Blog Archives

What is ‘fluency’? What does it mean to be ‘fluent’?

If you’ve ever learned another language to a reasonably high level, you’ve probably had people ask you if you’re ‘fluent’. Probably half of the conversations I have with new acquaintances take this form: New Friend: How long have you been

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Posted in SLA, Teaching Tips

Teaching critical thinking skills in the classroom with Future Problem Solving

I’m going to make kind of a bold claim: I don’t think teachers really impart a whole lot of knowledge to their students. Yes, we provide guidance, and scaffolding, and advice and so on, but if your goal is to

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Posted in Teaching Tips

[TEFL Game] Office Worker Board Game

Here’s a game I made for a recent class, in the Japanese sugoroku style. It’s aimed at helping students practice talking about things they’ve done in the work place, so if your syllabus has you working on present perfect this week, try it out.

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Posted in Teaching Tips

Guess My Secret!

If you’ve taught English to a few hundred people already, you’ve probably had this conversation a few hundred times. “Hello, <student>! I’m <teacher>. Nice to meet you!” “Nice to meet you too.” “What do you do, <student>?” “Sorry?” “What is

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Posted in Teaching Tips

TESOL warmup: Who Are You?

I made a little warmup activity in PowerPoint to introduce stative vs. active verbs in the present tense. It’s a little quiz show about famous English-language singers. I put on the Who song “Who Are You” in the background for

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Posted in SLA, Teaching Tips, Uncategorized

Excel spreadsheet for making a vowel chart

Excel spreadsheet for making a vowel chart I made this little activity for a class I’m TAing tomorrow. Students are going to measure the formant frequencies of their vowels and diphthongs using Praat, and the excel spreadsheet will generate graphs

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Posted in Phonetics and Phonology, Teaching Tips

Hot Button Issue: using students’ native language in the classroom

Everyone knows that full immersion is the absolute best way to learn a language, right? Ideally, we all want to learn a language the way native speakers learn it, so that our own language doesn’t conflict with our new language.

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Posted in SLA, Teaching Tips