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June 15, 2010

Learning English Can Be Enjoyable

"Learning English Can Be Enjoyable" - that was the title of a series of books and recordings I worked for several years ago in China. Yes, learning English (or any language) can be enjoyable. English in particular has a wealth of resources and approaches that help both teachers and learners. Here are just a few....

...places I have explored and found useful.

I like to use as much hands-on worksheets and activities as possible. If you think about how children learn their primary language, you will observe that children learn with their whole bodies; they experience everything. They touch, taste, handle, and yes, sometimes break, everything they encounter.

Imagine a row of placid three year olds trying to learn a language (or anything). They would be bored silly. And what's worse is that they would quickly be too discouraged to learn anything.

Yes, learning can be fun -in fact it better be fun.

Here are just a few resources for anyone with an interest in learning English. LearnEnglishFeelgood has an array of online and printable worksheets that deal with some of the trickier aspects of learning English. You can start here - http://www.learnenglishfeelgood.com/esl-printables-worksheets.html.

I particularly like their focus on the use of articles (a, an, & the) and proper (and improper) use of the passive voice.

Be sure to check out their section on mixed modals (can, must, should) at - http://www.learnenglishfeelgood.com/verbs-mixed-modals1.pdf. These can be VERY confusing to a beginning English language learner.

Another site with a lot of possibility is UsingEnglish.com - http://www.usingenglish.com/teachers/lesson-plans/.

One fun exercise from their site is based on one of my favorite topics - food. Check out this food game. Perhaps you could work in some hands-on, and edible, aspects of this game. You can start here - http://www.usingenglish.com/files/pdf/food-vocabulary-brainstorming-game.pdf.

There's a wealth of resources on the internet. Let me know of any of your favorite sites.

It is good to remember that we are all always learning. And it is always more fun to learn together.

Let me know what it is about English that you find confounding, infuriating or endlessly intriguing.

Listen, read and speak. Make your new language your own.

My best to you as you make your way through this intriguing , constantly shifting linguistic landscape.


About the author of this entry:

Morf has a B.A.from the Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington and an MAT (Master's in Teaching English) from the University of Washington (Seattle). Morf prefers international and independent films, foods he can't pronounce, music no one else has heard of and riding his bicycle in foreign cities. More than one student has remarked on how much Morf resembles Santa Claus...

Posted by mmorf at June 15, 2010 10:21 PM

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