Resources for Distance Learning

We know we aren’t the first and we probably won’t be the last people you hear from to talk about our resources for distance learning (or that work well teaching online). But we assume if you’re reading this blog, or getting this email that means you like what we do. And we certainly like what we do and think they’re pretty useful. Now when I say resources for distance learning, I mean a few different things. First, it could mean resources that are well-suited for online learning platforms like Zoom or Google Classrooms. Some of our resources are on […]

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Get Students Writing and Talking!

As more and more teachers are turning to online teaching and distance learning for the forseeable future, and students may be considering self-study options, I’d like to introduce our free prompt generating tool, English Prompts, with three different kinds of prompts: creative writing, speaking, and role-plays. The first, Stories Without End, generates a random short story prompt that ends on a cliff-hanger. The genres vary from horror to comedy to sci-fi to realistic fiction, so there’s a broad range of topics. Don’t like the story? Click “New Story”! Here are some ideas to use it with students: Have students […]

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Embodied Mind: The Dancer and Dance and Grammar

“How can we know the dancer from the dance?” Yeats famously wrote. And in the dance of human communication, the body plays a role. Language is more than word choice or grammar, and even more than prosody. Gesture, body language, facial expression are all tools of meaning-making. This is why study of the embodied mind, how the mind and body are not separate, has been informative for linguistics and education. Alice and Colin, authors of the forthcoming 60 Kinesthetic Grammar Activities, have written about ways to use the body in teaching grammar: Check out the original post on English […]

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Kinesthetic Grammar Activities: Getting Grammar on the Move!

We’re thrilled to be publishing a book on Kinesthetic Grammar Activities from Alice Savage and Colin Ward. Kinesthetic grammar is a great way to practice language dynamically. The benefits are many: Vary the pace of the classroom Help teach nonverbal language and gesture in communication Activate embodied mind and improve the memorability of target grammar Build classroom community! I’ve included an excerpt from Alice and Colin’s wonderful blog post. I highly recommend checking out the full post, which includes some example activities. Then come back here and check out the book, 60 Kinesthetic Activities, coming out in April 2020 […]

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Time Management as a form of Self-Care

A recent post on Patrice’s blog about time management made me stop and think. Like many in the education business, I never feel like I have enough time to do all my work. And then there’s everything else that needs to be done outside of work: paying bills, keeping the house and yard up, laundry, cooking, family time! So I always feel guilty when I do anything fun. I admit that I enjoy computer games from time to time, particularly Pokémon Go and Minecraft. Now I console myself that playing Pokémon Go gets me some exercise and it’s also […]

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The Art of Exams

There’s a lot of takeaways in Sharon Hartle’s new blog post, THE ART OF GATHERING… EVEN FOR EXAMS. I think assessment and examinations are a neglected topic in TESOL/EFL circles. Particularly in a world where examinations are necessary, there’s rarely much reflection on what exams mean and their purpose. As Sharon writes, too often we think of exams as a form of assessment. The goal seems to be to judge. We take it for granted that some people will fail. We assume exams should be stressful and unpleasant. However, this (unconscious) attitude to examination does little to help our students […]

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Activities for Thanksgiving

There are a lot of reasons to teach about Thanksgiving and do some activities for Thanksgiving in the classroom. First, Thanksgiving is a major American holiday* and students living in the US should know about it. Second, it’s a great excuse to talk about important themes such as gratitude and family. For lower level students, you can always talk about food! Third, even EFL students with little exposure to American culture have probably heard of Thanksgiving. So it’s never a bad idea to share about the holiday. So we’ve collected some activities on Teachers Pay Teachers that are perfect […]

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Stories Without End in the Classroom

I was recently uploading more individual stories without end (from Taylor’s wonderful book) to Teachers Pay Teachers. One of the pieces of information you need to fill out there is how long the material will take to use. Well, the stories are designed to be adaptable so they can be used in one class period, or stretched out over several periods. There are a lot of ways to use Stories Without End in the classroom. Obviously timing depends on the length of the story as well as the level of your learners, and how fast they read. In addition, […]

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Readers Theatre or reader’s theater or Something Else?

One of the challenges of writing about and publishing lots of books about drama in language education is trying to decide what to call the thing where students read plays or dramatized texts out loud. Is it readers theatre, readers theater, reader’s theater, or reader’s theatre? You’d think it would be easy to solve this problem: check a corpus. Well if Google’s Ngram Viewer is worth anything, it’s clearly reader’s theater, with readers theatre a close second! Which is odd because those two options vary on both spelling and the apostrophe. But the plot thickens. What happens when we […]

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