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23
JUN
2018

Teaching Matters: Tips on Tutoring Conversation Skills to Adult ESL Students

“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” ―Tony Robbins (1960- ), American motivational speaker What does it mean to effectively tutor conversation skills to an English language learner? How can you make the most of your time – typically 60-120...
16
JUN
2018

Dwelling in Possibility: The Benefits of Intensive Reading for ESL Students

“A word is dead when it is said, some say. I say it just begins to live that day.” ―Emily Dickinson (1830-1886), American poet What are the benefits of intensive reading for ESL students? How can reading for pleasure spark teachable moments in the English classroom? Reading can...
05
JUN
2018

Teaching English on Skype: Practical Platform Advice for Novice Online ESL Tutors

“Don’t be afraid to make a mistake. But make sure you don’t make the same mistake twice.” —Akio Morita (1921–1999), former chairman Of Sony Corporation What are some of the advantages of teaching English on Skype? How can you, the English teacher, make the most of Skype as an...
02
JUN
2018

Why Not Create a Safer, One-Size-Fits-All “Global” Version of Compelling Conversations? (Part I)

“Only the educated are free.” —Epictetus (55-135), Greek philosopher Over the years, many English teachers have asked if I plan a “global” version of Compelling Conversations so it can be used everywhere, including closed countries like China, Iran, and Saudi Arabia. What does...
29
MAY
2018

Review: What Should Every College ESL Student Know?

“The most important thing we learn at school is the fact that the most important things can’t be learned at school.” —Haruki Murakami (1949–), Japanese author What should every ESL student know? Beats me. “One size fits all” philosophies often seem a bit strange to me. Can...
26
MAY
2018

Teaching Matters: Observing and Leading Class Discussions

“The true spirit of conversation consists in building on another man’s observation, not overturning it.” —Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton (1803–1873), British novelist/politician What do you do while students are having conversations or talking in pairs? Do you have a “formula” for...
22
MAY
2018

Worksheet: Imperatives vs Polite Requests in the Workplace

  “You cannot be really first-rate at your work if your work is all you are.” —Anna Quindlen (1953-), American Pulitzer Prize-winning author and journalist Style matters – especially when we talk with our co-workers, consumers, patients, and supervisors. English language...
19
MAY
2018

Teaching Matters: Avoiding Good Mistakes in Using Infographics

“Correlation is not causation but it sure is a hint.” – Edward Tufte (1942-), American Statistician and Professor We live in an age of big data, powerful algorithms and infographics. Significant decisions are being made daily based on data input, and adults –...
15
MAY
2018

Are Nominalizations ‘Zombie Nouns’?

 “Prose consists less and less of words chosen for the sake of their meaning, and more and more of phrases tacked together like the sections of a prefabricated hen-house.” –George Orwell (1903-1950), British Writer in Politics and the English Language English teachers often...
12
MAY
2018

Teaching Matters: Creating Student-Centered Materials for Your English Classroom

“Be curious, not judgemental.” —Walt Whitman (1819-1892), American poet What makes classroom materials “student-centered”? How do fluency-focused materials help create a livelier learning environment? While the web allows English teachers to individualize instruction to an...