Walton Burns

United States - Connecticut
Walton Burns
271 votes
"I make kids wonder, I make them question. I make them criticize." - Taylor Mali, What Teachers Make
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A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving is a great introduction to Thanksgiving, particularly for EFL students who don't know a lot about the holiday. It covers the Thanksgiving football game, the turkey dinner, the theme of gratitude and friendship, even a
19 ratings
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One of my best-selling Clue by Clue Activities, with a Thanksgiving twist. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ In this fun mystery activity, students investigate who snuck into the kitchen and ate the mashed
3 ratings
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Three fun and easy to use activities that teach and practice basic word processing skills. My adult learners and ESL students often haven't had much experience using computers to type essays or do class projects. They don't know how to format
2 ratings
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This is a simple worksheet I created to help students learn or review adjectives to describe food such as sweet, sour, roasted, grilled and so on. I have two versions: one with a word box and one without depending on the level of your students.
2 ratings
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This English language vocabulary lesson that helps students to describe food was originally designed for EFL students to introduce American food and to segue into a unit about Thanksgiving. Students love talking about food and are fascinated by
1 rating
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This is a simple brainstorming chart to help students come up with adjectives to describe food. There are three columns with common phrases used to describe food dishes, such as "It's sweet". Students can then brainstorm other adjectives to fit in
1 rating
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A free Thanksgiving Activity! One of my favorite ways to kick off a thematic lesson is to ask students to brainstorm the first five words that pop into their head when they think about the theme. Encourage them to write down the first things they
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This bundle contains all of my holiday clue by clue activities. It's 4 mysteries (5 files since one mystery also comes in PowerPoint) for the price of 3. This bundle contains the following mysteries and resources. Click on each for a detailed
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Walton Burns is a teacher and award-winning materials writer from Connecticut who began his career in 2001, teaching in the Peace Corps in the South Pacific. Since then, he has taught in Central Asia and in his native country. His students have been a diverse group, including Russian oil executives, Afghan high school students, and Chinese video game champions. As a writer, he has been on the author team of two textbooks and written lesson plans and activities for private language schools. He is currently chair of the Materials Writing Interest Section of the TESOL Association, the international association for English language professionals. For more information, including projects he has worked on, go to his blog at English Advantage and his portfolio site.

Editorial Work

  • Co-author, Hang Out! by Compass Publishing. General ESL textbook for primary school students
  • Author, Inside Writing, a genre-based writing course book for Oxford University Press.
  • Grammar Editor, MasterMind series by Macmillian
  • Extensive materials development and course design for online schools, including Really English/New Horizons.
  • Assessment writing for OUP, Pearson, and SLTI.


I truly believe that communication is the goal of language teaching. Grammar is a toolbox to help students express themselves, not rules that need to be memorized. Vocabulary is a palette for students to work with creatively, not a list of words to be memorized. That's not to say that drilling and grammar banging don't have their place, but I teach for those moments when a student spontaneously expresses him or herself using new language and doesn't even realize it because he or she is so caught up in the conversation.


  • 3rd place, BESIG and Cambridge University Press Lesson Plan Contest.
  • Winner, One Stop English Lesson Share.


  • BA from Sarah Lawrence College.
  • MA in International Development from The Heller School, Brandeis University
  • TESOL Core Certificate, TESOL, Inc.
  • 12 Credits toward an MA in TESOL from Adelphi University.


  • Chair of the Materials Writer Interest Section of TESOL, Inc.
  • Freelance materials writer and editor for Pearson, Macmillan, OUP, Compass Publishing, and several international online schools.
  • Frequent Co-Moderator of the EVO: Creating the ePerfect eBook, a Massive Open Online Course on publishing educational materials online.
  • Blog at:English Advantage

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