“A Quarantine Love Story”: A True Story from the News to Share with Students

I ran across this true story in the news a few days ago, and I knew I needed to share it with my students! It's a cute, romantic, and funny story about a young man who asked a woman out on a date while they were both quarantined at home. The short version of the …

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Teaching in the Time of Coronavirus: How Should We Talk About It In Class?

The only thing people are talking about right now is coronavirus. And it seems pretty much the same with my students. Many of them want to share the latest news they heard or talk about what it was like when they went grocery shopping and couldn't find any toilet paper or discuss any of the …

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My Reflections on Barcroft’s “Input-Based Incremental Vocabulary Instruction”

I recently read Joe Barcroft’s book, Input-Based Incremental Vocabulary Instruction. I first heard about it from this episode of the We Teach Languages podcast. I recommend listening to the episode if you want to get a quick overview of Barcroft’s ideas. And if you want to learn more about the approach, Barcroft’s book explains a …

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Talking with Students about Writing

The idea of formal writing—whether it's a long essay or just a short piece—is intimidating for a lot of people, but it's especially intimidating for English language learners, who are still developing in their language abilities and often feel like they're bad writers. In the fall, I started teaching an advanced-level ESL class with a …

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“How to Make Cranberry Sauce”: A Video for ESL Students

Thanksgiving is almost here! I made a short video for my students showing how to make cranberry sauce. You can watch it with your students, too, especially if they like to cook or are interested in American Thanksgiving foods. https://youtu.be/SSO2rU3Z6yk You could even bring in some cranberry sauce for your students to sample after they …

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“My Fake Boyfriend”: A New Graded Reader for ESL Students

My book is here! It's a graded reader for English language learners—a short novel for students to read to provide them with compelling, comprehensible input in English. You can use it as a whole-class novel, a read-aloud, or as an option to offer students during independent reading time. The book is aimed at lower-level English …

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Video and Task Idea: “Top 10 List” Videos

This is a quick idea for a task you can use with a video that gives some kind of “top 10” or “top 5” (or whatever number) list. It works best with students at the intermediate level or higher, but I think it could be adapted if you want to use it with lower-level students. …

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