Subject-Verb Agreement: Beyond Simple Sentences

Lack of subject-verb agreement is a common mistake, but errors in judgment with subject-verb agreement extend to inconsistency with reference words and combinations of indefinite articles with plural nouns. Doubts center around the concept of number. These additional mistakes can span two or more clauses. For that reason, I’ve created a writing task that goes…

Conditioned to Have a Limited View of Conditionals?

A student asked me how to change a true statement into an unreal conditional sentence, and the challenge stemmed from using the present perfect in the original statement: The man has been arrested. In the new if-clause, the student wanted to explain the alternative outcome if the crime had never been committed. The shift to…

The Ultimate List of Phrasal Verbs (and what do do with it!)

Phrasal verbs — is there any other topic that’s more in demand? Students understand the frequency with which phrasal verbs are used, and they constantly want to learn more. They feel pressed to do so because they encounter phrasal verbs in high volume. There are many resources out there: videos, textbooks, podcasts, and more. However,…

2020 Holiday Wishes

At the end of every year, I become full of hope. I become determined to reach new goals or more determined to reach old ones I fell short of. I try to be thankful for what I have, but there is a wish list I have in mind, and I begin to plan ways to…

Smooth Sailing with Vocabulary

Sometimes students will reveal an interesting combination of strengths and weaknesses, so it’s up to us to design lessons that meet their unique needs. I’ve mentioned that I have one advanced student with strong mastery of academic vocabulary, but less familiarity with general words and idiomatic expressions. In a previous post, I explained how I…

The Art of Tailoring Material

If you have the opportunity to teach one-on-one, you’ll enjoy both the freedom of drawing from existing resources and the creative challenge of tailoring it for your student’s needs. Even in a group class setting, you may have the option to bring in supplemental materials to meet a specific purpose. What exactly can you do…

Auxiliary Verbs for Emphasis and Clarification

Auxiliary verbs help us emphasize and clarify ideas. Students can tap into their knowledge of forming questions and negatives to gain confidence with the emphatic use of helping verbs. If you’d like to take intermediate students through the hows and whys, consider using my slides. – The first group of slides test students’ ability to…