Category Archives: *ESL Listening

Smiling and Eye-Contact Behind Your Mask Has Benefits For You, Your Students And Even Strangers

 

Mask Cover image

(This posting includes a handout which you are welcome to use with your students.)

These days when I go for a run with my mask on, I find myself falling out of a habit that I had had pre-pandemic: smiling at other runners and walkers on the trails. With the mask covering my mouth, a smile seemed silly.

However, neuroscience researchers say–No, it’s not silly.  In fact, a smile, even if it is unseen, can have a positive effect on our emotions and on those people whom we are smiling at.

As our campuses slowly open up to more face-to-face contact with colleagues, students and others we come across while still wearing masks, we’ll have opportunities to increase a feeling of connectedness and well-being with just a little effort behind our masks.

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Teach Reduced Forms for Comprehension Not for Speaking.

Cover reduced forms shot

(This posting includes a handout which you are welcome to use with your students.)

A student, Tim, once came to my class all excited and asked me, “Hey David, wha ya gonna do di wee-en? I wanna gedouda taw.” 

I was pretty sure that he was trying to say something in English, but I had no idea what it was. After repeating the sentences several times, he became embarrassed and decided to write them down. “What are you going to do this weekend? I want to get out of town.”

He told me that the teacher in his previous class was doing lessons on reduced forms of speaking and had encouraged them to use them when speaking. So this student whose pronunciation was often hard to understand because he tended to drop final consonants of words (e.g. wee = week / taw = town) was being encouraged to do something that would make him even harder to understand.  Crazy!

How to work with reduced forms. (Handout exercise included)

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Taking TPR to Another Level of Engagement: Two Fun Lower-Level Activities (Part 2: Movie Directors)

Excerpt from directors’ script:

Movie Director script

(This posting includes a handout which you are welcome to use with your students.)

This activity is not only great for skill building, but also offers an opportunity for students to be creative.  It’s also very entertaining and a complete change from other activities that students usually do in class.

After students have done the TPR (Total Physical Response) activity which I had describe in Part 1 , Taking TPR to Another Level of Involvement: Two Fun Lower-Level Activities (Part 1: Triads) they’ll be prepared for this one, “Movie Directors.”

In brief, these are the steps and the handout.

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