Good website for ESL teachers

Just stumbled on TEFL Place, a blog for ESL teachers. It’s got some really good lesson plan ideas on it–I’m not sure Water Balloon Volleyball is going to work in my classroom, but it’s an interesting idea and it would be fun. I might save that one for a barbecue with friends.

I also shudder when I think about Hidden Ringtones designed not to be heard by the teacher because the pitch is too high for our old, inflexible ears. But then I discovered (googling to see if the science behind these things was real or not) that this idea is being used to drive kids away from places where kids tend to hang out–in front of cafes or 7-11’s. The store plays a high pitched annoying tone that adults can’t hear but kids find irritating. So next class I’m going to try using these sounds against my noisy and disruptive students–maybe to drive them away from the back of the class. It’s an interesting idea I wouldn’t have otherwise seen.

More seriousy, TEFL Place has some really good suggestions like a list of what to do before school starts to get organized and make your classroom ready. Some of them are obvious like buying classroom supplies, but it’s good to have everything in one list you can check off. And some of them, like “9. prepare an inventory to find out student interests” and “10 review your resources to meet individual needs’ are definitely overlooked by a lot of students.

Another good post is on lesson planning, something I just posted on here). So I was interested to see what additional advice was offered. This is a much more practical approach to how to make a workbook or student book page into a full-fledged lesson. It’s good advice and it’s good to be reminded that even if you have a textbook, you can’t just show up, say “Turn to page 22 and do exercise one.” You have to have a plan and you have to make it interesting for the students.

TEFL Placeis definitely going on my RSS feed list.


Native speakers make mistakes. Even professional writers. Here’s a mistake from an article on Market Watch about an alleged scandal involving presidential candidate and Senator John McCain. An important issue but one marred by this horrible mistake:

Paxson also said that Iseman likely attended the meeting, which she helped to arrange it, the report said.

This is a very common mistake for ESL students dealing with transitive and intransitive verbs. It should read, “which she helped to arrange,” because the word “which” takes the place of the “it” at the end.
So learn this mistake, don’t make it, but don’t feel too bad if you do.
EDIT: Even English teachers make mistakes. You may have noticed that there was originally no space between “Market Watch” and the word “an” above. Shame on me!