TATL #18: Using Student Examples

Main Content: 
Emily and Roger talk about using student examples and how such a strategy boosts students’ confidence and engagement in the lesson. They offer ideas of how to incorporate them meaningfully into class.

*IMPORTANT NOTE: Roger mentioned the SKITCH app for iOS and Android. As of the posting of this podcast (#18), Skitch is no longer available for download. Roger has an alternative that is really much much better: Paper by 53

Here's a way to use it. Unfortunately, it is iOS only. (https://mademistakes.com/mastering-paper/)

WAYLT: (What are you listening to?)

Emily: Hoppipolla by Sigur Ros ()

WIMB: (What's in my bag?)

Roger: The Doodle Revolution by Sunni Brown (http://amzn.com/1591847036)

TATL #17: Storytelling

Main Content:
Emily and Roger talk with Rachel Fernandez about how to incorporate storytelling into lessons to focus more content than language and create a common content experience for students.

WAYLT: (What are you listening to?)

Emily: Disney Piano Collection by Hirohashi Makiko (https://youtu.be/D7gx-NdYEu4)

WIMB: (What's in my bag?)

Roger: Thing Explainer by Randall Munroe (

Thing Explainer: Complicated Stuff in Simple Words

~ Randall Munroe (author) More about this product
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You Save: $9.98 (40%)

TATL #16: Feedback Part 2

Main Content: Emily and Roger continue to discuss about providing feedback. They highlight tips and benefits with conferencing 1-on-1 with students and peer feedback.

WAYLT: (What are you listening to?)

Emily: Prince Royce "Darte Un Beso" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yr03_tItXno)

Roger: Coldplay "Fix You" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=skUJ-B6oVDQ)

TATL #15: Feedback Part 1

Main Content: In this first part of a two-part series, Emily and Roger talk about corrective feedback for students. 



Here are Emily's Correction Symbols:


Symbol: A

Meaning and Explanation: article

You are missing an article (a/an/the)

ex) I lived with host family and their dog. WRONG

ex) I lived with a host family and their dog. RIGHT


Symbol: AWK

Meaning and Explanation: awkward meaning

Your sentence is confusing. Rewrite it and clarify what you mean.

ex) Another difference is the amount of traffic the caused on the road. WRONG

ex) Another difference is the amount of traffic that is caused on the road. RIGHT



Meaning and Explanation: capitalize/lower case

You made a capitalization/lower case error.

ex) My name is emily. WRONG

ex) My name is Emily. CORRECT


Symbol: FRA

Meaning and Explanation: Your sentence is missing a subject, a verb, or both.

ex) _______ Are hungry in the morning. WRONG

ex) They____ hungry in the morning. WRONG

ex) They are hungry in the morning. RIGHT


Symbol: P

Meaning and Explanation: punctuation

You made a punctuation (, . ! ? ’)mistake or your need to add a punctuation.

ex) Are you happy. WRONG

ex) Are you happy? RIGHT


Symbol: PAR

Meaning and Explanation: parallel structure

You made a parallel structure mistake

ex) Public transportation and using a private car are different. WRONG

ex) Using public transportation and using a private car are different. RIGHT


Symbol: PL/SING

Meaning and Explanation: plural/singular

You made a plural/singular noun mistake.

ex) I have a lot of cat. WRONG

ex) I have a lot of cats. RIGHT

ex) Every students need to do their homework. WRONG

ex) Every student needs to do their homework. RIGHT


Symbol: RO

Meaning and Explanation: run-on

Your sentence is too long: has too many ideas or uses commas incorrectly.

ex) I am tired, and I miss home, and I miss my friends, I dislike homework. WRONG

ex) I am tired, and I miss home. I miss my friends. I dislike homework. RIGHT


Symbol: SP

Meaning and Explanation: spelling

You have the wrong spelling.

ex) I like to drink jous. WRONG

ex) I like to drink juice. RIGHT


Symbol: SS

Meaning and Explanation: sentence structure error

You made a

ex) I want to play. But I am tired. WRONG (compound sentence error)

ex) I want to play, but I am tired. RIGHT

ex) Even though I am busy. I will go to the gym. WRONG (complex sentence error)

ex) Even though I am busy, I will go to the gym. RIGHT


Symbol: SV

Meaning and Explanation: subject verb agreement

Your subject and verb do not match.

ex) She eat breakfast. WRONG

ex) She eats breakfast. RIGHT


Symbol: VF

Meaning and Explanation: verb form

Your verb form has some kind of mistake.

ex) I didn’t used the car. WRONG

ex) I didn’t use the car. RIGHT


Symbol: VT

Meaning and Explanation: verb tense

You have the wrong verb tense.

ex) Yesterday, I eat breakfast early. WRONG

ex) Yesterday, I ate breakfast. RIGHT


Symbol: WC

Meaning and Explanation: wrong word choice

Your choice of words is incorrect

ex) Due to Tokyo is the most population country, more people buy phones. WRONG

ex) Since Tokyo is the most populous country, more people buy phones. RIGHT



Emily: "Egg" 

Roger: "Bose Bluetooth/Wired Speakers"


TATL #14: Homework Part 2


Emily and Roger continue to discuss about homework. They highlight extreme situations for teachers to be careful of and how to be more practical with assigning and correcting homework. 

When do teachers give homework?

After teaching a new point. Students can practice it at home.

Before teachers go over a new point, the teacher wants students to review something at home first before coming to class so that they are prepared to learn the new point.

Extreme situations that you should be cautious of:

An energetic teacher who spends too much time grading the homework (providing comments, stickers, etc.)

A teacher who has taught for a while and mainly assigns homework just as busy work but doesn’t spend time providing feedback because it is too much work or students don’t look at it.

Practicality Tips:

Teacher needs to teach students how to read and use the feedback.

Incentivize the process of receiving feedback by giving points. If students are lazy with homework, don’t be scared to score lower.

Use a rubric to save time in grading and show your expectations.

For personalized homework like writing or speaking journals, make sure that students understand who the audience is. Audience refers to people who will read their homework. Students shouldn’t just write for a teacher to read. The teacher should explain what other kinds of potential people would be reading this so that students are aware of the type of register to use)

It’s meaningful to give feedback, but set a number on how many comments to give.

For extreme teachers:

    1) If you work too hard, take a step back. Find a hobby. Rest. Don’t make work your life.

    2) If you don’t put that much effort in, try to put more effort.


Emily: Fresh’s Sugar Lip Balm (http://www.sephora.com/sugar-lip-treatment-spf-15-P57002)

Roger: Bandaid (http://c3.q-assets.com/images/products/p/jj/jj-1288_1z.jpg)

TATL #13: Homework Part 1

Main Content

Emily and Roger discuss about the purpose of homework and the difference between knowledge-focused homework versus skills-focused homework. They give examples of what zombie teachers do and how to avoid that lifestyle.

Goal: Avoid being a zombie teacher! (Teachers who don’t really give that much thought into teaching because they have done it for so long)

Q: Why do we assign homework?

A: There is a concept that when you work hard and get good feedback, you’ll do better next time. If this process is repeated over and over again, you’ll master understanding that knowledge or skill. 

"Homework is so ingrained in classroom culture both in the teacher’s mind and the students’ mind."

2 types of homework: knowledge or skills?

Knowledge homework: learning definition of concepts, how concepts are related to each other, parts of grammar, meaning of vocabulary words, paragraphs. etc. It is basically expository. There is a focus on what students know, not what they can do.

Skills homework: any homework where students practice something: interview someone, create a dialogue using the grammar they have learned, make sentences using specific vocabulary words, etc. There is a focus on what students can actually produce.

Questions to consider: Is it possible to do a skill without the knowledge? Should we care about the order of what kind of homework to give first: knowledge? skills? Should we give homework that focuses on both?

"What are zombie teachers doing?"

Easy in grammar because teachers can just look for worksheets and have students do it. It’s not bad to do worksheets since students are practicing their knowledge, but it shouldn’t be the only kind of work students are expected to do.

Teachers should consider checking homework but be practical about going over answers.


Emily: Mentholatum Inhaler (

) and Wasabi Beans (http://www.quest-for-japan.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/wasabichaya_smallpacks.jpg)

Roger: Thermal mug (http://wwwhydroflask.com/)

TATL #12: Speaking Warm-ups Part 2

Main Content

Emily and Roger continue to talk about speaking warm-ups with an added focus on higher level learners. Ideas include planning a series of questions related to the textbook topic, editing sentences, and using post-its to collect student-generated questions.


Emily: Blue Tape 

Roger: Jansport Burrito Shaped Canvas Bag (outside) (inside)

TATL #11: Speaking Warm-ups Part 1

Main Content

Emily and Roger discuss about speaking warm-ups: the purpose, the problem, and possible solutions. Such warm-ups are effective in helping students get into the English mindset and be excited for class. The problem is that students are disinterested or the questions lack a meaningful context. As a result, students may know how to answer them but they have no idea when to practically use them outside of the classroom. Emily and Roger each provide a simple idea that can be easily applied into your classroom.


Emily: Isojin Gargle

Roger: Uniqlo Down Sweater

TATL #10: Journals (Republished with correct file...sorry!!)

Main Content 

What is it and how is it different from essays? 

It's an informal piece of writing on any topic. Students can say how they feel about the topic and the teacher need not be as strict on grading. This assignment is great for intermediate levels and up.

The first journal topic can be related to self-introduction such as a favorite thing. It should not be a scary topic for students.

In the directions, include extension questions on the topic to provide a scaffold on how students can add more to their writing. Also, provide guidelines on length of assignment.

When giving feedback, the teacher can respond to parts of the journal like a dialogue with the student. This helps build teacher-student rapport.

Some questions to consider for the teacher:

How many comments to put on each journal? Consider 3-5 comments per student.

How to manage collecting journals for big classes? Stagger the due dates (part of the class turns in one day, the other part turns in another day). Also, use a rubric that assigns points to reflect what is in your instructions.

How to make journal writing more meaningful? Have students submit to a Learning Management System (LMS) like Schoology and have other students read and provide comments to their peers.


Emily: “David and Goliath” by Malcolm Gladwell (http://gladwell.com/david-and-goliath/)

Roger: “The Sketchnote Handbook” by Mike Rohde (http://rohdesign.com/handbook)


Main Content


Bring anything that makes you feel comfortable: breath mints, snacks (fruits), business cards, water bottles, comfortable shoes, a backpack, a roller suitcase:

At the conference:

Know the type of presentation that you are attending at the conference: is it a publisher session? (they are trying to sell something) a paper session? (academic-focused research)

Don’t always stick with your co-workers and attend every session together. You and co-workers can swap session notes if you go to different sessions.

When you enter a session, introduce yourself to the presenter.

Where to sit - Roger likes to sit in the front to see the speaker and easily talk to him/her after. Remember to sit in the back if you plan to leave early.

Cell phones and Tablets - Ok to take pictures of the PPT, but don’t raise your device too high or too often. Turn off camera shutter sound. Flash only works if you are within 5 feet.

Publishers: Free books! Meet publishers and try to get a desk copy.

Poster session: Great to visit because presentations are short and you can talk to the presenter one-on-one easily.

Recharge yourself: find the rest or snack rooms and take a break. Sit down and rest your feet. Take a nap. Find good food places in the area.


What to do with contacts and business cards: try to contact them within a few days after the conference or else you won’t do it or the person won’t remember you.

What's In My Bag?

Emily: eyelash curler


Roger: Notebook from Zequenz (pronunciation: z-kwenz) (http://www.zequenz.com/)