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It's extremely important for our students to make personal
connections with what we teach them, particularly vocabulary.
One of the ways that I do this is to use things that students
have said publicly in class in the examples that I give. As
an example, one student reported that the desserts were her
favorite part of a recent trip. When we went over expressions
like "on cloud nine" and "in seventh heaven," I used this in
my sample sentences (Ana was in seventh heaven when she went to
the dessert shops in Japan). As long as the information is
uncontroversial and not embarrassing, I think this is an
excellent thing to do. It helps students get to know each other
better, shows that you listen to the things they say in class,
and sometimes the students are even flattered to be included in
this way. This is something I've often just done naturally,
without thinking of it as a special technique, but I mention it
because I think it's well worth doing.

Karin Abell
Carrboro, NC

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