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20
JUL
2017

Review: Balancing Fluency and Accuracy Activities in the Classroom

“Everything becomes a little different as soon as it is spoken out loud.”  —Hermann Hesse (1877-1962), German novelist and 1946 Nobel Prize winner   What’s the difference between speaking English fluently and speaking accurately? Which one takes priority in the classroom?...
20
JUN
2017
Eric Roth and Teresa Nguyen

Now available: Listen to Compelling Conversations Vietnam on ESL Garage!

    “One of the secrets to life is to make stepping stones out of stumbling blocks.” —Jack Penn (1909-1996), South African plastic surgeon, sculptor and author Teachers of Vietnamese English language learners: have you tried using Compelling Conversations – Vietnam with your...
14
JAN
2017
Book Bookcase Library Reading Research School Concept

The Importance of the Academic Word List

“One forgets words as one forgets names. One’s vocabulary needs constant fertilizing or it will die.” – Evelyn Waugh (1903-1966), British author and journalist   What is the Academic Word List? Why does it matter? How can it help English language learners...
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 – )...
05
JUL
2016
Man tired and frustrated

Teaching Matters: Discussing Stress in the Classroom

“People who want to do everything all at once generally don’t get anything done.” —Jerry Brown, Governor of California This Teacher Edition Tuesday post, a weekly series based on ten teaching tips from the recently released Compelling American Conversations – Teacher Edition,...
14
JUN
2016
Hands of young potter

Teaching Phrasal Verbs – Fun with Take and Make

“Make change your friend.” – Bill Clinton (1946-), 42nd President of the United States Part of Teacher Edition Tuesday, a weekly series based on ten teaching tips from the recently released Compelling American Conversations – Teacher Edition! “Take” and “make”...
20
MAR
2016
Three students talking

Context Matters with Conversation Idioms

“Confidence contributes more to conversation than wit.” ~Francois de La Rochefoucauld (1613-1680), French writer   Conversation styles are wonderfully varied. Just as one size never truly fits all, one conversational approach may not be appropriate depending on...
10
MAR
2016
Four female students

How Do You Use Compelling American Conversations in Multilevel ESL Classes?

“People have one thing in common: they are all different.” ~Robert Zend (1929-1985), American writer   Compelling American Conversations provides an invaluable resource for teachers in the common situation of teaching multilevel adult ESL classes with ongoing enrollment. ESL...