Teach Aspects instead of Tense Combinations

If you teach tenses completely independently from one another, student may feel overwhelmed, and the might get the tenses mixed up. Instead, focus on the components of a tense, primarily its aspect. When students understand just what continuous means and what perfect means, they can apply either aspect (or both) to past, present, or future. Pointing out the pattern will help them understand and remember.

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Using Voice to Convey Meaning

We communicate not only by the words we say, but also by the way in which we say them. Tone and inflection can affect the meaning of a word or phrase. Choosing how you say something can breath life into your speech, keeping your listeners engaged. It might also help your confidence when it comes to public speaking. Here are some exercises on using your voice in different ways.

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Always Keep Dice with You

When practicing a grammar structure with my class, I often use dice to randomize prompts.  This way, students don't know what they're supposed to say or write until I tell them the results of a roll, which keeps them on their toes.  For one thing, they'll need to grasp the understanding of the structure and be prepared to apply it in different ways.  For another thing, it's easy to turn this into a competition, which is a great motivator for many students.

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3 Alternate Ways to Teach Idioms

With idioms, students already know the words that make up the expression. But since idioms aren’t to be taken literally, they still need to learn the meaning. Instead of teaching idioms like you would other vocabulary terms, why not build off what they already know? Here are 3 fun and memorable ways to teach idioms.

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Define Your Own Terms

There are lots of multi-syllable official terms we use exclusively for English class.  Words that are long, strange-sounding, and infrequent enough that they are hard to remember.   As long as learners understand a concept, who cares what name they attach to it?  Make it easier on them by using easier and more memorable (made-up) terms instead.

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Comics Can Grow Reading Skills and Habits

When I hear about someone who does not read, either because they have no interest in learning to read, or because they have difficulty, I recommend that they try reading comic books or graphic novels.  This medium has advantages that picture books, chapter books, and novels don't have.  As much as I love prose, I can see why it's daunting for those still learning to read.  Comics can both provide motivation and aid in reading comprehension.

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Vocab-Building through Associations

There's a lot of vocabulary to learn, but thankfully plenty of words are related to each other, whether they're opposites, noun-verb pairs, varying degrees, or whatever else.  Learning words by associating them with each other helps us to remember those words later.  As a teacher, you can help students establish and strengthen those connections in your students' minds.

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