This semester, I’m teaching a class that meets twice a week for four hours each class period—yes, four hours! When I first found out that I’d be teaching a four-hour class, I thought it would be the worst thing ever. I imagined that my students and I would be totally dead and bored by the…… Continue reading Getting Students Moving During Class
When I first started an FVR (free voluntary reading) library and gave my students time to do free reading during class, I have to admit that there was a part of me that thought, “They’re all just sitting here silently, reading…couldn’t they be doing that at home? Is this a waste of class time?” But…… Continue reading Why should we give free reading time during class?
I’ve been wanting to set up an FVR (free voluntary reading) library for a long time now, but logistically, it seemed too complicated. Like most adult ESL teachers, I don’t really have my own classroom. I have a classroom that I use for the semester. But the classroom is also used by other teachers at…… Continue reading Setting Up My FVR Library
Last week, I wrote about why students don’t read more. Today, I’m writing about why teachers don’t encourage their students to read more. Because, of course, one of the main reasons why language students don’t read more is because of their teachers. Teachers often don’t encourage students to read extensively and/or don’t provide materials to…… Continue reading Why Don’t Teachers Encourage Their Students to Read More?
I recently ran across Stephen Krashen and Haeyoung Kim’s article “Why Don’t Language Acquirers Take Advantage of the Power of Reading?” It was published back in 1997, but the issues are just as applicable today (though I’d like to think that we—language learners and teachers as a whole—are gradually moving in the direction toward taking…… Continue reading Why Don’t Students Read More?
When I was first learning about the research on second language acquisition and was trying to figure out what it meant to teach using comprehensible input, one of the biggest obstacles for me was understanding the role of explicit knowledge. “Explicit knowledge” refers to being able to state a fact or a “rule” about a…… Continue reading What is the Role of Explicit Knowledge in Second Language Acquisition?
A few years ago, I read a book about designing listening activities for ESL students, and the author said that you should never have students “just listen”; they should always “do” something, like answer comprehension questions or complete some sort of activity after they listen. I think the reasoning was that if students don’t have…… Continue reading On Comprehension Checks and “Holding Students Accountable”