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19
MAY
2018

Teaching Matters: Avoiding Good Mistakes in Using Infographics

Correlation is not causation but it sure is a hint – Edward Tufte (1942-), American Statistician and Professor We live in an age of big data, powerful algorithms and infographics. Significant decisions are being made daily based on data input, and adults – including our studen...
13
APR
2018

Teaching Matters: The Art of Teaching “Unplugged”

  “The art and science of asking questions is the source of all knowledge.” – Thomas Berger (1924-2014), American novelist What is teaching “unplugged?” How does this approach enhance language learning for students? What kinds of activities can English teachers implement...
27
MAR
2018

The Value of Playback: Recording Student Presentations and Making Good Mistakes in Real-time

“Don’t sweat the small stuff, and it’s all small stuff.” – Dr. Richard Carlson (1956-), bestselling American author and psychologist Creating a classroom atmosphere of tolerance, understanding, and constructive criticism remains a constant challenge. How do you help your ESL...
26
DEC
2017

Worksheet: Express Opinions and Improve Critical Thinking with Consumer Product Reviews

“A man’s most valuable trait is a judicious sense of what not to believe.” — Euripides (485-406 B.C.E.), ancient Greek playwright Why use consumer product reviews as a teaching tool? How does this exercise benefit English language learners? Which skillsets are strengthened as a...
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 – )...