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Showing posts from April, 2018

Calling SMK BL With Love From NYC

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When I was in secondary school, we were still using payphones & dail-up internet. Technology has made giant leaps since then. Seeing all these students, it felt like I was speaking to a younger me. You see, I was once a student at SMK Batu Lintang in Kuching, Sarawak, too. Therefore, I have so much hope in my heart for these young people & I totally expect them to surpass me in every single way. My dream is that at least one of them will pay it forward & continue to inspire future generations of BL-ians.

After getting her students to write responses to a postcard from NYC, their teacher, Ms Ho, capitalized on her student's interest with a video call. She overcame the headache of setting up AV technology in her typical low-tech Malaysian classroom so her students got to practice their English in an authentic conversation & experience the potentials of 21st century tools in the classroom. Respect. Her students asked several thoughtful & challenging questions tha…

Group Flyswatter - No Prep ESL Activity

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Want a great lesson starter? Perhaps you're looking for a pick me up in the middle of a tough lesson? What do you do to wake your students up after a long day at school? Why not practice previously taught vocabulary at the same time?

We all know that repeated & varied vocabulary practice improves retention. However, the drills necessary for this to happen might be too tedious to carry out in some classrooms, esp if your students are not as committed or your class periods are scheduled at the end of the school day. Here is an engaging No Prep ESL activity that works for both young & old. You'll allow your ESL students a chance to stretch those bones without compromising valuable instructional time.


Skills Engaged:Vocabulary, Spelling
Materials: Flyswatters (if available; otherwise, brooms, sticks, canes, slippers, shoes, etc make for interesting alternatives), dry-erase markers, & whiteboard
Time: 15-30 min

Chain Story - No Prep ESL Activity

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Want your grammar lessons to be a little livelier? Want students to move a little bit in your class & have a little laugh after a long day? Want them to cooperate & perform peer-correction? Perhaps you should consider this engaging No Prep ESL Activity!

This is an activity that can be easily adapted for higher or lower proficiency levels! It's perfect for assessing grammar: tenses, conditionals, SVA, conjunctions, prepositions, etc.

Skills Engaged:Grammar, Writing, Cooperative Learning, Spelling
Materials: Dry-erase markers, & whiteboard
Time: 15-30 min

Why Every Malaysian Should Send Postcards Home When Graduating Abroad

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If you are a Malaysian studying abroad, I implore you to send postcards home when you graduate. Here's why...

Being able to study abroad is a luxury & a privilege enjoyed by roughly 55,000 Malaysians every year (from 2003-2013). It may seem like a big number but it only constitutes roughly 5.5% of the tertiary student population (from 2000-2010). Academically, there is not much difference between degrees earned locally & those abroad. The special-sauce is in the broadening of the mind & the ability to consider multiple perspectives after being exposed & forced to survive in a foreign culture. With a simple gesture, you can share a glimpse of what you've learned with a new generation of Malaysians with the hopes that your postcard will spark young minds & inspire them to surpass your wildest imaginations.

Send Postcards To Where You Know It Will Actually Be Used Perhaps you can send a few back to your past schools. I'm sure the students there will be i…

Written Charades - No Prep ESL Activity

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How do you make sure your students pay attention to new vocabulary you've covered in your lessons & incentivize them to return to those from time to time? Every teacher knows charades & it's classic vocabulary game that's great for all levels & ages. But, what happens when one student/team completely dominates the game every time you play it? How do you make sure that everybody gets a chance to participate? Also, how do you know if your students can spell the words correctly?

I've figured out a No Prep way to tap into what makes the game great & engage all students without alienating those who are a little bit slow (like myself, I'm really bad at charades). Trust me, your students will frantically flip through their notes during this engaging ESL activity! Try this out & let me know how your lesson went! =)


Skills Engaged:Vocabulary, Cooperative Learning, Spelling
Materials: Dry-erase markers, & dry-erase tablets (you can make your own low-co…