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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

How to Teach Online Lessons - And Be Proud Of Them

How to Teach Online Lessons - And Be Proud Of Them

The content of online English lessons varies greatly but the focus should always be on student speaking. Try to minimize the amount of time you talk (TTT) by having students read directions for exercises aloud or by doing the same types of activities often so that less explanation is necessary. Try to provide both oral and written feedback for students so they can review certain corrections on their own. If students are able to record classes, that can be very beneficial for self study too.

How to Proceed

  1. 1
    General English
    If you are following a certain textbook or curriculum, you can structure your lessons around new topics and grammar points. Start lessons off with a bit of conversational English since this is important for students who will have the opportunity to speak English outside of class. You can elicit what students already know about the topic and go over specific vocabulary words. Explain any new words to students and ask them to make sentences with or provide synonyms for several to test their comprehension. You can also introduce any grammar points or idioms at this time. Be sure to give students some example sentences and have them complete some practice activities. The majority of the lesson could then be spent having students respond to questions about the topic, practice a certain structure, or even role play a situation. Depending on how you teach your classes, you may share material in different ways and this will affect how you organize your lessons. Without any special software it can be challenging to highlight certain things and share materials but you can send students relevant files or links to websites before and during class.
  2. 2
    Business English
    Business English classes can be the most challenging classes to teach because students are sometimes quite advanced English language learners. For these lessons, it is imperative to prepare very well and be able to research items when students ask challenging questions. It is fine to have a student move forward in the lesson while you look for a proper answer to the question and then discuss the answer later or include it in the written feedback. Other students in these classes may be surprisingly good at speaking about their jobs but have difficulty speaking about other topics. It is important to focus on business material while still giving these students the opportunity to practice basic skills. General English can be just as important in the business world as delivering clear and concise presentations especially if students are expected to answer questions afterwards. Another key topic in these courses is numbers. Students will need some practice reading a variety of numbers and speaking about currency. Business English classes need to cover a broad range of material to ensure that your students are confident in a variety of situations. What you include in your lessons will vary drastically from student to student.
  3. 3
    Conversation Classes
    These classes can be enjoyable because students often just want to practice speaking English with a native speaker. This creates a very relaxed teaching environment and allows you to get to know your students well. Be sure to talk about what topics they are interested in and what they want to get out of their lessons. Once you have a better understanding of why they are studying English, you will be able to create better individualized lesson plans. It is great to be flexible for these classes but if students would like more structure, you can focus lessons on specific topics and include some activities such as introducing new vocabulary and idioms just like in general English classes.
  4. 4
    Discussion Lessons
    For advanced students who are not taking business classes, discussion lessons may provide them with excellent reading, pronunciation, and speaking practice while covering a range of different topics. These lessons can focus on two or three paragraph articles.In the first lesson students can start by reading the article aloud. Be sure to discuss any new words or phrases and have students complete some short activities focusing on vocabulary and content. Use the second class to discuss the article by asking the student ten to twenty related questions. It would be best to cover actual content, personal experience and opinions, and some tangential topics in these discussions. Feel free to insert your own thoughts from time to time to lead the discussion and challenge students to defend their arguments.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Using 'since and for'

Using since and for

The words since and for can be used as conjunctions and prepositions. When they are used as conjunctions, they combine two clauses. Note that since is a subordinating conjunction whereasfor is a coordinating conjunction.
When they are used as prepositions, they usually indicate time.
Since is used with the starting point of action. For shows duration.
Combine the following sentences using since or for.
1. I saw him last month. I haven’t seen him afterwards.
2. It was a public holiday. Schools and colleges remained closed that day.
3. I like him very much. So I will help him.
4. The table is made of mahogany wood. It is expensive.
5. It is raining. We can’t go out now.
6. It last rained three months ago.
7. I last visited my parents 2 years ago.
8. Something fell. I heard a noise.


1. I haven’t seen him since last month.
2. Since it was a public holiday, schools and colleges remained closed.
3. Since I like him very much, I will help him.
4. Since the table is made of mahogany wood, it is expensive.
5. Since it is raining, we can’t go out now.
6. It is three months since it rained.
7. It is 2 years since I visited my parents.
8. Something fell for I heard a noise.

Using 'Because and so'

Because and so

We can combine two clauses using because and so.
Study the example given below.
Susie didn’t attend the party. She was not invited.
We can combine these two clauses in two different ways.
Susie didn’t attend the party because she was not invited.
Susie was not invited, so she did not attend the party.
Combine the following sentences using because and so.
1. He was lazy. He did not study well.
2. He was busy. I could not talk to him.
3. He was ill. He did not attend school for a week.
4. They took him to hospital. He was sick.
5. The teacher asked him to go out. He misbehaved in the class.
6. It was warm. We left the windows open.


1. He was lazy so he did not study well. / He did not study wellbecause he was lazy.
2. He was busy so I could not talk to him. / I could not talk to himbecause he was busy.
3. He was ill so he did not attend school for a week. / He did not attend school for a week because he was ill.
4. They took him to hospital because he was sick. / He was sick sothey took him to hospital.
5. The teacher asked him to go out because he misbehaved in the class. / He misbehaved in the class so the teacher asked him to go out.
6. It was warm so we left the windows open. / We left the windows open because it was warm.

Transformative Technology in Education

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Rewrite using 'would rather'

Rewrite using 'would rather'

We often use would rather to say that we would prefer another person to do something. Past tenses are used.
Study the example given below.
I would like you to help him.
We can express the same idea using would rather.
I would rather you helped him.
Rewrite the following sentences using would rather.
1. I would like you to go home now.
2. I would prefer to go in December rather than in May.
3. I prefer starting early rather than leaving everything to the last minute.
4. I prefer to walk rather than drive.
5. I want you to stay in a hostel rather than in a hotel.
6. I would like you to find a job.
7. He would face the enemy rather than surrender.
8. They would like to build a new house instead of repairing the old one.
9. We would like you to go bed now.
10. We would like you to do the work yourself.
1. I would rather you went home now.
2. I would rather go in December than in May.
3. I would rather start early than leave everything to the last minute.
4. I would rather walk than drive.
5. I would rather you stayed in a hostel than in a hotel.
6. I would rather you found a job.
7. He would rather face the enemy than surrender.
8. They would rather build a new house than repair the old one.
9. We would rather you went to bed now.
10. We would rather you did the work yourself.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Useful rhetorical devices

Useful rhetorical devices

The use of rhetoric in essays allows improving and crystallizing argument as well as making them more persuasive. The first rhetorical technique to learn is litotes, a form of understatement which denies the opposite statement. For instance, saying that "Daily exercises are not easy", the author uses litotes, which allows placing emphasis upon the sentence of perceived importance.
The second d technique is parallelism, a very flexible method, which can be used practically in all types of academic papers. Parallelism brings together similar components or aspects of the same object or issue. For instance, "learning new and unusual experience is similar to diving into cold water" or "the researcher assumes that the percentage of suicides is lower in White American population, confirms his hypothesis through conducting his own study and automatically repudiates the argument of his predecessors". Parallelism can be used with nouns, verbs and adjectives, its main aspect is listing similar elements.
Zeugma is a similar rhetorical device, which implies using a connection between several parts of speech by another part of speech. This means, zeugma might include using several verbs with one subject or several objects with one verb. For instance: "Jenny excels at mathematics, Tom at sports, Mary at literature". Zeugma, as one can see, involves using a briefer version of the sentence and avoids repetition of the same verb, so this device is aimed at improving the composition and syntax of the sentence.
Antithesis is another interesting and convenient tool, as it two or more elements to each other. It is common for individuals to categorize and organize their thoughts searching for similarity or opposition, and antithesis allows reinforcing the sentence as a key issue to discuss without asking a question. For instance: "John's short and allegedly boring journey had a strong and long-lasting influence on his worldview". Further, the author can discuss the reasons for the lack of correspondence between the nature of the trip and the strength of John's experience without explaining "The essay will be discussing the reasons…" or asking questions that overload the essay. The meaning of antithesis lies in its major properties, which are combination and contrast of two elements, which thus help the reader notice this antithetical relationship (which might be overlooked if this technique is not used).
Historical present is a technique that involves the use of present tense when citing works, written in the past. For instance, one can state: "Machiavelli assumes that Christianity made people lazy". This technique places the events of the past into the present times and thus increases their relevance nowadays. When speaking about historical facts, biographical information about the birth and death should be used in past tense, whereas it is acceptable to say: "In 1986 the poet leaves England" (writes a book, marries and so forth). The major advantage of this technique is that it approaches the event to the writer.
Appeals to ethos, logos and pathos are the basic techniques to employ when creating a speech, persuasive and argumentative papers. In academic writing, the use of unsubstantiated emotional claims (pathos) is barely acceptable, and in order to appeal to emotions, it would be reasonable to include a striking or interesting fact, which would be relevant in the paper. For instance, when speaking about a war, it is useful to provide the number of lives the conflict took. In order to influence the reader's ethos, it is necessary to include the ethical side of the issue, argue the degree of its appropriateness to the society. Appealing to logos, the writer normally uses research data, references to credible sources as a logical support for the argument. Logos is "responsible" for knowledge, so it is the object of appeal in research and informative papers.
Procatalepsis is a device that refers to making prognoses, deriving from factual situation. These prognoses ca be both positive and negative, and it is recommended that the writer, employing this technique, is able to foresee the threats and dangers of the situation. For instance, "This development campaign is generally successful, but it is unlikely to have a cultural influence on national minorities because acculturation-related measures are not included". Importantly, procatalepsis relies on pure facts, which become the source of prognosis, but it would be unreasonable to build predictions on the basis of assumptions or hypotheses.
Personifcation is one of the strongest techniques to employ in descriptive papers or narratives. This tool allows metaphorically representing animals, inanimate objects or events as human-beings. For instance, in order to reinforce the role of revolution the author can refer to it as to a person: "She substantially improved the state of underprivileged". This tool can also be viewed as a legitimate appeal to the reader's pathos.
Finally, historical analogy as a rhetorical device can be used to exemplify the situations, which took place in the past, and compare them to the current events, find similarity and, if necessary, create a prognosis. Historical analogy is a vital part of national identity, so the use of this technique is likely to be noticed and appreciated. Historical analogy can be applied to practically any science, it allows finding the trends of development and compare certain periods to the present day. For instance, the war on terrorism could be compared to a crusade,. Apart from historical analogy, the writer can use metaphorical analogy as well as contrast, e.g. events can be compared or contrasted to natural phenomena, both from the position of the nature of the process and its outcomes.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Rewrite in the proper order

The sentences given below are taken from a story, but they are jumbled. That means they are not arranged in their proper order. Rearrange them in their logical sequence.
1. The young man sold his share of the property and left for another country.
2. The father tried to dissuade his son, but he wouldn’t listen to his father whom he regarded as old and ignorant.
3. Years went by. The younger son began to get restless because he was unhappy with his lot.
4. He led a luxurious life and spent a lot of money on gambling.
5. They were living together happily.
6. Soon all his money was gone and he became a pauper.
7. Once there lived a rich farmer.
8. He went to his father and asked for his share of the property.
9. So the father gave him a third of his property.
10. He had two sons.
Once there lived a rich farmer. He had two sons. They were living together happily. Years went by. The younger son began to get restless because he was unhappy with his lot. He went to his father and asked for his share of the property. The father tried to dissuade his son, but he wouldn’t listen to his father whom he regarded as old and ignorant. So the father gave him a third of his property. The young man sold his share of the property and left for another country. He led a luxurious life and spent a lot of money on gambling. Soon all his money was gone and he became a pauper.

Saturday, May 2, 2015


Collective Nouns of Animals Sample Flashcard: A Pack of Wolves.   

Collective noun is the name we give to a group of nouns to refer to them as one entity. 

1.    A class of students.
2.    An army of soldiers.
3.    A choir of singers.
4.    A crew of sailors.
5.    A band of musicians.
6.    A bunch of crooks.
7.    A crowd of people/spectators.
8.    A gang of thieves.
9.    A group of dancers.
10. A team of players.
11. A troupe of artists/dancers.
12. A pack of thieves.
13. A staff of employees.
14. A regiment of soldiers.
15. A tribe of natives.
16. An audience of listeners.
17. A panel of experts.
18. A gang of labourers.
19. A flock of tourists.
20. A board of directors.

The following collective nouns are used for animals.
1.    A catch of fish.
2.    An army of ants.
3.    A flight of birds.
4.    A flock of birds.
5.    A haul of fish.
6.    A flock of sheep.
7.    A herd of deer/cattle/elephants/goats/buffaloes.
8.    A hive of bees.
9.    A litter of cubs.
10. A host of sparrows.
11. A team of horses.
12. A troop of lions.
13. A zoo of wild animals.
14. A pack of wolves.
15. A litter of puppies/kittens.
16. A swarm of bees/ants/rats/flies.
17. A team of horses/ducks/oxen.
18. A murder of crows.
19. A kennel of dogs.
20. A pack of hounds.

The following collective nouns are used for things.
1.    A group of islands.
2.    A galaxy of stars.
3.    A wad of notes.
4.    A forest of trees.
5.    A stack of wood.
6.    A fleet of ships.
7.    A string of pearls.
8.    An album of stamps/autographs/photographs.
9.    A hedge of bushes.
10. A library of books.
11. A basket of fruit.
12. A bowl of rice.
13. A pack of cards.
14. A pair of shoes.
15. A bouquet of flowers.
16. A bunch of keys.
17. A chest of drawers.
18. A pack of lies.
19. A range of mountains.
20. A cloud of dust.