Tag Archives: adult education

Speaking English Outside of Class: When Students Need More Help

Alexandra Lowe
Alexandra Lowe

In several blog posts in 2013, I explored the ways I have worked with my students to encourage them to speak, read, and listen to more English outside of class and documented their success in doing so. But what if … Continue reading

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How to Cook A Camel: Giving Instructions

Alexandra Lowe
Alexandra Lowe

Explaining to someone how to do something is a fundamental communicative skill in any language.  If you are looking for ways to teach this skill to your ESL students, my favorite vehicle is the website Howcast.com, a perennially popular source … Continue reading

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Eavesdropping on the Present Perfect

Alexandra Lowe
Alexandra Lowe

Perhaps no frequently used tense in the English language is as bedeviling as the present perfect tense. Many advanced ESL students still struggle to use it correctly. And plenty of instructors—myself included—have struggled to teach it well. This fall, after … Continue reading

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Look Into My Eyes…and Learn Unforgettable Vocabulary!

Alexandra Lowe
Alexandra Lowe

Sometimes, you get lucky.  A planned activity that you hope will be moderately interesting and instructive turns into a runaway success.  Here’s one: Inspired by a recent article in the New York Times that reported that reading Chekhov was the best … Continue reading

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Getting Ahead in English Outside of Class – Day 1

Alexandra Lowe
Alexandra Lowe

On college campuses all across the United States, adult ESL classes are getting underway for the fall semester.  Ever since I began teaching, I have devoted a substantial portion of the first day of class to laying the groundwork for … Continue reading

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Master Classes: ESL Reflections From the Keyboard

Alexandra Lowe
Alexandra Lowe

At the height of the heat wave last month, I bought a 1-day pass to the International Keyboard Institute & Festival at Mannes College of Music in New York City. I wasn’t exactly sure what I would learn from a … Continue reading

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Death of an ESL Program

Bruce Stirling
Bruce Stirling

The fall 2012 American Language Program pre-semester meeting began like any other. I chatted with my fellow University of Connecticut (UConn) adjuncts, then settled back to check my rosters. Good news. Enrollment was up again. Our program in Stamford, Connecticut, an … Continue reading

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A Speaking Activity: Road Trip!

Alexandra Lowe
Alexandra Lowe

It’s the dog days of summer and, for lots of Americans, that means it’s time to jump in the car and head out of town.   In my classes, it’s an opportunity to help my students learn more about the different … Continue reading

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A 4th of July Paraphrasing and Interviewing Activity for ESL

Alexandra Lowe
Alexandra Lowe

It is America’s birthday tomorrow, and in my advanced level summer ESL classes, we sometimes celebrate with an activity based on the language of the Declaration of Independence. While this activity is excellent for the Fourth of July, it’s also … Continue reading

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Check It Out! Resources for Adult ELLs at the Library

Alexandra Lowe
Alexandra Lowe

For well over a century, American public libraries have offered a gateway to immigrants learning English.  In some cities, free library-based ESL classes are so over-subscribed that lotteries are held to determine who gets in.  Countless additional ELLs participate in … Continue reading

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