Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Video Culture Tips - www.esl-lab.com

My ESL students often tell me that they try to improve their listening skills by watching full-length movies, but my response is that sitting in front of a screen for a couple of hours with popcorn and a drink is one of the most passive methods of learning a language. Yes, you can pick up things, but there is no time to stop and process the content, and the language is just dumped on your with out providing students with a systematic method of learning.

For that reason, I have created my own series of short videos on the topics of language and culture. These aren't meant to take the place of other movies, but to give you the option of learning from shorter, concise videos on specific topics.

Give them a try:

- http://www.esl-lab.com/videoclips.htm

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

College Textbooks: Rent or Buy?

These days, it is really unbelievable the price you have to pay for one single textbook, and it seems that authors and writers churn out a new edition every other week. It's not uncommon for  a book to be in its 12th edition, and yet the material in the book is almost the same. I mean, couldn't the author simply have a Web site where students could download a couple of pages with any minor revisions?

Then, with the change in textbooks, you often can't sell them back to the books store or other students.

I created a listening activity on this topic. Give it a try and let me know you experiences with buying textbooks for college:

- http://www.esl-lab.com/textbooks/textbooksrd1.htm

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Flower Shop - www.esl-lab.com

Hi everyone,

Today is Valentine's Day, and sometimes this is the day for men to remember all the things they should have done for their partner or spouse throughout the year. Perhaps, we should call it "Rescue Day." On my latest PhoneCast, I discuss this topic, and I have a listening activity on my Web site called Flower Shop, in which a man finds  himself in a difficult situation with his wife, and he things flowers will save the day. Give it a try:

- http://www.esl-lab.com/flowershop/flowershoprd1.htm

Monday, February 13, 2012

Part-Time Jobs for Teenagers

The concept of work and when people should first get a job can vary widely from family to family and from country to county? Putting aside some differences, what is the value of teaching children to work from a general standpoint? What this video as I talk about my family and how we feel about work:
- http://www.esl-lab.com/sitter/parttimejobs-video.htm