For teachers

How to Create a Field-Related Glossary

In your B-Block college ESL course, you are required to use English words related to your program or field-of-study in your writing and speaking. In order to do that, you must spend some time finding specialized terminology in English to assist you in explaining field related concepts to an audience of non-experts. There are few

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Storytelling at the World Bank

Many ESL teachers feel that argumentation skills are essential for academic and workplace success. Essay-writing remains at the heart of every college ESL course and Business English course. There are good reasons to question the over-emphasis on 5-paragraph essay writing and to reintroduce narrative writing into English Second Language courses. In Storytelling in Organizations, Stephen Denning

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Teaching the Social Curriculum

Schools usually have a very strict and clear academic curriculum. The social curriculum can be less clear, but it’s just as important for the development of children into healthy adults. The social curriculum relates to teaching students how to interact and empathize with others. Learning these things helps young people to build healthy relationships and

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The Superiority of Narratives to 5-Paragraph Persuasive Essay Writing in College ESL Courses

Many teachers believe that the 5-paragraph persuasive essay is the only appropriate writing task for college-level students. Almost all of the college-level ESL textbooks published for the Quebec market include units on the so-called 5-paragraph persuasive essay, but units on narrative writing rarely appear. This dearth is unfortunate since there are some very good reasons to

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The Economic Benefits of Bilingualism

On paper, Canada is a bilingual country. It has two official languages: English and French. All students in Canada take second language courses at school, but many do not learn enough of the second language to be considered bilingual. In part, this is because the second language is not always taught effectively in schools, and

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Academic versus Conversational Vocabulary Differences

  There are “extensive linguistic differences” between different registers of English (Biber et al., 1999, p.9). Academic and conversational registers reveal a complementary frequency distribution of vocabulary and grammatical forms. Some of the principle differences are as follows: Vocabulary Differences Arranged by Parts of Speech Nouns Conversation has a lower density of information and therefore

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Aelfric’s Grammar

If you are a fan of BBC’s story of Utred and Alfred, The Last Kingdom, you might be interested to learn about an important scholar working at that time, called Aelfric. Who was Aelfric? Aelfric of Wessex (955-1020) wrote the first grammar of English. The Historical Context of Aelfric’s Life In the two centuries leading up to

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How to Comment on Student Writing

Good writers understand their readers and the effect their choices have on a reader’s experience of their writing. In contrast, novice writers struggle to anticipate difficulties readers face with imperfect prose. The purpose of a teacher’s comments is, therefore, to “dramatize the presence of a reader” (Sommers, 1982, p.148), letting the writer know what has

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