Monday, 22 December 2008

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all my students. I'd like to say a special thanks to the students of 10. b for the mini Chritsmas party and to all my groups for their lovely gifts. A special thanks to Dóra Keszthelyi for her fabulous gift - a box she hand painted with the flags of English speaking nations. Also noteworthy was the gingerbread baking contest with the English specialization, the winner was Laura Nagy - making both tasty and beautifully iced gingerbread. A Happy Christmas to all of them!

Sunday, 7 December 2008

St Nicholas and Pancakes

This Friday past we celebrated St. Nicholas' day at St. Angela's, where the custom is for the grade 10's to help St. Nick as he visits the students. For this reason my 10 B English group shrunk in size to 4 students. We got permission to use the school's industrial arts room kitchen where we used the time to make pancakes. The boys were quite expert and I had to do little, simply tell them the procedure and proportions and help a little with the skittle. The pancakes were delicious!

More London Pics!!!

Find more pictures of the London excursion at the following link:

St Andrew at St Angela's

On November 28th St Angela's School celebrated its first St Andrew's Day. Among the festivities, I organised Scottish shortbread baking contests in several of my English classes, the students were given a basic recipe by me and then went home to bake, the prizes were T-shirts. We also had a visit from Hungary's first Hungarian Scottish bagpiper, Gyorgy Keri. He played during a couple of the between class breaks and gave a presentation to several classes, his presentation and music were a hit! The surrounding pictues are some of the bake-offs, the piper and some of the students in the English Specialisation. God Bless Scotland and St. Angela's! After school the English Department hosted a small celebration for the teachers, featuring the shortbread and other Scottish delicacies!

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Belated Thanks

I`d like to say a belated thank you to Adam Vessey, a student of mine at St. Angela`s who invited me to go play paintball with other grade 10`s on October 31st as a birthday present to me. Thank you I had a terrific time!


Thank you to Erszi Csontos for inviting me to Ujpest district`s professional development day. All the best to the 40 teachers present.

Saturday, 8 November 2008

Coming Up...

Coming up this month... I'll be giving a workshop on Canada at the Ujpest Pedagogical Institute's professional development day for English teachers on the 17th and a talk on the USA at the Catholic Pedagogical Institute on the 20th.

The Year of the Bible.

This Thursday past was the professional development day for secondary school teachers at the Catholic Pedagogical Institute (KPSZTI) It was an enriching day with a presentation on using IT in the classroom, followed by a workshop on drama. I gave the last workshop on using the Bible in the English classroom. Holy Scripture is both an ends and a means.
God Bless all the participants and Kati the organizer. It was a great day!


IT WAS TERRIFIC!!! All the teachers and all the students had an amazing time. Have a look at the full report (still unfinished) on :

Monday, 13 October 2008

Balatonfured TV on the IATEFL conference.

On the following link you can find a short report (in Hungarian) on the IATEFL conference.


I attended my first Theolingua examiners' training session along with 3o others from different universities and colleges from around Hungary. Theolingua is a state accredited language exam system with basic, mid and upper levels, its difference is in the fact it was designed for those who either for professional or personal reasons would like to take a language exam that includes Christian content along with all the other typical language exam subjects. The presenters were the examiners of the Karoli Gaspar University's Foreign Language Centre.

Thinking outside the box.

The weekend of October 3-5 saw the 18th annual IATEFL-Hungary conference in Balatonfured. I acted as MC and was elected to the managing committee, but far more noteworthy were the very engaging and provocative (in the most noble sense of the word) plenary talks. The workshops I chose were also excellent. I look forward to next year's conference in Budapest. I would encourage all English teachers to contact IATEFL and get involved in this great organisation. For more information on the confgewrence and IATEFL see:

Saturday, 27 September 2008

New Job!

As of this month I will also be teaching at the Karoli Gaspar Presbyterian University in Budapest, at the Centre for Foreign Language Teaching. I`ve already taught a few classes and it has been and looks to be another fun and enriching experience.

Saturday, 13 September 2008

We're off...

And another school year has started. I've got two new English groups at Saint Angela's this year11. b and 11.a, as well as the new grade nine in the English specialization program. I've also got a few new ideas I'd like to try out this year, we'll see how it goes and I'll report and successes. So good luck to you all as you start your school year.

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Canada Day in Visegrád Feedback

The Visegrad conference on Canada held by IATEFL made such an impression in Ottawa, that they put an article about it on the Ministry's open access website. Have a look!

Monday, 25 August 2008

Great Reading

A couple of my summer readings are connected to my professional life and I'd like to recommend them.

London by Edward Rutherford is very enjoyable historical fiction. It traces the history of the city through the saga of several families. Also by Rutherford is Sarum the story of Salisbury and also recommended.

Bill Bryson's Mother Tongue, is linguistics the light and funny way. It was a pleasure to refresh my knowledge and laugh at the same time.

Sunday, 24 August 2008


In July I had the privilege and fun of being the interpretor for Father. Anthony Vadakkemury V.C. at a six day spiritual retreat in Érsekújvár. It was amazing! Thank you to Otília Kabai, András Török for another outstanding job in organising. Same place same time next year.


Congratulations to MM Publications - ELT Hungary on a great conference. With over 800 participants over two days it really was impressive to see how smoothly everything went. Thank you to them for inviting me to give my workshop on the Canadian Experience, it was terrific working together. The presentations I saw were excellent and I met a lot of old and new friends. The venue was just lovely, as was the lunch. See you again next year!

Wednesday, 20 August 2008


Dear Friends,
Well this summer has come to an end, and it has again been an eventful one. I haven't been posting so I have a lot of catching up to do to cover some of the activities I'd like to share. Tune in in the following weeks when I'll try to relate some of my adventures.

Monday, 16 June 2008

ASIST in Hungary

This past week saw the introduction of ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training) to Hungary. After completing the course last weekend I was very happy to act as interpreter for Joyce Borgs and Alan Briscoe from Mind Wales, in the first ever Hungarian language ASIST workshop. The workshop was organised by the Élet Mentálhigiénés Egyesület (Life Mental Health Society) in Budapest. The Society operates one of the 24 hour crisis lines in Hungary. Thanks again to Joyce and Alan for their hard work and to the organisers, Domonkos Buza and Mihály Kucsera.

Thursday, 12 June 2008

Language Conference coming up

I will be giving my workshop, The Canadian Experience at MM Publications fourth annual National Language Teachers Conference August 21st and 22nd 2008. I've been to every one of their conferences and they have been a delight. Now it's great to have an opportunity to share some of my expertise. Please check out the program at

Hope to see you there.

Monday, 9 June 2008


I took one of my grade nine English groups to the Bodies exhibit on display now in Budapest. We have just finished learning about the human body and being the last week of the school year it was a nice way to reward ourselves. If you don't know what the exhibit is, please have a look on the web for information. I also took my two oldest daughters. We found the exhibit fascinating! And I feel the bodies were treated and displayed in a respectful and dignified way. The human body is a miracle.

A serious matter.

Many of us know basic life saving skills that can help us in a crisis situation, such as if someones heart stops. But what if someones will to live stops? ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training) provides practical training in what to do in a situation where the threat to life is the person themself. An ASIST workshop was held, for the very first time, in Hungary this weekend past by Joyce Borgs and Alan Briscoe from Wales and was a great success. I now feel I could act with greater effectiveness if I met a suicidal person. Thank you. This Thursday and Friday will be another workshop in the Hungarian language.

Friday, 6 June 2008

The Bunker Hospital

Today was the last day in Budapest for the exchange students from Augsburg. They began their day with my presentation on the United States of America, afterwhich I accompanied them to the recently opened Bunker Hospital. The castle hill in Budapest is criss-crossed with several kilometres of tunnels that have served different purposes over one thousand years. In the war torn twentieth century, one section of the tunnels was turned into a bunker and shelter, part of which served as a hospital. During the Cold War it was also prepared for the possibility of atomic attack. Part of these facilities have been opened to visitors this year. I also visited for the first time and I can decidedly say its well worth the visit. The students found it fascinating. Afterwards we bid goodbye to each other and they left by train to Munich.

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Terror House Museum tour

I accompanied and gave a tour of the Terror House Museum in Budapest to the exchange students from Augsburg, Bavaria. I have given many talks and tours, but the place and its message never cease to have a strong impact on me. I believe that the students too were given an impression and possibly understood a little bit more of what a brutal totalitarian regime did to this country.

Sunday, 1 June 2008


We honoured Mrs. Károly Ábrahám yesterday through words, film, song, and scripture. She has had a great and beautiful impact on EFL teaching in Hungary and in neighbouring areas. It became evident to me that the magic she worked has not disappeared with her passing, but remains among us and will continue to inspire, and compel us as educators. Many thanks to Mark Andrews and Csilla Hős for organising the day.

Thursday, 29 May 2008


Welcome to the teachers and students from Saint Stephan's School in Augsburg, Bavaria. It is great to see Ingo and his students again. The welcome dinner last night was spectacular, thank you to principal Robert Bécser for inviting me along. My part of their stay in Budapest will be to take the students on a tour of the Terror House Museum in Budapest and give them my talk on the United States. Saint Angela's has been twinned with Saint stephan's for five years now and has a short term student exchange program.

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Coming up this Saturday... a tribute.

A day to celebrate the life and work of an exemplary teacher Mrs. Károly Ábrahám will be held on the 31st of May 2008, from 10 am to 2 pm at the Szent István Gimnázium, Budapest, where she taught from 1963 to 1979. I will be doing a presentation on the Year of the Bible in Hungary: work and fun with Holy Writ.

Friday, 16 May 2008


Click here for the full information sheet on the Saint Angela's trip to England. .
Bon Voyage!

Monday, 12 May 2008


Happy Mother's Day! (Again? Yes. Mother's Day is the second Sunday of May in Canada) God bless my Mom, and all mother's in Canada and the USA.

Thursday, 8 May 2008


Thanks to all those that came the presentation about the England trip. If you couldn't come, don't worry, just get in touch with me and I'll pass on the relevant information. Next week I'll get the trip summary and information sheet up on-line. Until then happy Pentecost weekend.

Sunday, 4 May 2008

St. Angela's United Kingdom Excursion

Just a reminder...
There will be a presentation and information about the upcoming trip to London, England on Thursday May 8th, at St. Angela's School, in room 101 at 5 o'clock. If you have any questions before then, or cannot make it please contact me at .


God bless my Mom and all mothers !
(Mother's day is the first Sunday of May in Hungary.)

Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Bedtime story.

I am continuing the family tradtion, and have been reading The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien to my children. I still have wonderful memories of my father reading it to me when I was young. It's a terrific book. The experience is twicefold as I enjoy rereading it and seeing my children discover Tolkien's world for the first time. If you haven't read it yet please do, you won't be sorry.