I teach 3 days a week at a private High School as an ESL and American/British culture lector, as many of you know.
I always try to come up with some "hook" for my lessons centered around the material, which is usually history, geography, culture, food, or daily activities of some kind or another. Recently I recalled that my English teacher in 7th grade had a nice system where every day, we would start out the class with 5 minutes of discussion about a chosen quotation, often about writing or language.
So I'm curious what people here think might be some good quotations for ESL classes from the lower intermediate to intermediate level. It's an "Obchodny Akadamie," which is sort of a "trade" or "economics" focused school, and I usually try to include in my lessons some useful lifeskills that my students can apply to their future studies and work. Many of my students are rich, spoiled and generally demotivated, many of them poor academic performers with problematic family situations, which is typical in this country- with a divorce rate in the top 5 internationally, meaning the majority of my students are in split homes.
Inspiration, wit, and comprehensibility would be the key factors here. Also brevity. I'm thinking of trying to get my students to discuss the quotes and arrive at what they believe is a suitable translation into Czech as well, so the quotes need to contain straightforward vocabulary and ideas.
It's not witty but I love this quote, if you don't mind the fact that it was pretty much invented out of whole cloth and then misattributed to Goethe: “Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.”
Posts: 3149 | Registered: Jul 2005
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Mark Twain is always an excellent source for witty quotes that are likely to be useful in an ESL class. Here are a few examples, though I should add the disclaimer that I can't vouch for the authenticity of any of them.
A person who won't read has no advantage over one who can't read.
Action speaks louder than words but not nearly as often.
Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.
Any emotion, if it is sincere, is involuntary.
I was gratified to be able to answer promptly, and I did. I said I didn't know.
All good things arrive unto them that wait--and don't die in the meantime.
Under certain circumstances, urgent circumstances, desperate circumstances, profanity provides a relief denied even to prayer.
The calamity that comes is never the one we had prepared ourselves for.
Posts: 12591 | Registered: Jan 2000
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