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23
FEB
2017
Outdoor Date

Review: How to Have More Engaging Conversations in Everyday Life

“Confidence contributes more to a conversation than wit.” – Francois de La Rochefoucauld (1613-1680), French writer   How can we help English language learners in the U.S. have more long-lasting, compelling conversations with native speakers? Sometimes it can be difficult to...
03
NOV
2016
College students on campus

Making Introductions, Part 2: Small Talk

“A conversation can be easy. Just ask a question and then listen.” -Robert Bly (1926-), American poet and author   Previously on the blog, we discussed the importance of first impressions. A firm handshake goes a long way, but what happens afterward? How do we teach English...
27
OCT
2016
Shaking hands

Making Introductions, Part 1: Shaking Hands

“From small beginnings come great things.” – American proverb   First impressions matter.  The gateway to many compelling conversations remains the greeting. As the proverb says, you never get a second chance to make a first impression. However, breaking the ice can...
17
AUG
2016
Students studying

Teaching Matters: Prefix/Suffix Study

Embed from Getty Images   “First of all, there was a volcano of words, an eruption of words that Shakespeare had never used before that had never been used in the English language before. It’s astonishing. It pours out of him.” Stephen Jay Greenblatt, (1943 – )...
12
JUL
2016
Students in discussion

Teaching Matters: How to Add Student Voices to Classroom Discussions

“Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.” -Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936), British author and Nobel laureate This Teacher Edition Tuesday post, a weekly series based on ten teaching tips from the recently released Compelling American Conversations –...
25
NOV
2015
Who What When Post-it Notes

Using 5W/H Filter & Creating Longer, Better Conversations

  What is the 5W/H filter? Who can use this technique? Where can English students use the 5W/H filter in daily conversations? When can they use this method? Why do many journalists and managers use the 5W/H filter in their work? How can the 5W/H filter keep conversations...
15
NOV
2014
Two students in a discussion

Conversation Tip #9: Ask questions

Questions keep the conversation flowing   “Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers.” -Voltaire (1694-1778) French Enlightenment WriterAsking questions always generates more conversation; after all, an answer always follows. As mentioned before,...
08
NOV
2014

Conversation Tip #8: Engage in the surrounding world!

Immersion in literature, current events, arts stimulates conversation   “When you’re curious, you find lots of interesting things to do.” -Walt Disney (1901-1966) American business magnate, animatorAre your students sometimes unsure of what to talk about? Perhaps they...
18
OCT
2014

Conversation Tip #5: Search for common interests

Finding commonalities sparks conversations “Don’t walk behind me, I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me, I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.” -Albert Camus (1913-1960), French novelist and Nobel Prize winnerWe can learn a great deal...
01
JUL
2014

Creating Simple ESL Lesson Plans Around Top Ten Lists for Advanced English Classes

Advanced ESL/EFL classes benefit from making top ten lists “Share your knowledge. It’s a way to achieve immortality.” ―Tenzin Gyatso (1950-) 14th Dalai Lama Americans love to create, read, and discuss top ten lists. Newspapers and magazines use the simple format to summarize...