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05
MAY
2009

Finding more practical materials at CATESOL

Time flies. Or, as the Romans used to say, “tempus fugit.” Two weeks after the CATESOL 2009 convention in Pasadena ended, I’m finally having a chance to sort through the numerous books, doublecheck website leads, and evaluate materials that I picked up. Sometimes “the eyes are...
26
DEC
2008

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

Tough question! Context, as ever, matters. Looking for a clear, detailed chart to evaluate the speaking skills of your students? Check out the practical chart with ten categories for listening comprehension and speaking skills developed by the United States Office of Refugee...
15
JUN
2008

Make time for conversations – in and outside of English classrooms

The art of conversation, once considered the sign of a civilized individual, seems less common today.  Yet I treasure the moments of sharing experiences, collecting news, and exchanging ideas.  I make a point of knowing my neighbors, allowing casual greetings to become long...
18
JUL
2012

Why We Wrote Compelling American Conversations for Intermediate American English Language Learners

“America needs new immigrants to love and cherish it.” – Eric Hoffer (1902-1983), American writer and longshoreman Compelling American Conversations- Vietnam: Speaking Exercises for Vietnamese Learners of Englishand Quotations for intermediate American English...
14
JUL
2014

How Do You Teach the Difference Between “Make” and “Do” in Your English Classrooms?

Distinguishing the difference between make and do in English classrooms “Do all you can to make your dreams come true.” ―Joel Osteen (1960- ) American preacher How do you teach the difference between “make” and “do” in your English classrooms? What do you do? What do...
15
JUN
2008

Can I turn that paper in next week?

Accommodating English teachers, students and the need for more time Sometimes time just seems to escape, and we fall behind. Despite the alarm clocks, cell phones, and wrist watches, and many labor-saving appliances, the hours just seem to rush by, the work piles remain, and time...
20
JUL
2014

How do you teach the difference between “a” and “the” during conversation class?

Helping English language learners distinguish articles remains important in advanced ESL and English conversation classes “Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.” ―Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890) Dutch painter Does it make sense to emphasize the...
02
JUL
2014

Volume Matters – Even in Personal Conversations

Why volume matters, especially in difficult student-teacher conferences “Communication leads to community, that is, to understanding, intimacy and mutual valuing.” ―Rollo May (1909-1994) American author and psychologist Student conferences, especially those involving shy students...
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...
28
JUN
2014

Learning by Doing and Making “Good Mistakes” in English classes

Why English learners must practice and make “good mistakes” in order to grow “A man’s mistakes are his portals of discovery.” ―James Joyce (1882-1941), Irish novelist and poet How can English language teachers create a rigorous, tolerant and focused classroom...