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An ESL Listening Lesson Plan Template

I Had no Idea, too I’m always surprised when I get reader questions or talk to people preparing for their upcoming job interviews that they don’t know how to make a basic lesson plan. But, it’s not so crazy and I actually had no system of any sort until I …


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How to Teach English, the Awesome Way

So you Want to be Awesome? So you want to know how to teach English, the awesome way? I have some good news for you. It’s really not that difficult and actually, teaching English isn’t like rocket-science. While some people may tell you that you need all these qualifications or …


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Top 5 Tips to Help you Get Ready for the New Semester

Bust out of your Summer Apathy! It’s that time again! The new semester is starting up in less than a month and I’m sure teachers are busy getting everything ready to go. Top 5 tips to get ready for next semester teaching in a Korean university Plan ahead There’s nothing more …


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Top 5 ESL Teaching Resources I use in my own classes

Even though I’ve been teaching for a lot of years (a decade!), I still get stuck in a rut sometimes and look at the textbook I’ve been assigned to teach and feel no joy. Like seriously, no joy whatsoever. Maybe the topics are dead to me–there’s a growing list of …


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Google Drive and Why I Love It

If you’ve spent any time cruising ’round this blog, you’d know that I’m all about making my teaching life as easy as possible and saving time wherever possible so that I can write more books and do more blogging. That’s not to say that I don’t spend a ridiculous amount …


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Authentic Materials for Language Learning with Lower-Level Students

Textbooks=Boring I’ve talked about how I don’t really like to use textbooks that much and if possible, I’ll design my own lessons. A big part of this is that I think most of the topics in ESL textbooks are overdone and the students (and myself) are bored of them, especially …


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Insanely Busy Working in a Korean Uni: How to Deal With It

First of all, always remember to say to yourself, “Serenity now.” This will help you a lot. But, keep reading the rest of the post for lesser advice, if you must. A couple semesters ago, I felt like I’d over-committed myself with regards to all the overtime I was doing, …


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Top 5 ESL Lesson Planning Sites

If given the choice, I’ll often not use a textbook for reasons I explained in this other post: No Textbooks for Me! When I don’t use a textbook, I’ll use the following sites for ESL lesson planning ideas: 1. ESL Writing.  The listening lessons are excellent and are great for getting some …


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Teaching English-No Textbooks!

I remember years ago when I was just starting out as a teacher, I felt like I NEEDED a textbook, because without it, what could I possibly do in class to fill the time? And I was indeed just filling the time and not really teaching. It seemed so complicated …


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Killer Classes: The 4 Hour ESL Lesson Plan

4 Hour ESL Lesson Plan: One Coherent Theme At my university, there’s this overseas internship preparation program where there are 4 hour classes, with the same teacher and same students. It’s a bit killer on the teacher, as well as the students but I try to make it as painless as …


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Discussion Topics for ESL University Students

2 Discussion Topics for ESL University Students + Lesson Plans People Use Technology More, Sleep Less I based this lesson plan loosely on an article from Breaking News English, which is a great site for teachers who want to incorporate some current events into their class. I used it for …


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Teaching Present Perfect Continuous with Timelines

  Present Perfect Continuous vs. Present Perfect In my advanced conversation class, Touchstone Level 3 has a section about the present perfect continuous and the present perfect. It’s actually quite  complicated and not something that students understand really easily, so  using timelines for teaching present perfect continuous can be really useful. What …


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University ESL Lesson Plans- What I Actually Do in Class

  University ESL Lesson Plans: What do you Actually do in Class? One of the common questions that I get from Hagwon and public school teachers in South Korea is what I actually do in my university classes. In hagwons, it’s  rare to have the same students for more than …


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Serial Podcast for ESL Students: Happy Times all ’round

Serial: I Hope You’ve Heard of It Last year, my serious addiction was the Serial Podcast. If you haven’t heard of it, you are perhaps not really living on planet Earth and you should definitely check it out, but be ready to binge listen because it’s crazy addictive. I personally …


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ESL Food Unit Plan, for Korean Students

Every ESL Textbook Talks about Food…. It seems like almost every single ESL textbook for children as well as adults has a unit on food, and it’s usually very Western-centric, with things like “appetizers, main dishes, side dishes and desserts.” …and it’s Mostly Western-Centric In Korea and in many other …