May 2002One: Some Insights on Differences Between English and Chinese Grammar
Anna Marie Davis, of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, offers a few tips based on a contrastive grammatical analysis of the two language.
Two: Meet Virginia Jama
Virginia Jama is working inside the New York City school system to improve the English-language (and K-12 content) learning experiences of students from diverse family backgrounds. You will also enjoy these other May profiles: David Hopkins (teacher-trainer deluxe) / Fred Davidson (testing expert) / David Papier (teacher extraordinaire) .
Three: Does the Input Hypothesis Have Any Role in Reading Instruction?
Carla Kessler teaches 5th and 6th grades in the state of Washington, but she and her husband Richard also operate a Web site where teachers can find the kinds of extensive vocabulary-building exercises the Kesslers believe are central to the development of good reading skills. (Also read a related article about "narrow reading" by Lida Baker)
Four: Can Adults Acquire a Second Language?
Bill VanPatten, of the University of Illinois at Chicago, interrupted a sabbatical to accept an invitation from the ESL MiniConference Online and respond to critical points raised in Robert O'Neill's recent "Achievement Profile" interview. (Read also O'Neill's reply to VanPatten)
Five: A Word of Caution on the Use of Shakespeare in ESL
Dr. Merton Bland, of Conakry, Guinea, is less enamored of Shakespearean plays than some other recent contributors on the ESL MiniConference (Shakespeare Rocks! / Children of Shakespeare / ESL Students Want Culture). "You're wasting a lot of time" when you try to help ESL learners appreciate Shakespeare, according to Dr. Bland. (Also read a different slant from P. Ilangovan.)
Six: The Magic Bonsai Tree
Here is a story-building activity for teaching reading and listening skills to lower-level ESL/EFL learners. This activity--used in Japan in the late 1980s--was inspired by Steve Krashen's "natural approach" and Francoise Grellet's principles of reading.
Other May articles:
What is Good Teaching?
Reports from ESL MiniConference Participants