Communicative Language Learning

Communicative Language Learning (CLL) was conceived by Second Language Acquisition experts as a way of introducing real world conversations into the artificial world of the classroom.

What does this artificial world of the classroom mean? Babies don’t go to class to learn a language! They learn in the real world. The problem is that most adults need some guidance and discipline imposed on them – thus: the language classroom.

CLL creates an accelerated language acquisition learning environment for your ESL students where they are gently forced to create real world dialogues from situations introduced by the teacher. CLL can be a disaster if used incorrectly.

Oxbow has the skill to teach you the skills you need. Enroll now!!


Sequencing is a grammar-specific teaching approach for learning conditional phrases. (The useful If/then structure: IF I do this THEN I’ll do such-and –such.)

Sequencing also lets students use their imagination in an Interactive Work Circles while creating real world conversations using relevant topics.

Sequencing is just one of many Oxbow activities that help ESL Students absorb grammar without over studying it.

Teaching grammar is often dreaded by ESL teachers and studying it is equally met with trepidation by ESL students.

Sequencing allays those fears and makes learning (actually absorbing) grammar a looked forward to language learning activity.

The Oxbow Team has scoured universities looking for the best teaching strategies under the sun. We’re sharing them now!

Dynamic Rapid Repetition

Have your ESL students hear the same sentence 24 times in 60 seconds without being driven to sheer madness. Are we crazy? Possibly. But Oxbow will teach you how to engage your ESL students with this awesome language teaching tool. DRR gets students out of their seat and on their feet to prevent blood-pooling in their anterior resting muscles (their backsides, buttocks, bottoms, butts, rear ends, – every country has their euphemism for the butt –your choice). Blood-pooling pulls hemoglobin and oxygen away from the brain and pools it in the wrong place: south. This activity creates a blood-rush to the brain which craves oxygen. This method holds student’s rapt attention, employs random response action, gently forces them to listen intensely, and absolutely guarantees they won’t fall asleep or drift into a state of suspended animation and total disinterest – which is the normal state of about 2/3 of the students in the average language class.


The typical language class is about as cheerful as a funeral. Does it have to be that way? Evidently some TESOL courses think so. Oxbow’s experience says otherwise. So do language educational professionals.

How can you turn a memorial service atmosphere into one conducive to learning and not to tedium and monotony?

Cachinnation. Which means what? Laughter. Hilarity. Mirth. Jollity. Keep it fun.

Studies also show that teachers who have a sense of humor and interject wit into their class have less problems with problem students, have better rapport with their students, earn more money and are regarded as better teachers.

Leave the funeral atmosphere for the dead and make your language class a place where the living will want to learn from you. Laugh a little. Earn a lot. Just feel better!

Total Sensory Reinforcement

Traditional learning techniques are leftbrain dominant and thus highly ineffective in today’s media blitzed environment.

TSR forces the brain into a synaptic outburst! How? By creating an engrossing multi- sensory experience that involves visual, auditory and tactile/kinesthetic responses that activate both lobes of the brain for a whole-brain learning episode that your ESL students will beg for!

No tedium here! Thus activity is especially suited for teaching prepositions – those pesky concept words that are hard to visualize, difficult to understand and almost impossible to teach. All those problems go out the window with TSR.

Be the average boring ESL teacher or be a dynamic Oxbow trained professional. Your choice. Enroll now.

Global Core Vocabulary

A thousand words are simply not enough. Learning 1000 words is often stated as the golden target for ESL students but it is misguided thinking and sets students up for massive disappointment.

With 1000 words in the target language one might find a restaurant, perhaps make a reservation or locate a bathroom. If all a student wants to do is be tourist then 1000 words may suffice.

But if an ESL student wants to have meaningful conversations and fruitful communication then the real goal is 3000 words – not 1000. Global Core Vocabulary (GCV) has as its core 3000 words. But which words make up those 3000 words?

That’s the other point to GCV- they are words used universally in every culture, every country. These 3000 words are the core target of every ESL student – but sadly, most TESOL programs are ignorant of this.

Oxbow! We’re on top of the game! U can B 2!

Drawing Circles

Asking questions is a crucial part of language acquisition. It fills information gaps that all of us have. In many languages the grammatical structure of a question is dramatically different than that of English.

Drawing Circles help ESL students develop proper questioning skills without their losing interest. It replaces a torturous grammar lesson into an intriguing educational game and fires up both sides of the brain, something essential in learning a language.

Drawing circles are relaxed, instructive and enjoyable. They make students work while you plan your next in-class activity.

They help reduce Teacher Talking Time to practically zero, which gets your students to do the talking instead of you. After all, they come to class, not to listen to you talk, but to learn to talk themselves!

Educational Games

Does learning have to be painful? Some think so. Some TESOL programs think so as well. Oxbow does not. Neither do Second Language Acquisition experts.

Didactic games let students be trained and be amused at the same time. Why does learning have to be agonizing? It doesn’t! A contented ESL student is enthusiastic about learning and anticipates coming to class.

When students anticipate that your method of instruction is intriguing, exciting and yet beneficial they will eventually let others – including administrators know what an awesome teacher you are.

That eventually translates into job security, greater pay and a long career in the ESL world.

Oxbow trained instructors are among the best teachers in the world and are known for their whole-brain training methods - join our elite team now!

Intensive Listening Strategies

How can an ordinary newspaper convert current events into an Intensive Listening Strategy that is both interesting and educational?

The exact method is our secret for now. But that’s the intention of Intensive Listening Strategies (ILS).

Tying current events into a language classroom is old news in the ESL world. Making it interesting, educational and fun is the secret to keeping ESL students engaged.

This special Oxbow method requires an ESL student to listen attentively without feeling that they are being tormented.

Newspapers are also an inexpensive teaching resource that students can pay for and bring to the classroom. Many schools in developing countries have limited resources, but a newspaper is cheap, full of relevant current events and easily accessible.

Fluency Accelerator

Possibly while eating a delicious croissant a French professor invented this highly effective yet complicated method.

Oxbow simply simplified it from a 12 minute verbal marathon to a short sprint so that students don’t get bored.

The key is gradually diminishing the length of time a student repeats a group of sentences. Being gently forced to speak more quickly strengthens the verbal synaptic centers in the brain to concentrate on accuracy which leads to greater fluency.

Fluency is often tone of the biggest problems ESL students who want to speak like a native English speaker face.

Oxbow has a solution and when you enroll in our TESOL Certification Course you will learn the secret as well.

ESL students can accelerate their fluency curve with this simple Oxbow method - and they can do it while eating a croissant if they like.


A dynamic vocabulary learning activity. Spelling is essential for learning to read a foreign language. What is sdrowkcaB?
Read it backwards.

Spelling words in reverse helps ESL students focus on each letter in a new word. This creates what language researches call phenome awareness – that is focusing on the individual sounds that make up words.

Learning to spell is usually torturous, tedious, and time consuming – they key is RIFE, make the activity Random, Interesting, Fun and Educational.

sdrowkcaB does just that. It is a multisensory activity for all types of learners and assures the ESL Teacher that teaching can also be fun!

Oxbow TESOL Certification Courses teach teachers engaging in-class methods to keep their students intrigued and alert!

Poetry Circles

Even people who hate traditional poetry love this method. Why? It’s simple, dynamic, undemanding and above all really easy and yet effective! Why simple? Each poem is only 5 lines in length and no complete sentences are required – only phrases. This is an easy poetry format for ESL students and a great language learning tool. Why easy? Rhyming is not necessary! So, even students with limited vocabulary can participate in this unsophisticated format. Why effective? Since language is made up of phrases linked together to form sentences, ESL students use short phrases to compose their poetry, phrases that later can be combined in innumerable combinations to form an infinite number of sentences. Simple.   Easy.   Effective.

Long Phrase Rapid Response

This exclusive Oxbow ESL technique untangles the problem of rapid sentence repetition for long grammar structures of 10 words or more.

Long sentences are difficult to memorize and repeat when learning a Target Language. (That’s obvious isn’t it?)

This ingenious method gently forces ESL students to repeat a long sentence up to 25 times and hear the same sentence repeated by other students up 125 times – all within 2 minutes!

Sound impossible? It’s not. Oxbow has taught teachers from over 20 countries this method – and it works. The secret is how to make it Random, Interesting, Fun and Enjoyable. The RIFE formula is the key too almost all Oxbow methods.

This method also eliminates the problem which afflicts so many recorded language programs – hearing the same voice (with same rhythm, intonation and accent over and over again). It’s pure Oxbow Genius!

A Deck of Cards

Cards are universally available, inexpensive and durable. Card games as well are played in every country. Can a deck of 52 playing cards be turned into a whole-brain ESL learning experience?

Absolutely… but only if you know how! Oxbow turns a common deck of cards into a teaching resource and will teach you more than 10 dynamic & exclusive card games from a single deck!

You can teach anywhere in the world and buy decks of cards without draining your wallet.

Any card game can be converted into a relaxed language learning event.

Your ESL students will play simple card games and absorb language at the same time… without boring vocabulary lessons… while you sip coffee and plan your next activity.

Classroom Management

Twenty-five students are staring at you. Your palms are sweating. Your mouth is dry. Your heart is beating. You thought because you can speak English that now you can teach it. You took an online course that saturated your brain with sentence diagrams and pages of stuff you half understood and mostly forgot after you got your ‘certificate’ for $250.00. Now reality is staring you right in the face. Fifty eyeballs are staring you down. “What do I do now? Nothing prepared me for this!” Oxbow Certification Courses will teach you how to take control of and organize a classroom of 40 ESL students with simple but effective classroom management skills. You will fear no blackboard! No school! No classroom! You will be in charge and like it! Oxbow has the experience to show you how. Learn more

Teaching Abroad

Do you want to move oversees? Do you want to teach others in a country that has a greater need than in your home country?
TESOL is for you!

Here’s an interesting fact: You could be an electrician with 10 years of experience, a university graduate with a degree in engineering, an auto mechanic with 20 years of expertise or a doctor and yet none of these skills may get you what you want – an opportunity to live abroad and help others while teaching English?

Skilled blue collar workers (electricians and mechanics) can’t find work in developing countries because they can’t earn enough to live on. Skilled university graduates (doctors and engineers) often have to work full-time for large international firms to earn
a decent wage.

English teachers can earn 20 to 40 dollars an hour, work 12 hours a week and have free time to do what they really want.

Learn more

Demo Classes

The stories are brutal. More great jobs have been lost due to a bad demo class than we care to think about! Prospective employers want to see you in action! See if you have the right stuff! Thus: THE DEMO CLASS. Don’t worry You’ll rock there socks off with Oxbow’s dynamic whole-brain activities, methods and techniques. Our Dynamic Synergistic Teaching System is not based on theory! Real teachers use our methods. New graduates have secured jobs on the first interview by employing our Dynamic Teaching Methods! Others have earned 25% more than their counterparts with Dynamic TESOL Training. You can too! Even with minimal actual in-class experience – register now! Learn more

Classroom Props

What do socks, newspapers, small rubber balls and a deck of cards all have in common?

They meet Oxbows Low Standards for classroom props. Why does Oxbow have Low Standards? Because each technique that involves manipulables, or props, must be easy to obtain and be inexpensive – thus not emptying your wallet.

And yet they must meet our High Standard for their educational value. We have passed over many techniques that involve expensive and difficult to obtain materials – and that although they may have a certain ‘wow factor’ are nonetheless impractical.

Our review process insures that what we teach you to use in the classroom will be available everywhere from Wall Street to Cambodia, from Fleet Street to Uganda, from the Oxbow Course to your destination!

Tactile Word Spelling

Legumes. “Can a bag of beans earn me 30 dollars an hour in China?” Yes! (Maybe more depending on the city.) Spelling is essential for speaking clearly. Focusing on letters helps ESL students focus on sounds. This results in better accent-reduced pronunciation.

Beans can be tuned into a tactile learning event if you know how and when to use them. Our TESOL Course will show you how!

Beans are cheap. You can buy them everywhere. They can be used in Montessori style teaching. (They use sand – we use beans because they are more sanitary. They can be washed and cooked at the end of the week – which is important in some cultures.)

Touching and feeling small tactile manipulables are great for tactile learning. That’s our experience. Beans are better than sand.

Creative Dramatics

“Research shows that language students respond favorably to the use of creative dramatics in helping them develop oral language skills. Creative dramatics, provides a medium in which students become more comfortable expressing themselves or re-telling a story.

"As stated in Ernst-Slavit and Wenger’s research, dramatics provides the face-to-face interaction that maximizes language learning and creates a classroom environment that allows all students, regardless of language ability, to actively participate.”
                    - Allyson N. Lepley

Creative dramatics are a dynamic resource for getting ESL students to speak! They melt down inhibitions and turn the stale white walls of a classroom into a colorful medium for real-world language learning.

No ESL teacher should enter a classroom without training in creative dramatics.

Antipodal Dynamization AD

Self-Guided Learning Strategies for your students are essential. But no other TESOL Course teaches them. Either they teach theory and - sometimes - classroom strategies as well. But they don’t teach students how to study! For each hour in the classroom a student needs to spend 2 to 3 hours in after class study.

A good teacher teaches their students HOW to study. Antipodal Dynamization will help them be better language students.

This simple but effective technique – based on an ancient Tactile Chinese Tradition (TCT) dynamizes both sides of the brain making synaptic connections flourish through digital tactile stimulation of the non-dominant hand.

It’s so simple! It’s just so darn good!

Dynamic Kinesthetic Word Method 단어 게임

Inspired by an ancient Korean word game (dan-eo geim) this method creates a rapid vocabulary repetition session where your students repeat new vocabulary over 40 to 50 times without getting bored.

The same word? Over and over again? Without falling asleep? Is this possible?

Not only is it possible it really works! Words are burned into long term memory through this incredibly fast moving energetic method.

“Repetition is the mother of retention.” So said the Romans. But they never saw anything like this. Repetition can be boring, torturous and mind-numbing. But when done the dan-eo geim way it is invigorating, fast paced and – can we use the F word? FUN? Should learning be FUN? With an Oxbow trained instructor – YES!

Kinesthetic Sentence Drills

Also inspired by the Ancient Korean Word Game (dan-eo geim) Dynamic Kinesthetic Sentence Drills is the word version on steroids!

In this rapid-fire activity ESL students coordinate brisk kinesthetic movements and gestures as they repeat sentences 40 to 50 times without being bored.

How is this possible?

The challenge of keeping up with other students adds a very mild competitive tension which makes this method enjoyable and educational at the same time.

Older ESL students love the challenge!

The verbal repetition of sentences is reinforced by kinesthetic gestures. When the two are combined grammatical sentence patterns are burned into the synaptic connections of the brain’s language center.

Mind-Mouth Connection

Why are Asian students in particular able to memorize as many as 15,000 words, read and write letters and emails, technical and medical manuals, scientific literature and theoretical mathematical papers yet not be able to have a decent conversation in their target language? The Mind-Mouth Connection gives us the answer.

Knowing this secret will unlock those 15,000 words stuck in your student’s brains and free them.

Learn specific Oxbow Oral Speaking Strategies for Asian students.

The good news is that these strategies also help ESL students from other cultures learn to speak fluently and easily.

IELTS instructors can use these methods as well. The good news? You can too!

Register now!

Anticipation Array

Every classroom activity possible should have as its foundation anticipation. Anticipation helps students stay alert. Staying alert helps them stay awake and prevents boredom – the death of every ESL teacher and the enemy of learning.

Anticipation is especially critical in a foreign language classroom. It keeps students in anticipation of what comes next. Learn over 30 anticipation strategies in the Oxbow TESOL Certification Course.

One easy method is an anticipation array. It helps students intensely focus on words while making a game of repeating the words. It is simple, requires no preparation but is a dynamic teaching tool.

Repetition can be boring and mind numbing not only for the students but for you as well. Oxbow’s Anticipation Array I some of many methods that will keep you sane and extend your teaching career beyond the average 5 year burnout period.

Advanced Flash Card Methodology

“Research going back more than a hundred years has shown that learning new words using flashcards is one of the most efficient ways to quickly increase one’s vocabulary size and to move knowledge of these words from short term to long term memory.”
                           - Paul Nation

Paul Nation is Professor in Applied Linguistics at the School of Linguistics and Applied Language Studies (LALS) at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. He supervises MA and PhD research on vocabulary.

Flashcards are low-tech but still one of the best ways to learn new vocabulary. One new breakthrough in Flashcard Learning is the one minute memory trace discovered by Paul Pemsleur. It dictates the best way to use flashcards and reach up to 95% recall. Really!

Learn this dynamic method and teach it to your ESL students.

Circadian Study Cycle

Have you heard of the Forgetting Curve?

Oxbow has surveyed students from over 20 countries with the following question: Out of every 100 words you are diligently trying to remember how many do you forget? What do you think the answer is? 20? 30? 35? The answer? 50 to 80!

Even many Asian students (renowned for their incredible memories) struggle to memorize vocabulary. The solution lies in answering the following question: How many days in a row is it necessary to repeat vocabulary or grammar lessons for more efficient learning and greater memorization?

Educational research has the answer but most programs ignore it and their students suffer as they forget up to 80% of what they learn. The answer? Oxbow has it:

With our exclusive Circadian Study Cycle students achieve up to 95% recall!


Which is easier to remember:

A) 4758294418 or

B) 475-829-4418?

If you chose B then chunking is for you and is a teaching strategy you need to learn to use!

Many ESL books will tell you that Chunking is lumping similar words together in a list. This is totally wrong. Chinking was discovered in 1956 by George Miller of Harvard University. It has to do with taking large numbers (4758294418) and separating them into chunks of smaller numbers (475-829-4418).

Can this be done with words, and with grammar structures or sentence patterns? Absolutely! But it must be done correctly or the student’s task becomes even more difficult.

Let Oxbow teach you how to instruct your ESL students this vital method for making learning easier and for improving fluency.

Synergistic Visual Audio Tactile Method

Vegging out in front of a screen watching a movie is one way to learn a language – but is it the best way?

Oxbow’s exclusive Synergistic Visual Audio Tactile Method turns watching films into a true intensive and accelerated learning event! ESL students can benefit so much more from intensive one minute snippets of their favorite movie and derive up to 10 times more benefit than just watching a flick and eating a pizza!

We won’t say more because we’re sure our competition eagerly reads our website. (Why not? We read theirs – though not eagerly!)

Combining visual, audio and tactile/kinesthetic techniques into one method makes a movie an intensive and dynamic language absorbing experience either in the classroom or at home.


Overcomplicating things is the standard for every grammar and language textbook on the market! Here’s an example of a sentence in an Chinese/English textbook attempting to teach the pronoun xiang (FROM):

“I learn Japanese FROM Professor Hirohito.”

In this sentence the textbook introduced three totally new words never discussed in the textbook before: Japanese, professor and Hirohito.

Introducing complicated low-frequency words like Japanese, professor and the surname Hirohito is a burden to a student trying to learn a new pronoun.

“I learn FROM him,” would have accomplished the real purpose – to actually teach a student simply with out unnecessarily loading him down with unnecessary and complicated words.

Simplifying grammar - tearing it down to its lowest common denominator – i.e. how to use the least number of words to learn new grammar is the basis of Simplificating!)

No other TESOL program teaches this method.

Body Odd Language Acquisition

BOLA – is an Exclusive Oxbow ESL Teaching Method. How does it work?

By instructing students to use using their bodies in absurd ways the teacher creates a unique memorable kinesthetic/tactile event for their ESL student to learn prepositions. How?

As an example: Students pass a toy stuffed animal (like a frog) from one student to another using only the elbows or heels of the feet – while the students repeat the phrase “I am passing the frog TO him.”

This absurd and odd action creates a memorable tactile and kinesthetic learning event which is reinforced by the audible repetition of the preposition again and again.

Which is better? Studying a preposition or feeling one? BOLA lets students experience the preposition!

Flexible Dialogue Modules

Flexible Dialogue Modules help ESL teachers and students conquer the dreaded dialogue teaching method – an outdated but often insisted upon teaching strategy used in third world countries.

Imagine memorizing a 12 sentence dialogue with 40 new vocabulary words in just 2 days. The dialogue’s theme has nothing to do with you, your life or your culture. But the school you work for insists that you teach it and that your students memorize it word-for- word in order to pass a test.

What will you do?

Oxbow will teach you how to use another Oxbow Exclusive ESL Teaching Method - Flexible Dialogue Modules which makes the impossible possible – memorizing a 12 sentence dialogue!

Managed Reading

Reading out loud for 10 to 15 minutes everyday is a method often encouraged by ESL instructors to help their students improve fluency.

But students don't know what method to apply in order to improve their maximum reading and fluency proficiency. What do we mean?

ESL students are overwhelmed with too much information, (too many new words and numerous new grammatical sentence structures) in their assigned reading material.

How and how often to read out loud to improve fluency is critical because ‘good readers become fluent speakers’.

Oxbow’s Restrictive Reading Regimen is the answer. Let Oxbow show you the right way. Sign up now!

Absurd Mnemonics

Mnemonics or (mnemotechnics) are memory techniques. There are many forms or mnemotechnics. Oxbow exclusively teaches Absurd Mnemonics.

Absurd Mnemonics involves incongruous and bizarre mental pictures created by the ESL student which improves memorization.

Which is better? A) To struggle trying memorize the word RED in a target language or B) to visualize a RED dog painting the word RED on a white elephant?

If you picked B Oxbow is for you!

Which is better? A) Having students mindlessly repeat words over and over again while they struggle to stay awake – fighting boredom – or B) having them use their imagination as they create absurd and wacky mental images?

If you picked B Oxbow is for you!

Synergistic Finger Spelling

Fingerspelling is used in Sign Language to spell names alphabetically - in place of using signs. (Normally each word is assigned an individual sign.) But names are spelled one letter at a time through finger spelling.

Now fingerspelling is used by English language teachers in the United States for native language students without hearing impediments. Why?

Fingerspelling helps students to focus on each letter and, as a result, on each sound in a word – improving their pronunciation.

An Oxbow Exclusive is Synergistic FingerSpelling. What is it? We teach ESL Students to use BOTH HANDS instead of only one hand. Why?

Using BOTH HANDS activates both sides of the brain – creating a whole-brain learning experience.