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Latest ESL articles for busy teachers:

We Should Talk: More Difficult Conversations with Students and Strategies to Address Them

We Should Talk: More Difficult Conversations with Students and Strategies to Address Them

Most of us hate the phrase “We should talk,” both saying and hearing it, as it signals the opening of a difficult conversation. Most of us would do anything to avoid the conversation, on other side. When we are the ones who need to initiate the conversation, we might try first limiting contact with the other party, ignoring the offending behavior, “dropping hints” or trying to st ...
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She Was Succeeded? She Was Successful? Teaching Self-Editing for Word Form

She Was Succeeded? She Was Successful? Teaching Self-Editing for Word Form

One of the most troublesome issues I’ve found in teaching English as a Second Language is addressing mistakes in word form. By “word form,” as I’m using it here, I mean mistakes in choosing the correct “part of speech”: using the verb form for the adjective, for example, or putting a noun ending on a verb. For example, a common error in word form is “She was suc ...
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Being the Best You: 4 Tips for Harnessing Your True Teacher Potential

Being the Best You: 4 Tips for Harnessing Your True Teacher Potential

Let’s face it. None of us become a teacher because we have nothing better to do. We become teachers because we love working with students, because we get a thrill from seeing people learn and succeed, because we love language and we want to share that language with others, and many other noble reasons. With these great ideals in place from the start, how is it then that we fail to live up to our o ...
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Keeping It Real: 7 Places to Start in Choosing the Right Realia for Your Students

Keeping It Real: 7 Places to Start in Choosing the Right Realia for Your Students

There is no doubt that every ESL class is different. Different students. Different skills. Different backgrounds. Different interests. But there is also no doubt that all ESL classes have one thing in common – a need to use real language in the classroom. You can bring real language into your class in several ways. One of those ways is by using realia for reading activities. Realia is real life ma ...
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Sustainability in the ESL Classroom: The Antarctic Development Debate

Sustainability in the ESL Classroom: The Antarctic Development Debate

Are your students as environmentally aware as mine? Media attention and formal education has ensured that the groups I work with are, at the very least, fairly well aware of the world’s key environmental issues. By the time they move into upper-intermediate level classes, and often before, they have the requisite vocabulary to discuss climate change, global warming and pollution in some detail. On ...
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How Do I Grade “Attendance and Participation”? Assessing Classroom Behavior

How Do I Grade “Attendance and Participation”? Assessing Classroom Behavior

A part of the assessment of almost any class is “attendance and participation,” or similar wording, referring, in general, to how often the student attended class and how he or she behaved while in class. The relative importance of attendance and participation depends mostly on the level and skill being taught in the class. Again, generally speaking, beginning classes are weighted more heavi ...
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Beyond “I Went to the Store. I Bought Bread”: Teaching Writing and Self-editing for Advanced Sentence Structure

Beyond “I Went to the Store. I Bought Bread”: Teaching Writing and Self-editing for Advanced Sentence Structure

There are a number of issues in teaching academic writing and how it differs from the conversational register, or variety, of English which students are more used to. Academic writing has different word choices related to more complex, academic, and technical texts, for example. The patterns of organization between the conversational and academic are also different, with conversational patterns tending ...
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