Top 10 ESL Activities for Big Classes

Way Back Then? Big Classes were Terrible! I remember back to my first year teaching in a Korean university, way out in the countryside of Chungcheongnam-Do. I taught writing and freshman English to classes of 40+ students. The writing students I saw for 3 hours/week, while the freshman English classes, …

Infographic Presentation: An ESL Speaking Activity

  Infographic Presentation: An ESL Speaking Activity   Skills: Reading/writing/listening/speaking Time: 1+ hour Level: High-Beginner to Advanced Materials: Internet access, PowerPoint Optional Materials: Video camera Presentations are a regular feature of ESL classes, but your students may get overwhelmed at the thought of first creating and then presenting a full-length speech. …

How to Teach English to University Students

It’s That Time of Year! The first week of classes in Korean universities have now finished and the introductory activities are done. It’s time to get into the serious teaching. But, perhaps you’ve only taught kids before and are new to teaching university students. It really is kind of a …

ESL Listening: How to Teach It

How to Teach ESL Listening ESL Listening: Love It! Back in the days when I used to teach in South Korean universities (not so long ago! This is the first semester in 8 years that I won’t be teaching), I loved me a good listening lesson. I would try to …

ESL Teacher Burnout: Here’s How to Avoid It

Now, I realize the irony of this post on ESL teacher burnout. I, myself, am totally and completely burnt out on the teaching and am in fact moving to Canada in about a month after living in Korea for a decade. However, I did have a really solid nine years …

Top 10 Time-Savers When Teaching in a Korean University

Top 10 Time-Savers When Teaching in a Korean University Let’s be real. Teaching in a Korean university is probably the easiest job you’re going to ever have in your entire life. Teaching hours are light, prep + grading are usually minimal, and you have no expectations for results whatsoever. However, …

ESL Speaking Activity: Just a Minute

ESL Speaking Activity: Just a Minute If you’re looking for some new ideas for the classroom, check out the video below where I talk about my favourite ESL speaking activity, Just a Minute. I loosely based it on a classic Toastmaster’s activity, Table Talk. The idea is that you get …

Touchstone Final Exams: They’re Difficult!

Want to Get High Student Evaluations? My Secrets, Revealed! I’m going to let you in on a little secret right now and tell you the easiest way to get high student evaluations without risking your job or spending a lot of money. Since most of our contract renewals in Korean …

Comparative Adjectives: How to Teach Them, the Awesome Way

Powering Through Comparative Adjectives My last semester teaching at a Korean university is coming to a close and in my freshman classes, we’re powering through the last little bits of Touchstone 2 before the final exams next week. Touchstone 2,  by the way is a very decent book overall and although …

39 ESL Warm-Ups: For Teenagers and Adults

Boredom is Always Looming: Change up Those ESL Warm-Ups It’s a reality that many of your students will not have spoken English or perhaps not even given it a single thought since you last saw the previous week in class. By beginning your lesson with a warm-up activity or game, …

Grading Participation in Korean Universities

Grading Participation: I Refuse to Do It Grading participation in Korean universities-I did it for quite a few years but in the past 3, I’ve refused to do it. It basically has to do with the classes that I’m teaching-mostly advanced level ones for English majors. If you’re an English …

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 …

Being a Great ESL Teacher-Do you Have What it Takes?

So you think you want to be a great ESL teacher-the person who excels above the rest and makes classes awesome for their students and keeps them coming back for more. The one whose students actually learn English and improve their skills. Do you have what it takes? Keep reading …

5 Tips for Making Student Centered Classrooms

Student Centered Classrooms: All the Rage These Days These days, all the current language acquisition research advocates student-centered classrooms. This is for good reason! Teacher-centered classrooms, beyond the very, very basic level of learning a language, or for extremely young learners have largely proven to be ineffective at creating students …