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Seeing the World Through Photographs (again): Photo Exercises for the English Classroom

“When you look at my pictures you are seeing my life.” ―Douglas Kirkland (1934-), American photographer Photographs capture moments, inform viewers, and start conversations. In last week’s blog post, we discussed how street photography documents moments and events without the...
college students discussing project on laptop in classroom

Do you use Teachers Pay Teachers Yet?

“They know enough who know how to learn” – Henry Adams (1838-1918), historian Where do millions of dedicated teachers find affordable, readymade lessons? What if you could reap real benefits from all of your original supplementary classroom materials? Why haven’t we done this...
Happy students waving international flags

Teaching Matters: What Are Reasonable Standards for Listening Comprehension and Speaking Skills for ESL Students?

“Our progress as a nation can be no swifter than our progress in education.” ~John F. Kennedy (1917-1963), 35th President of the U.S.   Tough question! Context, as ever, matters. Are you going into a new semester of class looking for a clear, detailed chart to...

Teaching Themes Emerge at CATESOL: Use Technology To Meet Student Needs

Several other CATESOL presenters also lead workshops and shared materials and techniques to incorporate the internet, radio, and other authentic materials into ESL classrooms. While few other presenters used the word “democratic”, many other ESL professionals noted the need to be...

Worksheet – or Cheat Sheet – for English Teachers to Observe Conversations and Lead Class Discussions

Many English teachers, especially novice ESL instructors, talk more than ideal - and allow their English students to talk too little. Ironically, many ESL instructors make this "good mistake" because they are so dedicated. What, after all, are they supposed to do while students...

Teaching Interview Skills Vital for Adult ESL, University Students

How can English teachers encourage adult and university students to expand their language skills and improve their employment opportunities in a difficult economic climate? Personally, I’ve slightly modified my oral skills course this semester to provide greater emphasis on...

Do you match? How do you know? Bringing Realism to Relationship discussions in ESL Classrooms

1. Why do (did) you want to get married? 2. Do (did) you have a checklist of qualities for a potential spouse? 3. What are the three main qualifications on your checklist? Partner? Provider? Lover? Friend? 4. When did you fall in love? Did one person fall first? Who? 5. How did...

What are you doing differently this semester in your ESL class?

What are you doing differently this semester in your English class? As a new semester begins, I face the familiar task – and pleasure – of selecting new materials and creating new forms for my oral skills class. One goal is to have students use the internet more;...