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Paddywhack

In September, I mentioned that I’d been writing a weekly Fun Facts About English series, and my original goal was to produce 50 posts. This week, I’m at number 38 with a topic that I’m very pleased to re-encounter. I thought I’d share it as a regular post with some added personal history.     […]

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When I began learning Japanese in the early 80s, it was imperative that I learn how to ask for directions from the get-go – especially in Tokyo. Not only did I have to deal with my lacking sense of direction, I was also functionally illiterate as I didn’t know any Japanese when I first arrived. […]

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  In speaking exercises, I teach my ESL kids plurals early on, for the main reason that it can’t be avoided for very long when teaching even the simplest phrases, such as I like… or I have… Importantly, when I teach kids plural sounds, I’m also preparing them for future lessons using the same morphological […]

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In my first year of teaching classes at a Japanese kindergarten in the mid 90’s, I tried introducing Halloween as an October event to the director.  Her response was a flat-out ‘NO!’ –  too scary, strange, and foreign for Japanese children to understand.   Within a few years, an amazing series of events happened. The Nightmare […]

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As part of my blogging activities, I publish a weekly Fun Facts About English series that offers tidbits of trivia about the English language. This has turned out to be quite a pleasurable indulgence in that I get to research somewhat obscure but fascinating facts. I set out with a goal of creating 50 facts […]

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  Name plates may seem like an inconsequential part of a student’s learning materials, but they can be quite useful and have genuine meaning to the individual student. As a teacher, you may have your name plate on a desk or door. Imagine someone stealing or defacing it. You can’t help but feel personal about […]

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As a followup to my last post, I developed a series of CVC Templates to help teachers get up and running with their interactive notebooks.       Why Interactive Notebooks?   As an independent teacher offering my services in a variety of kids’ classes, one thing was a constant: no two places were the […]

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There came a point where I had to intervene. My students’ notebooks were a disordered mess and their bags, when emptied, were a junk pile of crumpled papers, loose cards, and past games. Taking action, I began to roll out a program using interactive notebooks.          What is an Interactive Notebook?   […]

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You may view drama only as entertainment, but dramatic exercises can be valuable teaching and language learning tools. My intention with such activities is not to create an actors’ studio; it’s to get students up, moving around, and interacting with each other in more meaningful ways. Where words and their meaning can seem abstract in […]

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  My twin brother was a doodler. Personally, I can’t draw to save my life (as evidenced by the image above.) Bob, on the other hand, doodled everywhere and ever since I could remember. I came to understand that drawing was the way he looked at, cataloged, and processed whatever he was thinking about, planning, […]

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