Author Archive

Hero Journals

I use the hero journals to keep track of my students’ progress over the course of a school year. In an effort to increase transparency, I’m making the underlying Excel document available for download. It is provided as is, without any guarantees or support. You can also download the AppleScript service I have created which automates exporting the ‘L’ worksheet for individual student.s
Test Results template v2.9.09 public
Test Results Export Student Worksheet to PDF files

Positive Marking

The Excel file linked below automates the calculations linked to the positive marking approach I have developed over the last few years. I will add more explanations at a later date and update this post.
Positive Marking 201710


Verbivores is a tabletop serious game in which teams of three or four players defend their school bus from zombies by conjugating verbs. I developed the game to help my elementary level students practise the past simple forms of verbs in a motivating context.

These are the rules of Verbivores (v3):

1) How to be a hero

• Zombies are attacking your school bus! Use your brain, or the zombies will eat it!
• Form a team of 3 or more heroes (=DE Helden). Only you can protect your friends on the bus.
• On the table, put the 3 dice, the bus and the cards with the zombie image on top.
• Every hero puts one pen around the bus to make walls. The walls protect your bus.
• For each hero there’s 1 zombie around the walls.

2) How to survive

• Zombies only eat lazy brains. Every time you use a verb, your brain becomes a bit stronger. Defend your bus: conjugate all the verbs!
• Use teamwork! Your team wins when all the zombies are dead and your bus is safe again.
• Danger! Your team loses when a zombie attacks a hero without a wall. Any zombie can attack any hero. Defend the other heroes!

3) How to fight

Zombies like fresh brains, so they attack the youngest hero first.
1. Roll the die with the numbers.
⚀: Oh no! The zombies break a wall. Look at 4b).
⚁-⚅: Take a card to fight the zombies with a verb.
2. Roll the big pronoun die to choose a person.
3. Roll the + / – / ? die: choose positive, negative or interrogative. Now conjugate the verb.
4. Now check your answer on the back of the card.
a) Correct: Build a wall for yourself or another hero. A hero can have many walls. OR: Kill a zombie. It doesn’t matter which zombie you kill.
b) Wrong: The zombies break a wall. Take away one of your pens.
5. If you took a card, put it back in the game box. The zombies continue clockwise ⟳ and attack the next player.

4) How to be awesome

There are so many zombies! When your brains are strong enough, you can start the next game with more zombies to fight. Will you survive?

Instructions for teachers:

1. A team consists of 3 (ideal) or 4 (ok) players.
2. Prepare the cards from “Methodencurriculum TP3 Travailler en groupes – Cartes Verbivores” like this:
a. Use thick paper
b. Two-sided / duplex: yes
c. Short-edge binding
d. Scale: 100% (by default most printers will try and reduce this to something like 97%)
e. Print one copy for every team.
f. Use a stack paper trimmer to cut the cards.
3. Get one standard six-sided die for every team.
4. Get one school bus token per team. If none are available, print one copy of a school bus image per team.
5. Get 6 zombie tokens per team. You can buy a “bag-o-zombies” by Twilight creations, download 3D-printable figurine (e.g. or print copies of a zombie image.
6. Get one pronoun die per team. You can fold a die from paper and label it or download and 3D-print this die:
7. Get one +/–/? die per team. You can fold a die from paper and label it or put stickers on a regular d6.
You can introduce the topic of zombies in a lesson some time before introducing Verbivores to your class. Make it clear to the students that they have the epic task of defending other students from the zombie apocalypse.
The cooperative element consists in the learners’ ability to use strategy: if one member of their team is attacked and unprotected, the whole team fails. After each successful move, the learners must decide whether they want to do what’s best for them or what’s best for the team.
After each round that a team completes without dying, they can increase the tally of eliminated zombies on the blackboard.
Print a copy of the “restricted area” sign, put it in a plastic sheet and use a whiteboard pen to keep track of the overall tally of the class each time they finish a 15-minute battle session.


Verbivores cards v2 imposed (PDF)

Verbivores rules v3 (docx)

Creative Commons License
Verbivores by Gilles Glod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Using ICT to support students’ acquisition and use of second language lexis

I originally wrote this paper in September 2012 as part of my teacher training. It mostly focuses on Memrise and how it can be used in an educational context.


Information and communication technologies (ICT) can be employed to provide learners with effective strategies that allow them to maximize their autonomy outside of the classroom. This includes issues of self-evaluation, aspects of learner motivation and effects on students’ reward mechanisms. I will consider how ICT can support the autonomous development of students’ lexical skills, their awareness of lexical chunks and correct use of items in various linguistic contexts. To this effect, I will analyse the results of long-term evaluation relating to knowledge, synthesis, accuracy, pronunciation and fluency. These are intrinsically linked to the impact of vocabulary learning strategies on long-term memory, the effectiveness of mnemonics designed to engage multiple intelligences and students’ ability to progress from passive to active lexis. Finally, I want to consider to what extent ICT can be used to create a community of practice marked by peer-evaluation, creativity and intrinsic motivation.


vocabulary, ICT, CALL, mnemonics, motivation, feedback, gamification, online, community, assessment, Memrise

Download the PDF



These days most of my time is spent on education rather than photography. I’m sitting on a pile of teaching material that might as well be of use to someone instead of just collecting dust. So I’ve added a new category to the site to which I’ll occasionally post ideas or lesson content that can benefit other educators. My next post will start things off with my research on Memrise, the language learning website about which I wrote my mémoire in 2012. Stay tuned.


I helped the Go|Media team at this year’s international scout camp on the Kirchberg in Luxembourg. This is my selection of the many photos  I took there.

Mountain Bikers

In June 2015, organized a workshop for photographers and bikers in the nature reserve Haardt in the south of Luxembourg.

Gran Coupé

My friend Olivier asked me to take some photos of the new BMW 430d Gran Tourismo. Here are the results!

The final picture was created using two flashlights stuck into a blue neon protection tube.

Photogen Müllerthal Meeting

In September my photography club organized a tour from Beaufort to Berdorf. I mostly used my macro lens along with a set of PocketWizards for off-camera fill-flash.

Cardiff & Caerphilly

In June, before attending Oliver and Lucy’s wedding in Southampton, I visited an old friend in Wales. I first met Thierry when we both read English and American Literature and Linguistics at the University of Luxembourg (where proofreading is nowadays deemed superfluous). My trip to the UK was the perfect opportunity to pay him a visit. He showed me around Cardiff and we visited Caerphilly Castle in between hanging around in pubs and looking for geocaches.

Little Red Ride

Above is a behind the scenes video for a fairy-tale themed photograph I took of my red Ford Focus (2011, Titanium). The video explains how I turned the Little Red Riding Hood idea into an image, from the two-hour shoot with Olivier Kerschen to the six-hour editing process in Lightroom and Photoshop. The two photographs below show an unedited picture with nothing but ambient light and the final edited image.

The same video is also available in Luxembourgish.

Pulling Faces

About a month ago, had challenged its members to take part in a ‘street battle’. The purpose of the get-together in Luxembourg City was to roam the city centre and take photographs of the people there, then meet up again and share images and experiences. Most of the photographers went for the candid approach, in which you photograph scenes happening in the streets where people are not aware of being photographed. I decided to do the opposite and approach people directly.
I think it’s easier to decide on a target group. If you can photograph anybody, you’re likely to end up not being able to decide who to approach. If fewer people meet your arbitrary criteria, it’s easier to pick somebody from the masses. In this case, I focused on people with greying hair.

I had a memorable exchange from the workshop in Arles in mind that day. I had asked Serge Picard how I could make my subjects feel more comfortable. He answered: ‘Why on earth would you want them to feel comfortable?’. My goal for the day then was to get out of my own comfort zone by approaching complete strangers and getting them out of their own comfort zone in the process. I went around addressing people, briefly told them that my photography club had given me a mission and asked if I could take their portrait. If they agreed, I first took a regular close-up portrait. Having a camera with a ring-light pointed at your face can be a bit intimidating, so I didn’t want to come straight to the point. The photo I was after was one of my subjects pulling their favourite face. Once a person has agreed to having their portrait taken, the first picture is just a means of breaking down a barrier. After that, it’s much easier to persuade your subject to do something silly or unusual.
In case you’re wondering why there are only men in the gallery: none of the women I asked for a portrait agreed!


Last autumn, the Luxembourgian shopping centre City Concorde contacted photo clubs across countries to ask for submissions for their Pinacotheca. Currently they are showing a selection of prints by members, including one of my photographs, Ocean View, printed at 7.5 by 5 metres. Yes, metres. If you want to see the oversized print, head to the escalators which connect the shopping centre’s multi-level parking lot to the main hall. I don’t know for how much longer the print will be there, so get there soon :)
Oh, and this would be a valid reason for always shooting RAW and at the camera’s full resolution. You never know when your picture gets printed at the size of a billboard!


Chris Willmott asked me for a casino-themed shoot before I was going to leave the UK. The School of Drama building at the University of Kent had recently been finished and provided a fairly modern setting that would work, seeing as I didn’t really want to go through the whole logistics of working in an actual casino. So, thanks to the university for letting me shoot there.

The photographs ended up somewhere between the styles of James Bond and Gambit. I used Speedlights and PocketWizards to set the mood in terms of lighting, playing around with gels to get some colour contrast and get away from the boring fluorescent light.

The post-processing was a challenge for me. For two of the photographs we wanted the cards to be in mid-air. Getting it all done in-camera turned out really difficult, so I decided that I’d place the cards later on in Photoshop. Thus I ventured forth into Photoshop’s 3D world :) I hope the results look somewhat realistic.

De Schnéi lassginn

A brief Photoshop noise reduction tutorial in Luxembourgian.


The Christmas holidays have started for me today. With a little bit of time on my hands before my friends from the UK arrive in Luxembourg, I went to the Prënzebierg in Pétange this afternoon. Shooting snow-covered landscapes has always been a bit of a challenge for me. With all the snow, pictures usually turn out grey and it’s difficult to get a decent composition going. I decided to try whether adding a bit of strobist gear would help. I also finally got around to trying the AC3 together with my PocketWizards. It came in very handy to control the manual power levels of the flash directly from the camera.

I’m not sure I want to do this again though, even water-resistant gear can only take so much molten snow…


I haven’t had much time to go out and take photographs lately, so most of what I’m shooting these days is made with my mobile phone’s camera whenever I happen to see something interesting. Here are some recent photos of  snow and frost in Luxembourg.

Wedding: Julie & Savio

I met Savio while I worked in P&T’s Téléboutique in Luxembourg city – my summer job for the last couple of years. I think he saw the slideshow from Martine and Mike’s wedding and showed them to Julie. They asked if I could take photos at their wedding, and once my schedule for my MA last summer had taken shape I could confirm that I’d be able to cover one last wedding during my time as a student – theirs.
Once more I asked Olivier to help me out as assistant and second shooter, and he did a great job. We started the day at Julie’s parents’ in Thionville. From there it was but a short drive to the lovely neo-apostolic church where they got married. This was the first non-catholic wedding that I’ve covered so I checked with the priest to make sure I’d be aware of the differences. After the moving service, a limousine picked up the newly-weds. We drove to Mondorf-les-Bains: the reception and the dinner were held at the Orangerie in the park. Having everything in one place like that made logistics a bit easier and meant that we could spend a bit more time for the couple photos.

In terms of lighting, I made use of the technique I first tried at the Southlands Beach Fashion Shoot, namely pushing three Speedlights to full power, and using the PocketWizards to sync at 1/500,double the 5DMkII sync speed. That way I got enough light to work in bright daylight (we had wonderful weather) without being at the sun’s mercy. The PocketWizards also came in handy for one of my favourite photos from the shoot (the one next to the river), where I was about 40 metres away from Savio and Julie, and the PWs together with the 3 flashes gave me both enough working distance (for composition) and brightness from the softbox which was about 4 metres away from them.

During the evening I gave Olivier one of the transceivers so that we could both trigger the flashes that we had set up in the Orangerie to support the ambient light. The reception and dinner were very entertaining. I’m glad that I was at the right place at the right time when Savio’s friends spontaneously decided to lift him off the ground :) During the dances I used a technique I learned from David Ziser: get one slaved flash behind the couple to create both a nice rim and some cool lighting on the floor. Olivier had to put some effort into that, since he had to be in the frame without showing up on the pictures.

I had a really great time at the wedding, and I hope I captured the ambience in the photographs! That was probably the last wedding I’ll cover. My time as a student is up and I’m moving on.

Dancing on Ice

I’ve pretty much finished work on my dissertation now, so I could take a day off when Coralie and Oliver came down to visit us in Canterbury. Together with David and Alison we drove to the Ice Bowl in Gillingham.

The Attack of the Were-Timberwolf Hybrid

Once I had read Aaron‘s whacky script I knew that I wanted to take part in the project to create this short film. It was a good opportunity to give filming something with an actual script a go. I used two Canon EOS 5D MkII cameras with the Canon EF 24-70mm 2.8L USM and the Canon EF 50mm 1.4 USM lenses. The sound was recorded with the Zoom H4N and a Rhode Stereo Videomic.
We filmed in various locations around Canterbury, such as Aaron’s kitchen, a quiet corner of the Templeman Library, the Monument Pub and Christchurch’s Augustine House. (We got kicked out of the latter though.)
When we were done I handed the files over to Aaron who took care of the editing.

Speedlinks July 2010

  • MediaStorm have posted their newest collection of projects worth watching.
  • FStoppers photographer Lee Morris pulled off an entire fashion shoot with his iPhone 3Gs and got some impressive results.
  • Tom A. Warner created a very cool video of lightning bolts in slow motion – 9000 fps!
  • On I’ve started a list of camera stores in and around Luxembourg. It’s far from complete but you might want to bookmark it for the next time you plan to buy a camera.
  • Strobist has blogged about the neat Strobox iPhone app, which allows you to draw lighting diagrams on the go.
  • Adelene Enersen has created a lovely series of baby photographs, in which she imagines what her daughter Mila dreams about when she takes a nap.
  • EOS Camera Movie Record allows you to capture 720p video on Canon cameras that have LiveView, like my trusty 40D, for instance.

Southlands Beach Fashion Shoot

[Update: Some people have asked about the editing of the ‘splash’ photo, so I’ve uploaded the original for comparison.]

I really liked Southlands Beach which Alison showed me when we were in Bermuda. I had a Fashion photography competition that I wanted to participate in while we were there, so I asked Alison to play the ‘local’ card and get in touch with one of the models she’s worked with before, Stephanie Wilkinson.

For most of the photographs I used three flashes. Two were used together with a shoot-through umbrella which Alison held on to to avoid it falling over. The third flash was used on its own as a kicker or sidelight and was safe on a tripod. Or so I thought.

The shoot went really great – until we got to the final location. The wind blew over the tripod with one of my flashes and a PocketWizard. The hotshoe foot of the latter snapped off, so tomorrow I’ll have to head over to the Flash Centre in London to get a replacement foot (they said they can fix it in time for my Eurostar to Luxembourg in the evening if I drop it off in the afternoon).

Sod’s law. I think I got quite lucky for the rest of the shoot anyway. The forecast had announced rain but it stayed dry, I got way too close to stepping on a Portuguese Man o’ War, and the light levels were just on the sweet spot for me to make use of the flashes at full power and a 1/500 sync speed whilst keeping a shallow depth of field.

Wedding: Jacky & Steve

Jacky and Steve’s wedding in September was the last one I covered in 2009, and oh boy, it was great to be there. Alison had come down to be my assistant for the day. We started the day with the couple shooting in the park in Colmar-Berg. It offers some gorgeous backdrops all along the shores of its lakes. On the technical side, I finally got to make proper use of the PocketWizards’ full potential. Their high sync-speed capabilities made it easier to balance the flashes against the full daylight and generally made using the lights more practical. The shoot in the park was a lot of fun, and the atmosphere just carried on right through the rest of the day.
The ceremony was in the town hall in Vichten. Their ceremonial room upstairs was very interesting in terms of lighting, the mix of indirect sunlight from the windows and artificial light sounded like it was going to be tricky, but it turned out to make for some great sidelight and colour contrast which gave the whole ceremony a very warm character.
The reception and dinner were back in Colmar-Berg. We had already briefly visited the area for some architectural elements in the couple shoot. The dinner hall was nice because it offered such an open space and a lot of room for the dance floor. I actually asked Alison to film Jacky and Steve’s first dance with her 5DMkII while I was taking photographs. I think the short clip makes for a nice moment in the slideshow. The evening was marked by some crazy games for the newlyweds and their guests and an all-round festive mood – definitely an awesome evening for a very cute couple.

Speedlinks June 2010

  • Alcohol under the microscope. presents a series of colourful abstract photographs of alcoholic drinks which ‘under a microscope reveal the molecules that make up our favourite tipples.’
  • Camera Odyssey. A waterproof Nikon camera travelled over 1000 miles through the ocean from Aruba to Florida. When it was found it was still functional and had even recorded some video footage along the way.
  • Canon Quickguides are small cheat sheets that document specific features of Canon equipment.
  • Sylights offers an online lightining diagram editor that allows photographers to share their lighting setups.
  • Pixlr is an online image editor with some worthwhile tools for when you need to work on an image but don’t have access to editing software.