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03
MAY
2018
Shakespeare used plural pronouns too

Is “They” Okay? Is it okay to use “they” for a singular pronoun of unknown gender?

‘Chandos’ Portrait of Shakespeare in the National Portrait Gallery, London “There’s not a man I meet but doth salute me As if I were their well-acquainted friend.” Shakespeare’s A Comedy of Errors, Act IV, Scene 3: William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British playwright...
26
JUN
2014

Proceed with Caution: Gender-Neutral and Plural Pronouns

How to approach pronouns in English class “The world is still a weird place, despite my efforts to make clear and perfect sense of it.” ―Hunter S. Thompson (1937-2005) American journalist How unfortunate it is that English has no gender-neutral pronoun, one to use when saying “he...
23
MAR
2014

Savvy Tips to Score Higher on the TOEFL iBT Speaking Section

What do you do with a problem like the TOEFL iBT test? For worse or for better, the TOEFL test remains the standard assessment of English for international students planning to attend American colleges and universities. As a result, many international ESOL (English Speakers of...
18
DEC
2009

What is your word of the year for 2009?

The New Oxford Dictionary chose "unfriend" as its word of the year, but that clever choice is not the first, only, or last word. This excellent article from Ruth Walker's outstanding...
21
JUN
2009

Standardized Exams: Ends or Means?

The main focus of language programs, especially in high schools, should be helping students develop authentic language skills so they can actually read, write, listen, and speak English - both inside and outside the classrooms and away from multiple choice exams.
18
JUL
2008

What is a lifequake? Is that a real word?

Earthquakes remain a concern for people living in many places, including my home in Southern California. This awareness, and fear of sudden shaking and buildings falling, enters into many conversations. I recently read a wonderful term and vocabulary word: lifequake. What does it...
15
JUN
2008

Choosing to speak English opens doors

As ESL and EFL teachers, we should encourage all English language learners! “A good teacher can inspire hope, ignite the imagination, and instill a love of learning.” -Brad Henry (1963- ), former Governor of Oklahoma Our students have chosen to speak English because...