For anyone interested in teaching online, WizIQ is currently offering an excellent MOOC called Teachers Teaching Online (TTO). For me, the timing of this course is perfect: I’m trying to transition from full-time to part-time classroom teaching and to expand into teaching online and writing. You can attend the classes live and contribute to the […]

One important lesson I’ve learned in these beginning stages of writing a graded reader is don’t start writing! That certainly was counterintuitive to me; after all, I have a brilliant idea 😉 and I’m eager to start tapping away on my keyboard. However, there are a few essential things that need to be done first. Research the Market First, […]

Group Writing One of my favourite activities to recycle vocabulary is one that I learned from a student teacher I was mentoring. It involves writing, listening, and peer editing. Level: Intermediate – Advanced Time: 45 minutes Procedure Place students in groups of three. Dictate 10 words they have studied. Hand out ten cards numbered 1 […]

I’m going to try to write a graded reader. Exciting, right? The first problem is that I’ve never done anything like this before. Nevertheless, I am going to attempt to get one published. I will post my journey here – it might serve as a guide of what to do and what not to do […]

A theme that emerged from Day One of the BC TEAL conference was the innovation occurring in EAL classrooms to meet the needs of a changing student body and the expectation that teachers will incorporate Web 2.0 tools in the classroom. A great example of this is NorQuest College instructor Bonnie Nicholas’ use of blogging to […]

Scrabble tiles can be used in an ESL class in a number of ways, from simple and fun fillers to writing activities. I especially like using these activities with students who are weak spellers.  Simple Fillers  1. Longest List Put students into groups of three and give each group 25 scrabble tiles. Make sure all tiles are […]

Thanks to an idea from prolific blogger Larry Ferlazzo, I introduced a fun, new speaking activity to my class this week.  He posted a link to a game called Word Sneak that Late Show host Jimmy Fallon played on his show. I was able to use it to practice conversation management and to recycle new vocabulary. […]

  As often as possible, I use topical, authentic materials in my classes. Since I listen to a fairly wide range of podcasts, I often find material for listening lessons (usually advanced level classes). One such gem that I’ve had a lot of success with is the podcast Manners for the Digital Age from […]

My Academic English students have been doing weekly presentations (some have been outstanding!) and at the end of one recent class, we had about ten minutes remaining after the presentations had finished. I asked the students to spend the time reflecting on their performance and then write their own evaluation . I was genuinely impressed […]

Deep down, and not so deep down, many teachers want to be writers. At my school, many of us say that one of the most satisfying parts of our job is writing materials and designing curriculum. Whenever there is an opportunity to develop a new skills course, there is always competition to get selected for the development team. When […]