The second conditional (e.g., If I were, I would…) often causes difficulties even for advanced English learners. This fun and interactive activity will help learners practice this structure.
The first part of the activity gives learners a chance to interact with each other by working on a meaningful grammatical task. The second part of the activity adds a humorous component to facilitate their learning (Garner, 2006; Gorham & Christophel, 1990; Wanzer, Frymier, & Irwin, 2009). Continue reading
When I was an ESL volunteer with a community program, I thought using brief articles from magazines like Time or Newsweek for reading activities was a good idea. They seemed easy to read and had articles about interesting subjects, right? But in practice, I learned what I thought was easy to read was often riddled with confusing idioms, and the subjects I thought were interesting were confusingly new to my students.
Since then, many new websites geared toward teaching English through current events have appeared. I used many of these for activities and learned the pros and cons of them through trial and error. Here’s what I found for some of the most popular sites. Continue reading
If you teach English in an English-speaking country, how often have you asked your students to tell you who they practice their English with, only to discover that many of your students have virtually no English-speaking friends, and typically largely speak only their L1 outside of class? If this answer sounds dismally familiar, I want to tell you about an important resource that has helped a number of my students expand their personal network to include more English speakers.
Meetup.com is a website that allows your students to find and connect in person with others who share their interests. Whether your students love to go hiking, write poetry, do yoga, go dancing, play soccer, make homemade Christmas decorations, or photograph sunsets, they can use the Meetup.com website to find a local group with members who get together regularly to pursue their joint passion. Continue reading
I recently had the opportunity to ask a group of colleagues what websites, apps, and software they used in the classroom, and a number of them recommended the website GoNoodle. Having never heard of it before, I decided to check it out for myself. For those of you teaching young learners, you will want to, too, as GoNoodle is full of short brain breaks that help kids release energy and focus.
GoNoodle’s homepage is simple yet appealing. The introductory video is very well done and clearly illustrates the role that activities like the ones on GoNoodle can play in the classroom. Signing up takes no time at all and, even better, it is free! If you like it and decide you need even more, you can always upgrade to GoNoodle Plus, but I always adopt a “wait and see” approach to these things. Continue reading
Alright, so if you balked at the title, I admit that I’m not really going to suggest that you teach to the test. That can undermine your pedagogy and compromise your values. But in adult ed and other ESOL settings, we often find ourselves in a tricky predicament: to satisfy funders or bureaucratic stipulations (BS, for short), we have no choice but to use standardized tests to demonstrate our students’ progress.
And these tests, often, are, unfortunately, well, forlackofabetterword—alright I’ll just come out and say it—bad. No need to name names or acronyms, but the problem fits a common profile: We see our students progress drastically, and they feel that progress themselves, but when the results of these tests come in, that progress just isn’t reflected. It’s frustrating. It’s disheartening. In some cases it can be of great consequence to the future of the program.
So though I’m not going to tell you to teach to the test, if you’re stuck with a test that simply isn’t working, you’ve got to do something. Continue reading
A Guest Post by Deborah Healey
Dr. Deborah Healey has taught English and trained teachers for more than 35 years. She currently offers online courses for teachers internationally through the University of Oregon’s American English Institute and teaches in the Master’s Program in Linguistics. She has presented extensively internationally on technology in education. She is a coauthor of TESOL Technology Standards: Description, Implementation, Integration, lead scriptwriter for the ELT game Trace Effects, and a member of TESOL International Association Board of Directors.
2015 Colorado TESOL: Blue Skies, Bright Future
The 39th Annual CoTESOL Conference was in Denver, Colorado, USA from 6–7 November 2015, and I had the privilege of representing the TESOL Board at that wonderful gathering. Close to 800 people attended this year’s conference, a record number. Continue reading
The TESOL President’s Blog
In keeping with this year of firsts for TESOL International Association, and as part of our goal of “Taking TESOL to the World,” following our first event in India (with the association’s first president of Indian origin) and our first in Vietnam, we recently held our first TESOL Symposium in Mexico, on 4 November, in Cancún, Quintana Roo. The “Innovations and Breakthroughs in ELT” Symposium was attended by nearly 200 participants, most of whom were from all across Mexico, as well as attendees from Colombia and elsewhere in Latin America.
As the online program overview explained: “Now that the 21st century is well under way, educators need to move past 21st-century learning and move into 21st-century application…These changes include characteristics of the new ELT student, the shifting expertise of the ELT educator, external factors affecting the classroom, and the changes that come with technology.” Continue reading
Hello, ESPers worldwide!
As I wrote at the end of the ESP project leader profile of David Kertzner, “my conceptualization of leadership includes communicating to create and to achieve visions.” In this connection, I was very pleased to come across the story of an entrepreneur who had the vision to create a company that significantly impacted the telecommunications industry in Japan. In Japan, where I live and teach business English, I showed the video recording of an interview of the entrepreneur to my undergraduate students, who are studying business. My objective was to prepare my students to succeed in their job interviews in the future. Continue reading