Viewing entries tagged with 'EAL'

Low Beginner Name Introductions

Posted by Nancy Callan on 25 February 2017 | 0 Comments

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Here's an introductions speaking task for low beginner ESL. I love tap sheets (see below). You could have students cut out the words and then arrange them into sentences, but you could also use it as is as a tap sheet, over and over and over and.....have you taught really low beginngers? 

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Reading on a Thrift Store Business Model

Posted by Nancy Callan on 21 March 2014 | 0 Comments

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Thrift stores are becoming more popular with middle aged clothes shoppers. Seems if you don't want to wear yoga attire to work, thrift stores are some of the best sources for clothing made from a wider variety of fabrics.

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Soft Skills: Small Talk About the Weather

Posted by Nancy Callan on 15 February 2014 | 0 Comments

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Over the years I've had numerous students say they've been turned down after job interviews because they lacked local experience. If having worked locally were a prerequisite for the job, would their resumés not have precluded them from even getting the interview? More likely the experience referred to is related not to quantifiable hard skills but rather to more intangible soft skills that enable a person to "fit in", such as knowledge of local language and the ability to engage in small talk. 

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Go and Went Grammar Errors

Posted by Nancy Callan on 10 October 2013 | 0 Comments

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Anyone who has taught grammar in a beginner level ESL or EFL class knows that the speed and accuracy with which students complete grammar worksheets is only very weakly correlated with their ability to use the given grammatical structure later in their own speech.

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A Fun Way to Teach Body Parts

Posted by Nancy Callan on 4 October 2013 | 0 Comments

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Jigsaws aren’t the only cooperative learning activity that I do in my classroom. Here is a fun activity for reviewing body parts. I divide the class into groups of three and give each group a sheet of chart paper and a felt marker. I ask the students to take turns being the artist.

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Teaching the Alphabet: Literacy 101

Posted by Nancy Callan on 1 September 2013 | 1 Comments

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Adult literacy students range from pre-literate to non-literate to semi-literate to those from non-Roman alphabets. I've had some students who did not know how to hold a pencil. I've had others who had no idea when their birthday was because they came from cultures where no one knew dates or years. But the majority of literacy students I've had came from non-Roman alphabets and had some knowledge of the English alphabet. Some even knew the names of all the letters of the alphabet, but had little knowledge of the sounds of any letters. Trouble writing on the line, confusion between upper and lower case and some letters backwards or reversed are all clues that a student may fit in this category of students. 

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Decorate Your Classroom with Affirmations

Posted by Nancy Callan on 4 August 2013 | 1 Comments

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If you have been off for the summer or part of it, soon it will be time to return to classes. Maybe you are thinking about decorating your classroom. Why not give it a makeover with some affirmations? Our subconscious mind is bombarded with so many messages throughout the day, many of them negative. 
Affirmations give your subconscious mind new more positive messages to believe in. They literally re-program the mind.

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Telephone Voice Mail Messages

Posted by Nancy Callan on 2 August 2013 | 0 Comments

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Many new immigrants answer the phone in their own language. A Korean immigrant might answer, "Yabusayo?" A Chinese immigrant might answer, "Wei?" Often their thinking is that most people who call them speak their language anyway and those who don't will understand that they are simply answering in their own language.

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Using Go, Play and Do with Activities

Posted by Nancy Callan on 12 July 2013 | 0 Comments

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Summer is the natural time for a unit on leisure. This unit is suitable for ESL or EFL students of all levels and has many opportunities for fieldtrips. Low beginners can learn the names of activites and practice "can" and "can't". "I can dance." "I can't dance." Higher level students can practice the intricate soft skills required to politely navigate invitations, both in speaking and in writing. Email is an obvious medium for invitations. 

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Soft Skill: Who Picks Up the Bill?

Posted by Nancy Callan on 21 June 2013 | 0 Comments

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We often think of bargaining language as confined to situations like a garage sale or to the purchase of larger items like cars or homes. One of the most common negotiations most people will engage in at some point is who will pay the bill in a restaurant. Not only are there language and soft skills specific to this situation, many cultural assumptions are thrown into the mix. Countries, as well as the cultures within them, differ in their norms about who should pick up the tab and when. Learning the related idioms and other bargaining language but not cracking this cultural code and developing the soft skills to successfully navigate this interaction can lead to social awkwardness as exemplified in the story below. 

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