Browsing Tag

teaching english

Education Language

Johnny with 2 Ns, a beginner’s mentality & curiosity in the classroom

October 4, 2021

I peered over my student’s shoulder. I saw the black inked letters J-O-N-Y printed on the white name tag I’d folded and placed on each student’s desk. My student, otherwise known to his Czech classmates as Jonáš,* looked at me for approval. I am Johnny, he told me. Is it right?  I grinned. Yes, that’s right. Just add an “H” and double the “N.” Johnny looked puzzled. H like horse, I said. N like nose. I pointed to the letters…

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Making connections

February 12, 2015
English language written on black board in chalk with words hello, hi, how are you, and goodby.

Teaching English and learning to listen I come from a family of talkers. Making polite chitchat and navigating a conversation is a skill I learned in my early years, mostly by listening to the women in my family as they talked their way through church potluck dinners, monthly bridge group meetings, recreational league basketball games and Friday night high school football. Among Americans, women from the US’s southern states are particularly known for their conversational skills. Although my Virginia hometown…

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Teaching the younger crowd

October 31, 2014
A little girl learning English

Generating enthusiasm and bolstering confidence How do you get ten wiggly second-graders, released from their loosely supervised after-school care and put back in the classroom, to stop poking their neighbor in the side or fiddling with their locker keys, to sit up straight, listen closely and speak clearly? Short of standing on my head or announcing a fire drill, I haven’t really found the ticket yet. There’s a popular classroom management tongue-twister where the teacher says, “1,2,3…eyes on me,” and…

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