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Grammar Sets – a grammar game

Think back for a moment to when you were a young student in school learning your own native language. Remember how much you loved studying grammar, how much you cherished your grammar book? Remember how much you looked forward to your next grammar lesson? How excited everyone in the class would become in anticipation of […]

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  We know that repetition is a powerful tool for attaining fluency. That includes the phonics decoding fluency our students need to develop in order to become strong readers of English. But we also know that repetition can be deadly dreary drudgery. (Known by language teaching professionals as DDD. 😁)  If only … If only […]

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In the early stages of phonics training, children will benefit from making lots and lots of C-V-Cs (consonant-vowel-consonant combinations). But there are only so many C-V-C words in English that will be meaningful to young non-native English speaking learners. One solution is simply to let them practice decoding random C-V-Cs without worrying about meaning. We […]

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I’ve said a good deal here in the past about using puzzles as language teaching and learning tools, but there are a few more points I think are worth making. Then, having addressed theoretical and philosophical considerations, I plan to focus on posting very specific and practical ideas for puzzles and games and other activities, […]

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Dear Readers, would you help me think about something? Pretty please?  This is something I have wondered about many times, and I would love to hear what others think about it, and how they might apply their insights in their teaching.    When I think of teaching, I think about how I can engage my […]

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Magic Dust for Learning: Intrinsic Motivation Imagine you’re a student and you’ve signed up for an elective class at your school, a class called Sudoku. Cool. Sudoku is a math puzzle, and puzzles are fun and math is important. But that’s all you know. You don’t know how sudoku problems work—only that it’s something about […]

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I don’t mean to fool, frustrate or fuzzle— But you are invited to complete this __________;  You don’t have to applaud or even say thanks—   Just pick up a pen and fill in the __________.    The last time in this blog, I talked about Scrambles—puzzles in which pieces have to be put in […]

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I used to love it when my mother made scrambled eggs for breakfast. And now scrambles are one of my favorite kinds of language puzzles to create for my students. A coincidence? I think not. You can take any language target you want the students to conquer, and cut it into manageable, manipulatable pieces. The […]

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