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02
SEP
2018

Savvy ESL Book Recommendations for Teachers of American Immigrants, Canadian Refugees, and International Students

  “What we know is a drop; what we don’t know is an ocean.” —Isaac Newton (1643-1727), English physicist    Do you teach new American immigrants, refugees and international students of English? Are you seeking fresh English as a second language (ESL) book...
30
AUG
2018

Savvy Book Recommendations for New English Teachers Going Abroad

“No art or learning is to be pursued halfheartedly…and any art worth learning will certainly reward more or less generously the effort made to study it.” —Murasaki Shikibu (c. 973-1014), Japanese author, The Tale of Genji   Looking for some book recommendations to...
22
JUL
2018

Guest Post: What are the 6 Principles for Teaching English as a Second Language?

“More important than the curriculum is the question of the methods of teaching and the spirit in which the teaching is given.”  —Bertrand Russell (1872-1970), British philosopher and 1950 Nobel Prize winner in Literature What are the most important English as a Second Language...
19
JUL
2018

Tutoring Ethics: More Dos and Taboos for Novice English Tutors

  “Good judgement comes from experience, and often experience comes from bad judgment.” —Rita Mae Brown (1944-), American writer and activist   What are some common ethical issues that arise for private English language tutors? How are they supposed to respond? What...
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...