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Latest ESL articles for busy teachers:

The Whole Enchilada: How to Elicit Full Sentence Answers

The Whole Enchilada: How to Elicit Full Sentence Answers

If asked, more than a handful of my students would tell you that I’m something of a pain in the behind. Why might this be? I’m a tolerant and reasonable guy, well-prepared and professional, and always ready to laugh. But I have a habit which some of my students just hate: I insist on receiving full-sentence answers all the time, whether it’s necessary or not. Thousands of young ESL lea ...
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Breaking out of the Mold: 3 Times You Shouldn"t Just Do Things the Same Old Ways

Breaking out of the Mold: 3 Times You Shouldn’t Just Do Things the Same Old Ways

Five paragraphs. Anyone who has taken a high school English class knows what five paragraphs means: an introduction, three examples, and a conclusion. The form is great for writers who are just starting out. It has organization, flow, and fulfills the reader’s expectation. That’s why it’s taught in just about every high school English class and every intermediate ESL writing class. But ...
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9 Ways to Get the Most from Your Board

9 Ways to Get the Most from Your Board

Most new teachers I have worked with find their board a perplexing challenge. Be it black or white, it’s a ubiquitous piece of classroom furniture, but we have almost total freedom when it comes to using this valuable resource. Many teachers have trouble with this, and here are some reasons why: We don’t exploit the board fully. This is often because we use it too little, or in a haphazar ...
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Sit, Snack or Snooze? Getting the Best from Your Break Times

Sit, Snack or Snooze? Getting the Best from Your Break Times

The lesson comes to an end, and your students make their way out. Unless your employer is truly unreasonable, there will now be some kind of break, hopefully ten or fifteen minutes to recharge your batteries before the next challenge. I’ve been giving some thought to how I might best use this time, and here are my suggestions: Learn 5 Simple Ideas for Getting the Best from Your Break Times ...
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From Boring to Bravo: Top Six Fun and Fabulous Test Preparation Activities

From Boring to Bravo: Top Six Fun and Fabulous Test Preparation Activities

For many ESL students, the thought of the TOIC or TOEFL exam is an ever present fear. The scores they achieve on those tests can make or break their educational goals, as far as they are concerned, and in many cases they are right. Preparing students for these tests is essential, therefore, but it can also be boring. Fortunately, learning what they need to know for the test doesn’t have to put stu ...
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16 Fantastic Ways to Start a Preschool English Class

16 Fantastic Ways to Start a Preschool English Class

Preschool English as a second language classes can be the most fun of classes to teach while at the same time being the most challenging. Not only do preschool ESL teachers have to teach language, they also have to teach general knowledge and appropriate social behavior to their students. The good news is that almost any activity a preschool teacher would do in an English only classroom will also teach ...
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Uh…Oh…Um…: How to Teach Students to Hesitate the Right Way

Uh…Oh…Um…: How to Teach Students to Hesitate the Right Way

Native speakers know just the right words to say whenever they want to say them, right? Wrong! It’s not just second language speakers that hesitate in their speech, trying to figure out just what they want to say when they want to say it. If all of our brains worked as fast as our mouths do, there would be no need for hesitation devices in any language. The truth of the matter is that every langua ...
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