Memorable moments

Memorable holiday

This is a great exercise to get students talking. They walk around the room, switching partners regularly and spend a good amount of time talking about one or two of the questions with each person. These questions practice superlative adjectives - … [Continue reading]

Switching from Evernote to OneNote

Pencils

I take a lot of notes all the time, as I find I remember things much better when I write them down. There are notes on language learning, teaching, the books I read, webinars and courses I attend, recipes, gardening and crochet advice, and much … [Continue reading]

Read to write

Hobbit moleskin notebooks

Many decades ago, there was a young girl who would stay up late at night, reading with a torch under the blankets. If a light was seen under the door, she'd feel her mother's wrath. She'd speed through piles of library books, win prizes in MS … [Continue reading]

Writing isn’t just for writers

Crochet and tea

We've heard over and over again that successful people, happy people, entrepreneurs and creatives write every day. Daily writing: reduces depression reduces stress and anxiety increases coping skills increases productivity increases … [Continue reading]

Daily language learning hacks

Major Mitchell cockatoo, Australia

If you are like me, your language learning motivation waxes and wanes, with the weather, with a changing daily workload and social appointments, and with tiredness and stress. Recently, my workload has increased, and I'm running around like a … [Continue reading]

Simplified language is not stupid

Autumn shoji screen

When I was doing my honors project in Computer Science, I was regularly criticized for making my papers and literature reviews too readable, too understandable. As if being understood is a bad thing! I was told that I could 'get away with it' … [Continue reading]

When you get stuck

Spider caught a fly

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 … [Continue reading]

Written homework is important for conversation classes

Orangutan mother and child

You've reached a certain level of ability and confidence, and now want to join a conversation class. Great choice! One conversation class per week is recommended by the local language school. Enrolled! You are nervous at the beginning of the … [Continue reading]

How to be an independent learner

Yellow crested cockatoo

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 … [Continue reading]

Australian animals – word search

Australian owl

One of the first handouts I made for my Japanese classes in 2010 was a word find puzzle, with a large number of Australian animals. It was probably one of the most popular lessons, as the students raced to be first and receive Australian stickers … [Continue reading]