Supporting Families of ELs During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Judie Haynes
Judie Haynes

Educators of English learners (ELs) are teaching remotely all over the globe. Many educators reported on a 20 April #ellchat entitled “Engaging & Supporting Families of ELLs during COVID-19 Pandemic” that their success is dependent on the partnerships they make with the families of their ELs. Without these partnerships, teachers may have difficulty contacting their students and their families or, once contacted, students may not come to class regularly. Here are some ways that you can engage and support the families of ELs: Continue reading

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4 Video Games for Language Learning and Social Interaction

Jeff Kuhn
Jeff Kuhn

Hello and welcome to another edition of the TESOL Games and Learning blog!

As we continue to improvise and adapt our classrooms to the continuing pandemic, educators may be looking for ways to move beyond yet another video conference session and find new means to engage with students for authentic language practice. Where better to look than video games?

Video games can be a contextually rich environment for students to acquire and practice language. This month highlights four of these contextually rich games that could be incorporated into your online classroom practice. Each of these games features some form of in-text chat function, but it is recommended that these games are accompanied by a voice chat software such as Google Meet, Zoom, Discord, or Skype to bring the social nature of them to life. Continue reading

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Networking for English Language Teachers and Researchers

Betsy Gilliland
Betsy Gilliland

What is networking?

Networking is commonly defined as an act of making connections with other people, usually toward some kind of personal or professional purposes. Google’s Ngram Viewer shows the word as being almost unheard of until the 1970s and then taking off exponentially. Though we as TESOL practitioners may not have thought much about networking as an aspect of our field in the past (perhaps we thought that we teach, alone in our classrooms, so we really don’t need to network), it is actually just as important for us as it is for business professionals. In this blog post, I will discuss some of the benefits of networking for English language teachers and then suggest a few ways that we can expand our networks for personal and professional benefit. Continue reading

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Determining Proficiency and Monitoring ELs: What’s the Procedure?

Ayanna Cooper
Ayanna Cooper

Typically, this is the time of year when K–12 schools and districts would be receiving student performance data from their annual English language proficiency assessment, though this depends on when the assessment is administered. When the data are returned, schools begin to have conversations around how students performed, areas of strength, and/or opportunities for growth across four domains of language. In addition, program-related questions may be asked—questions such as, “has this student reached proficiency in English?” Continue reading

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Integrating OER Materials Into the English Language Classroom

Stephanie Marcotte
Stephanie Marcotte

Open Educational Resources (OER) are accessible, open, and free resources that you can embed into your courses. Other organizations, individuals, and educators share resources freely, providing an open license for them to be used by others. These could be images, photographs, videos, interactive sites, lesson plans, textbooks, and more. Because the license is open, the resources can then be edited and adapted in new ways, and reshared. This is an open exchange of resources between educators. There is a world of possible teaching and learning resources that are just a few clicks away. Continue reading

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Supporting Dually Identified English Learners

Ayanna Cooper
Ayanna Cooper

Online learning, distance learning, homeschooling, and virtual meetings have become more common phrases and practices over the past couple of weeks. The digital divide has been more evident than ever as students are encouraged to continue learning online while sheltering in place. For some learners, these expectations are not as easy to attend to as one might think. For English learners (ELs) who may be identified as having one or more learning challenges and/or be identified as gifted, how are their needs being met? Continue reading

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Gaming Tools for Teaching Online: Level Up

Jeff Kuhn
Jeff Kuhn

The current pandemic has upended the status quo for classrooms around the world. Many teachers are now learning the fundamentals of teaching online and doing their best to keep students engaged and motivated. For many, this means classroom content now takes the form of online presentations and the need to screen-capture content and record video.

Traditionally, screen capture software could be resource intensive, and the videos produced with the software could be sizeable enough to make streaming these videos challenging in low-bandwidth contexts. However, with the rise of video game streaming via websites like Twitch and Mixer, new tools for screen-capture and video recording are available and easier than ever to use. Continue reading

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Supporting ELs’ Social-Emotional Learning in a Virtual Classroom

Judie Haynes
Judie Haynes

As teachers and students from all over the world have been fast-tracked into virtual classrooms, educators need to take a closer look at our response to the anxiety and stress that learners are experiencing during this process. As teachers of English learners (ELs), we need to examine what we can do to support our students’ social-emotional learning (SEL) in the virtual classroom. Here are six SEL practices for teachers who are teaching remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic. Continue reading

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