3 More Easy Improv Warm-ups for Speaking Classes

A. C. Kemp
A. C. Kemp

Last month, I wrote about four simple, silly improv warmups to get students active and engaged. This month, I’d like to continue with three more: Diddy-Diddy-Dum, Energy Circle, and Five Things.

All three games are low stakes and noncompetitive. There’s no penalty for mistakes—making mistakes is part of the fun!

For each game, the face-to-face rules are given, followed by instructions on how to adapt them to the online environment. Continue reading

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A Focus on Equity: Examining the Center for Urban Education Tools

Stephanie Marcotte
Stephanie Marcotte

The Annie E. Casey Foundation defines equity as

‘the state, quality, or ideal of being just, impartial, and fair.’ The concept of equity is synonymous with fairness and justice. It is helpful to think of equity as not simply a desired state of affairs or a lofty value. To be achieved and sustained, equity needs to be thought of as a structural and systemic concept.

Following, we’ll explore how the Center for Urban Education (CUE) at the University of Southern California can help your school or program reflect on racial equity and utilize data to provide more equitable outcomes for your students. Continue reading

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6 Scaffolds to Support ELs in a Virtual Classroom

Judie Haynes
Judie Haynes

According to my sources on #ELLCHAT, a Twitter discussion group for teachers of English learners (ELs), students are sitting in virtual classrooms during the pandemic, struggling to understand content-area information. It is critical for ELs to obtain comprehensible input from their teachers, and this has become increasingly difficult in a virtual setting.

It is my opinion that if teachers do not support ELs with scaffolds, the students will not receive the necessary input. They will not have equal access to the education that their peers receive. I understand that teachers are working really hard. They are frustrated and overwhelmed. I think, however, that if teachers include scaffolds for ELs in their lessons, they will be rewarded by improved results. Following are six scaffolds that work well in a virtual classroom. Continue reading

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Bringing Civics to the Classroom With iCivics

Jeff Kuhn
Jeff Kuhn

Hello and welcome to another edition of the TESOL Games and Learning blog! In this month’s post, we’ll explore iCivics, a website of classroom-friendly games that teach students about the workings of government. Former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor founded iCivics in 2009 in response to what she saw as decreased civic engagement. Since then, iCivics has created a variety of games that give players an understanding of systems of government and help them learn more about the democratic process.

What’s great about iCivics is that the games are accompanied by a range of support materials, from lesson plans to entire curriculum units. This makes the website a solid selection for teachers who want to use games in the classroom but are unsure on how to get started. Continue reading

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6 Ways to Build Fluency in Second Language Writing

Betsy Gilliland
Betsy Gilliland

What Is Fluency in Writing?

When asked what their goal is in learning a language, many learners say they want to be fluent in both speaking and writing. In everyday discussions, we often think of fluency as a reflection of a writer’s ease and comfort with writing. In second language acquisition research, fluency is often discussed as one of a trio of measures along with accuracy and complexity. These measures are all necessary elements in building writing quality and sophistication. Continue reading

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4 Easy Improv Warm-ups for Speaking Classes

A. C. Kemp
A. C. Kemp

It can be tough to get students excited about learning, and in this time of online classes, with students sitting in front of a screen all day, it’s even tougher. However, a fun warm-up activity can raise energy and interest in preparation for the day’s lesson.

This post includes four simple and silly warm-ups from the world of improv comedy that lower student affect and build community and enthusiasm. Each one includes face-to-face rules and online adaptations. And don’t worry—you don’t need to be a comedian yourself—in improv, the students create the fun themselves. Continue reading

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Too Much EdTech: 3 Ways to Reduce the Technology Load

Stephanie Marcotte
Stephanie Marcotte

With the transition to remote, online, and hybrid learning due to COVID-19, there has been an increase in the amount of technology in education. Technology has been used to bridge the gap between different COVID-19 constraints and the need to keep business as usual, in all parts of life.

People are using video conferencing to communicate with each other, participate in professional development, and even teach their classes. Learning management systems (LMSs) are used to guide learners and keep families organized with class requirements. Trips to the gym have turned into fitness apps, and constant emails keep many up around the clock. With the surge to remain functioning during these unusual times, technology has taken center-stage for better or for worse. However, with technology creeping into every aspect of life, how do we reduce the technology load and reduce technology burnout? Continue reading

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Online Teacher Education Resources in ELT: Creating Opportunities to Practice Instruction Through Multimodal Assignments

Christine Montecillo Leider and Johanna Tigert
Christine Montecillo Leider and Johanna Tigert

In our previous posts on online teacher education, we have mainly focused on ways to build teacher candidates’ knowledge and dispositions for working with multilingual learners. While cultivating asset based perspectives and deepening pedagogical language knowledge are a foundational component of English language teaching (ELT) education, teacher candidates also need to learn to practice planning for, instructing, and assessing multilingual learners. However, this may seem challenging in remote teacher education courses. In this fifth post of the series, we ask:

How can we harness online multimodal resources for engaging teacher candidates in the practice of teaching? Continue reading

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