College Tuition: A Hot Topic to Debate

Several topics are trending in U.S. news, somewhat due to the recent presidential debate. The views and proposals of different candidates are making people in the U.S. think more about certain issues, such as the cost of college tuition. ELLs should be welcome to weigh in with their own personal opinions without fear of language…

Tools for Generating Discussion About Generations

Something funny happens when the topic of generations comes up. People come together to discuss their similarities and differences. Those from the same generation bond over a common sense of identity. Those from different generations are interested in making comparisons. With the right atmosphere, such discussions can be positive and productive. The goal of my…

Homelessness: A tough topic, but a productive talk

As part of my video series on current issues, I’ve decided to address homelessness. My upcoming video will focus on the present crisis in the U.S. However, homelessness is a problem in many countries around the world, which makes the topic familiar to many English language learners. Anytime we allow learners to tap into their…

How to Have a Happy Leap Year

I’ve been reading about superstitions surrounding Leap Year, and it seems that some folks associate the day with bad luck. I think Friday the 13th has already claimed the title “the day of bad luck,” so why not treat February 29 as a day of fun and opportunity? Here are some suggestions for making leap year…

Inspiring Student Performances

Inspiration can come from many different sources. As as teacher, I think the most powerful inspiration for me has always been the students themselves. When I see their individual gifts and I understand their determination to master English, I feel a strong desire to be a part of their learning experience. Also, when I witness…

Making Use of an Online Debate Site

The Internet is full of resources for ESL, although many of them are not actually designed to facilitate language learning. The trick is finding a good site among the thousands out there. Then you must consider how to put the site to good use. I recently stumbled upon the site of I.D.E.A., the International Debate…