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Checking in on the Cambridge Train the Trainer Online

Lexis TESOL Training Centres

Check out what our course participant Lindsey had to say about her first week of The Cambridge Train the Trainer Online with Lexis TESOL Training Centres.

Linds 1

It is the start of week 2 and I am only just finishing week 1. This is my own fault as I have had a lazy weekend and didn’t dedicate enough time to keeping up with everyone’s comments on the course. I am determined that I will be spending a couple of hours each evening to get up to scratch for the start of week 3.

This is the first time I have ever taken part in an online course. I was extremely nervous about the whole process as I was concerned about a few things:

  1. Would I keep up! Well this is something I am working on
  2. Would I feel silly as I couldn’t contribute anything worth while
  3. Having no training background, would…

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Debates over how to treat prisoners have gone on since imprisonment began: should the prison system leave inmates to fester in cold cells, with punishment and deterrence as the goal of incarceration?  Or should it let them wander from classroom to games room, preaching rehabilitation into society as its main aim?

With over 83,000 prisoners currently locked away, England and Wales have a staggering imprisonment rate of 150 per 100,000 of the population.  Our prisons have been officially overcrowded since 1994; nearly 14,000 current inmates are serving indeterminate sentences.  If lowering the number of criminals is the reason behind imprisonment, recent figures point to a failing system: almost three-quarters of under-18s are reconvicted within a year of release.  As James Bell, an American lawyer and prison reform activist, said: “As it stands now, justice systems are extremely expensive, do not rehabilitate, but in fact make the people who experience them worse.”

In response to worldwide alarm over the ineffectiveness of how we manage criminals, a growing number of prisons are embracing a new style of incarceration.  By giving inmates more responsibility, comfort, and freedom within the prison walls, governors say they are offering prisoners the chance to change.  As the Prison Radio Association spokespeople said, “Reducing reoffending is of benefit to everybody.  Equipping prisoners with skills and confidence is crucial in bringing down reoffending rates.”

Shakshouka: A great use of excess tomatoes


I often buy tomatoes in bags, yet they only really get used for burger or sandwich fillings… the rest will sit on the counter waiting to expire. Not long ago I had some tomatoes that were on their way to getting thrown into the compost… but still edible. Then I remembered a recipe I had been wanting to try for a while…


  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 400g worth of tomatoes… or just grab a can of crushed/diced
  • a couple of garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 2 eggs
  • (vegetables of your choice)

The tomatoes that had now gotten soft were thrown into the blender and whizzed until it was a sauce. Heat the oil over medium-high heat in your pan of choice (I used a wok), throw in the onions and saute until they soften (about…

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Chock-full of Choc Cookies

Aha ha… no eggs.


Recently, I went through my tried and tested cookie recipe and decided to mix it up a bit. I added some Cocoa powder to the dry mix to now make the cookies a dark brown colour and added white chocolate chips. I was already a little suspicious of this batch since I found it wasn’t as “wet” as past batches, and I was able to easily roll the cookie dough with my hands.

After this batch came out of the oven, I had a very delicious BUT very crunchy cookie… which was not expected since we’re usually going for softer cookies. It made the larger and thicker cookies a lot more difficult to get through… which had my son slightly concerned since his front teeth had finally come back and he wanted them to stay around.

When my friend and his wife came over for a visit, it wasn’t until…

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Lego Fidget Spinner

I wanna get behind this one. But what is the deal with fidget spinners? Nope. Time for this fad to die. (If it doesn’t though, DIY would definitely be the way to go – surely it’d be more fun to show off different home mades than all buying one of those dumb plastic pre mades).


Since my son has been going to school, I’ve had a different way of handling each coming “fad”. When he wanted to buy Pokemon cards because all the other kids were trading, I took him away from the collection aspect of the cards and introduced him to the actual card game. Now that fidget spinners are the latest craze, I refused to give into the hype…. the last thing the world needs is another poor excuse to sell bits of plastic.

So an idea was seeded into Owen’s young imagination… why don’t you make your own “fidget spinner” with what you have available? I let him know that I had seen people making their own spinners using Lego. I then dived into his collection of Lego and created my first version of the “spinner”… something that worked (badly) but gave him enough fuel for his creative juices to come up…

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Fix it! Blender Repair

I’ve been saving bread tags too. My plan’s been to use them as tokens/counters for board games in class (I’m a TESOL teacher), but now I kinda wish my blender was broken! 😉


Thanks to a poor quality and my own stupidity… I had worn out the plastic gear on my blender. The gear had worn away to the point of where it could no longer spin the blender blades. My fault because since I got the blender, I would simply tilt the pressure to the side with the job switch instead of applying force directly downwards. The tilting would have made the contact between the gear and blades uneven, causing the rubber and plastic to wear away.

IMG_7645 Grinding by hand with a mortar and pestle took far too long

The replacement gear was going to cost less than $3AU on eBay, but as per usual, it would take about a month to arrive…. and I had coffee to grind!

I needed a temporary fix until the replacement part arrived. I’ve been collecting plastic bread clips for another project and thought I could use…

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Masterpiece Pizza Vol. V

Tried more than one of Beau’s pizzas. Had to take Dittany to try them too. Good stuff. (And nope for celery, yep for celery leaves).



This photo was taken on 21st June… so it took a little while to remember exactly what the toppings were for this particular ‘za. Tomato paste base, onions, cheese, chicken, bacon, tomato slices and celery leaves topped with the usual BBQ sauce and mayonnaise. A couple of friends have gotten me into celery leaves lately… and it worked a treat on this!

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