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Latest ESL articles for busy teachers:

Navigating Difficult Issues: Avoiding Pitfalls While Moving Forward

Navigating Difficult Issues: Avoiding Pitfalls While Moving Forward

Some topics invite more discussion than others and even conflict. This is actually good for discussion, that students have strong opinions on the topic and that they are willing to engage in defending their ideas. However, just because an issue is controversial and a discussion heated and even emotional does not mean it is a good discussion. A discussion should evoke interest and willingness to engage, ...
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Do We Really Have to Work Together? Discussion Groups and Dynamics

Do We Really Have to Work Together? Discussion Groups and Dynamics

Discussion groups and group work in general has become important and gained an increasingly dominant position in education over the past thirty years, especially in language classes. In ESL classes in particular it is very hard to conceive of a class being conducted in the more traditional language class manner of students sitting in rows, waiting to be called upon by the teacher to “perform,&rdqu ...
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What Do I Say to Her Now? Teaching How to Respond to a Peer

What Do I Say to Her Now? Teaching How to Respond to a Peer

Often class discussion stalls not because of the group dynamics and that the students don’t like their peers, but more because they simply don’t know what to say to each other in an academic discussion. And while they may chat away on a conversational topic such as their weekend plans and favorite music groups, they have more difficulty discussing an academic topic or contemporary issue such ...
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Virtual Debate: 7 Advantages of Online Discussions

Virtual Debate: 7 Advantages of Online Discussions

The ideas “online” and “discussion” seems an oxymoron to many, that engagement in discussion can occur with participants removed in time and place. How to facilitate such discussions is confusing to many teachers, and online discussion threads and chatrooms may be seen as a poor substitute for the “real” thing, an evil necessity of the online class. However, although ...
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Too Cool for School? The Pitfalls and Promise of Independent Online ESL Teaching

Too Cool for School? The Pitfalls and Promise of Independent Online ESL Teaching

For new online ESL teachers, there are basically two choices when it comes to deciding how you’ll work: you can join an online school and work for them, or you can market yourself and teach independently. There are obvious pros and cons to each, but for new online teachers (especially those without an existing client base, or with little or no classroom teaching experience) working for a school wi ...
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Different Strokes For Different Folks: 5 Tips For Tweaking Material To Suit Your Students

Different Strokes For Different Folks: 5 Tips For Tweaking Material To Suit Your Students

Every Intermediate Grammar class is the same, right? Not by a long shot. Even classes who have the same title and the same supposed skill level can be as different as night and day. So why is it that we think we can or should teach the exact same material to classes as diverse Abnigation and Dauntless? The best teachers tailor the material they teach to the unique temperament, personality, and interests ...
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Let"s Circle Up: 12 Ñlassroom Tips for Making the Most of Large Class Numbers

Let’s Circle Up: 12 Ñlassroom Tips for Making the Most of Large Class Numbers

While most ESL classes tend to be on the smaller side, it isn’t always the case. Whether it’s because your school is large or there are just a particularly high number of students at the level you teach, you will at times find yourself teaching larger classes. And with that larger class come unique struggles. Here are some typical challenges that teachers of large classes are likely to encou ...
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