Tag Archives: self-directed learning

Learning the Ropes: A Project-Based Speaking Activity

Alexandra Lowe
Alexandra Lowe

Group oral presentations are a staple of many ESL classes. While students get a lot of speaking and listening practice during these projects because they are working in and outside of class with partners to prepare their presentations, it dawned … Continue reading

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ESP, Trust, and Empowerment

Kevin Knight
Kevin Knight

Hello, ESPers worldwide! When I first came to Japan in the mid 80s, I was a relatively young teacher. I recall working with mid-level managers in the training center of a large Sony factory. Sometimes the managers would disagree with … Continue reading

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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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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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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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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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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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