Cheat sheets for English conversation classes

Someone has asked to see examples of my grammar cheat sheets from when I taught larger EFL conversation classes. That's why I'm posting a few and hoping that they will help conversation class teachers everywhere. It's been a while since I have taught any large classes. I've been focusing more on my private students, as well as a few freelance … [Read more...]

When you get stuck

I've been stuck a few times when learning Japanese and German. Mostly it's because I didn't want to leave my 'comfort zone'. I'm an extreme introvert, so meeting and talking with new people makes me terribly anxious, sometimes even sick to my stomach. Sometimes it has been because I doggedly stuck to one particular book or strategy that … [Read more...]

How to be an independent learner

Have you ever sat through a class, been bored out of your mind, and not remembered anything that was covered? I have, many times! It can be a combination of a dry topic, how the topic is being taught, how the other students in the class are participating, the stuffiness in the room, and even how you are feeling at that particular time. The … [Read more...]

Motivation and language learning

It's common to hear "this year I'm going to learn ... Spanish, because I'm going to Spain for a holiday at the end of the year." Or, "I desperately want to learn Japanese. It would be cool to be able to watch anime without subtitles." Or, "I want a raise, and to get it I need to improve my English." You get all fired up and motivated at … [Read more...]

Dealing with language learning burnout

Does working through that textbook seem like an awful drag? Or perhaps a conversation class fills you with dread? Do you prioritize cleaning the toilet or do other unappealing tasks above cracking open your flash cards and drilling? Do you want to throw the towel in on your language learning journey and just give up? If you said yes, … [Read more...]

Why LearnedWords?

It all started with words, losing myself in piles of books from the time I started to read. I’d devour page after page, get lost in imaginary worlds, and chase down stories. I started writing my own stories in primary school, such terrible copies they were. But my love of writing was born. Eternally learning I’d regularly get bored at … [Read more...]

The two things you need to learn languages easily

Most of my current English (EFL) students are adults. Some progress quickly, others struggle for each step. Some are studying for university or their jobs, others for travel, and the remainder for the community bonding they get in each class. The ones that progress the fastest are those who are curious about English, and those who are not … [Read more...]

Bite-sized language prompts for students and teachers

I hold multiple classes for students learning English as a foreign language, so I need to come up with topics that both interest the students, yet focus on specific (small) aspects of grammar. Although I do use a textbook in some classes, most of my courses are purely conversational. I find preparing for conversation classes much harder, for a … [Read more...]