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Increasing and Preserving Academic Learner Engagement through Enhancing EAP Curricula

In the recent past, I began to notice an eerie phenomenon happening with the learners at the private language institute where I teach. Learners who had been highly motivated, eager participants in ESL classes were rapidly losing steam once they entered the EAP level, to the point where their attendance was flagging, their assignments were […]

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Summary of “Mutual Empowerment in Challenging Times”

On July 18, a large audience gathered in the Tishman Auditorium to hear Dr. Diane Larsen-Freeman’s thoughts on “Mutual Empowerment in Challenging Times.” Dr. Larsen-Freeman is a prolific author who simultaneously holds positions at University of Pennsylvania, University of Michigan, and the SIT Graduate Institute. In introducing her, Professor Leo Schmitt highlighted Dr. Larsen-Freeman’s unique […]

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ESP and Entrepreneurism

Many ESL teachers start their career in an entirely different field. Ex-nurse, ex-accountant, ex-actor, ex, ex, ex. TESOL is a field of career shifters who all share one goal: to help people communicate better in English. I’m an “ex” too. An ex-server, ex-cook, ex-cashier, ex-barista, ex-operations manager, ex-everything food related. I’d been in the food […]

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A Dialogue with International Graduate Students in New York (Part 2)

In her recent post on this blog Roshii Jolly shared some of her thoughts, experiences, and questions related to teaching and learning. Here, in this post, she shares her interview with Nergis and Giovanna which covers a wide range of topics. 1. What is your first language? G: My first language is Portuguese (born and […]

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A Dialogue with International Graduate Students in New York (Part 1)

So, I’m going to begin with my general questions first because they haunt me. Maybe haunt is a strong word. But I’ll ask anyway because I feel safe in this “Uncharted” TESOL blog, which I christened. And, human motivations are very important to me. Why do we decide to become TESOL teachers? What keeps us motivated and […]

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Letters on the first and last day of class

In this era of text messages, instant messaging, and Snapchat (whatever that may be) I somehow find myself more attracted to the old-fashioned paper letter. It’s not that I send out many letters to friends and family, though I wish I did. Sorry, friends and family. However, I frequently ask students to write letters. In […]

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Fire in the Kitchen or: The Importance of Modeling in Teacher Education

Many years ago, fresh out of college, I entered my MATESOL program under the direction of a famed and inspiring methodologist, with high hopes. I didn’t know what to expect – I had never set foot in an ESL classroom – but I was confident that my program would show me the way. I learned […]

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Nudging for Success: Using Behavioral Science to Improve Student Outcomes

Everyone is trying to come up with reasons why students succeed or fail, and the reasons are many. I personally leave the traditional solutions to other practitioners, as I tend to trust that they have their bases covered. If you’d like to know a cool new way to get a student to improve at the […]

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NNEST Power!

As a TESOL trainer in Canada, I have the privilege of teaching trainees that hail from a variety of places and bring with them a rich diversity of teaching backgrounds: retired and semi-retired teachers from the public school sector, undergraduate students, international EAP students looking to take a specialized course to practice their English, native […]

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ESP: What you don’t know can help you

Before teaching my first adult ESL class about five years ago, I queried the program director, “Should I ask my students what they want to learn?” “All they’ll say is they want to improve their English,” she replied. “You know what they need to know; just teach it.” Having just completed the English for Specific […]

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