Developing A Practice of Concept-Based Instruction: Adverbs of Scale

1. Introduction: The Situation In the conversation classes that I teach, the books (Stretch, Oxford Books) often present grammar and other "skills" in a perplexing way. They present the form of the grammar or skill, without explaining anything very much about why the form is the way it is. Often any explanation is done with the phrase, "usually..." … Continue reading Developing A Practice of Concept-Based Instruction: Adverbs of Scale

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Tutorials: Digital and Tabletop game design perspectives

1. Introduction In his book "What digital games have to teach us about literacy and learning" James Paul Gee spends a fair amount of time discussing the need for tutorials in digital games. Without restating entirely his insight, Gee mentions that vernacular games in capitalistic societies are motivated in the most need-based, goal-oriented way possible to … Continue reading Tutorials: Digital and Tabletop game design perspectives

Making Functional Grammar Explicit: Game Design-Enhanced TBLT Lesson Plans for “Firewatch”

Introduction In our review of Firewatch, we concluded that it would make an excellent video game for Game Design-Enhanced TBLT (GD-TBLT). It's heavy narrative weight means that within the game there is a large amount of language and other literary devices that can be exploited for all kinds of learning, not just second language teaching and … Continue reading Making Functional Grammar Explicit: Game Design-Enhanced TBLT Lesson Plans for “Firewatch”

Applying For the Job: Using Work Simulators in the L2TL Classroom

The EFL Situation ESL/EFL teachers will immediately recognize the theme of "jobs" as a staple of almost all ESL/EFL textbooks. Even very young students in most places recognize that their parents work or that there are people in their community like police officers or restaurant workers. It is this, assumed, shared understanding that makes "jobs" … Continue reading Applying For the Job: Using Work Simulators in the L2TL Classroom

Take Your Learners to Work: A L2TL Review of “MyCafe: Recipes & Stories”

This review is part of a series of posts that examine different games for their usefulness in teaching ESL/EFL under a game-design enhanced approach to TBLT. Want to know more about that first? See this foundational post for background information and an actual example.  Introduction I have from time to time, played facebook games. I know … Continue reading Take Your Learners to Work: A L2TL Review of “MyCafe: Recipes & Stories”

How To Give Effective Feedback to Language Learners?: An Example of Vygotskian Responsive Assistance

Previously, I wrote a piece critical of what many EFL teachers might think is good advice for giving student feedback. I mentioned in that post that a more effective method would be Dynamic Assessment. This post then is a follow-up to that post. Here I detail what exactly DA is and then provide an extend example with … Continue reading How To Give Effective Feedback to Language Learners?: An Example of Vygotskian Responsive Assistance

Using A Game-Design Enhanced Approach to TBLT: The Example of The Social Deception Tabletop Game “Coup”:

This essay attempts to both describe and motivate the Bridging Activities Cycle for game-design enhanced TBLT. For further foundational reading into the philosophical and theoretical motivations for using games and taking a game-design approach to TBLT, see here. Introduction Vernacular video games, or commercial video games, have in the last decade begun to be examined … Continue reading Using A Game-Design Enhanced Approach to TBLT: The Example of The Social Deception Tabletop Game “Coup”:

Error Correction in Language Teaching

This essay is a short review of one specific aspect of Brown and Larson-Hall's 2012 introductory book Second Language Acquisition Myths. In particular, this review addresses the myth of error correction, which Brown and Larson-Hall phase as "Language Learners Always Benefit From Error Correction". Introduction The question of error correction is certainly perplexing to many of us … Continue reading Error Correction in Language Teaching