Category Archives: Classroom Ideas

Ideas and suggestions to use in your classroom.

Incorporating Listening Activities Into Literacy Classes

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Literacy teachers emphasize reading and writing because those are the only two skills assessed at the literacy level. However, when does the attention given to those two skills become excessive? And, by devoting the bulk of class time to those two skills, do we do so at the expense of a holistic approach to teaching?

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Student Engagement Strategies That Work

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As the day wears on, it’s not uncommon to see learners becoming unfocused, disengaged with classroom tasks, restless, noisy or silent. The most demotivating aspect of disinterested students is their unwillingness to learn. A Gallup student poll (2014) reports that nearly 50% of the learners were “either not engaged (28 percent) or actively disengaged (19 percent) in school” (Collier, 2015). 

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Simplifying Real-World Content with ChatGPT and the Canadian Language Benchmarks 

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Lesson planning can be a time-consuming endeavor, especially for educators teaching students with lower levels of English proficiency. Adapting materials to meet the needs of these learners requires careful consideration and often entails significant effort. However, with the assistance of tools like ChatGPT, this process can be streamlined and made more efficient. 

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Mitigating the Effects of Trauma

Photo by Susan Wilkinson on Unsplash

“Two of my brothers were killed in the war in Ukraine.”

“My family’s houses were destroyed in Palestine”

“I have PTSD from a trauma in my homeland.”

“There is fighting in my street back home, and I can’t reach anyone.”

“My mother was sent to a re-education centre for being a Uyghur.”

“My husband and I and our two sons were put on a kill list, so we had to flee my country.”

“My sister is sick, and I cannot go back and see her before she dies.”

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Teacher Time Management Strategies in the Classroom

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One of the frequent challenges for teachers, even ones with experience is how to manage time in the classroom. One may well ask, why time management is so important. Effective time management is crucial to provide quality education. In fact, teachers don’t really have enough time to teach considering the breaks, learner attention span (which is typically half an hour or less); moving between classrooms for various activities and downtime between lessons and activities (Mehta, 2019).  Continue reading

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Smartphones can be a “Smart” Helper in the Classroom

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At first glance, smartphones may seem like the ultimate language roadblock for ESL learners. The alluring prospect of effortlessly translating any text with a simple tap can lead to a habit of overreliance, hindering genuine language absorption. However, it’s not all doom and gloom. When approached with a strategic mindset, smartphones can indeed become “smart” tools in the ESL learning arsenal, especially for those who find themselves grappling with the complexities of English at a foundational level. 

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Navigating the Labyrinth: Understanding Cognitive Load in the Language Classroom 

 

In the dynamic realm of language learning, teachers continually seek ways to optimize the learning experience for their students. One crucial factor often overlooked is cognitive load, the mental effort required to grasp new concepts in language learning. Recognizing and managing cognitive load in the language classroom can significantly impact student engagement, comprehension, and overall language acquisition. This blog post explores the concept of cognitive load, its implications in the language learning context, and practical strategies for teachers to enhance the learning experience. 

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Fun with AI: Day 1 Introductions and Boundaries

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This post is for those of us who are thinking of ways to introduce Dos and Don’ts about AI to our students from the very first day of classes. We can make this fun while ensuring that the task helps to establish our expectations of what constitutes appropriate AI use and what does not. For the following example, I used ChatGPT 3.5.

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Using Authentic Materials for EAP Students

Have you ever considered how you might conduct effective and enjoyable EAP sessions? Despite the limited duration and high-stakes nature of EAP classes, the emphasis on learner autonomy, critical thinking, and authentic academic situations renders the teaching process potentially more engaging than that of a standard English course, provided appropriate delivery methods are employed. 

As per Tomlinson’s (2013) perspective, classroom material ought to offer an array of authentic input in the target language, encompassing diverse styles, forms and functions. Based on this notion, I developed a lesson plan aimed at introducing my EAP students to academic research reports, facilitating their exposure to an authentic lecture and enabling them to independently explore the subject matter. To achieve this objective, I selected a TED talk and a pertinent research article as the primary resources for this lesson.  Continue reading

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