I see many teachers exasperated at the utter lack of effort put forth by some of their students. It seems that virtually every class has at least one student (and most have more) who is described as indifferent and even polite but who won’t work. Well intended traditional consequences like phone calls home and zeros that may be effective with “achievement motivated” peers, are not only ineffective, they add frustration to parents already feeling helpless at their inability to get their child motivated or are so preoccupied by other issues that this one simply fails to make their radar. While these consequences have a place, alternative methods are needed if we are to be successful with these students.
As an “expert” on motivation, I am often asked how to get kids motivated. The answer: You can’t GET anybody motivated. In [...]
What does it mean to be a successful language learner? Does it mean to have a good command of grammar and posses a wide range of vocabulary? Or does it mean to be able to effectively communicate your ideas? Or could it mean the ability to apply effective language-learning strategies? Or perhaps all of it?
I consider myself a successful [...]
In an episode of the former I Love Lucy sitcom, Lucy travels to Paris, France, and ends up in a commissariat de police (police station) for apparently paying her dinner bill with counterfeit money.
Why doesn’t she just speak French and tell the officer that she didn’t know the money was counterfeit when she apparently exchanged the currency?
Why does she [...]
You have to be aware of who you’re talking to in an audience. – Louis Szekely, American comedian, screenwriter and producer
As an ESL student, have you given much thought to your audience when you speak in English? How about when you write using the English language… do you think about your audience as you write your text at every [...]
Euphemisms (you-fuh-miz-em) are words used to soften the reality of what is communicated to a given listener or reader. They are a universal feature of language usage to express taboos and to talk about things that are best avoided like sickness, death, and war. When you begin to notice euphemisms in the English language, you are moving towards a [...]
Have you ever experienced difficulties retrieving an English word that you learned just a few days ago? Have you wondered why the word had mysteriously disappeared from your memory even though you thought it was so easy to memorize it? Let’s try to understand what might be the problem.
What do you when you learn a new word in English? [...]
I always knew writing was an important skill, and always felt it was difficult for students in general, much less ESL students. In fact, recently I read a survey classifying writing as a “threshold skill”. I knew then it was time to write about the topic of writing. What did the survey actually say?
120 major American corporations affiliated with [...]