English Teaching

ESL Textbook Review – Communication Strategies

The belief that “discussion” classes are easy to teach is one of the biggest misconceptions new teachers have. They believe that you walk into class and simply ask the students “what’s up?” Then, waves of conversation flow from the students mouths and the teacher sits back thinking about a party they will go to later in the night. Well, maybe I exaggerate but only a little. While many teachers approach their “discussion/conversation” classes this way the truth is that those teachers classes are not very good. “Discussion” classes need structure, they need a good lesson plan and they need a good textbook that is devoted to discussion classes. Today we are going to see if the textbook “Communication Strategies” written by David Paul and published by Thomson is one of those.

Teacher Resources Review – Grammar in Use Series

In this article we’re going to go over a series of books that should be on the shelf of every English teacher. I’m talking about Cambridge’s Grammar in Use series. There are three books in the series, Essential Grammar in Use, English Grammar in Use, and Advanced Grammar in Use. They are basically a grammatical reference guide for English teachers and students. It is marketed towards English students but in reality is much more of a teacher’s resource. Let’s get started

Introduction to Business English Classes

Class Intro Business classes are English classes for business people or people who might find themselves in various business related situations. These situations can range anywhere from checking into a hotel on a business trip to sales and contract negotiations. It is common to have these types of classes when you are teaching at a company or a factory and occasionally you will also have these classes at conversation schools. There are a couple of different ways to approach these classes depending upon the students and their respective levels.   Types of Students There are many different types of students that will take this class. If you’re teaching at an English conversation school then more likely than not you’re going to have students who already have a decent amount of Engl...

Introduction to Kids English Classes

In this article we’re going to go over some basic methods that you can use in your children English classes. Kids classes are generally defined as classes with students from the ages of 0 to 16. We will go over some basic ideas but if you want to know more about a specific age group then click on the link to see individual articles on the individual age groups.   Age groups- Most schools will try to separate their children classes into age groups. Occasionally you will see some younger students who have exceptional English skills grouped in with an older age group but generally this is not the case. The reason for this is simply that children have very different levels of maturity. A curriculum that you could use with 13-year-olds would be very difficult to use with eight or nine-year...

Introduction to Travel Classes

In this article we are going to go over how to teach a basic travel English class. Often these classes are referred to as “survival” English classes. Travel classes are for people who have little to no English ability but in the near future will be traveling abroad for vacation or perhaps business. These people are not concerned with learning conversational English. They want to be able to use English in places such as hotels, restaurants, at an airport, shopping malls and many other places. Travel classes differ from other types of English classes in that the focus is on a particular situation that the student might encounter. For example, most likely the student will at some point need to order food at a fast food restaurant. One of our travel classes will be completely focus...

Introduction to Teaching a TOEIC Class

In this article we are going to go over some basic methods on how you can teach a TOEIC test class. Teaching any kind of standardized test can be quite difficult. I remember my first day teaching at an English school in Japan. My first class was a private class with a student who was studying for the TOEIC test. The student asked me a question, I looked at the test and I knew the correct answer but I had no idea how to explain it. Hopefully this article will prevent that from happening for a few of you out there.   Basics Before we get into how to teach for the TOEIC test you will need to know a little bit about the TOEIC test itself. There are many standardized English tests around the world but the top three are the TOEIC test, the TOEFL test and the IELTS test. Millions of people a...

Introduction to the Standard English Class

In the next couple of articles we are going to go over the most common type of English class that you may teach. This class goes by many different names depending on the school that you are at but for simplicity sake here we are going to refer to this class as the “standard” class. What is a “standard” class? A standard class is a basic English class that teaches conversational skills to students. Standard classes include pretty much everything that an English student could use or want to learn. Depending on your students and what type of school you are teaching at, more than likely the focus of this class will be on conversational English. There will be other classes that might focus on grammatical skills, writing skills, and reading ability but generally most teac...

Introduction to Teaching an English Conversation Class

In the next couple of articles we’re going to go over one of the more common types of classes that you may teach at an English school. These classes we generally call “discussion” classes. There are various types of discussion classes but they all have the same common goal, which is to allow students a place and time to practice their English in conversations with other people. These classes are different from the “standard English” classes in that there’s not necessarily a key point that the teachers are trying to teach the students, the teachers are trying to get the students to initiate conversations. During these conversations the students will have chances to use anything that they have learned in the previous “standard English” classes. The k...

Teaching Business English Secondary Key Points

Secondary Objective Methods Vocab Builder Listening Exercise Pronunciation Email Activity Telephone Practice Review Role Playing Activity Reading Activity Culture Focus Vocab Builder vocab builders are exactly what they sound like, exercises to build a student’s vocabulary. Generally your textbook should have a variety of different vocab builders within it. If it doesn’t then you can click here (insert link) to get some ideas. Vocabulary builders can be used in a couple of different ways. Occasionally I like to use vocabulary builders as a warm-up. I also like to use vocabulary builders when I need a 5 to 10 minute activity. This could be in the middle of a lesson, or could be at the end of the lesson. Vocabularies are also very useful before you go into any kind of role-playing acti...

An Introduction to Teaching Business English Classes

In this article we are going to go over some various methods that you can use when teaching a business English class. We will try to provide you with some variations to the basic plan and we will also try to provide you information that will help you teach different levels of students business English. It is important to remember that there is not one perfect way to teach any class. The information that you will find here is simply some methods that we have found useful to us when teaching our own business English classes.First let’s talk about some basic objectives for these classes.   Basic Objectives Business related vocabulary Formal English Listening skills Role-playing Business Reading and Writing Skills Grammatical Patterns/ Sentence Patterns   Business related vocab...

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