Category Archives: ESL

Dual-Classing, or Why I Am Not Good At Casual Chats

Teaching Coworker: How long do you think my bowling activity should be? Two hours? Me: First, you need to define the game’s parameters. How many students are coming? Are you planning to reserve lanes? With 10 students and two lanes, … Continue reading

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The Time Of A Song

All our classes were asked to come up with a skit for an end-of-class performance, so my ESL students the first week were came up with two really hilarious skits, both using quite limited English and ending with clever bicultural puns. … Continue reading

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Experience

Me, as a first-year teacher: Teaching is a noble calling, and I will change lives in the classroom. I will share my love of language and literature, and I’ll encourage my students to be their best. Decades later, my students … Continue reading

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Travians on SeeJaneGame

I have a review of the addictive little browser game Travians up over on SeeJaneGame: The game opens with a message from your Travian’s uncle Horatio, asking you to come and help him with the ancestral estate. As he sends … Continue reading

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Reasons To Work In China

In the belief that such things are very Western, my school encourages me to wear jeans, sneakers and t-shirts to work. Subscribe to Violet Eclipse by Email

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My Sister The Pirate

My sister Bethie just returned from three months of sailing the high seas, so naturally when I got to talk to her tonight, I asked her all about her pirate life. “Did you call your friends, ‘me hearties’? Do you … Continue reading

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English Assignment

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Universal Behavior

I did some Mad Libs with my new teenage class. This is secretly a test to sort out English speakers from nodders. I can’t even fault them for faking it… I spent most of my high school chem class pretending … Continue reading

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Yes

I’ve already talked about using “Yes” as a synonym for “I have no idea what you’re saying”. This entry from Tim Johnson’s blog quotes a letter from a 1920s missionary in China, and shows that the ubiquitous Chinese yes is … Continue reading

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Meanderthal

Meanderthal — 1) n. A dull-witted student moving through his workbook at his own special pace. 2) v. The behavior of such a student. Usage: John’s parents were so wealthy and well-connected that he meanderthaled through three years of English … Continue reading

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