Being able to speak effortlessly is a great luxury. Expert speakers can assume that their messages and the intentions behind their words are coming across in exactly the way they intend. If they do think about sounds, confident speakers generally focus on the […]
As instructors, we’ve been told that beginning students cannot handle multiple paragraphs and more advanced grammatical concepts, such as infinitives or subordinating conjunctions. The aim of this post is to challenge that belief.
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.
For the first post of the year, let’s talk about pragmatics, prosody and pronunciation. Our voice tells the other person whether we are serious, joking, offended or something else. Stress emphasis communicates what information is new or important. And our way of expressing thought groups enhances comprehensibility. When […]
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 […]
Five things I’ve learned about organizing an online lesson My first priority in transitioning my four community college ESOL courses to online was not to go crazy! The second was to create community. Without personal human connection, I felt I would lose learners who are isolated at […]
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 […]
A couple of years ago, we wrote about kinesthetic grammar, and to our surprise, it became our most popular post by far. Intrigued, we did a bit of research and confirmed our theory. The body plays a role, not only in communication but also memory, recall, and even cognitive […]
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 […]