New Ways in Teaching with Humor John Rucynski, Jr., Editor

New Ways in Teaching with Humor

New Ways in Teaching With Humor from TESOL Press explores the whole gamut of possibilities for using humor in English language teaching. These lessons use humor to enhance the English learning experience and provide English language learners with the linguistic and cultural knowledge they need to become more proficient users of the language. I contributed … Continue reading “New Ways in Teaching with Humor”

Online Lesson Plans for Reallyenglish/New Horizons

I was hired by the ELTJam team to work on a project for Reallyenglish and New Horizons language schools. The assignment involved creating a series of speaking lesson plans to review grammar and vocabulary lessons students would do online as self-study via Adobe Connect, as well as a series of complementary face-to-face lessons. I created … Continue reading “Online Lesson Plans for Reallyenglish/New Horizons”

Grammar Editor for MasterMind

As grammar editor, I was asked by Macmillan to review the grammar lessons and exercises of the second edition of Mastermind, levels 1 and 2. My task was to go through every grammar lesson and exercise in the Student Books and Work Books to check for clarity of explanations and use of sample texts to … Continue reading “Grammar Editor for MasterMind”

ESL Language Centers

As a member of the Test Development Committee, I worked with Second Language Testing Institute and the ELS Language Centers to develop and edit items for end-of-level proficiency exams. ELS is an intensive academic English language program with month-long sessions. At the end of each, students are given a final exam on the unit just studied. My … Continue reading “ESL Language Centers”

Oxford Online Proficiency Test

I was hired as an item writer for a new edition of the Oxford Online Proficiency Test, a comprehensive English language placement test, covering grammar, reading, and listening items. Over the course of several sessions, I wrote grammar, listening, and reading sections of the test for levels C1 and B2.

Inside Writing Into

Inside Writing is an academic English textbook that teaches writing using the genre-approach to writing. Each unit required writing a model text in a different genre, from a short narrative to a PSA to a cause and effect essay, that used words from the Academic Word List, exercises to draw student attention to the features of that genre, … Continue reading “Inside Writing Into”

Hang Out! 1 2 and 3

Hang Out is a series of fun textbooks for learners in primary school, going from level A1 to B1. I authored units for the first three books in the series. For each unit, I wrote a series of vocabulary recognition and practice activities tailored to younger students–lots of songs and chants and sticker activities and drawing. I … Continue reading “Hang Out! 1 2 and 3”

Thirty-one Mysteries to Solve Clue by Clue

Thirty One Mysteries to Solve Clue by Clue is a collection of short mysteries that encourage students to talk, while also practicing critical thinking skills and close reading. Each mystery consists of a situation and 4-10 photocopiable cards. Students read or listen to a puzzle or mystery to solve. Then they are given the first … Continue reading “Thirty-one Mysteries to Solve Clue by Clue”

On the Board

On the Board is an ebook containing 200 simple and successful do-now activities. Each do-now involves writing a proverb, quotation, brain-teaser, or joke on the board and setting students to interpret, analyze, and solve the do-now. One of the top most downloaded books on Smashwords in the categories of education and brainteasers. Publisher: Alphabet Publishing Skills: … Continue reading “On the Board”

Classroom Community Builders by Walton Burns from Alphabet Publishing

Classroom Community Builders

Classroom Community Builders is a collection of flexible community-building exercises for the classroom. Community-building classroom exercises directly affect student success, especially when combined with class content. The over 70 activities in this book help your students succeed while teaching teamwork skills and increasing their understanding. Publisher: Alphabet Publishing Skills: Writing, Editing, Book Design, Cover Design. Learn more … Continue reading “Classroom Community Builders”

Successful Group Work by Patrice Palmer from Alphabet Publishing

Successful Group Work

Successful Group Work helps students develop important employability and life-skills with thirteen effective, easily implemented teamwork activities created by Patrice Palmer, a veteran teacher and course designer. I worked on this book as an editor, book designer, cover designer, and publisher. Publisher: Alphabet Publishing Skills: content editing, editing, book design, cover design Learn more about Successful Group Work.

Basic Reading 200

Basic Reading 200 is a series of 3 books for true beginners in English. Each book features graded reading passages introducing basic grammar structures and vocabulary. Publisher: Compass Publishing Skills: Writing graded readings at a very low-level, high-interest activities, writing to a brief. Learn more about Basic Reading 200 Series.

Short Plays Cover and Interior Designs

Starting in 2017, I started publishing drama-related learning resources by Alice Savage through my indie publishing company. At first, I formatted the plays to look like scripts from a play publishing house. After extensive research on what plays look like, I created the first row of designs. Simple, clean, and very play-like. I also created … Continue reading “Short Plays Cover and Interior Designs”

Foundational English Vocabulary

This project was a book with lists of 100 words each, broken down into different categories. Each list was followed by a variety of activities to help students recall the words, learn their definitions, and use them in context. It was a wonderful little project that I’m sure teachers will make great use of. The … Continue reading “Foundational English Vocabulary”


I was contacted by an English-language teacher who wanted to publish a book about teaching English using the great outdoors. He wanted a content edit to make sure his language was clear, the tone was accessible, and that the purpose and message of the book was clear. He also wanted to ensure that the activities … Continue reading “Wild TEFL”

History’s Mysteries

One of the longest books I’ve worked on, and one of the most difficult to edit. This textbook is aimed at English-language learners and uses historical mysteries and conspiracy theories to give students content to talk and write about. There were five authors and a broad range of topics, from aliens to the JFK assassination … Continue reading “History’s Mysteries”

Conversational Writing

I published this book by a Nicholas Gordon, under my imprint Alphabet Publishing. I worked on every aspect of the editorial and design process including content and developmental editing, copy-editing, and proofreading. I also designed the cover and the interior, taking into account author preferences and research into similar books on the market. I uploaded … Continue reading “Conversational Writing”

Jojo’s Tiny Ear

I was honored to be trusted to publish this touching picture book by the mother of a son with microtia. It was wonderful to take her initial idea and turn it into a full-fledged traditional book. Originally her work was a poem accompanied by some paintings she had done of her son. In order to … Continue reading “Jojo’s Tiny Ear”

Pro-Lingua Learning

The client, Pro-Linguga Learning, acquired titles from another publishing company and needed to change the information on some of the covers and inside the books. They also needed the files to be adjusted to fit their new printer. In addition, one series of books needed to be compiled from a set of individual InDesign files … Continue reading “Pro-Lingua Learning”

The Stoic Teacher

I published this book by a Canadian teacher, Ryan Racine, under my imprint Alphabet Publishing. I did hire a separate cover designer, but did the interior myself. It was a tricky project because there were a lot of tables and each chapter had an introductory quote but I’m very pleased with how it turned out. … Continue reading “The Stoic Teacher”

Clue by Clue Mysteries

Clue by Clues are mystery games that practice critical thinking. Students are given a mystery, perhaps to figure out who committed a murder or how the police know a suspect is lying. Then they are given a clue. They discuss the clue, its relevance and meaning, and propose theories. Then they get a second clue … Continue reading “Clue by Clue Mysteries”