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Latest Blogs


Teaching like a pro in 6 steps

teaching pro

Over the summer, I read John Bogle’s 2009 book, Enough. In the book, Mr. Bogle (founder of Vanguard) gives solid advice on investing, business and life. I gleaned much from its pages, but the chapter on professionalism spoke to me as a teacher. Mr. Bogle quotes an article in the Daedalus (Summer 2005) which lists six characteristics… Read More

5 Ways journal writing improves your English

journal writing

Journal writing in English may not be at the top of your to-do list in 2016, but perhaps it should be. Keeping a journal is rewarding, providing a space for reflection and  a way to record your days. Not only are they a place for self-expression, but journals are also an effective tool for improving your English. If you’re not sure if… Read More

Queen Elizabeth: Inspiration for 2016

Queen Elizabeth

Queen Elizabeth gives a short message each Christmas. During her speech, she reflects on the past year and looks forward to the new one, offering hope and inspiration to all who listen. Queen Elizabeth’s ten-minute speech is perfect for language learners. You can listen with subtitles the first time and then try listening again without… Read More

How shoes can do the talking


Shoes can do a lot of talking.I discovered that fact at a conference. During the opening session,  the speaker asked us to look at our shoes. She then instructed us to tell the person sitting next to us the story behind our shoes. To my amazement, our shoes had a lot to say.  In this… Read More

Dictation that makes a difference


Dictation is a long-used method for improving language skills. Traditional dictations require the listener to write word-for-word what is said by either a teacher or recording. This time-tested method requires a variety of language skills such as listening, grammatical, vocabulary, and spelling skills. Dictation Practice Listen to these four sentences several times, writing down exactly… Read More

Talking Turkeys

Turkeys not only end up on dining room tables on Thanksgiving but turkeys also show up in the American language as well. In this week’s post we’ll look at the place of the turkey in American history, culture, language, and literature. Turkeys on the ballot As a young nation, America needed not only a flag… Read More

Secrets of Successful Language Learners

What are the secrets of successful language learners? ESL Online Magazine interviewed one successful learner in last week’s post. Here’s more of what Evelyn has to say: Successful language learning starts with mimicry Go where your heart leads you, cars, sports, science, economics… It really doesn’t matter, but what matters is that you need to… Read More

Future Tense Expressed in the Present?

The future tense is most often expressed using two constructions, “going to” and “will”. For example, “I am going to go to a movie tonight,” or “I will visit my mother this weekend.”  Both structures express a future meaning.  There are some instances, however, when the present tense can also be used to express a… Read More