Is Your Content Challenging Your Learners? March 10, 2016 - Sara Davila Learning Without Progress I worked overseas for a number of years in a variety of settings, spending the longest time in Korea with students at almost every point on their language learning journey from kindergarten to university. One thing that was always fascinating to me was how much time learners devoted to language […]
How the International Phonetic Alphabet
Can Help Us Teach Pronunciation
February 4, 2016 - Professor John Caine SUNY, Suffolk Community College How can we teach students to begin mastering the art of pronunciation autonomously? There is a very helpful tool that can be utilized in classrooms, one we may not be familiar with or may not have thought of using: the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). This resource is especially […]
J is for Jokes February 4, 2016 - Dr. Ken Beatty It felt like hours. The joke my student was trying to tell perhaps took no more than three or four minutes, but it involved many clarification moves on my part (“I’m sorry, do you mean …?”) and repair moves on his part, hesitating, saying the wrong word, and then backing up to […]
Picture It: A Drawing-Based Pre-Reading Activity February 4, 2016 -   Sandra Heyer In the last newsletter, I shared drawing tips that make it possible for any teacher, even one as inept at drawing as I am, to convey meaning with simple sketches on the board. In this newsletter, I’ll share some ideas for making drawings the centerpiece of a pre-reading activity. Many textbooks at the […]
Communicating Performance:
What does “intermediate” mean to you?
February 4, 2016 -  Sara Davila A few years ago, one of my colleagues asked to come observe one of my sophomore conversation classes. I’d been talking in the break room about work I was doing to incorporate more collaborative task-based activities with a truncated, or completely eliminated, presentation. Basically, the students walked in, got into their learning teams, […]
Teaching Consonant Blends, Digraphs, and Trigraphs January 3, 2016 - Professor John Caine SUNY, Suffolk Community College More than any other request, my students ask me to help them with pronunciation and vocabulary. After my first few semesters, I realized that a key factor in helping them was to start with consonant blends. A consonant blend (also called a consonant cluster) is a group of […]
I is for Intensive Reading January 3, 2016 - Dr. Ken Beatty Many teachers cringe at their early memories of learning a language through the teacher-centered grammar-translation method. Rule driven, with a focus on accuracy over fluency, it’s the oldest formal methodology, dating back to the teaching of Latin in the 1500s. Over the centuries, other languages were taught in the same way, and […]
Drawing in the Classroom: It’s Easier than You Think January 3, 2016 - Sandra Heyer When I first began teaching beginning-level English, I was surprised at how many times I found myself at the board, trying to draw a picture for my students. The key word here is trying. I am one of those unfortunate people who literally can’t draw a straight line. But while I had the […]
“Webinars – a wonderful substitute for live seminars”
Pearson Professional Development Webinar Series
December 7, 2015 - In October 2015, U.S. Pearson ELT conducted an idea-packed Professional Development Webinar series, consisting of 13 one-hour sessions. The goal of the webinar series was to provide thousands of instructors and administrators around the world with multiple opportunities to learn from English-language teaching experts. Topics included: “Exploring the Potential of the Flipped Classroom” by Robyn […]
H is for Hypotheses December 7, 2015 -   Dr. Ken Beatty “I’m a researcher! Why has no one ever told me?” Teachers are inherently researchers, driven by natural curiosity to understand their students’ problems and to consider ways of addressing them. Sometimes they apply old approaches and methods that may have been key to their own first or second language acquisition. Sometimes […]
Literature in ELT: Navigating a Sea of Choices December 7, 2015 - Sybil Marcus This content first appeared on the TESOL Blog. © TESOL International Association. Reprinted with permission. When I first started using literature in my ESL/EFL classes, I thought all I had to do was teach the stories I enjoyed reading.   But I soon found that even my favorite stories wouldn’t always work in class.  Sometimes, they lacked […]
Australia’s Largest Provider of Education and Training
Uses Versant English Placement Test
December 7, 2015 - Navitas is a leading global education provider that offers an extensive range of educational services to students and professionals, including university programs, creative-media education, professional education, English language training, and settlement services. University Programs is the largest division of Navitas; it prepares international and domestic students for tertiary study through pre-university and university pathway programs. […]
Did You Miss Our Professional Development Series? November 2, 2015 - If you missed our two weeks of Professional Development Webinars, no worries. We have recorded every session for your convenience. Just register and login in to watch practical and informative sessions given by experts in the field of English language teaching including Dr. Ken Beatty, Carol Numrich, Christina Cavage, Sarah Lynn, and Tania Pattison just […]
G is for Games November 2, 2015 - Dr. Ken Beatty “Why are they playing games and not learning something?” Games are among the most misunderstood pedagogical strategies in the teachers’ toolbox. Parents, other teachers, and administrators can misinterpret students’ enjoyment of games as having fun at the expense of more serious and productive learning. But the opposite is often the case; the […]
Towards the Critique: Teaching EAP Students to Be Critical November 2, 2015 - Tania Pattison For EAP (English for Academic Purposes) teachers, it may not be enough these days to teach standard essays and research skills. In order to prepare students adequately for their future studies, EAP teachers at CEFR levels B2 and above need to go further. Recent corpora-based research has shed new light on the genres […]
F is for Frequency October 4, 2015 - Dr. Ken Beatty Here are two key questions related to frequency: What are the most frequent words in the English language? and How frequently do we need to be exposed to new words in order to acquire them? To answer the first question, certain words in every language appear more often than others. A common […]
Maximum Benefit, Minimal Prep:
A Quick Song-Based Lesson
October 4, 2015 - Sandra Heyer Song lyrics are sometimes difficult for English language learners to comprehend; in fact, some song lyrics are difficult for even native speakers of English to comprehend! (Consider, for example, this line from a Credence Clearwater Revival song: There’s a bad moon on the rise, famously misheard as There’s a bathroom on the right.) […]
Literature in ELT: Who’s Afraid of Literature? September 12, 2015 - Sybil Marcus This content first appeared on the TESOL Blog. © TESOL International Association. Reprinted with permission. I admit it—I’m passionate about using literature, especially short stories, for language learning. As I result, I take every opportunity to talk about this to teachers of intermediate to advanced-level ELLs. In a nutshell, I think literature is a great teaching tool […]
E is for Error September 12, 2015 - Dr. Ken Beatty Coming home one afternoon from my job teaching English to university students, I found my four-year-old son prancing around the kitchen with a beach towel cape around his neck, fighting evil superheroes with a wooden spoon. “Spencer,” I said, “How was your day?” “Good,” he replied. “I swimmed with Mommy.” “No!” I […]
Work Skills: Homophones September 12, 2015 -