This category contains 24 posts

Corpus-based Grammars and Style Guides

I gave the keynote address at the AWELL Conference a few months ago, and one of the practical suggestions I included in my talk for writing teachers working with English language learners was to try to draw on corpus-based grammars and style guides based on real language use vs. those that try to pass off personal … Continue reading

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

AWELL 2016: Keynote Address

I’m giving the keynote address on the opening day of the Academic Writing and English Language Learners (AWELL) conference being held at Saint Mary’s University tomorrow. It’s a really neat conference which brings together a range of people who deal with writing in the university environment: ESL/EAP instructors, writing support centre tutors and administrators, and … Continue reading

The Swedish Number: Speaking task?

If I was teaching a speaking class right now, I would definitely turn making a call to The Swedish Number into a speaking assignment. The Swedish Number is an initiative of the Swedish Tourism Board, which is a phone number which “connects callers to a switchboard and then, wherever in the world they are, to … Continue reading

The Joy of Dad Jokes

Dad jokes–jokes so corny, so lame, so obvious, they make us roll our eyes, groan and exclaim “DAAAAAaaaad!!!” like an embarrassed 8-year old. (Here are some, and some more, and yet another list, and even a Dad Joke Quiz.) But could Dad Jokes be the gateway humour for language learners? Lots of people have written … 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

TESL Nova Scotia: Beyond the Five-paragraph essay in EAP Writing

I’m presenting at the TESL Nova Scotia conference this weekend. The slides for my presentation can be downloaded here. It’s so much fun to participate in my local ELT association and community!

TESL Canada 2015: Beyond the Five-Paragraph Essay in EAP Writing

Three colleagues and I are off to Lake Louise to represent the East Coast at the TESL Canada conference being held Oct. 29-Nov.1. I’m doing a tweaked and updated version of my presentation Beyond the Five-Paragraph Essay in EAP Writing. Here’s the abstract: The five-paragraph essay is omnipresent in English for Academic Purposes (EAP) coursebooks, despite … Continue reading

Why All (Serious) English Teachers Should Know the IPA

IPA as in the International Phonetic Alphabet, and not India Pale Ale, to be clear. 🙂 I recently posed this question on Twitter, and got a variety of responses. Some agreed that it was helpful but not necessary, and others pointed out that knowing IPA is one thing, but knowing the phonology and phonetics that … 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

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