7 Poems That Build Proficiency

Every so often I work poetry into my instruction. Since poems are meant to be read aloud, they lend themselves to listening and pronunciation practice. They can help students grow accustomed to reduced sounds in the flow of speech, and they can help students improve linking and rhythm. Although we don’t speak like poets in everyday…

Poetry Club: Writing Activities

As we brace for another potential blizzard here in New England, I can only think of one thing: snow. Cold snow. Deep snow. White snow. Snow flurries, snow drifts, and snow-covered roads. Snow. I know that other parts of the world are basking in warm sunshine right now, but it’s hard for me to remember…

The Power of Positive Thinking

I place importance on motivating and supporting language learners. This is probably connected to the fact that I hear from learners daily online, and talk about a lack of confidence is common. When I participated in the WizIQ MOOC last November, I included some talk about building the confidence of learners. I mentioned that I…

The Secrets of Poetry

This month I’ve chosen to highlight a poetry collection on my YouTube channel. I’ve taken quiet moments here and there for my own pleasure and listened to poetry readings by Tom O’Bedlam of Ireland. The one that I enjoyed most recently is The Secret of the Machines by Rudyard Kipling. The poem in plain text…

More Play with Poetry

I can’t resist offering another idea that makes use of holiday poetry. There’s a wealth of material online, and as soon as I see a few verses, the wheels in my head start turning. So many poems, especially those written for children, lend themselves to ESL/ EFL instruction. Just look, for example, at the poems…

December Celebrations: Learning linking through holiday poetry

“December Celebrations” is a children’s poem by Helen H. Moore. I used it once in a pronunciation class, and I recently rediscovered my copy of the simple yet warm verses. Not surprisingly, I’ve found a few U.S. schools that have posted the poem on their sites to share with their communities. Here’s one copy. You’ll find that the language is …

The Potential of Poetry

Let them all toil over a line. Their English will be closer to fine. The search for words, the search for rhyme Is a constructive use of time.   Through verse it is possible to touch On rhythm, diction, grammar and such. Think! All the possibilities To increase their abilities.   Culture and rhythm can…