¿Por qué es importante el contenido auténtico?

man ordering at coffee shop

Authentic content gives learners exposure to the kind of language that they ultimately want to understand and create for themselves. If you don’t use authentic content, and teach learners with scripted dialogs or simplified materials written by language teachers, you’re not giving them models for how to produce or understand the language they’ll encounter in the wild. Not only is this ineffective, it’s also inefficient.

It’s Just Like Riding a Bike

By Dr. Katharine B. Nielson – Usually, when I tell people that learning a language is learning a skill, like cooking or surfing, I get nods of understanding. That seems to make sense, intuitively. And then when I go on to say that, because those are skills, they require copious amounts of practice and individualized …

La escritura en las clases de idiomas en línea

Por la Dra. Katharine B. Nielson – Una pregunta que me hacen mucho los profesores cuando preparan sus cursos de idiomas en línea es cómo estructurar la comunicación entre estudiantes. La pregunta surge porque hay innumerables estudios empíricos sobre aprendizaje a distancia donde se ha determinado que el sentimiento de colectividad en la clase impulsa …

Naomi Sveholm: 3 Reasons language teachers should be language learners first

As a language learner-turned-teacher, I believe all language teachers should study another language—especially with another teacher. There are numerous benefits to practicing what you preach, but I’m going to cover just a few. Teachers often find themselves in a sort of bubble: they’re focused on leading their own classes and rarely see other teachers at …

Rebecca Wagoner: Learning English Through Pop Culture

The most common question I’m asked by ESL learners when we first meet is, “How can I become fluent in English?” The answer to this is tricky, because it truly depends on the individual and a number of factors, such as agreeing on what fluency even means. It’s my job to help people become fluent, …

Naomi Sveholm: What a Toddler Can Teach Us about Language Acquisition

When my son was born, I was excited to interact with him (after some sleep, that is). We’ve been communicating his whole life, but his speaking didn’t really take off until he was around 16 months, when I noticed a lot of parallels between my son and my English students, some of which matched my …

Ashley Dresser: The Morale of Making a Mistake or an Error

Achieving oral proficiency in a foreign language can often feel like an insurmountable challenge. And sometimes, no matter how fast you ride your horse toward it, it still remains a distant speck on the horizon. My adult English learners frequently express their frustration with this feeling, so I always have a lesson ready to help …

Rebecca Wagoner: What I’ve (Unexpectedly) Learned from Teaching ESL

I was originally hesitant to enter the world of online education, concerned that I wouldn’t be able to sufficiently connect with my students, but I’m now three years in and have found the opposite to be true. Working from an online platform has given me access to teaching ESL (English as a Second Language) learners …

Brett Fogarty: Why I Teach

Teaching English as a second language (ESL) is probably one of the most multifaceted occupations you could ever pursue as a career. It requires a unique skill set, including loads of cultural empathy and a chameleon-like ability to adapt to a variety of settings. A lot of the teachers are itinerant—staying in different locations year …