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.
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
Click here for presentation handout: Hidden Grammar Handout TESOL 19 There’s more to grammar than discrete rules about verb tenses, articles, and modals. When we channel Diane Larsen’s Freeman’s view of language as a complex, adaptive system, we can start to see grammar as any system of organization, […]
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 […]
Thunder claps, lightning strikes, and rain begins to fall as Jane and Margaret approach the bus stop. They are two students, one a model child with good grades, the other a bit of a misfit who doesn’t clean her room or get her homework done on time. But […]