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Messages - Hollis

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 ::Good job!

Nice one!  Very impressive!  I can see how this reading and writing activity might lead to world peace!   :notworthy   :notworthy   :notworthy


Vocabulary / Re: Activities to help students use context clues
« on: February 16, 2009, 05:16:35 PM »

Great post and great profile picture!  What kind of bird are you?   :notworthy  :notworthy

Harry Potter Lessons! / Re: The story between Mrs. Dursley and her sister
« on: February 15, 2009, 04:19:52 PM »
Nice one Jim!  :notworthy  :notworthy  :notworthy   I'm not worthy!   :notworthy  :notworthy  :notworthy

::agreed Wow!  That is a cool cover page! ::agreed
:o  :o  :o 
;D  ;D  ;D 
;)  ;)  ;)
:notworthy  :notworthy  :notworthy 
Job well done!
::yeah! ::Good job! :lol-animated ::Good one! :marvelous 

Moon,  :notworthy >:D :notworthy >:D :notworthy

I have to agree! This is a very nice lesson you have created here! 

Good work!   ::Good one! ::Good job! :marvelous ::yeah!

:tasmanian devil :notworthy  :book  :notworthy  :book  :notworthy :tasmanian devil

Dustin, I'm looking forward to using this lesson someday!  I really like the concepts and ideas you have here in your lesson!  Nice work!

Take care and good luck teaching this! ::Good one! ::Good job! :marvelous

Complete Reading and/or Writing Units / Teaching writing request emails
« on: December 12, 2008, 10:48:26 PM »
Dear Friends:

Attached you will find a unit all about ?how to teach writing request emails.? 

This unit is all yours to enjoy and use in your classroom.  However, please keep in mind that it took me a very long time to create this (I did it entirely from scratch).  So, if you use this unit, please at least site this website as the source and give credit where deserved.  Thanks a lot! 

I hope you enjoy this lesson and, most importantly, I hope that it helps your students to develop their abilities to write quality and appropriate emails via the English language.

Attached you will find:
1) A complete unit in PDF format, complete with handouts,
2) A PowerPoint presentation to go along with the in-class group activities on day one (D1-A3), and...
3) A realia handout for the "writing a reference letter request email to a professor" activity on day one (D1-A4). 

This unit covers three days of 90 minute classroom sessions, but could potentially go longer than that.

This lesson focuses on Japanese EFL students who desire to attend graduate school in an English speaking country in the future and who need to improve their request email writing skills.  However, it could easily be adapted for another target audience.

Enjoy!  :book  :tasmanian devil  :tasmanian devil  :book

Best wishes, Chris Hollis

General Reading Links / Re: Graphic organizers
« on: December 09, 2008, 06:56:45 PM »

What a wonderful website!  I found all kinds of goodies there!  This is the kind of website that will not only save a teacher time, but also inspire a teacher to create even better versions of the materials provided on this website.

Thanks for providing this!  I'm 100% sure I'll be using this website in the future. 
Best wishes, Chris :notworthy :book :notworthy :book :notworthy

General Writing Resources / Re: Email Writing
« on: December 04, 2008, 08:29:33 PM »

Thank you so much for posting this link to some very interesting "Email Writing" lesson plans on the BBC.  I got some new ideas from looking over these lesson plans.  Very inspiring!  I hope to "heavily adapt" some of these materials into my own "Writing Request Emails" lesson plan in order to give my lesson that extra kick it needs.

So, again, Thank you!   :notworthy  :book  :notworthy  :book  :notworthy

Best wishes, Chris

Textbook, Website, etc. Reviews / Goals and Objectives
« on: November 27, 2008, 08:43:15 AM »
If anyone out there needs some help with writing quality goals and objectives for your reading & writing lessons, here are some websites that will hopefully help lead you in the right direction:

Each of these websites has their own benefits and disadvantages and, so, please be analytical when perusing these articles on "Writing Goals and Objectives."

Also, please notice that there are two attachments all about "Goals and Objectives" and how to write these using the best language possible.

Websites:   :frankenstein   :idea-blinking   :frankenstein

Goals and objectives create the foundation for lesson plans. If they are written well, an instructor will have an effective and meaningful structure for discussion, activities, and assessment. Goals and objectives serve as a reminder that teaching is not an end in itself, but the means to an end.

Developing Goals and Objectives Instructor?s Notes

Writing Educational Goals and Objectives

How to Write Clear Objectives


Tips for Writing Goals and Objectives
(The 2nd page of this document should be especially useful since it has a list of various words that you can use when composing your goals and objectives)

Good luck to everyone with writing quality, clear goals and objectives!

Best wishes, Chris
  :book   :book   :tasmanian devil    :tasmanian devil

Vocabulary / Re: How to build vocabulary
« on: November 19, 2008, 08:48:59 PM »
 :book   :book   :book   :book   :book


Very interesting topic and presentation.  You got me thinking in a whole new way about vocabulary teaching.

Thanks for the "comprehensible input!"    :idea-blinking  :notworthy  :notworthy  :notworthy   :idea-blinking

Chris   ::thanks ::Good one! :marvelous   :tasmanian devil

Beginning Readers / Re: Learning to play the card game, "Crazy 8's"
« on: November 15, 2008, 03:04:40 PM »

As always, I love your ideas!  Playing cards!  Who would have thought...  I can see how the students could benefit from your ideas!

And, here's another idea:

How about ESL Monopoly where the students play together in teams?  They could learn a lot from such an experience in regards to reading as well as build their speaking, listening and communication repair skills.

Here's some websites to find out more information about Monopoly The Board Game:

Prefix Problems Anyone?  Here's how to use "Greek and Latin Roots as a 'Root' to better English!

As we all know, sometimes our ESL/EFL students have problems with understanding how to understand and, more importantly, use the correct prefixes with various academic and non-academic words. 

Through studying "Greek and Latin Roots in English" (Prefix, Stem, and Suffix), students should be able to improve their ability to both understand and use prefixes (and stems/suffixes) when writing in English. 

Go here to get more information on the prefixes, stems, and suffixes!

Check this out! It's a great resource for ESL/EFL students as long as the teacher can help guide the students to know which prefixes to focus on because there are a ton!

Prefix Website #1:

Prefix Website #2:

As for teaching students how to actually use these prefixes, here's some interesting information to help students use prefixes correctly:

This website is full of useful lesson plan material for teaching prefixes and suffixes:

Website on Teaching Prefixes and Suffixes:

It has the following lesson plans:
#1 Prefix matching worksheet: Match prefixes to their meaning
#2 Suffix Matching worksheets: Match suffixes to their meaning
#3 Prefix & Suffix multiple choice sentences
#4 Prefix suffix multiple choice word questions
#5 Prefix word association exercise
#6 Prefixes that make opposites and negatives

Through such learning and practice, the students should be better able to both understand and use prefixes (and suffixes).

Conclusions / Re: Strategies for Writing Conclusion
« on: October 31, 2008, 12:33:16 PM »
:book  :notworthy  :book  :notworthy  :book

I really enjoyed this handout on conclusions!  It's really very well writen and useful. I'm going to give it to my students in TOEFL to help give them some idea on how to write one of the most difficult parts of an essay: The Conclusion!

Thanks for providing it!

Ciao, Chris   :tasmanian devil :tasmanian devil

Vocabulary / Re: Useful Websites
« on: October 30, 2008, 10:50:00 AM »
Francine, I love this website!   :notworthy  :book :notworthy  :book :notworthy

It's a very useful vocabulary learning website that you can use to help your students to learn the ?difference in meanings and use between commonly confused words in English.?  Also, it?s alphabetized and very user-friendly!

I have a similar book for Japanese and I found it very beneficial for my language learning experience. 

I have officially put this link on my TOEFL class website!  Thank you for it!

Enjoy!  Best regards, Chris   :tasmanian devil ::Good job! :tasmanian devil ::Good one! :tasmanian devil :marvelous

Vocabulary / General and Academic Word Lists
« on: October 29, 2008, 11:31:59 PM »
It is said that if students learn all the word-families (the base word) in the two word lists titled the ?General Service List" (the 2000 most frequent word-families in English) and the ?Academic Word List? (the 570 most frequent word-families used in academic texts beyond those from the General Service List), they should be able to understand between 85% and 95% of most academic texts (depending on the subject area; science texts have less coverage).  Then, the students can use "learning strategies" (such as "guessing vocabulary from context, using referents, using prefixes and stems, and many others) to guess at the rest of the word meanings.  Many textbooks are based on these word lists.

You can download the General Service List (by West) and Academic Word List (by Coxhead) from this website:

(The ?Academic Word List? is at the top of the page and the ?General Service List? is at the bottom of the page)

The "Academic Word List" can also be found here:

Please keep in mind that the ?General Service List? will help your students to understanding more ?general language texts? as well as ?academic texts.?  On the other hand, the ?Academic Word List? will help your students to improve their understanding of, for the most part, only academic texts (since most of the words have Latin and Greek origins and are used in larger more academic type words used in writing).  Therefore, use these lists accordingly and do so with caution.

Good luck!  Best regards, Chris   :book   :tasmanian devil :tasmanian devil  :book

Vocabulary / Re: Self-Study English Vocabulary Quizzes
« on: October 29, 2008, 11:20:23 PM »

Great post!   ::Good job! :marvelous ::thanks

I found your websites to be very interesting.  I can see how such websites would be useful for the students.

I especially likes the fact that this website has the vocabulary listed by category and, even better, that they have QUIZZES for each list!  That's a great website!

Another great resource for students when it comes to "self-study vocabulary" is the "General Service List" and the "Academic Word List." 

Please see my post "General and Academic Word Lists" for more information on these vocabulary lists.

Take care, Chris    :book   :tasmanian devil :tasmanian devil   :book

Beginning Readers / Re: Halloween Games
« on: October 26, 2008, 11:01:47 PM »
>:D  >:D  >:D  >:D  >:D Dana,  >:D  >:D  >:D  >:D  >:D

Good idea to make a post all about Halloween games with the spooky holiday coming this Friday the 31st (opposite of Friday the 13th...  oooooh  scary..!).   >:D  :angryred2  >:D  :angryred2

To add to your post above, here's a link that I used for inspiration last year when I was preparing activities for my Listening and Speaking class.  This is a great link with tons of ESL/EFL Halloween games and activities!

My personal favorite game on this website are the "Word Find!"  With this game you can work on creating vocabulary association links for your ESL students, work on spelling, and have tons of fun with activities related to reading and writing!

Here's how the "Word Find" activity works: 
Supplies: timer, paper, pens. 
What to do: Divide Ss into teams.  Take a Halloween related word such as: Dracula, Frankenstein, Jack-O-Lantern, etc. and find as many words as possible using the letters of that word.  Give a time limit (e.g. 2 mins).  The team with the most words wins!   Example: Frankenstein: (in, ran, ant, nest, tin...).

 :book  Thanks, Chris  :book   :tasmanian devil   :tasmanian devil

Adapted from the following source:

To all those who left me a response to my post I send you this message:  "I am not worthy!"   

:notworthy   :notworthy   :notworthy   :notworthy   :notworthy   :notworthy   :notworthy   :notworthy   :notworthy

Thank you so much for all your information and your interest in Vocabulary Acquisition in Reading and Writing!

And, of course, if anyone else has any ideas, they are always welcome to contribute to this post from now until the end of time. Thanks!
Best wishes, Chris
  :tasmanian devil :tasmanian devil

Vocabulary / Re: Vocabulary and games...
« on: October 26, 2008, 02:08:33 AM »

First of all:  ::thanks  and   ::Good one!

I really liked the website you posted on "Vocabulary Games!"  There are lots of really good games there for learning vocabulary. 

The game that I like the most out of all the ones listed is "Taboo" because you can use it as an exercise in teaching students the all-important skill of "paraphrasing" while, at the same time, teaching them new vocabulary.  Furthermore, due to the repetition of related vocabulary, there is a lot of associations made as well as repetition of vocabulary items as the other students try to guess the taboo word.

Here's how the Taboo Vocabulary Game works:

Divide the class into Teams A and B. Team A sits in a group on one side of the classroom, Team B sits on the other side. Bring two chairs to the front of the room so that when seated, a student is facing his or her respective team and their back is to the blackboard or white board. One member from each team sits in their team's chair. The teacher writes a word, phrase, or sentence on the board. The students in the chairs mustn't see what's written on the board. Once the teacher yells 'go', the teams have one minute, using only verbal clues, to get their seated teammate to say the item written on the board. The only rule (or taboo) is that they MUSTN'T say the item written on the board, in full or part. The first student in the hot seat to utter the word scores a point for their team. When the round is over, two new team players are rotated into the hot seat and a new item is written up. The first team to score X number of points wins.

Variation: To ensure a slightly quieter and less chaotic game, the teams can take it in turns. Rather than two students in the hot seat, only one member from each team plays at a time. The teacher as usual scribbles a word on the board and gives the team one minute to get their teammate to say the item. If the hot-seated player manages to say the word, the teacher quickly writes another item on the board and so on until the minute is up. The team scores a point for every item they manage to say within one minute.

NOTE FROM CHRIS: Make sure the students use lots of good paraphrasing techniques when doing this game.  Therefore, you might want to "pre-teach" to your students how to paraphrase in the second language in the case that they are new to the idea in their L2.

(Game rules adapted from the following website:

  :tasmanian devil :tasmanian devil

Motivation / Motivating ESL/EFL Students - Techniques and Strategies
« on: October 26, 2008, 01:49:59 AM »
Techniques and Strategies for Motivating ESL/EFL Students
The subject of motivation in the second language classroom is one that every ESL or EFL teacher is interested in because we all want motivated students.   

In this post I will talk about some of my favorite techniques and strategies which I use to motivate my students.

Chris' Techniques and Strategies for Motivating ESL/EFL Students:
1.  Vary your language instruction so that you are not always doing the same thing the same way.  So, use your imagination to vary things up!  You might consider using demonstrations, group discussions, various technology, peer feedback, group projects, group as well as individual presentations, guest native speakers, and much more. 

2.  Send some positive messages to your students via email or through the class website (you might even try using pictures).

3.  Arrange your classroom in an appropriate manner/shape (perhaps a U-shape for discussions) to encourage interaction among the students.

4.  Review the class objective each day.  Also, from time to time, review what you did last time.  Lastly, at the end of a class you might want to relate what you have done during the semester thus far.  Be sure the students see how the "big picture" fits into the day-to-day lessons. 

5.  Make your language instruction relevant to their lives.  Talk about how they might use what you teach in everyday conversation or life in general.

6.   Be expressive with your face and put some excitement into your speech; vary your pitch, volume, and rate.  Smile!  Be animated!

7.  Incorporate some of your students' ideas into the classroom.  Take their suggestions (including midterm feedback) and make changes that benefit the students and you.

8.  Use appropriate humor in your teaching and in tests, to relieve anxiety.  It always makes me smile when a student laughs or giggles during a test due to a joke I slipped into one of the questions.

9.  Be available before class starts, during break, and after class to visit with students who wish to see you.   Also, often remind your students that you are always willing to meet any of them during "appointment office hours."  And, most importantly, if your students do ask you a question or request, follow-through with your students' requests (if they are doable) and don't do a request if you can't perform it.  Set reasonable expectations.

10.  Give your students the power to be in charge of their own learning by teaching them strategies for continuing their education beyond the classroom (For example, teaching your students how to "guess vocabulary based on context."  Another example might be teaching prefixes, stems and suffixes to students so they can guess at the meanings of words they don't know yet when reading.)
Also, if any of you are interested, here's an interesting article about motivation in the EFL classroom:

Good luck keeping your ESL or EFL classroom motivated!

Remember to be like the Tasmanian Devil and you will always be a strong teacher!   :tasmanian devil

Best wishes, Chris
  :tasmanian devil

Hello everyone!   ;)   ;D     

The following is one of my favorite websites related to movie trailers.  You can use this website to do many in-class and homework activities related to, everyone's favorite, movie trailers (movie commercials). 

For example, on the website they have the actual movie trailers to watch and listen to, the movie trailer scripts, fill in the blank exercises related to the scripts, quizes on what was said in the movie trailers, and much more.

As for my ideas on how you can use this particular website:
You might have the students watch the movie trailer and then have them write an essay about what they think the movie is about or, even better, how the movie will end.  They could also use the website to learn new vocabulary through reading.

If anyone is interesting in having a look, I have actually created an entire "TBLT Movie Trailers Unit" based upon this website and many others related websites (youtube, etc.) with the help of some of my fellow teachers.  Just send me an email and I'll talk with you more about the subject.

Anyway, here's the website on Movie Trailers!  Enjoy!


Also, from the "Apple Movie Trailer" website (below) you can actually DOWNLOAD a lot of movie trailers so that you can have the actual video files on your "class website" (compass website, etc.). 

Having the actual movie trailer video files is important because this is the best way to do the following:
1) Assure that your students will all view the SAME movie trailers (there are lots of movie trailers out there for the same movie that are all just a little different), 
2) Allow your students the ability to view the movie files at their own leasure when you assign listening, reading or writing homework related to a particular movie trailer. 
3) Assure yourself that the movie trailer will be there tomorrow when you are going to teach your lesson that incorporates movie trailers. This is the most important reason! (It often happens that movie trailers you are planning on using from some random website like youtube, the Internet Movie Database, or some other website are gone the next day, changed, adapted, or just don't work.  Also, there is the possibility that the internet will be down on the day you teach or the computers you are going to use in the computer lab don't support the internet movie programs like itunes or other related programs)

DOWNLOAD MOVIE TRAILERS HERE (not all are downloadable):

Also, as I mentioned above, here's the website to the Internet Movie Database (a great resource website):

Best wishes,  Chris
   :tasmanian devil    ;D


I agree with you!  I also think it is so important for students to reflect on their writings, their homework and their experiences. 

Another option in addition to your thoughts is to have the students write a second language diary/journal about their reflections. 

Here's a website that teaches students how to write a journal/diary:

However, of course, it is important for the teacher to explain to the students about what to write about how often to write such a diary/journal.

Nice thoughts!   :idea-blinking

Best regards,

Chris Hollis
      :tasmanian devil

Plagiarism / Re: Plagiarism exercise!
« on: October 14, 2008, 10:19:16 AM »

I like your ideas on how to incorporate a lesson on plagiarism into the R&W classroom.  This is a serious issue in every writing classroom!

Another idea might be to give back the students their plagiarized homework (their essay, summary, etc.), explaining all about how plagiarism is frowned on and even illegal in the U.S., and, then, tell them to "fix" or "correct" their plagiarized homework with non-plagiarized work for the next class.  You can give them until next class (or even the same day) to re-do and re-turn in their homework.  As for the "angel students" who didn't plagiarize, for those students, you can give them the chance to turn in a better draft of their original paper for the following class while the other "trouble makers" are trying their best to scramble and make a non-plagiarized version.  I did this once in my class and I never had plagiarism problems again! 

Just a thought...  Thanks for reading!

   :book    ::thanks    :tasmanian devil


REPLY TO: Thoughts on "Text Selection" for the ESL/EFL Classroom

As promised above, in this post you will find even more documents relate to the above post titled, ?Thoughts on "Text Selection" for the ESL/EFL Classroom? (I had to post these attachments here because I am only allowed to post 4 attachments per posting): 

So, below, you will find attached a series of documents that compare the vocabulary in three documents (all on the topic of ?peanut butter? but from three different sources: 1. an ?adapted? ESL Textbook, 2. Wikipedia, and 3. the NY Times). The attached documents are ?text files? from the vocabulary analysis program called ?Range.?  If you would like more information on the Range Program, please contact me through this website.

Lastly, attached below, you will find a detailed lesson plan (titled: "EIL445_Practice_Day_Lesson_Plan_9-18_Hollis") that you may use if you ever wish to present a lesson about the very topic of "text selection" to other ESL/EFL teachers in training.

Thank you very much for taking the time to read both of these posts. 

Again, if I can answer any of your questions at any time, please feel free to contact me through this website.

Best regards,

Chris Hollis
  ::thanks  :book   :tasmanian devil


Thoughts on "Text Selection" for the ESL/EFL Classroom

The topic that I would like to discuss in this post is "Text Selection."

So, here are some things to think about:

1) How do we go about selecting texts?  (Where do we begin?  What do we need to consider before we ever start searching?) 

2) Where do we find good, quality reading texts that are appropriate for our ESL/EFL class? 

3) How do we decide whether or not the reading texts that we have found are of an appropriate difficulty level for our students?

Well, on the attached PowerPoint Presentation I discuss this topic and bring up some points for all ESL/EFL teachers to consider.

So, please read the attached PowerPoint Presentation titled, "EIL445-Hollis-Text Selection" for some ideas of both things to consider before as well as during your text selection process.

Also, I have attached some materials that I used this past summer in a course that I taught to a group of Japanese students visiting the U.S. on a short-term special program.  The lesson I have attached incorporated both reading and writing.

The particular lesson attached is one where I taught a bit about American culture as it relates to Peanuts, Peanut Butter, and Popcorn.  After we did a reading related to this subject, I then had the student write a passage related to the topic of ?cross cultural food recommendations? for a ?memory book? that they were developing for themselves and their host families.  Therefore, the topic of the writing was ?Cross Cultural Food Recommendations? and not ?peanut butter and popcorn? because the idea was for the students to just get a taste of American foods to stimulate their thinking and get their creative juices working so that they could write a nice piece on a similar topic.   Please feel free to use this material for your own classroom.  (These classroom reading documents are titled: "Snacks ? Peanuts and Popcorn?, ?Food Recommendations Lesson Plan? and ?Food and Drink Writing?)

In the reply post to this post that I have posted below, you will find even more documents (I am only allowed to post 4 attachments per posting):  So, below, you will find attached a series of documents that compare the vocabulary in three documents (all on the topic of ?peanut butter? but from three different sources: 1.An ?adapted? ESL Textbook, 2.Wikipedia, and 3.the NY Times). The attached documents are ?text files? from the vocabulary analysis program called ?Range.?  If you would like more information on the Range Program, please contact me through this website.

Lastly, attached below, you will find a detailed lesson plan (titled: "EIL445_Practice_Day_Lesson_Plan_9-18_Hollis") that you may use if you ever wish to present a lesson about the very topic of "text selection" to other ESL/EFL teachers in training.

Thank you very much for taking the time to read this post.  If I can answer any of your questions at any time, please feel free to contact me through this website.

Best regards,

Chris Hollis
   ::thanks  :book

As for "post reading activities" for the reading "Galaxy ramming through space creates fireballs" that can be found at (, I would do the following as my post reading activities:

1) Using the information the students gathered through their "pre- and during- reading" activities (please see previous posts), I would have the students create groups and talk about what each thought the article was about.

2) Then, I would have the student groups create a summary of the text with the main points of each paragraph outlined.  Each group would need to make one copy of this summary and outline so that each group member had a copy (they could either handwrite it or just print out several copies if they did the task on a computer).

3) Following the groups making such an outline, I would have the student groups jigsaw group members and compare their summaries/outlines with members of other groups.

4) Then, I would have the students compile a "master summary/outline" for each group based on the outlines of each group combined.   Again, each group member would need a copy.

5) Next to last, I would have the student groups break-up and have the students get into pairs and present briefly about the reading to each other.  They would present about their summaries and outlines to each other.   After much practice, I would have the students ask me questions as I hovered around.

6) Lastly, I would have the students write a personal story related to space, the galaxy, stars or anything of the like. 

Thanks for reading my post and good luck!   

 :tasmanian devil :tasmanian devil


As for "during reading activities" for the reading "Galaxy ramming through space creates fireballs" that can be found at (, I would do the following as my during reading activities:

1) In the previous post under "pre-reading activities" I described how I would have the students "scan" the text for words that I did not know and circle/highlight these words in the pre-reading activity.  Now, in the "during reading activity" I would have the students "guess the meaning" of these words based on context.    I would have the students read the area at sentence level first and then paragraph level.  I would not allow them to use their dictionaries and try to force them to use only their knowledge of context to infer the meaning.

2) Then, I would have the students read the passage and try to summarize each paragraph, pointing out the main idea of each paragraph.

Thanks for reading my post and good luck!   

 :tasmanian devil :tasmanian devil   ::thanks


In regards to this article, "Galaxy ramming through space creates fireballs" I would do the following as "pre-reading" activities for this reading:

1) Have the students discuss in groups about their personal experiences related to Astronomy, the galaxy, space and starts.  Perhaps some of them studied astronomy in college or has interests in this area due to childhood dreams of becoming an astronaut.  In this way I would build a schema for the reading.

2) I would have the students read the first sentence of each paragraph in order to understand the main idea of each paragraph and understand the importance of paragraphs.  In this way they can work on the strategy of "skimming" and work on their ability to "understand the main idea."

3) Lastly, I would have the students "scan" the reading for words they don't already know and circle/highlight these words (the pre-reading activity).  Then, I would have them work in groups to try and "guess the meaning" of these words based on context (a during reading activity that I will discuss in my next post).

Then, I would go into the "during reading activity" (Please see my next post for these ideas).

I hope this helps.  :?don'tknow

 :tasmanian devil


Chris Hollis

 :tasmanian devil

8)   ::)   ;)   :o   ;)   ::)   8)
Dear R&W Friends:

Attached you will find some documents that I would like you to consider as "inspiration" for future projects of a similar nature. 

This particular lesson example is for an ESL situation but could easily be adopted for an EFL situation.

The idea is simple:

1) Have the students read a passage about a certain subject.

For example, "peanut butter" (a very North American, American food).

2) Go over the passage with the students and do some exercises related to "main idea, vocabulary, and details."  Make sure the students understand what they read.

3) Have the students "experience" the subject in some way.

For example, bring some peanut butter to class and let them try it!  (This particular example is a guaranteed shocker for students from some cultures)

4) Have students brain storm on things related to the subject of the reading.

For example, brain storm on other foods that they thought were a bit shocking in America and, yet, still delicious.  Have them think of ?food they might recommend to their friends in their home country to try during their first trip to the United States.?

5) Have the students write a very personal writing related to the subject of the brain storming activity.

For example, have the students write about ?their international food recommendations.?  (please see attachment)

6) Have the students turn in a first draft.  Correct the draft and turn it back into the students for ?revision.?

7) Have the students revise the writing but have them also add photographs, drawings, or pictures to the final draft.  The final draft is turned in for a final grade.

8) It?s a fun activity!

Please see the attached for my ideas and some inspiration for yourself.

NOTE: The attached reading is on the subject of Peanut Butter AND Popcorn and is followed by "low proficiency level" follow-up activities.


Best regards,

Chris Holllis

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 :tasmanian devil


General Reading Links / "Lexis-Nexis" Academic Search Engine
« on: September 19, 2008, 11:14:50 PM »
Dear R&W Friends:
Below is a link to the "Lexis-Nexis" Academic Search Engine that I often use when searching for adequate texts for my reading/writing classes.  You can search by key word and find texts that use certain key words, contain a particular target vocab word, or are on the subject of a particular theme.  You can also compare text sizes with the word count feature.
Good luck and enjoy!
LINK to Lexis-Nexis "Academic Search Engine":

A more direct link to Lexis-Nexis:

NOTE: This link may require a password of affiliation to the University of Illinois.  So, if anyone knows of a way to get to this search engine without going through the University of Illinois, please post a response with such information.  Personally, I only know of this way.



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Reading/Writing Humor / Reading/Writing Comics
« on: September 19, 2008, 11:02:11 PM »
Here are some Reading and Writing Comics for all to enjoy!

I hope these bring a smile to your face and inspiration to your R&W heart!



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Dr. Sadler,

Thanks for the comments on my post!  I appreciate the encouragement!

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Prewriting / Re: Making 'Sense' of 'Nonsense'
« on: September 14, 2008, 10:59:24 AM »
Reply to "Making 'Sense' of 'Nonsense'"[/glow]


I love your idea!  I've done it before in my class and it was a huge hit!  Also, if the teacher then takes time to analyze the language and explain why things went they way they did (in terms of the decisions the students chose), it can be a great activity for focus on form.

As always, nice ideas!


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Response to Harry Potter on Broadway

I like your ideas!  I think the idea of making a play out of the Harry Potter stories could be really engaging for the students.  And, it would incorporate their understanding of what they read into what they write, while challenging their writing skills to write good English.  And, most importantly, it would be loads of fun!  Who knows, maybe you will inspire a student or two to become Broadway stars!   :D

The second idea is also wonderful and would especially be so for a mixed culture classroom.  They could learn more about each other and each other's culture, while being challenged to speak and write comprehendible English.   :)

Great ideas!   ;)


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