Blog Archives

Teaching kids at the National Museum of Nature and Science

Last weekend, our lab gave a demo at the National Museum of Nature and Science here in Tokyo. They were running an event called Science Square, where kids can come and meet scientists and engineers and participate in hands-on activities.

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Posted in Phonetics and Phonology

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

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

Games for Vocabulary Building

Today I’ve got a quick set of tips for language teachers on helping students practice vocabulary. Ideally, you want your students to be engaged in communicative activities that mirror real-world uses of the language. In reality, English teachers here in

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Posted in Teaching Tips

How to Teach Pronunciation

How do you teach pronunciation to students learning another language? This is basically the question I’m trying to answer at grad school now. It turns out that there isn’t any one solid, evidence-based approach to doing so, but I mean

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Posted in Teaching Tips

Aptitude and Motivation

Among all factors affecting successful second language acquisition, aptitude and motivation have the strongest correlation with positive learning outcomes. This may not come as much of a shock to anyone actively engaged in learning a language. For teachers, though, this

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Posted in SLA

Teaching Technique: Scaffolding

What is Scaffolding? Scaffolding is a model for describing an effective form of instruction. Taking theories of child development as its basis, the term “scaffolding” seeks to describe the interaction between a learner and teacher in relation to the learner’s

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Posted in Teaching Tips