Love Lines: More Ideas for Valentine’s Day

Love is still in the air, and I’ve come up with more ideas to choose from. In honor of Valentine’s Day, I decided to create a tutorial on terms of endearment. Students can increase their familiarity with variations and reinforce their understanding of usage by taking an interactive quiz. For those with enough time in…

Warming-Up to Valentine’s Day

As the month of February approaches, you may want to consider a few short, easy tasks you could make use of in the classroom. Do you know a good Valentine’s Day warm-up activity for adult learners? Feel free to share. Here are some possibilities:   1.  Candy Hearts. Use candy hearts or another substitute, such…

New Year’s Celebrations around the World

One of my female cousins lived right across the street from my grandmother and the two were very close, but on January 1 my grandmother never let her great-niece visit until a male relative had come in the house first. I was relieved when I found out that many others in the world have the same…

New Holiday Traditions

My children were dismayed to find that they were among the few who still did not  have an Elf on the Shelf toy doll this holiday season. Apparently,  groups of children begin their day at school by sharing news about their elves at home. What elves? Are you as clueless as I was? Elf on the…

Facing the Topic of Aging and Making It Fun

In my Language Notes series, I like to highlight sets of vocabulary that facilitate understanding and communication on a given topic. In my newest video, I’ve decided to face one particular topic head on — before someone else with observant eyes brings it up: aging. The truth is that we’re all aging, but for those…

Money Matters

Some like to talk about money and others don’t, but the topic does come up even among those who haven’t a clue about payroll spreadsheets. A good number of news articles also make references to wages and taxes, so it’s worth preparing learners to handle these conversations and texts about earnings. In my tenth lesson…

An Appetite for Language Notes

In my fifth video lesson in the Language Notes series, I plan to address meals and mealtimes. I’ve found that this topic has vocabulary that is easy to translate but tricky to understand in full. On the one hand, the definitions are clear because there are direct translations in other languages for breakfast, lunch, and…

Can Language Be Taught Without a Cultural Context?

I had wrongly assumed that all my virtual students shared my view about the relationship between language and culture. I believe that when you learn a language, you also learn a culture. Furthermore, when you teach a language, whether you are a native or non-native speaker, you serve as a cultural guide, if not an ambassador of…

Celebrating New Year’s Eve: A whole language activity

Are you planning ahead for your last lesson of the month? Perhaps you’d like to use an activity with a New Year’s Eve theme. Here’s one for adult learners at the lower levels.  Enjoy! Step 1 – Present the following vocabulary: at midnight                         champagne                        make a toast celebrate                             dress up                               New Year’s Eve tradition…

Thanksgiving Thoughts: Last minute ideas for the classroom

Those especially teaching in EFL settings might like to have a bigger choice of materials to finish off this week. Here in the U.S. the school week is ending today so that we may prepare for Thanksgiving Day. If you would like to include one more activity to deepen students’ understanding of this holiday, please…