Category: on language

EFL 2.0 gems: Name The Language

This “game” is based upon my first successful game “Who Is Speaking” which used the speech accent archive. In it, you listen to the 1st Article of the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Man spoken in a foreign language. Then you guess and see...

Yes, sir! No, sir. Sorry, sir.

Yesterday at the gym, in sharp succession, was called “Sir” by two young men (probably high school age). One replied, “Yes, sir” when I asked if I was going in the direction of the change rooms. The other banged the door into me and gave...

Motherese

It is always a delight to read/hear one’s ideas confirmed/supported. It’s the source of so much joy and progress in this world and also the source of so much evil. Such is our nature. Today, over my Friday morning ritual of “the big breakfast” at...

Free “Won’t”

I’ve been thinking a lot about “free will” and the nature of the choices we make – both in teaching and in life. Recent research, especially since the famous Libert experiment, suggests we make decisions before we even know we make decisions. Meaning, something, a...

Sport and Language Learning

I’ve been an athlete most of my life. Also a coach and one who’s thought a lot about how to “develop” one’s talent as an athlete. This has served me well as a language teacher. Becoming proficient or even excelling at a sport bears most...

The Poetic Alphabet

I’m in love with the alphabet! It is for me, a mine where my deep waters run still, until there is nothing left. It is the ultimate organizer, the ultimate trumpet of sound, the operating table of meaning. My absolutely favorite thread on EFL Classroom...

The Idiot’s Dictionary II

Finally for the moment, finished with this project – The Idiot’s Dictionary. However, dictionaries, like poems, are never finished, merely abandoned….. Enjoy – get the online copy here. (download button, bottom right) If you really get into it – think of purchasing the hard cover....

Busy As A Beaver

Busy As A Beaver

We have so many “hypothesis” about second language learning. I’ve commented on this before. Today, just a shout out to the one thing I know that works for all. Not an hypothesis but a fact, – being busy. It’s all about just keeping at it....

Cursing and Swearing

As a teacher, I really didn’t follow the standard “levels” of fluency – all those test numbers or beginner – intermediate – advanced. No, I had my own standards, my own way of placing this bar. For me, there were only 3 levels or abilities....

Poetry in the EFL Classroom

I’ve written a lot about using poetry in the classroom. However, came across my old audio page collection and noted Billy Collins great audio recordings (see below) – couldn’t help sharing. Decided to collect his wonderful “visual” poems in a nice player. Find them, along...

The Idiot’s Dictionary

I haven’t posted in awhile. Been traveling and life happens. But looking forward to a summer where I’ll be writing some more “eclectic” posts.  This summer, I’ll be focusing on 3 things here: 1. Broad issues in education 2. Highlighting older posts that are well...

Memory and Language – an experiment.

I’ve always been fascinated by the role memory plays in language acquisition. It isn’t a straight forward relationship (better memory = better fluency) however, looking at student “2nd language memory” does allow us teachers in a very crude way, to gather knowledge about student fluency....

More Than Words

Find more videos like this on EFL CLASSROOM 2.0 I’ve been noticing more and more, teachers and especially those acknowledged as “leaders”, sharing sites where learners learn “words”. These sites usually involve games or tools that allow the user to have fun with words. These...

Name The Language. Can you?

As a teacher of language, I love thinking about language. This weekend I made a few quizzes which I’ll be modifying over the next month. Making them more interactive and also with video. However, I chanced upon this video of many languages and readings of...

Learning a language

Learning a language

This video is raw, raw and real. Meaning, to me it speaks on many levels (both good and bad) because it is from the heart, the belly and the brain – because it has spirit and eyes and emotion. We need more of this type...

Risk taking and Language learning

Risk taking and Language learning

Sue Lyon-Jones shared this wonderful video on her blog and it really hit me as a great symbol of a language learner who “takes a chance” and just lets the language come out and go through him or her. Risk taking is one of the...

Groping for trout

“You can tune a piano but you can’t tune a fish” Words, words, words. Sometimes I feel like becoming a monk solely for the reason to be beyond words, of no need of words, away from words and their slinking skullduggery. They are cruel and...

Cart before the horse?

Cart before the horse?

A lot of teachers have been reading a previous post entitled “Faking it”.  There I outlined my belief that a lot of students and teachers were, “playing school” and that not as much learning as possible was occuring. I have another thought to add. I...

Insights about SLA …..

I’ve recently been updating articles and resources on the TESOL Teacher Training page/course. One article that I read several years ago has always stood out for me. What do we know about learning and teaching second language – Implications for teaching. Written by Francis Mangubhai,...

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