The most effective way — and the most intuitive way — to teach listening is through “top down processing.” This means focusing on “the big picture”, as if you’re observing a place from “above it”, understanding the gist of the information, analyzing the main ideas, and recalling key points. (The two other ways, less intuitive,...
Many teachers now have one-on-one or small group Zoom classes with their students. These can be great opportunities for learning — even better than live classes. But sometime these classes can “go south”, if the teacher is unprepared. Here are 5 tips to make sure your Zoom conversation classes are successful. 1. Be an active...
The necessity to prepare online classes amid this unexpected coronavirus shutdown has put a lot of pressure on teachers and administrators. It certainly has created new stresses for students as well.  It’s normal to feel helpless and frustrated … and unprepared. That feeling is a normal human response. The current situation of uncertainty reminds me of...
“Intensive listening”, the focus on individual words and attention to the details of sound, is usually not given much explicit practice in typical language classrooms. Why not? Because it seems kind of boring…at least it seems to be boring to the teacher! But the students, on the other hand, often find this type of practice...
Contemporary Topics (Levels 1-3) (published by Pearson) is now in its fourth edition. I’ve been series editor since the series inception in 1991, and I’m proud of the progress that the series has made over the years. I’d like to share an overview of the framework I’ve used to develop the series, in terms of...