When it’s time to put your language to the test, set aside grammar and vocabulary. (1) Confidence, (2) precision, and (3) tact will help both you and your counterpart walk away satisfied. (A companion article to How to Talk to a Non-Native Speaker.)

In 2016, I left the US for Turkey to get my certification as a language teacher and begin a bike tour across Europe. Before leaving, I took some time to learn Turkish. After months of studying, hours of conjugating, and singing dozens of songs I didn’t really know the lyrics to, the moment finally arrived. …

Traditional language teaching tells us that lessons can be divided into three parts: Present, Practice, Produce. Some people might call that “Engage, Study, Activate,” and still others might call it “I do, We do, You do.”

Whatever works for you. Personally, I like the brevity of “PPP.”

Come on, I’ve got this.

Most teachers do not struggle with presenting or practicing. Presenting can be done up-front with guns blazing by showing grammar rules or word definitions. It can also be done with subtlety through guided discovery and deductive learning. There are uses for both methods.

Practicing is also easy enough. You have a book, and…

TL;DR Keep your activities monolingual. When designing activities and using the target language (L2), avoid using the student’s native language (L1). This will save you both time and effort later on.

Half of the language teaching materials I find on Quizizz teach via translation, and it frustrates me to no end.

In teaching through translation, you increase the burden of language learning both (1) on the student, who must now struggle through missed teaching opportunities, and (2) on the instructor, who is now responsible for correctly using two languages and re-teaching what could have been taught through stock phrases.

The Learner’s Burden


In this article, I want to show you how I set up Anki. I want to explain to you why I set it up that way. But most importantly, I want to establish that Anki has value, and I want you to introduce that added value into your daily life.

With this self-admitted excess of purpose in mind, I have tried to format the tutorial to deliver both necessary and extraneous information while maintaining some semblance of flow.

(1) Essential elements are formatted as titles. Follow these steps and ignore the rest if you already understand the value Anki can…

Communicating with non-native speakers is common in international organizations, but doing so without being patronizing is a hard-won skill. These techniques for tactful communication will help both you and your counterpart walk away satisfied. (A companion article to How to Talk to a Native Speaker.)

Photo de Jopwell provenant de Pexels

If you work in the corporate world, there’s little doubt that you will eventually encounter someone who is not a native speaker of your language. …

This text is an edit for educational purposes of the 1939 story “The Bear Who Let it Alone” by James Thurber. It and other stories can be found in the collection Fables for Our Time and Famous Poems Illustrated.

In the woods of the Far West there once lived a brown bear who could take it or leave it. He would go into a bar where they sold mead, and he would take his time having just two drinks. …

This article is targeted toward ESL professionals. However, the principles described here could be used for teaching any language.

Disclaimer: this article contains profanity. The good stuff is at the bottom.

Pronunciation is one of the trickier parts of language teaching. What do you do when the instructor isn’t a native speaker? And when the instructor is a native speaker, what even is correct pronunciation?

British English? Which one: London, the Midlands, or the West Country? American English? West Coast or East Coast? Northern or Southern?

A simple desire to uncomplicate the issue, conventional wisdom, and the rise of task-based…

She’s on the artistic side of user interface creation for applications, and it’s her role to determine what the product will ultimately look like. She loves her job because it gives her the opportunity to “make ideas a reality.”

“I learn a lot of new things, but I work 9 to 9!” Today she missed her yoga class.

What is one thing that you’d like to change about yourself?
—That question is too hard! I’ve never thought about it before. I can’t think of something good at the moment, maybe just something small. I used to be a really hard-working person…

This article is for students of English. If you’re an educator looking to make the transition to online teaching, please try this article instead.

Online education is the learning platform of the future. But with the rise of online schooling, too many business have flocked to the online marketplace to compete for students. Truly terrible platforms with under-qualified tutors have started huge advertising campaigns on Facebook and Instagram, and amidst all that noise you might be missing the best sites available.

In my experience, two of the best online platforms are Cambly and Preply. Both will help you work on…

This article is targeted toward ESL professionals. However, the principles described here could be used for teaching any language. You can find other articles for SLA professional on my profile.

School’s open. Are you ready for what’s to come?

For many in the ESL profession, your language schools are now opening up. You’re having meetings, getting together, and making plans for what form the coming term will take.

No matter what structure your administration has decided on, I’m going to guess that two elements are universal: reduced class sizes and social distancing in the classrooms.

When I first heard that we’d have 10 students in a class from the…

N.G. Rees

Teacher trainer and ESL instructor based out of Morocco. Head of Training and Development, Resilient Communities NGO. hmu @nickguyrees

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