Cambridge University Press is hosting a panel for grammar week in March 2021, and we’ve been asked to come up with questions to explore with colleagues. I know exactly which question I want to ask. How do I move grammar practice into students’ meaningful use? After decades of […]
Here is a drawing-and-guessing activity from our new book, 60 Kinesthetic Grammar Activities (Alphabet Publishing) that gives students an opportunity to practice the imperative in a fun and meaningful way. The activity can easily be adapted to a socially-distanced classroom with partners sitting face-to-face and six-feet apart.
Getting ready for CaTESOL on Friday where I’ll be talking about pronunciation through theater. I believe drama still supports communication skills, even on zoom!
Many students have photos like this one on their phones, and they provide an example of the material we can draw on to create community in an online classroom. The following five icebreakers are fairly simple and do not require specialized technology or skills. They work best when […]
Humor’s a funny thing. It’s an unconscious, unfakable, universal form of communication all humans share, no matter what culture they’re from or language they speak. Yet, perhaps counterintuitively, humor emerges less from the crack of one-liners than it does from the uncertainty that emerges from shared experiences and […]
Today is a happy day! Colin and I are on our way back to China. We’ll be presenting at the SETRA conference in Beijing next week, and we are absolutely delighted for the opportunity to talk about some of the things we’ve been working on in the past […]
As a teacher, it’s sometimes difficult to investigate students’ progress in a productive (holistic) way. Simulations can help by providing a culturally familiar scaffolding that can guide a fluency experience. They are also a lot of fun! While the talk show simulation described below can be done outside […]
In 2018, an Atlantic Monthly article featured a writer’s experience with Duolingo, the language app that uses gaming principles to attract learners to their lessons. The stickiness of the app seems to work. The article stated that Duolingo has 27.5 million active monthly users, and it is not […]
We may assume that our conversations are spontaneous, but the truth is speakers fall into patterns. We especially fall into these conversational grooves in situations that we experience over and over. The patterns exist because they are comfortable and allow us to connect with each other along easy […]
Summarizing often feels like one of the hardest skills for ESOL students to master (and for ESOL teachers to teach). Some of this may happen because we expect too much from students too soon. There are many strategies out there to teach summarizing, but in the end, it […]