Tag Archives: classroom practice

Untitled Skull: A Speaking and Writing Activity Using Art

Alexandra Lowe
Alexandra Lowe

Some time ago, I attended a professional development seminar presented by Patricia Lannes, Project Director of CALTA21, an innovative partnership between museums and community colleges that uses art as a catalyst for enhancing adult ELLs’ language and critical thinking skills. Patricia kicked … Continue reading

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Helping Students Write for a Real Audience: Travel Blogs

Elena Shvidko
Elena Shvidko

As I mentioned in one of my previous blogs, the concept of audience seems to be quite challenging to grasp for second language writers. One of these challenges may be rooted in the lack of ability to link their knowledge … 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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Writing-to-Learn Activities

Elena Shvidko
Elena Shvidko

Many of you are probably familiar with writing-to-learn (WTL) activities—“Short, impromptu or otherwise informal writing tasks that help students think through key concepts or ideas presented in a course. Often, these writing tasks are limited to less than five minutes … 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: 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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Tech-Break: Battleship

Tara Arntsen
Tara Arntsen

Back by popular demand is a tech-break! Chris Redmond commented on Tech-Break: Running Dictations that he was looking for more communicative activities that would work in monolingual classrooms, and I’ve got another good one for all of you. It’s called … 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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