As a teacher, I’m committed to teaching language in the way that I think is the most effective. Based on my teaching experience and the research I’ve read on second language acquisition, I would say that focusing on providing students with comprehensible input is the best way that I can help my students. The problem,…… Continue reading Helping Students Understand Second Language Acquisition
Music is a great way for learners to get input in their target language. Almost everyone likes listening to music, so it’s fun and engaging. And most people enjoy listening to the same song multiple times, so learners can get lots of repetitions of the words in the song without feeling bored. I usually do…… Continue reading Using Music in Class
I played the game “Hedbanz” with my intermediate-level ESL students earlier this week. The game is available on Amazon for $14. I first found out about the game when I played it at a party, and I thought it might be worth a try with my ESL students. And it was a success! My students…… Continue reading Playing the Hedbanz Game
The conventional wisdom in our society is that speaking or writing in a language is better for language learners than simply listening to it or reading it. In other words, producing output is better than receiving input. I think part of the reason for this is our cultural idea that “active” is better than “passive.”…… Continue reading How Do Learners Acquire Vocabulary?: Receiving Input vs. Producing Output
For the last two weeks, I’ve been reading aloud an adaptation of the book Marley & Me to my intermediate-level students. I’m using the Pearson Reader version, which you can find here on their website. (You can also buy the book on Amazon for $12, but it’s cheaper from the publisher—the price currently listed in…… Continue reading Read-Aloud Book: Marley & Me
This semester, I’m teaching a class that meets twice a week for four hours each class period—yes, four hours! When I first found out that I’d be teaching a four-hour class, I thought it would be the worst thing ever. I imagined that my students and I would be totally dead and bored by the…… Continue reading Getting Students Moving During Class
When I first started an FVR (free voluntary reading) library and gave my students time to do free reading during class, I have to admit that there was a part of me that thought, “They’re all just sitting here silently, reading…couldn’t they be doing that at home? Is this a waste of class time?” But…… Continue reading Why should we give free reading time during class?