“Think in English,” we say to our lower level multi-lingual writers. However, to really support them in avoiding translation errors, we need to give them lots of practice. The following prewriting refresher is structured as a game in which teams compete to create target sentence types. The first team to […]
College writing is meant to be a meaningful experience, at least for the writer, and if it goes well, for the reader as well. At its best, a paper brings new knowledge into the world. But it often takes a bit of struggle to get beyond the obvious […]
When can we say we know the meaning of a word? After looking it up in the dictionary? After experiencing it in discourse seven times? In fact, some might argue that we never stop learning a word because it is constantly changing, evolving, and taking on new meanings. Our job as teachers, […]
How can we help our students engage in pre-writing actively and collaboratively?
The Russian education researcher, Lev Vygotsky, remains famous among language teachers because his work continues to resonate. His enduring Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) occupies the territory in a lesson in which the scaffolding provided by teachers and peers enhances student learning beyond what individuals could do on their own. This elegant […]
The first day of class can be a bit scary. New students shuffle in, nervously clutching registration papers. After a quick glance at the room number, they take a seat, often far from each other. Occasionally, a returning student will recognize a pal from the past, and after a joyful greeting, the friends sit close together. The new ones, […]
Waiting for an elevator at the Colorado TESOL conference, I heard two teachers complaining about a session they had attended. “The presenter was only talking,” said a tall woman in an engineer’s cap. “There was no interaction, so I left.” It seems that group work has gotten to […]
Truthfully, sometimes it is easier to just lecture. The default mode of the traditional classroom is that the teacher is standing, sometimes pacing, while students are sitting, watching, listening, and taking notes. These roles are still easy to fall into, especially when teachers are entertaining. Still, no matter […]