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How much do you really know about laminating? And do you laminate your own materials—or expect an office assistant to do it for you?

Laminating protects your cutting-edge lesson materials against humidity, mould, crumpling, students’ sticky fingers, insects, mice, hunger-crazed teachers, etc.

Laminating machines are available in pouch or roll varieties. There are also hot and cold laminators. Most schools will have a hot pouch laminator. Cheap machines can cause faulty lamination, eg bubbles. This is the type normally bought by English language schools.

How it works

Your sheet of paper or card is put inside a sleeve of transparent heat-sensitive plastic film. This is then placed in the in-tray of a laminating machine and pulled through its heater and rollers. The plastic is heated almost to melting point and pressed by the rollers until sealed. The sealed document is then ejected into the out-tray. (See diagram below.)

Tip: You can also use this paragraph for teaching the present passive.

Laminating ideas

Now you know how to do it, you are probably looking around for things to laminate. Here are some suggestions:

  • hilarious essays by students
  • officious memos from senior teachers, etc
  • desperate job application letters/CVs
  • photocopied body parts
  • pictures of the office party (eg DOS with hand up marketing officer’s skirt)
  • articles on low pay, the dangers of working while sick, and so on
  • addresses, phone numbers and salary rates of rival schools
  • picture of school owner, so that you can recognize her when she turns up unexpectedly.

For more information, contact the IAWAFL Lamination Special Interest Group (LamSIG).