Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Best Online Video Sites For Learning English

This list focuses on sites designed to provide online videos to assist English Language Learners develop their language skills. In addition to meeting that criteria, in order to make this list a site has had to have the following elements:

* videos provide engaging content, not just a teacher talking.
* free-of-charge.
* online follow-up language development activities after watching the video.
* classroom content appropriate for the classroom.

The Best Online Video Sites For Learning English

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Extensive reading: why it is good for our students… and for us. | Teaching English | British Council | BBC

An article by Alan Maley posted to BBC's Teaching English, 9 December, 2009: "Extensive reading: why it is good for our students… and for us." In this, the first of two articles for TeachingEnglish, Alan Maley considers the benefits extensive reading can bring to English language learners and teachers.

What is Extensive Reading (ER)?
Extensive Reading is often referred to but it is worth checking on what it actually involves. Richard Day has provided a list of key characteristics of ER (Day 2002). This is complemented by Philip Prowse (2002). Maley (2008) deals with ER comprehensively. The following is a digest of the two lists of factors or principles for successful ER:

Monday, December 07, 2009

Update: Advanced Writing Class

Several of you have expressed interest in the writing intensive class I'm starting. Sadamu has sent his application letter ~ I'm waiting on Allun's letter. Other applications have come in through the StudyCom page, but there is still space in the class.

I'd like to make a few comments about what I hope we can do in this course. First, the writing won't be just essays and academic writing. I want to customize the the class and assignments to suit individual writing goals: academic, business, professional, technical, and personal communication. Exploring a variety a writing styles, forms and situations will make the class more interesting ~ and develop stronger writing skills.

If you are interested in taking this class, please email me ~

Thursday, December 03, 2009

How to subscribe to blog updates and more

Get new blog posts automatically emailed to you. Go to Settings on Dashboard - click "email & mobile" tab. You'll see "Email Notices" at the top of the page, Type your email address in the blank next to "BlogSend Address."  You can enter a comma separated list of up to 10 email addresses. This should work. If it does not or is not on your dashboard, let me know and I can add your address from my dashboard. You can subscribe to comment notification by email whenever you post a comment to a post.

I've heard from some about staying in the class. My next step will be to check past participation and start dropping those who have never posted or commented.

Next, perhaps a poll or survey for ideas on what direction. I am not interested in being the only contributor and like the idea of "projects." Some could be to educate the rest of us about some aspect of your own countries and cultures. Other projects could be taking turns to research an area of English study, look for handouts and exercises, and prepare a lesson for the rest of the class.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

New StudyCom class: advanced writing

I am starting an High Intermediate/ Advanced Writing Group (with emphasis on academic essays for TOEFL prep and academic writing). This writing intensive group will write substantial posts for class discussion, analyze and critique essays and writing samples, regularly write and revise  essays. I must limit enrollment because responding to student writing is labor intensive and time consuming.

To apply for the class, write an application letter essay and email it to me at

Introduce yourself and include a brief biography (paragraph #1). Describe your English learning background (paragraph #2) and evaluate your writing strengths and weaknesses (paragraph #3). Finally, state your writing goals and explain why you want to improve your writing (paragraph #4) 

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