Toni Aberson

After 35 years of teaching English and supervising English teachers, Toni Aberson (M.A. English; M.A. Psychology and Religion) believes that a lively classroom is the optimal learning environment. “If people are thinking, sharing, and laughing, then they’re learning,” notes Aberson. “The mere fact that those adults are in an English classroom attests to their courage and their determination to learn. Adult English students bring a wealth of interesting experiences with them,” continues Aberson. “They bring the world into the classroom. The challenge for English teachers is to put students at ease and encourage them to practice English. What better way than to ask students about their lives? I love teaching English.”

Aberson has launched a new Chimayo Press series for ESL students. It’s A Breeze: 42 Lively English Lessons on American Idioms focuses on real life expressions and situations. “The key in a classroom is engagement,” Aberson says, “and people become interested and excited when they’re learning about the daily stuff of life. When they are thinking and writing and talking about their real lives—food, jobs, family, homes, sports, movies—that’s when they learn the language. Learning English is not easy. It can be a real challenge, but it can also be fun and stimulating. That’s what I’m aiming for—the real life and the fun that stimulates ESL students so they want to learn more. They want to jump in.”