Richard Firsten

Coming from a very diverse part of New York City, Richard learned to appreciate people from various cultural and linguistic groups. Joining the Peace Corps after college is where he developed his love for language teaching. In Miami, FL, where he settled, Richard served as Head Instructor in the Barry College Intensive English Program for five years, as Associate Director of the English Language Institute at Florida International University for another five years, and as an ESOL instructor for adult immigrants and refugees for over twenty years until he retired. He was also greatly involved in teacher training over the years, taught in two TESOL master’s programs, and has authored a number of ESOL student textbooks and teacher reference books.

Book Publications (authoring)

2007 Grammar Connection: Structure through Content, Book 2. Boston, MA: Thomson/Heinle (now Cengage), 267 pp.

2004 Contemporary English, Workbooks 1, 2, 3, & 4 (with Gerry Strei). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill/Contemporary, 92 pp. each

2002 The ELT Grammar Book: A Teacher-Friendly Reference Guide. (with Patricia Killian) Palm Springs, CA: ALTA English Publishers, 569 pp.

2000 Men Can Get Embarrassed, Too!: Confusing English Vocabulary for Spanish Speakers. Palm Springs, CA: ALTA English Publishers, 161 pp.

1995 Workbook for Troublesome English. (with Patricia Killian) Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall Regents, 182 pp.

1994 Troublesome English. (with Patricia Killian) Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall Regents, 374 pp.

1993 Entry to English Literacy, Volumes 1 & 2. Austin, TX: Steck-Vaughn Company

1992 Real Life English Placement Survey, Form 1. Austin, TX: Steck-Vaughn Company

1991 Real Life English Grammar, Book 4. Austin, TX: Steck-Vaughn Company

1991 Real Life English Grammar, Book 4, Teacher’s Guide. Austin, TX: Steck-Vaughn Company

1990 Real Life English Grammar, Book 1. Austin, TX: Steck-Vaughn Company

1990 Real Life English Grammar, Book 1, Teacher’s Guide. Austin, TX: Steck-Vaughn Company

 

Publications (editing)

2011 Truths from the Self: Insights into Finding Wisdom in the Present Moment. Miami, FL: Indigo Reef Publishing, (line editor)

2004 Out & About: An Interactive Course in Beginning English. Palm Springs, CA: ALTA English Publishers (lead content editor), 185 pp.

 

Columns and Blogs

2004 – 2010 “Grammatically Speaking,” an ongoing online column in “Compleat Links,” the online section of the periodical Essential Teacher, Alexandria, VA: TESOL

2008 Jan. – Dec. The Grammar Guy, a weekly blog for national and international English teachers, New York, NY: Pearson Education

2002-2004 “Grammatically Speaking,” an ongoing column in TESOL Matters, Alexandria, VA: TESOL

2001-2006 “The Grammar Guy,” ongoing column in ESL Magazine, Annapolis, MD

 

Presentations

2008 “We Teach Grammar . . . but Do We Really Know Grammar?” Michigan Department of Education, East Lansing, MI

2000 – 2005 “The ELT Grammar Book: A Teacher-Friendly Reference Guide” and “Men Can Get Embarrassed, Too: Confusing English Vocabulary for Spanish Speakers” TESOL, Baltimore, MD., San Antonio, TX, Tampa, FL, San Francisco, CA, St. Petersburg, FL, St. Louis, MO, Daytona Beach, FL

2002 “What Do We Name the Baby . . . Book?” TESOL 2002, Salt Lake City, UT

2002 “Men Can Get Embarrassed, Too: Confusing English Vocabulary for Spanish Speakers.” TESOL 2002, Salt Lake City, UT

1998 “Creating Classroom Materials for Multiple Intelligences.” TESOL 1998, Seattle, WA

1997 “Emma Lazarus Would Smile: A VESOL Story from Florida.” TESOL 1997, Orlando, FL

1996 “Incorporating Multiple Intelligences into the ESOL Classroom.” TESOL 1996, Chicago, IL

1996 “When You’re on Your own: Dynamic Strategies for Grammar.” Broward County ESOL Conference, Fort Lauderdale, FL

1995 “Line, Please!: Writing Scripts for Classroom Skits.” TESOL 1995, Long Beach, CA

1995 “The Trouble with English: Turning Grammatical Lions into Lambs.” Broward County ESOL Conference, Fort Lauderdale, FL

1993 “So You Wanna be a Writer, Huh?” TESOL 1993, San Francisco, CA

1992 “Interactive Video Scenes: Drawing the Students in.” Washington D.C. TESOL, Washington, D.C.

1992 “Interactive Video Scenes: Drawing the Students in.” TESOL 1992, Vancouver, B.C., Canada

1990 “Adapting Teaching Styles for LEP Students.” Nursing Department instructors, Lindsey Hopkins Technical Education Center, Miami, FL

1989 “Using Longman’s Progressive Picture Series to Teach Techniques for Expanded Conversations.” ESOL Department Instructors, Lindsey Hopkins Technical Education Center, Miami, FL

1988 Series of 10 Spanish Immersion Workshops for teachers at Hialeah High School, Hialeah, FL

1988 “The Communicative Approach for Teaching Adult ESOL.” Feinberg-Fisher Adult Ed. Center, Miami Beach, FL

1987 “Educational Networking in EFL” and “Advanced English Usage.” Dominican TESOL Conference, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

1986 “Fine Points of English Grammar.” workshop for international teachers through a grant from the USIA and AID, Florida International University, Miami, FL

1986 Expanded versions (all-day workshop) of “Practical Classroom Grammar Methodology for the EFL Teacher” and “Stimulating Activities for Conversation Classes.” Also gave keynote speech. Venezuela TESOL, Caracas, Venezuela

1986 “Practical Classroom Grammar Methodology for the EFL Teacher” and “Stimulating Activities for Conversation Classes.” 4th Annual VenTESOL Conference, Caracas, Venezuela

1986 “Teacher vs. Student Expectations in Intensive English Programs: an Empirical Study.” TESOL 1986, Anaheim, CA

1985 “I Know What it Means…but How Do I Explain it?: the Idiosyncrasies of English, Part 2.” MexTESOL Annual Conference, Puebla, Mexico

1984 “I Know What it Means…but How Do I Explain it?: the Idiosyncrasies of English.” Florida TESOL Conference, Miami Beach, FL

1982 “Teaching Prepositions Body and Soul: an Unorthodox Approach.” TESOL Summer Meeting, Chicago, IL

1982 “Enuf Already with the Small Talk: Innovative Materials and Techniques for Lively Conversation Classes.” TESOL 1982, Honolulu, HI

1982 “Students Out in the Community” and “How Do You Kill an Expensive Vampire?: the Use of Puns in Advanced Vocabulary Lessons.” Second Midwest Regional TESOL Conference, Indianapolis, IN

 

Consulting

1995 revised English Language Oral Proficiency Exam for Florida International University, Miami

1995 revised English Language Oral Proficiency Exam for Florida International University, Miami

1992 administered the FIU English Language Oral Proficiency Exam for the third time in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to 450 examinees

1988 – 1991 member of Advisory Board, ESOL Add-On Certification Program, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL

1986 consulted with the Centro Venezolano-Americano and Universidad Metropolitana in Caracas on matters of EFL curriculum revision

1986 – 1987 local co-chair for the International TESOL Convention, Miami Beach, FL

1985 – 1987 reviewer of texts for Macmillan Publishing Company

1984 revised and co-administered the FIU English Language Oral Proficiency Exam for the second time in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to 1,500 examinees

1983 – 1985 reviewer of texts for Prentice-Hall Publishers, Inc.

1983 consultant to Aruban Hospitality and Trades Center, Oranjestad, Aruba (Netherlands Antilles); advised on development of an ESP program for the Hotel and Restaurant School

1983 co-administered the FIU English Language Oral Proficiency Exam in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to over 1,400 examinees

 

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