TESOL 2019 Highlights: The Playful Side of Poetry

Did you know it’s National Poetry Month? I feel fortunate that I was among the attendees at one of the last sessions of the TESOL 2019 convention because the topic was…yes, poetry! Quite a number of us decided to attend The Uses of Poetry in the ESL Classroom at 5:00 p.m. on the final day….

TESOL 2019 Highlights: Bringing Art Into the Classroom

I attended two sessions on the use of artwork in the classroom. Both gave good take-away. Monica Maxwell-Paegle of Georgetown University presented the poster session Using Artworks in Building Language and Analytical Skills. First off, here’s a rich resource: the National Portrait Gallery. Monica noted that besides browsing through the many portraits, you can search…

TESOL 2019 Highlights: Tips for Teaching Communication and Culture

Two different sessions in Atlanta addressed skills that are challenging to acquire and teach: humor competence and political correctness. The first was a poster session presented by John Rucynski of the Language Education Center at Okayama University in Japan. I made it a point to arrive promptly as I knew an interesting topic could gather…

TESOL 2019 Highlights: Ludicrous Lawsuits That Engage Learners

TESOL is in full swing, and I’ve attended a number of informative sessions. I’ll do my best to share valuable take-away over the next few weeks. Let’s start with the well-thought-out approach to listening and speaking presented by Takako Smith of University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Takako teaches within PIESL (Programs in English as a Second Language).  In…

Heading to TESOL 2019!

I’ll be heading to Atlanta, Georgia this week for the annual TESOL Convention. I hope to meet new and old colleagues. Please stop by the Materials Writers’ Booth in the Expo Hall on Wednesday from 3:30 to 4:30 and say hi!   I’ll be presenting twice on Friday, March 15. 9:30 – 10:15 a.m. Creating…

Using More Colorful Vocabulary: 5 Tips

Have you ever caught yourself using the same word too often? I remember in grade school my classmates and I played a prank on a teacher that capitalized on her overuse of “okay.” We were fond of her, so our actions weren’t done in cruelty. Chalk it up to spring fever and youth. For one…

Grammar We’d Rather Avoid: Variations with ‘Would Rather’

In a recent YouTube video I decided to take upper level students through the different uses of the modal verb would. I know some people would rather spend thirty minutes in the dentist’s chair than endure a fifteen-minute grammar lesson, so to make the review more engaging, I used a countdown of my top ten…

5 Engaging Activities with Film Plots

In a recent YouTube lesson I decided to approach grammar through a list of my top 5 favorite disaster movies. I figured it would make the discussion of prepositions much more entertaining. I focused on confusing phrases like in the end, by the end, and at the end.  Some of the movies I included are…

Getting Reluctant Readers to Read

Not every student loves to read, but there are benefits missed by not including any reading in one’s studies. Of course, some degree of reading is unavoidable, for example, one has to read a homework assignment or a short email announcement. But extended reading? That has to be a conscious choice. Let’s see if we…

More Good Reads: 5 Short Stories

I shared a list of thought-provoking short stories in another post. (See February 2018 post.) If you work with advanced students who challenge you to find good reading material, you’ll go through that first list in good time and then be in need of new titles to choose from. Allow me to share five more….

Moving with the Times: A Cool Movie Clip-Based App

I’ve been recommending YouGlish as a listening and pronunciation tool for quite some time. It’s wonderful to hear different speech models and consider the various contexts a word or phrase is used in. However, the search results don’t include movies, TV shows, or music videos. What if there were a similar app that did include…