This category contains 10 posts

EAP Reading: Defining the Relationship

Here’s an interesting article that could make for a great reading for a class of EAP students about to enter their degree programs. As summarized by Students need to better understand the role of a professor, writes CHE contributor “I wonder if college students today truly understand the nature of their relationship to professors,” … Continue reading

The Rassias Method

I’d never heard of the Rassias language teaching methodology before an American-trained colleague brought it up recently. It’s like some in-your-face audiolingual/communicative language teaching hybrid. It seems like Rassias himself was quite the character: (from Stansfield, Charles, and Jeanne Hornor. “The Dartmouth-Rassias Model of Teaching Foreign Languages.” ADFL Bulletin 12.4 (1981): 23-27.) I’m not sure our … Continue reading

Exploring EAP at TESL Canada 2015

The article below is my round-up of sessions from the recent TESL Canada conference in Lake Louise. It appeared in the TESL Nova Scotia newsletter. Exploring EAP at TESL Canada 2015 The TESL Canada conference in Lake Louise could most likely go down in the books as the one of the most scenic teachers’ conferences … Continue reading

To Read: Toward Better Teaching of Pronunciation

Man it can be hard to find the time to blog in the summer! My goal in the next few weeks is to find a few more moments of quality time with WordPress, and also to read up on the state of pronunciation teaching. I’ll most likely be teaching a speaking and pronunciation course for … Continue reading

Lexicon Valley: How to Talk to Someone Who Doesn’t Speak Much English

A post I wrote for the Slate’s Lexicon Valley blog, How to Talk to Someone Who Doesn’t Speak Much English, was posted today. It’s labelled as “Language Travel Tips”, but it was actually originally conceived of as a series of tips for people in countries where English is the dominant language to keep in mind … Continue reading


By chance, two articles I had been working on lately came out this week. And they couldn’t be more different. Alcohol Really Does Make you Better at a Foreign Language (Sometimes) appeared on the Lexicon Valley blog on It was challenging writing about language learning for a generalist audience, as I’m used to talking shop with … Continue reading

Linguistics on Lifehacker

Lifehacker, one of the web’s most visited productivity blogs, regularly features articles on language learning. Most of them tend to be of the brainhack variety; they focus on how to use technology or other tricks to learn a language faster. While catching up on the blog today, three articles related to language jumped out at … Continue reading

TESL Nova Scotia Newsletter March 2014

My adventures in editing continue! The March 2014 issue of the TESL NS newsletter hits the web today. Click here to download it from

My article in TESL Canada Journal

It’s been a few months since it was published, but I just took a look at the Spring 2013 issue of the TESL Canada Journal. My review of Oxford’s Q: Skills for  Success 4 (Reading and Writing; Speaking and Listening) can be found on page 88! Click here for the PDF. (teslcanadajournal_jmacdonald)

Digital Tools for EAP Reading

I wrote an article on Digital Tools for EAP Reading that appears in the July-August issue of IATEFL Voices. In contrast to academic journals focusing on theoretical issues, IATEFL Voices is more geared toward classroom practice, which is right up my alley in terms of what I like to write and present about. I wrote … Continue reading

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