When Ryan contacted me about publishing his book, The Stoic Teacher, I was intrigued. I had heard of Stoicism, but I didn’t know much about it. I always associated it with keeping a stiff upper lip, a kind of emotional fatalism. So, I was interested in reading Ryan’s book but at the same time, a bit skeptical. After all, teaching is usually seen as a caring profession, one where we think about the attitudes and motivations of our students all the time. I wondered, “Is Stoicism really relevant to teaching?” As I read, I found myself won over very quickly. I realized
I get a lot of questions from customers who download our ebooks in EPUB format, and want to know how to read EPUBs. When you buy ebooks through the Kindle store or iBooks or a similar marketplace, you can open and read them quite easily because the store and the reader work together. However, when you download EPUBs from an ebook selling website like ours, you have to download a program or import them to your usual ebook reader. It may seem confusing at first, but reading EPUBs is actually easy to do if you have the right program.
Asking questions happens to be one of my favorite things to do. I used to run a discussion club in Kazakhstan where students could just come and chat about some topic or another. It was my favorite thing to do, to get students up and talking. I know some teachers struggle with that. I see teachers on social media all the time asking about how to get students to speak in class, and engage in discussions. To me, asking the right questions is key. So I thought I would share two things here: What DOES NOT work to get
The History’s Mysteries project is about more than just giving students topics to write about. It also teaches students the critical thinking tools they need to evaluate information and find good sources. That includes distinguishing between fact and opinion, recognizing bias, finding authoritative sources and citing those sources correctly. Critical thinking skills also includes avoiding logical fallacies in texts, as well as students’ own writing. Our worksheet (fill out the form below to download it) identifies some of the most common logical fallacies. The worksheet discusses the fallacies, why they are illogical, and gives students practice identifying fallacies in
My most popular posts of 2021 feature Minecraft, Excel, drama, self-care, and classroom community. Sounds appropriate for 2021!
There’s an ongoing debate about whether direct instruction or discovery learning works best in ELT. Direct learning also known as explicit learning is when you give students new information explicitly. For example, you tell them that we form the plural in English by adding -s to the end of words. By contrast, discovery learning is letting students figure out the rules by themselves. I doubt this debate will ever be settled. In fact, it seems likely that in fact both methods work in different contexts with different kinds of information. This post has been sitting in my drafts folder
We get so much from our colleagues! Sometimes we need to support our teacher colleagues and tell them what they admire in them. Here’s my list of what I’ve learned from fellow teachers over the years. How about you?
This year at TESOL, I didn’t get to go to a lot of sessions because I was busy exhibiting. However, I did run across this summary of some corpus tools I discovered at TESOL 2015 in Toronto. Since corpus tools never go out of style, I thought I’d share what I learned 6 years ago. Why Use a Corpus? There were really three reasons I kept hearing that resonated with me: 1. Our instincts aren’t always right. Looking at how language is actually used is important because frankly what we think we know about language usage isn’t always correct. I
Why am I sharing my teacher manifesto? I discovered some old blogposts from my now-defunct personal blog recently on professional development that I think stand up and are worth reposting. The best ones were inspired by the 30 Goals Challenge by Shelly Terrell. This was a brilliant professional development idea that had teaches around the world sharing ideas, activities, lesson plans, support, and art! So I’ll be reprinting them here from time to time, with light editing. I’ve included links to Shelly’s website and book in case you want to try out some challenges of your own. Tag me
I hear it from students all the time. “I need to get rid of my accent.” Or “I need sound like a real British person” There’s a whole cottage industry of people “teaching” real native accents. The problem is that accent doesn’t matter! Comprehensibility does! And don’t tell anyone, but prosody is a far larger determiner of how well understood you are than accent is. In this article, I’m going to talk about what prosody is and why it matters. But first I’m going to explain exactly why your accent doesn’t matter and deconstruct native speakerism in a few
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