Elements of Effective Instruction and the Art of Mario Brothers

I’ve been doing a lot of drawing with my son lately. I love to draw and I always have, but I don’t think I’m incredibly good at it. A lot of my art in high […]

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Those Students: Deictic Expressions and Real-World Communication Skills

I’ve been doing a lot of presentations on pragmatics recently and thinking about how to teach students real-world communication skills in English. The problem is that in the classroom we often communicate at a very […]

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How to do Social-Emotional Learning Prompts for ESL

Sometimes the best classroom activities come out of the simplest things. Case in point, these Social-Emotional Learning prompts for ESL students created by Teresa X. Nguyen and illustrated by Tyler Hoang and Nathaniel Cayanan. Each […]

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Merge Data from Excel to PowerPoint

Looking for an easy way to create a PowerPoint presentation from Excel? This method works great to merge data from Excel to PowerPoint. It’s a simple way to create flashcards, award certificates, project reports, any […]

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Scary House Story Starter

I love this story starter by Taylor Sapp. Also called unfinished stories or stories without end, or even story prompts, a story starter is a creative writing prompt in the form of the beginning of […]

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Teaching Pragmatics with Memes

I recently discovered these wonderful communication-fail memes from PunHubOnline! Beyond being peak comedy for language lovers, these memes highlight a really important point: communication happens far beyond grammar and vocabulary. Pragmatics, the hidden rules that […]

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Easy Office Furniture in Minecraft

I don’t know why it’s satisfying to modern buildings and offices in Minecraft. You’d think we’d be tired of offices and want to use Minecraft as escapism. And the medieval castle urge is strong. But […]

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What does “I was, like…” mean?

In the spring, I had the great pleasure of seeing a bit of David Crystal talk at the 2020 Digital Hay Festival. (By the way, if anyone is looking to for a great Christmas present, […]

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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 […]

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