The #flashmobELT Movement

What makes an ELT movement launch?
Two teachers in different time zones and a Facebook chat.


This was my random idea during our chat ten minutes before the lessons began this Thursday morning. It took Michael Griffin literally no time to pick up on this – and in a minute I had an activity description ready in hand. It went something like this (it’s an edited quote, not quite a quote then):

Students are in pairs. One student chooses 10 words from the text (the other person cannot look at this point) to NOT say and then reads the text aloud. The other student that is listening has to try to guess the word based on the context. The speaker has to give hints and examples, say the rest of the sentence, paraphrase. After the listener gets all the words students change roles and do the same thing again. They can choose whatever words they want – hard, easy, interesting, fun. They key is the thinking and talking about language.”

I had planned to work on a certain, very simple coursebook text with one of my lower level groups that day anyway and it was an attractive opportunity to try out something new. Due to my poor time management and the fun we were having discussing the videos my students had watched at home as part of their home task, we only got a chance to do this activity with me modelling it, that is being the reader and them being the listeners. It actually was very good! The students, who are normally incredibly energetic and difficult to manage, were all ears and very active in asking questions and trying to guess the words. After they put the 10 words down I asked them to reconstruct the chunks in which these words were used in the original text. And they nailed it! That was a really positive note to finish our class both for me and for the students. #mikemob was a smooth success!

In his message Mike also asked me to blog about it, which I’m doing now šŸ™‚

And THAT was how the #flashmobELT movement was born.

So, what Mike and I suggest doing is this:

STEP 1. Once a day/ a week/ period of time you like one teacher shares a description of an activity to be done at a lesson. It’s probably convenient to keep all activities in one place and we suggest an easy way to do so – a Lino wall. This is the link for now. Don’t forget to share it then on Twitter, Facebook, blog or a personal mail to a teacher friend. Tag it #flashmobELT and if you wish create your own hashtag (e.g. #mikemob, #achanmob, etc) to make sure your activity is given enough credit while going incredibly viral.
STEP 2. Willing teachers try this activity in class.
STEP 3. Blogging teachers write a blog post about their experience.
STEP 4. Enthusiastic teachers catch the bug and keep the ball of the #flashmobELT Movement rolling.

The rules are subject to change as we still have not entirely agreed on whether there should be any rules except these or not. Watch the space šŸ™‚

This is our thinking. We genuinely hope you support the movement by joining in!

The LINO WALL to post your activity is HERE.

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19 thoughts on “The #flashmobELT Movement

  1. what a great networking idea! Professional Develoment at its practical best! I’d take part if I was doing any real-life teaching at the moment…(

  2. Reblogged this on TeachingEnglishNotes and commented:
    what a great idea!

  3. kevchanwow says:

    Hi Anna,

    Left my idea on the Lino. Just want to say I think the whole thing is aces and can’t wait to see what kind of activities, ideas, etc., people leave on the wall.


    • annloseva says:

      Hi Kevin,

      Thanks for the sticky you left. It’s very practical and useful for me in terms of how naturally it involves grammar. Do you think it has to be a comedy?

      I’m very happy you support the movement)) we need you, first follower, #you matter.
      Please don’t forget that it’s key to try something out in your class and tell the world about it. I’m hoping it will also bring more teachers to the movement, besides just being a really good PD thing to do.)


  4. I love the idea of crowdsourcing activities that are general enough to use across contexts in a pinch. It’s also got some accountability in it in terms of having us follow-through with actually doing one beyond simply sharing our activities. I admit I’m not as good as implementing as I am at sharing. I’ll try.

    • annloseva says:

      You’ve just grasped the essence of the movement, Tyson. General enough to use across a variety of contexts + taking part by both sharing and doing, then sharing post doing again. Pretty much what we had in mind!

      Looking forward to your experience shared.

  5. […] The #FlashmobELT Movement post announcing the birth of it and offering you a brief summary of the first activity I used. […]

  6. […] is #FlashmobELT?Ā You can read about the inception of the group here.Ā It has been very exciting to be a part of this […]

  7. […] more information about #flashmobELT, check out this, this, or […]

  8. […] Have you heard about the glorious #ELTflashmob movement?  […]

  9. […] I heard about his new group,Ā #flashmobELT, that had just started out, with teachers posting lesson ideas on a wall, trying out some of the […]

  10. […] #flashmobELT is a great idea about sharing activities and also sharing follow-through experiences. Ann Loseva andĀ MikeĀ have written posts explaining it. I used this activity, and I also posted an activity I […]

  11. […] friends of the blog Anna Loseva (AKA A-Chan) and Michael GriffinĀ have started a movement. I have often wanted to be part of a […]

  12. Josette says:

    Hey Mob Momma,

    I’m wondering if you’ve started another lino? Just curious because it’s getting full and I want to make sure I’m not missing out. šŸ™‚


    • annloseva says:

      Josette =))))
      you had Momma laughing.

      Thanks for this and for the timely note on the state of the lino. Something is coming!
      I’m also wondering if there’s any other tool that can beat Lino for this purpose..

      Momma hugs ya.

  13. […] Activities I wish I knew when I started teachingā€ at CAMTESOL last year. I participated in the glorious #FlashmobELT movementĀ and even presented on it a few times. Also, one of my first presentations ever was at the KOTESOL […]

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