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TESOL: Using Songs with Adult Learners

Teaching English with SongsWhy teach English with songs? Songs are an excellent tool for learning English while having fun. They can be used to learn or practice the target language in a motivating and enjoyable way.

Many teachers think that using songs in the classroom is only for young learners, or as a means for motivating teens. While it is true that children learn most by doing and singing, and teens love learning the lyrics of their favourite singers or bands, songs work equally well with adult learners.

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Authentic Material: How to Teach English Using Radio or Podcasts

By Margaret Hurley. Co-writer You Can Teach Grammar

Podcasts and radio in the ESL classroom - Authentic Material TESOLThe benefits of using authentic material in the TESOL classroom are many. They generate interest, they are certainly more varied in range than the material embedded in textbooks, they can be extremely practical, they can be fun and they can be very current. Especially for teachers who are not in an English-speaking country, authentic material are an excellent way to bring the English-speaking world into the classroom. In this series, different specific ways of using authentic materials will be covered. This inaugural issue covers some tips for using (non-musical) radio or podcasts in the classroom.

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Classroom Activities for Teaching English and Culture – Communicative Approach TESOL

Teaching English Using the Communicative Approach TESOLThere are many strategies in the Communicative Approach that ESL teachers could employ to teach language and culture at the same time.  What’s important to keep in mind is that the two should be taught simultaneously and at all levels of learning.  Learners begin by becoming familiar with the new culture, progressively moving toward comparisons between cultures, and eventually gaining an in-depth knowledge of both (Sellami, 2000).  The classroom activities described below teach language and culture simultaneously; however, all language lessons have an element of culture in them.

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Authentic Material: Home-Made or Off-the-Shelf?

In Theory/In Practice

Authentic material TESOL teacherThis Authentic Material Teaching Tips article focuses on the question of how deeply “authentic” teachers need to be in order to meet students’ needs.

Most ESL/EFL classes rely on textbooks to guide the curriculum and to provide the bulk of the material used in the classroom. Good textbooks make teachers’ jobs much easier. But, even the best textbooks are unable to anticipate and address the needs of every class. So – with or without a textbook – teachers often need to provide supplementary material. The choice then becomes one of creating original material or sourcing “pre-packaged” exercises from elsewhere.

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Developing Handouts

By Margaret Hurley

handouts authentic material TESOL Authentic material is often inspiring, rich and topical. It can be a significant motivator for students and it can go a long way toward keeping teachers interested, too. So, why isn’t it used even more often? The short answer is: it’s a lot of work for the teacher.

The major disadvantage of authentic material is that it doesn’t come with ready-made tasks. Turning the material into a lesson is entirely up to the teacher. And when a busy teacher is using “fresh” material (current news, for example), the supporting tasks may be developed in a rush.

There’s nothing wrong with doing things quickly – but time pressure can tempt the best of us to get a bit sloppy. Herewith, then, is a set of tips for avoiding bad habits when developing handouts to accompany the authentic material.

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