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Latest ESL articles for busy teachers:

How to Create Your Own Games for ESL Classes

How to Create Your Own Games for ESL Classes

The idea of creating your own games for ESL classes might seem intimidating. After all, don’t professionals work hard to make games that people will love and want to play? And don’t they get training to help them and the pay to prove what they are worth? But games for your ESL class don’t have to meet the needs of best sellers. They just have to accomplish two things: help your student ...
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Don"t Feel Guilty about Actually Using the Student Textbook

Don’t Feel Guilty about Actually Using the Student Textbook

There has been a movement in recent years against actually using of the student textbook in class. This may be in part because students can’t or won’t read textbooks, especially ones with highly technical or specialized vocabulary, such as science texts. But the trend has spread to the humanities, also, even in classes where reading is part of the content actually being taught. As part of th ...
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The Mighty Pen: How to Encourage Handwriting in ESL Classes

The Mighty Pen: How to Encourage Handwriting in ESL Classes

The jury has deliberated and their decision is clear: the ability to write with a pen is absolutely vital, encourages brain growth, aids memory and raises grades. For me, the debate is over, so I’m just going to vociferously encourage that you promote handwriting in your classroom. This doesn’t mean that we’re anti-technology, though some of our students will definitely balk at the re ...
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The Limitations of “Creative” Teaching Methods: Dancing, Painting Pictures, and Writing Poetry?

The Limitations of “Creative” Teaching Methods: Dancing, Painting Pictures, and Writing Poetry?

There has been a focus and interest on more “creative” teaching methods in the classroom for the past forty years or so, since the sixties and seventies with their myriad social changes, (a time period really so long ago now as to beg the question of how creative this teaching really is). I just attended an “accelerated learning” workshop at the northern California community coll ...
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ESL Fanatics: 7 Pop Culture Elements You Can Use to Engage Your Students

ESL Fanatics: 7 Pop Culture Elements You Can Use to Engage Your Students

Viral videos, snarky memes, and a cat that is so grumpy it puts all other crabby felines to shame, these are but a few of the pop culture elements that make millions drop what they’re doing to check out the latest craze. Why are these things so addictive? What makes them so irresistible? What is Pop Culture? Pop Culture is defined as the set of elements and phenomena that represent the mainstream ...
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Getting Scrappy: 7 No-prep Games That Only Need Some Scrap Paper

Getting Scrappy: 7 No-prep Games That Only Need Some Scrap Paper

Are you looking for a no-prep activity that doesn’t require special materials? Try one of these language exercises that need nothing more than some scrap paper. Try These 7 No-prep Games That Only Need Some Scrap Paper 1 Hangman As any elementary school student can tell you, hangman is the game to play when you have a few minutes to fill. And the benefits for ESL students are greater tha ...
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United Nations: A Fantastic ESL Negotiation Exercise

United Nations: A Fantastic ESL Negotiation Exercise

A few years ago, I found the need for an ESL discussion task which was fun, flexible, suitable for almost any level, and dependent on the minimum of resources. I ended up creating United Nations, perhaps my most successful exercise. It is a negotiation and strategy game which produces a ton of language with minimal set-up, practices all four skills, deals with interesting issues of culture, identity and ...
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