Tag Archives: alexandra lowe

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: 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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Learning English With Steve Jobs

Alexandra Lowe
Alexandra Lowe

The commencement speech that Steve Jobs gave at Stanford University in 2005 has been watched more than 11 million times on the TED Talks website, and it is a perennial favorite in my classroom.  Students from all over the world are … Continue reading

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Running Dictations: A Runaway Success

Alexandra Lowe
Alexandra Lowe

Back in May, my fellow TESOL blogger Tara Arnsten wrote a thought-provoking blog post about running dictations. As she succinctly explained it: For Running Dictations in its simplest form, the teacher has to prepare just two short paragraphs, each taped … 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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I Have a Dream Speech: Teaching Adult ELLs Parallelism

Alexandra Lowe
Alexandra Lowe

August 28th marked the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s I Have a Dream speech.  This speech, by one of America’s greatest orators, is a perfect vehicle for introducing advanced adult ELLs to both the history of the civil … Continue reading

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College Lectures for Advanced ELLs: Academic Earth

Alexandra Lowe
Alexandra Lowe

This summer, I was fortunate to co-teach an English for Academic Purposes class with the head of the English Language Institute at my college.  This gave me a welcome opportunity to learn from an experienced colleague about a whole new … 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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