Carly Block sort of stumbled into the world of English as a Second Language (ESL) by accident. It was never her plan to be a teacher, let alone an ESL teacher. But then a spontaneous trip to China with her father and sister introduced her to the very distinct world of ESL teachers and their lifestyle. Never having even heard of ESL, she was intrigued and sought out work teaching English in China. Little did she know that that particular experience would completely change her life path.
Dangerous Liaisons. No, I am not talking about the 1988 Glenn Close and John Malkovich movie about gossiping 17th century aristocrats. I am talking about the English pronunciation phenomenon of an otherwise absent consonant sound at the end of the first of two consecutive words, the second of which begins with a vowel sound and follows without pause. Or, to put it more plainly, how native English speakers connect their words when speaking, making listening comprehension for ESL students the most difficult of the receptive skills.
You see, English isn’t spoken as it is written, therefore when spoken naturally and at full speed it bears little resemblance to the written version of the same sentence. For this reason, liaisons are an essential part of learning how to speak English and just as importantly, a part of understanding English.
When Justin Wahe came to work at BridgeEnglish Denver, the term “gentle giant” came to my mind. He is, after all, six feet five, a towering foot and two inches taller than my short five foot three inch frame and by far the tallest person at the school.
While some very tall men can have an intimidating effect on people, Justin, on the other hand, has the most pleasant disposition, nicest smile and greatest attitude around. When I am having a bad day, he always seems to cheer me up. Justin would seriously do anything for we teachers here at BridgeEnglish Denver, not to mention being committed to giving the best education to the students as possible.
Ever wondered how Bridge English Denver teachers come up with such original ideas as getting students to imagine how a conversation between Nelson Mandela and Barack Obama might sound? Or why we might ask students to write a so-called One Minute Paper on what the most interesting thing in class was that day.
As brilliant as most of the staff are, they often need guidance on new teaching approaches or at least revision of older methods they may have forgotten. To do that, they need training.
Even though teachers can’t scratch their nails on a chalk board anymore to get their students’ attention, there are many other ways to keep your students attentive in the classroom with good board work. I always go into an ESL classroom with at least three colors of marker, but preferably four. I’m a grammar nerd, so when […]
Universities and colleges these days are not cheap, and it pains me to remember wasting my money and falling asleep more than a few times during lectures when the teacher was talking about…. hmmm, uh, what exactly were they talking about? Maybe I fell asleep and didn’t remember anything because they were lecturing for the entire […]