipment.

  • Amazing! Such highly skilled people.

  • @AnneHodgkins Thanks for the additional information.

  • @JeanBernath Did they stop wearing their usual clothes or were adjustments made to garments they already had?

  • @MatthewNicholls Thanks for the additional information.

  • @ChristianeGuinot @LindaG Ego and the need to show off!

  • This was a really interesting video and gave me lots to think about.
    The topics discussed here seem particularly pertinent in these strange coronavirus times.

  • Another very interesting and informative week. Thank you!

  • Louise B made a comment

    While these forums (fora?) are certainly impressive feats of engineering and building, they come across as vanity projects - each one trying to be bigger and better than what went before.

  • I have also wondered about the various costs involved.

  • Does anyone know what clothes would have been worn during pregnancy in this era?
    Wearing a corset must have been very uncomfortable.

  • Getting dressed took such a long time. What a faff!

  • Louise B made a comment

    It all certainly looks very impressive but I wonder how noisy it would have been there.
    Would the crowds have been able to hear properly, or would it have been too noisy with lots of other things going on?

  • Let's not forget that the EU bloc (which was the main focus of this video) is not the same as the continent of Europe.

  • The timeline was really helpful.
    Thank you.

  • It's been an extremely interesting and informative first week.
    Looking forward to learning more over the next few weeks :)

  • Very impressive feats of engineering.

  • A really informative video - again! :)
    History is certainly being brought to life here.

  • Louise B made a comment

    The level of detail on these clothes is really impressive.

  • A very informative and interesting video.

  • "Despite 17 pregnancies, none of her children survived..."
    So sad.

  • Louise B made a comment

    A very informative video.
    Interesting point about eating - or not! - during the day.
    There are so many layers to the clothing worn and I had no idea about the pins!

  • So much faffing around!

  • Louise B made a comment

    Really interesting video.
    There must have been some very skilled people involved to create something like that without the use of a sewing machine.

  • How lucky for us that we have modern appliances for washing and ironing.
    These were such physically demanding jobs in the past.

  • Louise B made a comment

    Really interesting video.
    It must have taken them so long to get dressed in such clothes.

  • @DevinMurphy Thanks for the information. I wonder how they dealt with food and drink stains?

  • @BeyzaÖzdal Indeed. Regular exposure to the language in various different settings is important. Let them hear the language and soak up all the sounds and words.
    When they are ready, the children will reproduce the language they have heard.
    Don't put pressure on them - we all learn at different speeds :)

  • Thanks to EVERYONE who was involved in putting this course together.
    It's been really useful and interesting to read comments from fellow learners, so thanks to everyone who contributed.

  • Exposure to the language(s) is key.
    Also, let them learn at their own pace. I know there are guidelines for what children 'should' be able to do at certain stages of development, but every child is unique and that should not be forgotten.

  • Young children are experts at storing information ready for future use!

  • Indeed. Young children are like sponges in that they soak up what they see and hear around them without any effort.

  • This has been a great first week. I've really learnt a lot.
    The videos have been really interesting and informative.

  • I've also thought about that.
    Who chose the clothes for each day?
    Where were the clothes stored that we not being worn?
    How were the clothes cleaned?

  • What a shame more items of clothing didn't survive.

    Does anyone know how these expensive clothes would have been cleaned?

  • I think in Henry's case he wanted to project power, wealth and virility.
    Elizabeth was a Queen in a man's world so she wanted to project her power and status I think.

  • Louise B made a comment

    The colours are well preserved for something so old.
    This was a really interesting video - thanks!

  • So many layers. I had no idea.
    I guess in winter they were at least warm when in cold and draughty halls, but in summer they must have been very uncomfortable.

  • Louise B made a comment

    This was really interesting. I had no idea there were so many layers involved.
    The final result must have been really heavy and very uncomfortable in warm weather.
    Sorry, but I have to ask: How difficult must it have been to use the toilet?

  • I know very little about this subject but the course sounded really interesting so I thought I'd give it a go.
    In terms of 'Tudor fashion' I think of Henry VIII and the extravagence of his clothing (or at least of the clothing depicted in various portraits and paintings I have seen.)

  • Louise B made a comment

    Thanks to EVERYONE who was involved in putting this course together. I've learnt a lot.
    It's been really useful and interesting to read comments from fellow learners, so thanks to everyone who contributed.

  • @AnaHibert @WiebeDijkstra Thanks for your responses.
    Making a conscious decision at institution level to advocate for blended education seems to be key.

  • Louise B made a comment

    These facilities look fantastic, but how much did it all cost?
    Blended education requires a lot of investment.
    Are the financial resources available?

  • "Without the right funding it's hard to do anything new."
    I think this is where the potential problem could be for many institutions and training providers.
    Money - or a lack of it - can make all the difference in terms of creating, developing and implementing (good) blended learning solutions.

  • @PaulRichardSheridanTD Thanks for the additional information.
    So it was a question of missing paperwork?

  • Is it appropriate to mention the recent Windrush scandal here?
    If I understood it correctly, many people who had been living in Britain for years (sometimes decades) after coming to the country from the West Indies suddenly found they weren't 'British' (enough?) after all.
    I believe some were even deported.

    I'm very happy to be corrected if I've got that...

  • @AnaHibert It was disappointing that my learners chose to stop the course especially as they had been making good progress.
    If anyone has any tips on how to encourage older learners to try online learning, please let me know :)

  • @JeffreyVernon Creating a learning environment where everyone feels comfortable is certainly very important and I agree that being 'on camera' can be too much for some people.
    I teach English as a foreign language and some of my older learners have stopped their courses as they don't want to be in an online class. (Classes had to go online due to the...

  • @JeffreyVernon I agree with you. I work with a lot of older adult learners who are not very tech savvy. The don't want all the jazzy options - it puts them off.
    For many, even basic online learning options can be overwhelming to the point of inhibiting learning.
    I'm not sure it's a very popular opinion but for many of my learners, less is certainly more!

  • @OrlaithDaly I would really appreciate a copy of the PPT, too. Thank you!

  • The benefits of digital learning are clear, but I wonder how much it all costs to produce quality course content.
    Is funding available to enable schools / colleges and other learning environments to reach a high level of interactive learning?

  • Indeed. It's all about money and greed.
    They never have enough!

  • It was about the elites, money and power.
    Just as it is today.

  • "Heavy human cost."
    Indeed. Somewhat of an understatement I think.

  • Opportunity.

  • The digital divide is going to be a big issue in the future. Some would argue it's already a big issue now, having been highlighted by the ongoing pandemic.

  • Louise B made a comment

    Thank you to EVERYONE who contributed to the creation of this course.
    The course was very informative and the material was well presented.
    I learnt a lot and will now do more reading around the topics presented.
    Thanks also to everyone who contributed by writing comments - really interesting to read different viewpoints!

  • Thanks to EVERYONE who contributed to the creation of this course.
    Lots of really useful information and good discussions and contributions.

  • I'm really enjoying the course so far.
    Thanks to everyone who has contributed through the comments - lots of really interesting ideas and personal experiences.

  • I've spent many years living outside of the UK where I am originally from.
    My job as an EFL teacher, plus the fact that I have been surrounded by non-native speakers for so long and am used to grading and adapting my language, means that my accent has definitely changed over the years.
    That said, as soon as I am back in my 'home' area in the UK I change back...

  • Louise B made a comment

    Perhaps it was a vanity project in celebration of the birth of a much wanted male heir?

  • @MengCheTsai Yes, I think he wanted to ensure he had a male heir. The pressure on the women to produce a male heir was immense.

  • Louise B made a comment

    This was a very interesting and informative week.
    The glossary was especially useful.

  • As I mentioned in a previous post I once had a student in my class who refused to be taught by me because my accent was 'wrong'.
    According to that student all the 'good' teachers speak RP. I don't have that accent and for him that meant I wasn't teaching the 'correct' form of English.

  • @JudithHayward @RichardBenson That's how I understood it too.

  • @AnneHarden Indeed. Who gets to decide what is 'right' and 'wrong'?
    There's a certain arrogance in the original email which says a lot about the person who wrote it.

  • I teach English and am a native speaker.
    A student refused to be taught by me because my accent was 'wrong' i.e. I don't speak RP.
    According to that student all the 'good' teachers speak RP.
    It was several years ago. Hopefully it's an outdated attitude but I'd be interested to hear if others have experienced it.

  • The United Kingdom is relatively small in terms of geopraphical area compared to many other countries, but you don't have to travel very far in any direction before you notice distinct changes in accent.
    It's interesting to me just how many different accents are to be found in a relatively small country.

  • Both speakers have northern British accents. One is probably from the northwest of Britain, the other one I'm not so sure, but I would guess Yorkshire.

  • @DavidNowell There are indeed many regional accents in Germany as I have discovered. As I've been here a while I can identify them quite easily, but at the beginning I was just happy to be able to understand what was being said.

  • Louise B made a comment

    I've been teaching English as a foreign language for a number of years and am currently based in Germany.
    Sociolinguistics was part of my studies a long, long time ago.
    I've always been interested in all areas of language and language learning, both as a teacher and as a learner.
    Many of my students over the years have commented on my accent - I don't...

  • @UrszulaWolski Indeed. You have to be prepared for all four seasons in one day :-)

  • This was a really good video with concise and clear explanations.
    The point at the end about the Tudors sowing the seeds of those things that have made Britain what it is today was particularly interesting for me.

  • I'm British. I'm 'trained' to take my umbrella with me just in case it rains :-)

  • Some beekeepers are bell-ringers and I think (but I'm really not sure!) that some bell-ringers are beekerpers???

  • How can we be sure that the crossword puzzles are of equal difficulty?

  • @JenniferJenkins I found your comment about Brits waiting in a queue interesting. I guess it's a cultural norm that people follow without even thinking about why.
    I'm British but am currently living in Germany. Until the Covid pandemic arrived here, the Germans did not queue.
    New Covid 19 rules have meant they have had no choice but to accept queuing....

  • Louise B made a comment

    I've completed various courses on FutureLearn related to my area of work (teaching EFL) but am always interested in expanding my knowledge in areas of interest to me.
    This course looked interesting, so I thought I'd give it a go!

  • This approach can work really well, but as you mentioned it relies on engagement from the learners ahead of the class.
    I also teach adults who are juggling work, families and studying and although they are motivated, they sometimes just don't have the time to fully engage ahead of the lesson.

  • It was interesting to hear that it took 4 to 5 years to truly embed blended learning into the college.
    The interactive classrooms are impressive and offer a great teaching and learning environment, but I wonder how much all this costs.
    Is funding available to enable schools / colleges and other learning environments to reach this level of interactive...

  • @JackieJohnson This course has introduced me to some tools that are new for me. The main problem will be finding enough time to look in more detail at these and get used to using them effectively before introducing them into a classroom situation.

  • @UzmaS @FionaLeckie I agree. There are safeguarding and privacy issues to be taken into consideration when deciding which tools are appropriate and/or legal for a particular class/group/course.

  • @Anne-MarieNieuwoudt @CristinaValiente I agree. I work with many older learners who sometimes find the idea of technology overwhelming.
    Finding the appropriate digital technologies to meet learners' needs and experience is important. Sometimes, less is more!

  • I've used some of these techniques before with adult learners without realising there was a name for them (flipping).
    Flipping the classroom really encourages learners to take control of their learning.

  • Louise B made a comment

    Blended learning certainly has many positives, but in order for it to be successful it seems that a certain level of digital literacy and access is required.
    Not all my learners are digitally literate and not all have access to technology.
    The ideas here are really interesting and I'm keen to learn more, but I'm wondering how inclusive blended learning...

  • Thanks to EVERYONE involved in putting this course together.