My Favorite Teaching Tip

Stacy Hagen_NEWStacy Hagen

The best teaching tip I ever got came from a TESOL presentation long ago. A very perceptive teacher-trainer, whose name I no longer have, suggested that every time we ask a question — no matter the question — we silently count to 10 before moving on. Ten seconds sounded like a long time to me, but when I got back to class, I decided to give it a try. It didn’t take long to see the wisdom in his advice. Continue reading

Roll Your Way to Grammar Fun


Would your students enjoy working on editing skills via a board game? Are you interested in an activity that takes just minutes to prepare? Here’s a lively and collaborative activity that works with any of the Check your knowledge exercises found in all three levels of the Azar-Hagen Grammar series.

Materials: A game board (attached) and dice.

1. Choose any Check your knowledge exercise from the text you are working in. These exercises are usually toward the end of the chapter.

2. Students work in groups of three or four. You need a game board and one die for each group.

3. To prepare the board, randomly write the number for the sentences (not the sentence) in the blank squares. If there are 12 sentences, you will have 12 marked squares. Skip the example sentences. (You can mark one board and then make photocopies, or make each board different for every group.)

4. Each student needs his/her own token: a coin, a paper clip, etc.

5. The first student rolls the die and moves accordingly.

6. When students land on a sentence number, they have to give the correction for the corresponding sentence in the book. The other students in the group can decide if it is correct or not. If they are unsure, they can check with the teacher.

7. If the answer is incorrect, the student goes back 2 spaces. (When this happens, the student skips any instructions on the square two spaces back.)

8. Play continues until one student reaches You Win! (You can decide if they need to roll the exact number or not to get to the final space.)

9. As a follow-up, the teacher can review the more difficult or challenging sentences.

A wealth of activities to supplement the texts can be found at: Materials

Board game template_Final

Celebrate Grammar Day with Stacy Hagen

Stacy_HagenStacy Hagen

Join us on March 4th at 3:00 pm (EST) to celebrate Grammar Day with Stacy Hagen. She will discuss the critical role of listening in the grammar classroom. Click here to register.

Of the four language skills taught in the classroom, listening has received the least attention, yet its role is vital. She will talk about recent research in listening, discuss the importance of teaching decoding skills, and show why listening belongs at all levels of a grammar curriculum.

Stacy Hagen is co-author of the Azar-Hagen Grammar series. She is an experienced ESL teacher and administrator, and the creator of EnglishwithStacy, a YouTube channel on spoken English.

Click here to learn more about this exciting professional development webinar.

Do you want to see a sample of the new fourth edition of Basic English Grammar? If so, click here.


Word Stress in Sentences

Stacy Hagen Stacy Hagen

Word Stress in Sentences 

Many words in English are hard to hear because they are unstressed. Yet unstressed words are critical to understanding, and are ones that are focused on in grammar classes. 

In this video lesson, Stacy Hagen explains in easy-to-understand language why some words are stressed and others are unstressed, and follows up with important listening practice. …

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