Tag Archives: adult language learners

Student-Generated Grammar Rules

Alexandra Lowe
Alexandra Lowe

As ESL instructors, we often learn at least as much from our students as they do from us. But that truism was borne out in an unexpected way recently in my beginners’ evening ESL class as we wrestled, in time-honored … Continue reading

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Learning English With William Shakespeare

Alexandra Lowe
Alexandra Lowe

In honor of U.S. National Poetry Month, I wanted to share with you an activity I did with my Level 6 IEP Speaking & Listening students last semester that drew its inspiration from the words of the most exalted poet … 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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Getting Ahead in English Outside of Class: Next Steps

Alexandra Lowe
Alexandra Lowe

In a recent blog post, I described how—from the very first day of class—I introduce my students to the idea of pushing themselves to speak, read, and listen to substantially more English outside of class.  In that blog post, I … Continue reading

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Classroom Activity: Hiring the New ESL Instructor

Alexandra Lowe
Alexandra Lowe

Adult ESL students often have strong opinions about their current and former ESL teachers.  Why not channel that into a challenging speaking, listening, reading, and writing activity? Here’s what we did in my advanced speaking and listening class earlier this … 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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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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Using Smartphones in Class to Improve Speaking Skills

Alexandra Lowe
Alexandra Lowe

For better or for worse, smartphones and tablets are here to stay in the ESL classroom.  At worst, they are an annoying distraction, with students furtively texting family and friends and disengaging from class.  But at best, they can be … Continue reading

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Great Grammar Websites for Adult ELLs

Alexandra Lowe
Alexandra Lowe

My recent blog post, “Unearthing the Secrets of Successful Adult ELLs (Part 2),” explored some of the secrets of successful language learners. Two things are clear: (1) successful language learners don’t depend exclusively on their classroom teacher to master English … Continue reading

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Unearthing the Secrets of Successful Adult ELLs (Part 2)

Alexandra Lowe
Alexandra Lowe

In a recent blog post, I described a class project in which my intermediate-level adult ESL students interviewed relatives and friends who had successfully made the leap to fluency in English as adults.  Their assignment was to unearth the secrets … Continue reading

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