It’s become something of a cliché, but every teaching situation presents its own unique set of challenges. However, my challenge wasn’t all that unique – in fact, it was pretty well-worn itself. My students were falling asleep as I tried to guide them through science readings and lectures in preparation for the TOEFL.
What I’d like to offer you here is a brief review of a class project that seemed to catch my students’ interest and got them deeply involved with academic material. This one simple exercise opened a wide door into helping students interact with abstract material and getting them to build a set of experiential and critical thinking tools that they could call on later when trying to understand and appreciate other technical topics in English.