TESOL 2015: Achieving Balanced Listening Instruction

Every TESOLer at the convention hopes to attend sessions with a lot of take-away. Beth Sheppard of the University of Oregon didn’t disappoint anyone. Making every minute of her 45-minute session informative, she raised our awareness of the need to provide more balanced listening instruction for our students. Just what is balanced listening instruction? First of all,…

Deliberate Focus on Making Random Choices

In my seventh video topic in the Language Notes series I focus on how we make random choices.  From rock, paper, scissors to a coin toss, I take the time to explain the format and the rules of each method. I realize that this topic may have less relevance that mealtimes or other previous topics…

MATSOL 2013 Conference Highlights (continued)

On May 3, I was able to attend two academic sessions at the MATSOL Conference. Compared to the annual TESOL convention, this event is on a much smaller scale. Even so, I found the experience of looking at the schedule to be the same: I wanted to be in two places at one time. That’s a very…

3-step Trip Down Memory Lane: A whole group and small group activity

It’s always fun to build an activity around happy memories. When describing a past experience, students decide how much they’re comfortable sharing, but any amount of sharing helps brings down barriers and creates a stronger sense of community. Furthermore, the content is familiar, and this facilitates self-expression in the target language. The following activity is outlined with intermediate…

Survival English: Listening to Weather Reports

It’s one thing to understand textbook sentences about the weather. It’s another to actually listen to an authentic forecast and try to make sense of it. A lower level student can deal with statements following a familiar pattern, such as it’s sunny today, it’s hot outside, it’s a rainy day, it’s windy, etc. Trouble with comprehension…

Learning a Language Through Laughter: Using Online Comedy Materials

  The Official Abbott and Costello Website offer scripts and audio recordings of the popular routines created and performed by Bud Abbott and Lou Costello. The scripts don’t always use standard spelling, and the audio recordings tend to show their age; however, some of the materials can still be put to good use in the…

Top 5 Uses of Top 10 Lists

I discovered a site that publishes top ten lists. That’s all they do. Well, there is some variation.  They have top 20 and top 25 lists as well. The List Universe. The site offers materials that are appropriate for upper level students. Lists contain brief explanations for each item. As an added bonus, the site…

Academic Words in A Capella

Music can easily inject an uplifting quality into a lesson. You may not be familiar with Da Vinci’s Notebook, and to tell you the truth I don’t know much about them either! However, I do know this was an amazing a capella group that formed in the ‘90s and stayed together long enough to create…