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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]