Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Party Invitations: New Listening Activity

One of the more ackward occasions for international students is being invited and attending a social event without having a clue as to what to say, wear, or bring. In my newest listening activity, I describe a somewhat humourous party, and although not real in content, students should be able to find valuable expressions on describing people and carrying on small  talk.

- http://esl-lab.com/partyinvitations/partyinvitationsrd1.htm

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Parenthood: www.beingaparent.org

I'm sure many of you might have noticed the different children's voices on my Web site, Randall's ESL Cyber Listening Lab (http://www.esl-lab.com/), and I consider raising my kids as my greatest passion in life. No other accomplishment can take the place of nurturing kids, even when times are difficult.

After pondering over this for some time, I decided to create a new Web blog on parenting called, Being a Parent (http://www.beingaparent.org/). I don't consider myself an expert by any means, but some of my experiences might be of some use to some struggling parent. Although the Web site is not directly related to ESL or English, it still could provide some reading material on which a class discussion could be held.

Best,

Randall

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Reading for Pleasure: How common is it in your country?

One of the challenges that some international students face when traveling to the United States is the amount of reading that is required for academic studies . . . and I'm not just speaking of reading textbooks. I'm also speaking of reading for . . . . pleasure. The kind of activity where you pick up a novel (fiction or non-fiction), sit on the couch, and read to explore stories and new ideas.

Now, in some countries, reading is very much encouraged, and even schools give awards for the student or class of students who read the most pages during a pre-determined period of the year (e.g., for three months or so).

However, in some educational systems around the world, reading for pleasure in schools with a library full of stories, mysteries, and detective novels is not commonplaces, and as a result in part, some students who come to countries where reading is encouraged find the concept somewhat foreign and difficult.

So, how is reading of literature (in your native language or other) promoted (or not) in the school where you attend? Would a visitor to your school in your be able to find novels like Harry Potter? Do teachers encourage such reading?

Having answers to these questions can really help teachers and other students understand foreign cultures and educational systems better.

Randall

Friday, August 6, 2010

New Interactive Video Activities

As many of you are aware, I always seem to be experimenting with something new as a means of helping teachers and students improve their teaching and/or learning. Just recently, I created the activity below with the goal of evaluating its effectiveness for some future project on my site. Your suggestions and feedback are appreciated:

- http://esl-lab.com/health/healthexercise-demo.htm

Best,

Randall

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