Video for ELT, Episode 1: TED Talks

Greg Kessler
Greg Kessler

There are many engaging ways to use video and video creation projects in teaching English. There are also, of course, numerous videos online that can be useful in various English teaching contexts. Video streaming sites such as Vimeo and YouTube provide access to a seemingly endless supply of video content, but this can quickly result in the sensation of being overwhelmed and leave teachers uncertain of where to begin.

Fortunately, the most useful and valuable of these video collections are intentionally archived and curated for instructional purposes. These often benefit from inclusion of a focus on specific topics, lesson types, language levels, and teaching contexts. Increasingly, there are collections of such media accompanied by extensive documentation to support implementation or even teachers’ manuals and lesson plans. So many recent useful and impressive projects have focused on the use of TED Talks that I will focus on these for this first article. Next month, I’ll share thoughts about other video applications. Continue reading

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ESP Project Leader Profile: Louise Greener

Kevin Knight
Kevin Knight

Hello, ESPers worldwide!

In the 49th ESP Project Leader Profile, we travel again to the United Kingdom, this time to meet Louise Greener, and we gain insights into spreading “organizational culture” and “best institutional and pedagogical practices.”

Louise was introduced to me by another ESP project leader in England, Andy Gillett. Please read her bio. Continue reading

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Project-Based Learning to Promote Language Skill Development: A Sample Reflection Project

Erin Knoche Laverick
Erin Knoche Laverick

Are you looking to energize your teaching and enhance student learning? Project-based learning (PBL) is a fun and meaningful way to integrate the use of language skills while promoting students’ critical thinking skills. As indicated by the name, project-based learning involves students refining and honing their language skills through the completion of projects.

PBL requires teachers to create a classroom culture of creativity and engagement in which students share their work and reflect on the processes they use to create and complete their projects (Cooper & Murphy, 2016). Hedge (1993) noted additional specifications for PBL use in an English language classroom, including using authentic materials, creating a student-centered classroom, sequencing tasks to scaffold the final project, and students accepting responsibility in completing the project both in and outside of the classroom.

Continue reading

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Mapping Engaging Experiences

Greg Kessler
Greg Kessler

One of my favorite resources for language teaching has been maps. There are so many ways that creative teachers can use maps to make engaging experiences for their students. With today’s digitally aggregated, crowdsourced, customized, and mashup map, the potential is even greater. Anyone can create maps that are individualized and customized to their own needs or interests. They can also contribute to online maps as a collaborative act of participatory culture. Websites such as Open Street Map, and the Open Cities Mapping Project are designed for individuals to contribute and co-construct a shared awareness of visual and geographical representation. The easiest of these is Google Maps.

Though many readers are likely to be familiar with these maps for basic navigation purposes, they may not realize how easy it is to create their own customized maps using Google My Maps. Teachers and students may benefit from this guide, created by Google. Users can embed images, videos, or links within maps, allowing them to create interactive experiences they can share with others. Continue reading

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4 Ways Teachers Can Support English Learners

Judie Haynes
Judie Haynes

The school year is well under way, and teachers are beginning to get to know their students and to build relationships with them. The teachers that work with English learners (ELs) should know how crucial their classroom practices are to the success of these students. Here are four essential practices that effective teachers of ELs exhibit in their classrooms:

  1. Demonstrate a positive, asset-based relationship with students.
  2. Provide scaffolds to support ELs to acquire new information.
  3. Make use of flexible grouping of students in the classroom.
  4. Model appreciation of diversity in the classroom.

Following, I’ll discuss these four practices in detail. Continue reading

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