More Practice with Practical Exchanges

In a previous post, I shared handouts with useful expressions that students can refer to when ordering food, leaving voicemail, and performing other everyday speaking tasks. I know the COVID-19 pandemic has changed our sense of what’s normal, so it can be hard right now to imagine getting our hair cut at a salon or…

Practice with Practical Exchanges

Sometimes it’s the most common situations that create the most stress for a language learner. Speaking on the phone can raise one’s level of anxiety and drop the level of confidence. If one has little practice making calls, leaving voicemail, and answering the phone, it’s hard to build comfort with this skill. At a public…

Planting Ideas: Different approaches to one instructional video

I’ve finished my first set of videos for Everyday Vocabulary. The latest topic is gardening.  It did cross my mind that not everyone will want to know about gardening. However, learning opportunities are present in every well constructed lesson. A language learner needn’t have a green thumb to learn from my video on gardening. With…

Practice with Practical Vocabulary

I’ve written in the past about the value of teaching everyday vocabulary and the need to find an appropriate balance between general and academic words. To support students’ efforts to learn both, I’m creating two new series of videos. The first is up and running on my website. Please encourage students to visit my page…

It’s in the Bag: A Sure Way to Teach Everyday Vocabulary

I must confess this activity was inspired by a baby shower game, but hey, you got to be open to all sources of inspiration when you’re looking for creative, meaningful activities to help language learners. The activity was born out of the need to teach ESL students how to talk about everyday objects from a…