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Saturday, October 31, 2015

November Topic: Daylight Savings Time

It's that time of the year again - Daylight Saving Time (DST) - officially ends this Sunday (Nov 6th), so get ready to turn those clocks "backwards"! DST was first introduced in the late 1800's before electricity and  modern lighting as a way to gain an extra hour of daylight and productivity. When the energy crisis hit in the 1970's, more and more countries began to practice DST and today it's observed by over 70 countries worldwide. Applauded for its role in energy conversation, but criticized for the way it disrupts daily life, DST makes for a great ESL discussion topic - one that can also provide a springboard for talking about "time".


November Topics and Themes for ESL Planning

There's lots to talk about with your ESL students this month! Be sure to check out November's Themes and Topics here for your month's curriculum planning or if you just need a quick idea.

International observance and celebratory days that might provide some interesting springboard topics this month include World Vegan Day, World Tongue Twister Day, Remembrance/Veteran's Day, World Kindness Day, Say Hello Day, World Television Day and of course the biggie in the U.S. is American Thanksgiving! Be sure to check them all out and feel free to add any of your ideas and suggestions for this month too!

Friday, October 23, 2015

October Topic: Halloween, Superstitions and Fear!

Halloween, celebrated in many parts of the world, is an exciting time of the year and well known for traditional and festive activities such as trick-or-treating, costume parties and pumpkin carving. Halloween is a cultural celebration with an interesting history that dates back nearly 2,000 years. This time of the year not only provides ESL teachers with lots of fun activities, but it can also provide an opportunity for some very lively conversation around linking topics such as superstitions and fears! So, have fun with it!

Find recommended links for your ESL students here!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Get Your Students Reading and Talking with  
WOW News Stories!!

When I find interesting or shocking news stories, I love to share them with my students. Focusing on the vocabulary in the story is one thing, but when there's a lesson, a theme, or an emotional reaction that a particular news story creates, there's a tremendous opportunity for ESL learners to  remember and relate personal or shared experiences to what they are reading and comprehending. 

News stories that are interesting, compelling, touching, shocking, humorous or just plain unbelievable can make learning and remembering new and tricky vocabulary and expressions painless and can help spark students' interest in talking about them!

Read more on teaching tips and some of the news stories this year that have made me go WOW here!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

October Topic: United Nations Day

UNITED NATIONS DAY is coming up on October 24th. It's a day to celebrate the creation of the United Nations in 1945 and its work in preserving peace and order through international cooperation. Learn more about the United Nations and get your ESL students talking about this important organization and its involvement in world peace and human rights.

See recommended links to ESL activities on the United Nations here!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

October Topic: World Food Day

WORLD FOOD DAY is recognized globally on Friday, October 16th and is intended to help raise awareness about hunger and poverty. It also commemorates the founding of the United Nation's Food and Agriculture Organization back in 1945. This is a great discussion topic for your ESL students so set some time aside and get them talking about the importance of food and the challenges associated in its production and distribution around the world. 

Watch YouTube: 2015 Theme: Achieving Zero Hunger

Find links to activities for ESL students on World Food Day here.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

It's that special time of the year again when many Canadians celebrate THANKSGIVING - a time for giving thanks for the bountiful harvest and for all the other blessings in life. Even as Canadians take part in roasting turkeys and baking pumpkin pies, people in America are celebrating COLUMBUS DAY - a day for commemorating one of the first European travellers, Christopher Columbus, and his arrival to the New World in 1492. In other parts of the world, countries have been busy with their own HARVEST FESTIVALS  to celebrate all the successful harvests on their land. No matter what part of the world you're in, this time of the year provides ESL students with a bit of history and a lot of vocabulary!  >>>

Friday, October 2, 2015

World Habitat Day 2015WORLD HABITAT DAY is recognized on the first Monday in October (October 5th this year!) and provides a great platform for an important and useful topic for ESL learners. It's a day to create awareness for the homeless and for all those living without adequate shelter. This year's theme is Public Spaces For All. Share some facts and statistics with your students and have them learn more about this 'grassroots' action towards ending poverty housing worldwide.

Learn more about World Habitat Day on the official website:
Habitat Day - 2015 World Housing Facts.  >>>