Teaching in China: 12 Tips for Your First Weeks Living Abroad

Thinking of teaching in China? The ESL industry in China is booming and the demand for qualified ESL teachers is going up every day. Here are 12 tips for your first few weeks teaching and living abroad in China. Continue Reading →

The Rewards of Teaching

  Teaching is an incredibly rewarding and satisfying experience most days, but these last two weeks in particular have been special ones for me.    Several months ago, one of my students, Alexandria Lu, decided to start offering Chinese and English articles on her website.  Most of the stories she has posted online are writing assignments that she has completed for me in our creative writing class.  Each time she has posted, she has sent me an email to let me Continue Reading →

10 Things You Can Do To Improve Your English

1. Review. I know it’s boring, but it’s absolutely essential to language learning. Don’t bother to learn new words if you aren’t going to review. It’s a waste of time if you aren’t committed to reviewing your material. 2. Listen. The more you listen, the more you’ll remember. 3. Use your new vocabulary or lose it! Concentrate on a few new words each day and try to use them in different sentences. I encourage my students to take a few Continue Reading →

One of the Joys of Teaching

There are very few days when teaching tries my patience, and today wasn’t one of them.  Generally speaking, I love my job.  There is one day in particular that I look forward to each week and it’s because of my creative writing class.  I’ve been teaching these students for the past two years.  I’ve watched them grow and gain confidence in their English speaking abilities.  Now I’m watching them as they struggle to learn the ins and outs of writing in English.  This can Continue Reading →

The Importance of Recycling Vocabulary

Teaching vocabulary can be a challenge for new teachers. Most are quick to assume that once a new word has been taught, it has also been learned and will be remembered. Most new teachers don’t realize vocabulary needs to be continuously recycled. Students will likely forget vocabulary if they don’t encounter these words on a regular basis. Here are three useful strategies for recycling vocabulary: 1. Make a vocabulary board for your classroom. Post new vocabulary on the board each Continue Reading →

The Ultimate Harry Potter Challenge

With all the hype surrounding the latest Harry Potter book and movie, my students seem to be talking about nothing else. I’ve used this conversation lesson over the past week to generate team spirit and conversation in English. My advanced junior high school students haven’t stopped talking about it! Time: 2 hours. It depends on how many challenges you wish to use. Level: This lesson works well with large groups of 15 to 30 students in upper-intermediate or advanced level Continue Reading →

ESL Game: Dead Dice

Materials: 3 dice – Preferably the big, plush kind. Rule: Numbers 1 and 3 are ‘death numbers’. I use this game for teaching sentence patterns and grammar points. How to play: Divide the class into two teams.Write the sentence pattern or grammar rule that you are teaching on the board. Have the two teams take turns making sentences.  Each correct sentence gains one chance to roll the three dice. Add all the numbers of the dice together to decide the Continue Reading →