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Latest ESL articles for busy teachers:

Keep Their Eye on the Prize: 5 Visual Aids You Should Be Using in Your ESL Classroom

Keep Their Eye on the Prize: 5 Visual Aids You Should Be Using in Your ESL Classroom

No other class benefits from visual aids more than a language class. If a picture is worth a thousand words, including the right visuals for your students to look at can be the avenue to thousands of English words and skills. Plus, visuals bring understanding while bypassing the language centers of the brain, so they are perfect for students who are struggling to achieve fluency in English. Visual aids ...
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How to Nitpick Your Own Work: Self-Editing for 10 Common Errors

How to Nitpick Your Own Work: Self-Editing for 10 Common Errors

Teachers spend a lot of time marking students’ work. Indeed, some would say teachers “nitpick" work, or look at work too closely for errors. However, students cannot depend on their teachers forever to check their work before they submit it to a potential employer, newsletter, government agency, etc. Eventually, students have to take responsibility to self-edit. While teachers will not alway ...
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Not All Responses Are Equal: Teaching Students to Wrap Up Unproductive Discussions (and Move Forward)

Not All Responses Are Equal: Teaching Students to Wrap Up Unproductive Discussions (and Move Forward)

Some classes are so quiet and unresponsive to each other that the teacher will greet any form of interaction with relief and encouragement. Certainly when students begin to open up with each other and exchange ideas, they should be encouraged. In a democratic culture with a value of freedom of expression, the tradition also is to treat everyone’s speech as sacred and insightful. This is not to say ...
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Uh, D"yuh Wannuh Cupuh Coffee? The “Schwa” Sound and Common Phrases

Uh, D’yuh Wannuh Cupuh Coffee? The “Schwa” Sound and Common Phrases

You can’t speak American English without knowing the schwa sound. The schwa sounds approximately like “uh” in the phrases “uh-huh” and “huh-uh.” It is transcribed in the phonetic alphabet as an upside down “e.” (ə) The schwa is important to English because of the stress pattern of English, called by poets “iambic,” a series of stres ...
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This Class ####%!$ Stinks! Relating to Students Who Show Blatant Disrespect

This Class ####%!$ Stinks! Relating to Students Who Show Blatant Disrespect

Most students, especially adult students, make at least a pretense of civility in the classroom, even if they don’t feel it. The least enthusiastic students usually come into class, take out their materials, and participate even if they make it clear that the respect for the learning process is mainly for show for the purposes of getting a grade. Of course they generally are not “favorite&rd ...
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Creating a Happy, Healthy Classroom: 7 Tips to Make It Work

Creating a Happy, Healthy Classroom: 7 Tips to Make It Work

Every teacher wants a pleasant, enjoyable classroom. Students do, too. But the perfect classroom doesn’t come without a little work. Here are seven ways you can make sure your classroom is ready to be the educational haven you want it to be. 7 Tips for Making Your Classroom Happy and Healthy 1 Be Prepared If you want your classroom to run smoothly, it’s essential that you be prepar ...
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Survival English: 5 Tips on Where to Start with Absolute Beginners

Survival English: 5 Tips on Where to Start with Absolute Beginners

I remember going into a level one classroom one semester with certain expectations in mind. Every time I had taught that class, students had some knowledge of English vocabulary even if they didn’t know any grammar, and they were able to understand instructions when I taught. This time, I had a class of three, and none of my students knew a thing about English. They didn’t understand instruc ...
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