🌹Monday’s Quote! 🌹

Happy Monday lovely friends!  Here is the quote for the week!
 is to replace an empty mind 
with an open one.

Malcolm Forbes

Happy Teaching!  Let’s get out there and do it!

“Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work.” – Aristotle

from Fun To Teach ESL – Teaching English as a Second Language http://esleld.blogspot.com/2017/10/mondays-quote.html



Hello everyone,

Aren’t idioms fun!  Check out this fun video and then read on to make your own interactive idiom bulletin board!

The Third Wheel from Melissa Kumaresan on Vimeo.

This is a picture of an interactive idiom board  for the whole school to participate in.

Idiom Bulletin Board – Step by Step Instructions

This easy, fun and creative bulletin board makes you look like a pro as you develop student vocabulary and language skills. This bulletin board works great in a classroom or hallway for the whole school to be involved with. I wanted a way to involve my school in language development and used this idea. Follow these quick steps and you will be on your way!


4-5 idioms and simple definitions
Computer/word processor
Images to represent the idioms and the definitions
Construction paper
Scissors/paper cutter

Step 1:

Decorate the Bulletin Board with colored Butcher paper of your choice as a background. Use a contrasting borders that complements the color you chose.

Step 2:

Choose a theme for the idioms you will use. Some popular themes include:
Bees, horses, weather, dogs, tired.

Step 3:

Choose 4 idioms. Take care in choosing the idioms. Idioms for intermediate language level students should be idioms that give a hint to the meaning. An example of this is “it’s raining cats and dogs”. The word “raining” is a clue to the meaning. Early advanced language learners can work with idioms such as, “you’re pulling my leg” which doesn’t give the learner any clues to the meaning. Choose which language level you want the students to work with.

Step 4:

Collect 1 picture per idiom that displays what the words say and another picture that shows what the idiom means. Use your own classroom images for this or do a quick Google search for “idiom images”.

Step 5:

Type up and print the idioms. Glue the typed idioms and the images onto colored construction paper. Cut to size.

Step 6:

Place the 4 idiom images that display what the words “say” at regular intervals across the top of the bulletin board.

Place the text under each picture.

At the bottom of the bulletin board place the image of what the idioms “mean” in random order.

Step 7:

Staple a piece of yarn under the text of each idiom long enough to reach to the image that shows the true meaning of the idiom. Tie a loop in the end of the piece of yarn so children can attach the yarn to the correct meaning.

Step 8:

Stick a pushpin into the bulletin board above the random images that shows the true meaning.

You now have an interactive bulletin board where students can match up the idiom to the image of its meaning by attaching the looped yarn to the push pin above the image of the true idiom meaning! Watch your students have fun and learn about idioms!

Happy Teaching!

Click here to see the article!

Happy Teaching!

from Fun To Teach ESL – Teaching English as a Second Language http://esleld.blogspot.com/2017/10/idioms.html

ESP Project Leader Profile: Elizabeth Matthews

Hello, ESPers worldwide!

In this ESP Project Leader Profile, we visit Elizabeth Matthews at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida. In her profile, she addresses aviation English, the development of leadership skills in pilots and cabin crew, and International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) language policy creation. On a personal note, I was extremely impressed that she was writing this profile and a newsletter article for ESP News (the ESPIS newsletter), while she was evacuating Daytona Beach due to Hurricane Irma!

Please read her bio:

Elizabeth Mathews brings an academic background in Applied Linguistics and TESOL (MA-TESOL, University of Alabama, 1991) to language problems in aviation. An Assistant Professor in the Department of Applied Aviation Sciences at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU), Mathews focuses both on improving industry awareness and understanding of language as a factor in aviation safety (LHUFT) and in raising standards of teaching and testing English in aviation.

Elizabeth works at ERAU with Jennifer Roberts, who is another author in the current edition of ESP News, so be sure to read their articles on aviation English. You can see read Elizabeth’s interview responses below.

Elizabeth Mathews
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Daytona Beach, Florida

Define leadership in your own words.

The aviation industry employs a unique approach to developing leadership skills in pilots and cabin crew. Decades ago, the airline industry understood that flight safety is enhanced when the captain integrates the full range of resources available, soliciting and advocating for the input of all the members of a flight. Conversely the safety of a flight can be threatened when a captain employs an autocratic, old-style of command leadership: “I’m the captain; don’t question my authority!”

Crew resource management, or CRM, is the industry approach to developing team leadership skills in flight and cabin crew. Leadership on the flight deck requires establishing a working environment, on every flight, with constantly rotating crew members, in which each individual’s input is expected and respected. Research into flight deck communications suggests that leadership is established, or not, in the first few minutes of the initial preflight briefing (Sexton & Helmreich, 2000). Understanding how pilots establish leadership is a rich area of research for applied linguists. The perspective of applied linguistics into all aspects of aviation communications is increasingly important as aviation is increasingly a multilingual activity. (See Casey & Condon’s LHUFT Bibliography, 2017.)

Tell me an ESP project success story. Focus on your communication as a leader in the project. How did you communicate with stakeholders to make that project successful?

Because of my early work in aviation English at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, I was invited, in 2000, to join the International Civil Aviation Organization, in Montreal, as Linguistic Consultant, to guide the Proficiency Requirements in Common English project, with the mission of strengthening ICAO Standards regarding the use of English in international civil aviation.

ICAO gathered a study group composed of more than thirty representative stakeholders, including applied linguists and TESL specialists experienced in aviation English and airline pilots, controllers, and representatives from civil aviation authorities, including the FAA, Russian, Argentina, and China. A wide cross section of aviation, operational, and language cultural backgrounds were represented.

My first step was to review existing ICAO provisions governing language use in aviation contained within the 19 various ICAO annexes to the convention. Working with the study group, we developed proposed amendments to the ICAO annexes, establishing language testing requirements and a target level of language proficiency. There were, naturally, many constraints upon the project, including most urgently a need to succeed in this first ICAO effort to establish language proficiency requirements for pilots and controllers. The strong consensus was that a failure to pass an amendment would lead to decades of delay in implementing an ICAO language policy.

A very interesting part of the process was that as the target audience got more important, more influential in the adoption or rejection of the proposed language proficiency requirements, our time and opportunity to present the case to them became briefer and more limited. For example, we wrote and discussed many internal papers within the study group; we had hours over several days to debate the proposals with the the Air Navigation Commission.

We were able to send documents to the 191 member states for feedback and input, which was then incorporated into revised proposals. Presentation to the council, however, was in a single brief paper and a one-hour debate, before they decided, in March 2003, to approve the adoption of the proposals, effective March 2008, giving member states time to prepare for the strengthened language requirements.

During the two years of this process, from initiating the process to council approval, a particular focus for me was to marshal linguistic and ESL support for what I knew would be an enormous, ongoing development of the teaching, testing, and teacher training infrastructure that is required to support what is the world’s first global language policy. I reached out to the International Civil Aviation English Association to alert them to the new ICAO requirements, as well solicited the interest of ILTA and other language testing specialists. While the ICAO Standards were a start, they were necessarily incomplete, and the real work of developing aviation English remains to be done. The need for academically well-qualified TESL specialists is key to improved success.

Elizabeth’s interview responses above were very interesting to me on two levels. First, she illuminates the policy-making process that generated the ICAO Standards. In contrast, I am reminded of the ESP Project Leader Profile of Jigang Cai as he addresses ESP-related policy-making processes in China. Second, Elizabeth’s focus on preparing aviation leaders made me recall a TESOL Blog post that I had written about Tony Hughes’ account of an air crash and Captain Richard de Crespigny, who responded to my blog post in the comments section.

If you have any comments or questions for Elizabeth, please feel free to contact her directly!

All the best,


Sexton, J. B., & Helmreich, R. L. (2000). Analyzing cockpit communications: The links between language, performance, error, and workload. Human Performance in Extreme Environments, 5(1), 63-68.

from TESOL Blog http://blog.tesol.org/esp-project-leader-profile-elizabeth-matthews/

Got the Offer? Contract Details Not to Miss

So, you got the job. That’s great! Before signing the contract, there are a few details that you should confirm with your potential employer.

Moving to another country requires a lot more time and money than moving to another region of the same country, so you should make sure that your relocation package covers most of your expenses.

One relocation expense that people tend to forget is the expense of getting a visa. The visa itself has a cost, but there may be additional costs, such as traveling for a health checkup, that could easily make the process more expensive.

Confirm with your employer what the normal visa process is before and after arriving in the host country and who will cover these expenses. Budget for the likelihood that you will have to cover the expenses of relocation then be reimbursed later.

Another area to budget for is housing. Even if you are being offered a furnished apartment, you will likely need to buy your own towels, sheets, pots, and so on. Furthermore, you may arrive to find that you need to pay three or more months of rent upfront. So, having money set aside is essential.

You will also want to find out what the housing options are. Are you being offered a specific place or a stipend toward any apartment? If you find a place that costs less than your housing stipend, will the unused funds be given to you?

You should also investigate the average cost of living. How much does a person normally spend on utilities, eating out, transportation, etc.?

I won’t say much about salary because most people consider it carefully. However, you want to have a clear idea of when you will receive your first paycheck. With so many upfront costs to relocation, this information is important. You should also ask about taxes, insurance, retirement, or other costs that may automatically be subtracted from your pay.

To attract top candidates, schools may emphasize their proximity to famous places. For example, a school may emphasize its proximity to Shanghai in China or Seoul in South Korea. You may come to learn, however, that “close” means a two- to three-hour bus ride, which would make day trips into the city impractical. Try to get a clearer idea about where the site is located.

You will also want to confirm whether you will be teaching at one or multiple sites because  some employers might ask you to teach at different schools. Some sites would be closer to home than others, and you might have to commute to different parts of the city.

For more information on planning, teaching, and living as an EFL teacher abroad, check out the latest edition of TESOL Press’s More than a Native Speaker!

from TESOL Blog http://blog.tesol.org/got-the-offer-contract-details-not-to-miss/

Practical Considerations for Teaching English Abroad

One concern I heard at TESOL’s 2017 Convention was the decreasing size of English language programs in the United States. Whether it’s because of the turbulent politics on travel bans or a combination of other factors, many ESL teachers are losing their jobs. The good news is that the trend in the United States does not reflect the trend in other countries. It might be time to start considering teaching English abroad! Even if you are not facing job loss, teaching outside your home country may be just the opportunity to expand your skill set and reinvigorate your excitement about the field.

Finding Jobs

One of the first things to do is to find job openings. One place you can do that is TESOL’s own Online Career Center. Other popular websites include

These sites have job postings from all over the world. Even if a certain country is not of immediate interest to you, check out the job requirements, salary (if stated), and benefits just to get a sense of what is offered in different countries.

Public or Government vs. Private

You might notice in job postings whether a school is public or private. Note that “public” and “private” may not have the same meaning as they do in your home country. For example, in the United States, private schools tend to be associated with having more resources, higher pay, or better benefits. However, the opposite may be true in other countries; private schools may still seem to have better pay based on stated salaries, but the public schools may have benefits that would ultimately exceed the salary offered by private companies, such as better vacation, housing, and insurance options. Furthermore, working through a government-sponsored public school may help with the visa process.


Speaking of visas, some people like to travel to a country as a tourist to learn about the place and to see if they can find a job once in the country. Although this strategy does have benefits, be sure not to start working until you have the appropriate visa. Sometimes a company will hire you for a month or two with the promise that they will help you get the right visa, but then the company offers excuses about delayed payments. (For example, you cannot open a bank account in some countries using a tourist visa, and the company may use that as an excuse not to pay you.) One you realized that the company was not going to pay you, you would have no recourse other than to report the company because you would still on a tourist visa.

On the right visa, however, you can enjoy many benefits from teaching English abroad, including tax breaks and free housing. So, keep your eyes on the TESOL Blog for more suggestions on this topic. You can also check out the latest edition of TESOL Press’s More than a Native Speaker for a guide on planning, teaching, and living as an EFL teacher abroad.

from TESOL Blog http://blog.tesol.org/practical-considerations-for-teaching-english-abroad/

ESP for Developing Creativity

Hello, ESPers worldwide!

I have been thinking recently how ESP may be a good way to develop creativity. As I wrote in Marta Baffy’s profile, ESP project leaders seem to have expertise in multiple areas. Having expertise in multiple areas and being involved in problem-solving activities may lead to innovative solutions. In this post, I reflect on some of my own experiences.

A few days before writing this post, I received from a colleague a link to a TED Talk by mathematician and data scientist Cathy O’Neil titled “The Era of Blind Faith in Big Data Must End.” The talk was about algorithms. After watching it, I responded to my colleague:

It resonates of leadership and decision-making processes. The argument is to make such decision-making processes transparent. We can therefore see how such decision-making processes are being created as well as what the processes are creating (i.e., the vision).

In my response, I was drawing from the discourses of international relations and leadership in framing and extending the meaning of “algorithms” to include the various factors that influenced the creation of an algorithm. In my mind, decision-making processes reflect policy-making processes from the field of international relations in which I have a master’s degree. The term “vision” reflects leadership and my related doctoral research (Ph.D., linguistics) and curriculum development at my university.

Our educational backgrounds and areas of expertise not only influence how we communicate, but they also affect how we approach curriculum development (see Kirsten Schaetzel’s profile). As an example from my own experience, I teach business case studies in business English classes. In some classes, I replicate the experience that I had as a graduate student in which professors “cold call” in class and grade student responses. (The students do not know which of them will be called upon to answer the professor’s questions aloud in class (see Vince Ricci’s profile). On the other hand, I usually have the students work in groups and come up with the solutions to the case in class. This activity replicates what students in a master’s in business administration program would usually do outside of class (for the purpose of writing and submitting a case-study solution paper) in advance of a cold calling session.

I initially studied international relations and business administration in graduate school because of my involvement in ESP training at Sony. I had been training Sony managers and other employees for overseas assignments, and I believed at the time that I needed to obtain more training and experience in international business. However, in the field of ESP, I have also found that we do much of our learning on the job. In my ESP work now, I provide training to medical professionals, government officials, and company employees in various industries (e.g., steel, chemical, and advertising). In helping my students use English as a communication tool for their immediate needs, I learn more about the content of their fields.

For example, I was working with a medical doctor to prepare his PowerPoint presentation for an international conference. As an ESP practitioner, I was involved in helping him to edit his work. In addition, I acted as a speech/debate coach in attacking his ideas (e.g., see “ESP and the Power of Persuasion”) and improving his presentation delivery. One of my challenges was to learn quickly the discourse of his field so that I could better understand the content of his presentation and advise him how to communicate more effectively. In this connection, I needed him to explain to me certain technical terms.

By working with different learners in different industries, we learn different content. As a result, we learn to see the world from different perspectives. (I think of “metaphor” here because we learn to see and describe things “in other terms.”) It is from such multiple perspectives that we develop our creativity. The key is to gain expertise in multiple fields and to continue to be engaged in problem-solving activities, such as “How can we best teach our learners in this situation?”

Here’s a final example: After writing this post, I was thinking about one of the English for business communication (EBC) classes that I teach for undergraduates in Japan.  An idea popped into my mind for uniting “interview skills” with “business case-study analysis” that will enable the students to more quickly understand and communicate the content of the business case studies in class. It felt to me like the discovery of a small but important improvement that brought together different parts of my previous experience, and this blog post triggered the idea.

Good luck with developing your creative genius through ESP!

All the best,

from TESOL Blog http://blog.tesol.org/esp-for-developing-creativity/