by Allen Mendler


Much has been written by myself* and others about the powerful impact on motivation, behavior and achievement when teachers form positive connections with students.  Yet until I became familiar with the work of Brene Brown, author of Daring Greatly, I had difficulty identifying the key ingredient towards forming these connections: teacher vulnerability.  Trained as a school psychologist where life has a lot of gray, I would often get frustrated with some teachers who seemed rigid and unyielding.  Not surprisingly and with few exceptions, these educators struggled with their most challenging students.  They were inclined to see things in the context of having many students in a class and if some didn’t want to learn, it wasn’t fair to the others to take time away from them.  They weren’t going to invest their time in disenfranchised students when the consequence [...]

by Allen Mendler
Back to school - portrait of beautiful young schoolgirl

Early Year Teaching Keys For Effective Classroom Discipline

It’s just the second day of school and already the honeymoon is fading.  Matthew is late, Juanita comes unprepared and strange noises are coming from Carson.  You can feel yourself struggling to keep your cool, not to mention the attention of your students.  Summer vacation is starting to feel like it never happened.

In an era of pressure to produce [...]

by Marc Anderson
happy family having a picnic

What are the Hardest Languages to Learn and Why are they the Hardest to Learn?

Most people in the world are multilingual, and everybody could be; no one is rigorously excluded from another’s language community except through lack of time and effort. Different languages protect and nourish the growth of different cultures, where different pathways of human knowledge can be discovered. They certainly make life richer for those who know more than one of [...]

by Alysia Bartley
smiling ladies with mustachios

5 Pronunciation Tips to Get You Started on Changing Your Accent and Increase Your English Speaking Ability

Are people concerned about accents?

Overall, it appears so based on the Internet searches and firsthand experience teaching ESL to learners of varied ages.

Accents reveal the background of a person and their unique characteristics. Lots of people are proud of their accents and really like hearing other people’s accents, too. But, sometimes accents interfere with understanding and communicating. It might [...]

by Alysia Bartley
melbourne coloration festival

Casual Conversation in ESL – The Inside Scoop Part III

So what exactly is casual conversation?

Casual conversation means blabber, chatter, chitchat, gab, gossip, table talk, trivial conversation, jesting, joking, kidding, ribbing, dialoguing, and small talk. – Roget’s Thesaurus 2014.

The more social actions, the more activities you participate in, and the more time you spend with these actions and activities, the more opportunities you have to speak casual English. The [...]

by Marc Anderson
Woman running on the beach. Vacation.

Be a DREAM CHASER not a Dream Killer – Ignite Your MOTIVATION to Learn ESL

So many people think that those people who are successful at learning a second language have…

high cognitive abilities
a special talent
a unique skill

Research shows otherwise. The number one factor that is a predictor for successful ESL learning is MOTIVATION. And the number one word to help justify an excuse is the word BUT.

Check out this video and see how “BUT” [...]

by Marc Anderson
Man Shouting

A Review of – an Innovative Vocabulary building tool that Boosts ESL Skills

Words are the only things that last forever. – William Hazlitt (1778-1830), English critic and essayist. 

These words and many other pertinent quotes fill the pages of Co-Founded by Vidhatanand, Deepasha, and Vaibhav Kakkar – and newly-released, it is advertised as a one-stop shop for personalized vocabulary building. Short-term benefits include helping with the vocabulary sections of competitive exams [...]