Winning With Weird Lesson Content

“When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.” – Hunter S. Thompson It’s 9 a.m. and your first period is about to begin.  You walk into a class full of freshmen who, despite being non-English majors, were all smiles six weeks ago when the semester began.  Now, however, the novelty of university life is […]

Assessing Speaking – An Alternative Method

I believe one of the most challenging skills to assess and grade is a learner’s speaking skill. I have worked at institutes that have had devoted meetings to this topic and it can be been controversial. Indeed, I have been in meetings that have lasted several hours as rubrics have been proposed, amended, and protested […]

A great website for listening practice

  I hope you are all enjoying the lessons on I know many of you use them to help your learners improve their reading skill or to practice for an English examination like the TOEFL. I have written recently about how to use the materials in writing and speaking classes. I have also heard […]

Using for a Writing Class

  Over the last couple of years I have been using materials in my own writing classes.  It’s fun to see how can be put to use in a classroom for writing or speaking as well as reading.  Actually, you could really use the materials on the website to build a lesson for any kind of […]

A fun reading strategy to improve fluency

What is paired reading and how can I use it? Paired reading is a strategy used with learners to get them to improve their reading skills and improve their fluency. The basic concept is to get learners to read aloud to each other. They work as a pair to complete the reading. You can use […]

Three touching seasonal videos to show in your class

I recently shared a post for Language Teaching Professionals entitled ‘Three awesome seasonal TV commercials to spark discussions in your classes’. Please click here if you would like to to read that post. I had many comments from teachers who thought that they were great to show to their learners. In the last few days, I […]

Using Dreamreader for Academic Discussions

Recently I taught a discussion course aimed at students majoring in English. Since I had never taught this kind of course before, I was unsure of where to start. After watching some videos from other teachers that detailed their approach to discussion, I decided to build a course that best-suited my students. I had two […]

Using dreamreader in a writing class

First of all, a big thanks to everyone who is using I hope you are finding it useful. I use the lessons in many of my classes and over the next few weeks I will share how I use it in classes for different skills. This first post is using dreamreader in a writing […]

Back to class – A great way to start a new semester!

by Neil Millington Here in Japan, the summer break is coming to an end and teachers and students are getting ready for the new semester. It’s a time I really enjoy because I know I will have new sets of students to teach. I teach at a university, so these students are high school graduates who have […]