• Inductive Grammar: Why are there commas in these sentences? Here are some clues. What’s the rule?

(This posting includes a handout which you are welcome to use with your students.) During a teacher-training course that I was teaching for American college students who wanted to teach ESL, we were discussing where to put commas.  Several of the students said that they decide according to their breath.  As they are re-reading something […]

• If You Want To Really Motivate Your ESL Students, This Will Do It.

One problem for ESL teachers is that we can become complacent and start to take shortcuts. One day, part way through my career, I realized that this was happening to me. I was teaching a TESL methods course to American university students who wanted to teach ESL. During one class, a student asked me what […]

• “What would you say if you were interviewing for an ESL teaching position?” (A question from a reader)

When I’m on a search committee, while we are interviewing an applicant, I can’t help but start thinking about how I would answer the interview questions myself.  It’s actually a good values clarification exercise (although perhaps best not to mentally practice it while interviewing someone).  So I appreciate Kevin’s question. Instead of writing out a […]

• Most Important Motivator of Students: How You Can Use It

This posting includes sample lessons that give students a lot of autonomy. This posting is discussed on my YouTube video ESL Writing Workshop Approach The most important ingredient for motivating students is autonomy. 1 The sense of being autonomous can produce a very positive effect on students’ attitude, focus and their performance.  Best of all, it’s […]