• Is the Hokey Pokey Really What It’s All About? No, Subordination Is. (Part 1)

Dependent and Independent Clause My students are always quite surprised when I tell them this true story about subordination*.  Several years ago, I taught Academic ESL at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (UWSP).  I had discussions with the chair of the English Dept. about how they determine which students (American and International) are qualified to […]

• Playing Computer Games until 2 a.m. or Lack of Awareness (Subordination Part 2)

 (This posting includes a handout which you are welcome to use with your students.) “I like summer because it’s hot.”  Pretty simplistic, right?   The assignment was to write six sentences using subordinators as part of a review of them in my advanced class.  That sentence was the type that I got from some of my […]

• Yes! Fun Learning Subordination Inductively (Subordination Part 3)

(This posting includes a handout which you are welcome to use with your students.) “Now, I finally think I get it,” an adult ESL student told me.  After years of trying to understand the terms of dependent clauses, independent clause and conjunctions and how they work (and don’t work) in a sentence, she seemed greatly […]

• 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 […]