TESOL 2015: Teacher of the Year’s Top 5 Highlights

Sherry Blok
Sherry Blok
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TESOL 2015 Convention Blog Post

Are you feeling invigorated and re-energized after the 2015 TESOL Annual Convention & English Language Expo? Here are my top five highlights from the TESOL 2015 convention in Toronto.

1. Reflection

In the opening keynote, Dr. Sonia Nieto’s talk on culturally responsive teaching was truly inspiring. ‘‘Bridges suggest that you can have two homes and move between them. You needn’t discard one when you reach the other.’’ I was moved by the stories she shared from teachers who embrace this idea and teach gently with sensitivity and humour. Great teachers form personal connections with students, care about them as people and empower them to be members of the community. Continue reading

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TESOL 2015: Focus on Culture

Christine Uliassi
Christine Uliassi
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TESOL 2015 Convention Blog Post

The theme of the TESOL 2015 convention was “Crossing Borders, Building Bridges.” Here is a summary of the wonderful sessions I attended related to culture and intercultural communication; hopefully you can use some of what I learned in your own teaching.

Student Teachers Learning Together to Enact Culturally Relevant Pedagogy for English Learners

Michelle Benegas enthusiastically shared her dissertation with us Thursday afternoon. She used Gonzalez’s (1993) definition of culture as “lived experience.” In her study, she brought together four student teachers in an urban school through a community of practice to promote cultural consciousness. Continue reading

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Flip Your Classroom With EDpuzzle: Video Lessons

Tara Arntsen
Tara Arntsen

As the flipped classroom approach continues to gain popularity, there are more and more sites to help teachers flip their classrooms. Delivering the content of a course to students outside the classroom usually entails the use of videos, and I have already suggested eduCanon and YouTube for that purpose in previous posts. If you have not tried either of those, or if they did not quite work out for you, I have another one today called EDpuzzle.

EDpuzzle is completely free, so just click “Sign up” to register for a teacher account. I registered using my Google+ account, so I have one less password to remember, and it took about 5 seconds. Right away, I received a short tutorial about creating a video lesson using EDpuzzle. Continue reading

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ESP Giants at TESOL 2015 in Toronto!

Kevin Knight
Kevin Knight
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TESOL 2015 Convention Blog Post

Hello, ESPers worldwide!

If you were able to attend the conference in Toronto, I would love to hear your voice in the comments to this TESOL Blog post below! Since I was unable to attend the conference this year, I did the next best thing. I stayed in contact with TESOL ESP IS leaders throughout the conference. In what follows in this blog post, I will share with you some of the comments that I received. Enjoy! Continue reading

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Saying Good-Bye to Toronto 2015

Barbara Gottschalk
Barbara Gottschalk
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TESOL 2015 Convention Blog Post

The theme of Toronto 2015 was “Crossing Borders, Building Bridges”; I literally crossed a border coming to Toronto 2015 when I drove over the Blue Water Bridge connecting Michigan to Canada. I have spent the convention figuratively building bridges by reconnecting with teaching colleagues, attending sessions led by new people in the field, and striking up conversations in receptions, coffee lines, and hotel lobbies.

It’s hard to write about a convention because everybody’s conference experience is so different. Plenary sessions, though, serve as a common denominator for all attendees. The session on Saturday morning with Jim Cummins made the biggest impression on me. Continue reading

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TESOL 2015: Focus on Speaking Sessions

Farrah Littlepage
Farrah Littlepage
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TESOL 2015 Convention Blog Post

Some days, I wish I could switch places with my students, and spend the day soaking in knowledge about language.  (Then again, I’m sure some of my IEP students would love to skip ahead in their careers and become instructors!) The TESOL convention allows me to be a student for 3 days.  Each year, I look forward to brushing up on teaching skills, catching up on the latest research, and meeting new colleagues.

Almost all of the sessions I am attending this year are related to speaking.  Over the next few days, I will post about the five most interesting and pertinent sessions I attend.

How to Help Students Guess How to Pronounce Written Words

I’ve been using Judy Gilbert’s Clear Speech books for years, so I was excited to attend her presentation entitled “How to Help Students Guess How to Pronounce Written Words.”  Continue reading

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TESOL 2015: Tips for Successful Conference Presentations

Elena Shvidko
Elena Shvidko
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TESOL 2015 Convention Blog Post

Greetings from Toronto!

The 2015 TESOL International Convention has been incredible so far. As always, there is a broad range of presentations and events that the convention organizers have prepared for the attendees.

Earlier today, I attended a great presentation entitled “Tips for developing and delivering successful TESOL International Convention presentations.” The presenters—Neil Anderson, John Schmidt, and Christine Coombe—offered invaluable suggestions, most of which were based on their own knowledge and experience. In fact, all of them have previously served as TESOL convention chairs: Neil Anderson in 1998, Christine Coombe in 2006, and John Schmidt in 2014. Continue reading

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TESOL 2015: Technology Overview

Christel Broady
Christel Broady
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TESOL 2015 Convention Blog Post

Attending TESOL conventions is a wonderful experience for attendees from all corners of the world. It allows us to meet like-minded professionals, make new friends and network connections, and, above all, learn new skills. In addition, attendees can experience what is trending in the field, foreshadowing professional developments that will affect their work in the future. One area where this is particularly important is technology.

Digital and technological advancements happen fast, and all of them impact how we as language professionals do our work. Technology affects learning, teaching, material development, data management, program administration, cultural connections, and so much more. It is safe to say that there is virtually no aspect of our work in ELT that is not touched by technology.

Therefore, the convention offers many opportunities for English teaching professionals to grow in their technology skills. Continue reading

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Pre-K–5 at TESOL 2015: Four Excellent Sessions

Judie Haynes
Judie Haynes
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TESOL 2015 Convention Blog Post

Hello from TESOL 2015 in Toronto. In this blog, I’d like to share information on some of the excellent pre-K–5  sessions that I have attended at this convention so far.

Beginnings: Planning and Implementing Successful Pre-K–K for English Learners was a Preconvention Institute presented by Karen Nemeth, Language Castle LLC, Newtown, PA.   This session is one of the few preschool offerings that were presented at TESOL 2015. Continue reading

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Do-It-Yourself Professional Development

Alexandra Lowe
Alexandra Lowe

If you’re reading this blog, then you already know how vital professional development is to our success as teachers. But staying abreast of developments in our field can also be a challenge.  For some, traveling to conferences may be too expensive or time-consuming.  Webinars, though often very informative, still lack the give-and-take of face-to-face interactions with peers and colleagues.

That’s where do-it-yourself professional development comes in. In New York, where I live, Ravneet Minhas, co-chair of NYS TESOL’s Adult Education Special Interest Group, organized an informal ESL picnic last year that brought together TESOLers from all across the New York City region to share ideas and resources. Continue reading

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