Activity: Word Trees

There are many sounds in the English syllabary that ESL students struggle with. Sounds like the ‘th’ in “this” or the ‘v’ in “va-va-voom” just don’t exist in some other languages and many students struggle to contort their mouths into the right shapes. So what can the ever-resourceful ESL teacher do to support their flagging…

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Akita With A Friend Continued

Getting to know the locals is an essential part of blending and feeling comfortable in a foreign culture. Luckily for me I have found Japanese people to be very welcoming, particularly in the northern Tohoku region of the country. One of my Japanese co-teachers even invited me on a trip to stay with his family…

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Akita With A Friend

When beginning the journey of living in a foreign country it really helps to get some local friends. They can help with cultural barriers and situations requiring a deeper knowledge of the native language. Plus, they’ll know where all the best bars are. I’m actually quite a shy person, especially when it comes to talking…

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Class Sizes in Japan

There are many things that flit through the mind of someone coming to a foreign country to teach English. How will I get to school and back each day? Will students be able to follow the lessons? How many luminescent highlighter pen colours is too many? Well, I can’t answer all of these questions (except…

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Halloween in Japan

In my childhood I had mixed feelings about Halloween. Sure, I enjoyed the sweets and the campy horror theme, but I was never keen on Trick or Treating. The idea of knocking on a stranger’s door never appealed and when I became old enough to be “the one who answered the door” I became resentful of…

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The Halloween Lesson

ESL Lesson topics are often chosen based on the time of year. So students might spend some time discussing what they plan to do in Summer or what Christmas presents they’re going to buy. One of the most popular themes is Halloween. There are , here are just a few thoughts for a Halloween lesson. Short Activities…

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Switzerland – The Lean From 10,000ft

After a rip-roaring time in Alaska I set sail for the shores of bustling Europe. First I stopped at Koblenz, Germany then I InterRailed my way to Interlaken, Switzerland. I’ve already written of my tiny tent, my view-riffic hike, and my drunken date-crashing caper. But that’s not all I got up to, there is still…

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Switzerland – Hiking and Hooters

After returning from my first ever solo trip, which took me to Alaska, I almost immediately set about preparing for my next sojourn. With a two-month rail pass in hand I set out for main-land Europe, one of the great cultural melting-pots of the world. My first stop was in Koblenz, Germany but my second…

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Teaching With A Topic

Memory plays a big part in learning. After all, what’s the point in spending all day studying something just to forget it all the next day? There are many ways to help retention. For example, I used to use a specific incense stick every time I revised for an exam, then in the test I…

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