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We've all been there before, as a student or as the teacher: the teacher finishes talking about a topic and then "broadcasts" a question to the whole group. What happens next? Often, nothing. Nada. Crickets. A whole herd of deer in headlights. And then after that initial uncomfortable time-span, what then? Usually anywhere from two to five students raise their hands to participate. The others just sit there. Are these other students thinking about the topic, but just n
When I went to school many years ago, we primarily had full-class presentations and lectures. In the second grade I do remember reading groups, but otherwise we were taught en masse and then regurgitated as necessary onto paper. Overall this lasted through high school and worked fine as I knew no other way. Every once in a while students were called on to offer insight and opinion, but it was not an everyday occurrence nor do I recall that every students was held accou
When you first start learning the French language or the German language, or any second language, the fastest way to "open mouth, insert foot" is to use idioms like the one I just did. Idioms can make for idiots. Not really, but I love alliteration. The initial response of my students when I impart that advice is "What's an idiom?" An idiom is an expression or phrase, where the meaning of each individual word does not add up to the message being conveyed. The whole is
Idioms refer to phrases where their common meaning cannot be understood simply from the meanings of the individual words. They are cultural elements of speech and can prove a barrier to those who are speaking a non-native language. Five common English idioms are given below, together with ...
Why don't students understand when faced with a listening comprehension task? Larry Lynch suggests seven possible factors...
Mastery of English as a second or foreign language (ESL or EFL) comes down to how well a student speaks. He may write well, for example, get high marks on tests, or even have an accent nearly identical to a native speaker; but if he can't express ideas, opinions, or instructions clearly in a conversation, few would call him proficient. Language is for communication after all, and that primarily means speaking.