Tag Archives: self-directed learning

11 Tips to Help ELs Avoid the Summer Slide

Judie Haynes
Judie Haynes

The summer slide is a well-documented phenomenon that refers to the loss of academic learning that many students experience during summer break. This loss is especially prevalent among children from low-income households because families cannot afford to send their children … Continue reading

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Volunteering: A Strategy for Speaking More English

Alexandra Lowe
Alexandra Lowe

For many international and immigrant ESL students, the American tradition of volunteering is an elusive concept. Many immigrant students work long hours at survival jobs and feel they have no time to volunteer. Others who may have an interest in … Continue reading

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Speaking More English Outside of Class: Meetup.com

Alexandra Lowe
Alexandra Lowe

If you teach English in an English-speaking country, how often have you asked your students to tell you who they practice their English with, only to discover that many of your students have virtually no English-speaking friends, and typically largely … Continue reading

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Guest Writer: Independent Online Reading Practice

Tara Arntsen
Tara Arntsen

Rebecca Palmer, a colleague of mine at Northern State University, has the unenviable task of teaching beginner reading to a very mixed level group of adults in the Academic English Program. While many of the materials we have dug up … Continue reading

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6 Websites for Learning English Idioms

Elena Shvidko
Elena Shvidko

When you ask university-level English language learners how they would like to improve their English, many of them say they want to use more idiomatic expressions. Unfortunately, teachers seem to rarely have time to explicitly teach idioms in class. Luckily, … Continue reading

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USA Learns: A Web-Based Tool for Self-Directed Learning

Alexandra Lowe
Alexandra Lowe

Many students like to be able to log into a computer program on their laptop, tablet, or smart phone to practice their English online outside of class. Here’s a free resource that every ESL teacher should know about: USA Learns, … Continue reading

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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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