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...]

Why you must prepare to teach a conversation class

I've been teaching English conversation classes for nearly 7 years now. My students have been a varied bunch. From teenagers to seniors over 90 years old. Students, job seekers, employees and retirees. Travelers, immigrants, artists, doctors and engineers. Even a handful of language teachers (no pressure!) At first I thought I could wing … [Read more...]

50 Travel conversation prompts

The most requested topics in a conversation class with my older students is travel. I usually schedule two classes per conversation course on this topic, focusing on different tenses or grammar. Making the second or third lesson in a course about travel helps the students feel more comfortable with each other and improves speaking … [Read more...]

How to massively improve speaking confidence in conversation classes

What's the one thing most students are afraid of? Making mistakes. Looking silly in front of the other students. Being corrected a lot by the teacher, or by the other students. This drains their speaking confidence and can ruin a conversation class. I was that student, deathly afraid of speaking When I was in high school, I would … [Read more...]

Choosing conversation topics

Conversation language courses are considered difficult to plan for - there is no textbook to follow, no grammar that must be covered, no vocabulary list that must be learned. Apart from the focus of each class to improve speaking and listening skills, the possibilities for topics, lesson progression, grammar, and vocabulary are endless. So … [Read more...]

Starting a new conversation class

If you are anything like me, as both a teacher and a student, starting a new conversation class is terribly scary. Will the group work well together? What will we talk about? Will I have the confidence to talk, or be too scared about making mistakes? Will someone dominate the class, or someone never talk? These are all common worries … [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...]

Traveling teachers’ tools

If you are a traveling teacher like me, you don't have an office to stash all your equipment. Plus, you visit a bunch of places - schools, businesses, and conference rooms, not knowing what equipment they have, or if it is actually functioning (a blown globe in the projector again!) I need to carry all my equipment with me. Not just pens, … [Read more...]