The COVID-19 pandemic has shifted many previously in-person ESL classes to online learning. Many of these online classes are taught synchronously using video conferencing software such as Zoom. The exclusive focus in this article is on teaching ESL classes using Zoom, since that is the software that the author uses to teach with and am thus most familiar with. However, the same points that are made with regard to synchronous video teaching with Zoom could presumably also be made for Zoom’s competitors such as Microsoft Teams.
The use of video conferencing software such as Zoom for synchronous ESL classes has the obvious advantage of enhancing the safety of students and teachers from the COVID-19 virus. The advantages of using Zoom appear to be particularly evident for ESL pronunciation classes. Continue Reading →
In this article, an experienced ESL pronunciation teacher explains the typical pronunciation problems many ESL students have with selected consonants. The author explains how these consonants are pronounced, and there are video links to demonstrate the pronunciation of these consonants. In addition, for each of the selected consonants within the article, the author gives practical suggestions as to how these consonants may be taught within the context of task-based and communicative lessons. This is important as such meaningful activities allow the students to apply their pronunciation of these consonants within classroom situations that mimic real life. The demonstrations of the pronunciation of the target consonants and the classroom practice activities are applicable for ESL lessons conducted on an online video-based synchronous platform, Continue Reading →
The twentieth century was marked by the publication of a plethora of books on new methods and approaches to teaching English as a second or foreign language, few of which were based on empirically tested claims (Richards & Rodgers, 2001). Pronunciation instruction is perhaps the area of ELT that is most lacking in empirical studies to support its practices, with calls for research to investigate its effects and efficacy constantly made by ELT and second language acquisition specialists (Derwing & Munro, 2005). The recent resurgence in the interest for pronunciation has led to a small increase in the number of experimental studies being conducted on the subject. However, research is still limited to how teaching pronunciation affects learners’ spoken production, Continue Reading →
L2 Vocabulary Teaching in a Multilingual Canada
Words are not isolated units of a language: they are components of a larger interconnected system that allow second language (L2) learners to access other components in that system (Nation, 2013). For example, knowing a word is systematically linked to knowing its spelling and pronunciation. Indeed, vocabulary proficiency has even been shown to predict post-secondary English as a Second Language (ESL) students’ reading ability, as well as their capacity to read on their own (Laufer & Ravenhorst-Kalovski, 2010). As such, the development of L2 learners’ vocabulary knowledge intuitively equates to the overall development of their L2 competencies.
While there are many different techniques that can be applied in the L2 classroom to raise students’ vocabulary competencies, Continue Reading →