Teaching ELs to Read Nonfiction Texts

Judie Haynes
Judie Haynes

In previous blogs, I discussed the advantages of Reading Workshop in helping ELs learn to read in English. I especially recommend this kind of reading instruction because of the following benefits to ELs. They can

  • read books that they have selected themselves from a library that is at their English language and reading levels,
  • gradually become more independent as readers, and
  • learn strategies that replicate reading environments outside of the classroom.

In today’s blog, I will show how good readers determine the importance of information in a nonfiction text. Continue reading

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Connecting Career Education, Women, and TESOL Leadership

Kevin Knight
Kevin Knight

Hello, ESPers worldwide!

How do you prepare your female students for success in the workplace? A Ted Talk that addresses gender inequality in workplace training recently inspired me. That TED Talk, titled “The Career Advice You Probably Didn’t Get,” provides ESPers with training material. Further, the video applies to the leadership development issue in TESOL International Association. In this TESOL Blog post, I will explain these connections. Continue reading

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Leap.it: A Visual Social Search Engine for ELLs

Tara Arntsen
Tara Arntsen

Whenever you search for something online, you probably have a go-to search engine, like Google, that can help you out with anything you could possibly imagine. You likely view the list of results in the traditional link and brief summary format. This might very well work for you, but for English language learners, that is a lot of text to sort through, so next time you have your students in the computer lab or doing research at home, send them to Leap.it.

Leap.it is a new search engine that provides a totally different kind of search experience. When you do a search, results are displayed in a grid format with previews, images, and even videos right there for students to see. Continue reading

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ESL Games: Same o’ Same o’

Marc Anderson
Marc Anderson

The Game: Same o’ Same o’ is a game where you try to match your answer with someone else’s to score a point. This game, in particular, helps students review vocabulary. Using games in the ESL classroom, in general, “[help] the students relax and have fun with learning. It helps them learn and retain new words more easily by enhancing students’ use of English in a flexible, communicative way” (Asian EFL Journal, Dec. 2003, Nguyen Thi Thanh Huyen and Khuat Thi Thu Nag). Continue reading

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Helping ELs to Learn to Ask Questions During Reading

Judie Haynes
Judie Haynes

This blog is Part 3 in my series about teaching English learners reading comprehension strategies. Because good readers ask questions throughout the reading process, I will discuss how to help ELs acquire the skill of asking questions before, during, and after reading a text. This strategy helps ELs to become actively engaged in the lesson, to  develop a purpose for reading, and  to monitor their reading or check to see whether they are comprehending what they’re reading. Continue reading

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Smartphone Addicts: A Project-Based Learning Activity

Alexandra Lowe
Alexandra Lowe

In an earlier blog post, I challenged my students to turn an online quiz about technology into a series of questions they could pose to their classmates to gauge the extent of their obsession with their smartphones and other electronic devices.  This semester, we moved the idea of a smartphone survey out of the safe confines of the classroom and into the community as part of a project-based learning activity designed to promote speaking English outside of class. Here’s how: Continue reading

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Business English and an American Football Star: Focus on Improvement

Kevin Knight
Kevin Knight

Hello, ESPers worldwide!

What is the connection between the learners in a business English class in Japan and the accomplishment of an American football star? In this TESOL Blog post, I will tell you that story.

My story begins in Tokyo, where I have experience teaching business English to adult learners. The classes are held once a week, and the learners are from different public, private, and academic sector organizations. There are usually from 10 to 20 students in such classes. In the same class, I may have a medical doctor, a government official, an engineer, a human resources manager, and the founder and president of a real estate company. Accordingly, I provide many opportunities for the students to interact with each other and to develop their professional networks. Continue reading

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English as a Global Language: 4 Academic Journals

Elena Shvidko
Elena Shvidko

After publishing a blog presenting several journals in the fields of second language acquisition and English teaching, I received a few emails from TESOL community members asking me to continue introducing more journals in the field.

So back to academic journals! The research area of the journals that I selected for my blog today was inspired by the recent special issue of TESOL Journal (September 2014) on critical perspectives in World Englishes. So today we’ll look at journals that are concerned with English as a global language. Continue reading

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An Update on Two Important TESOL Initiatives: the New Strategic Plan and the Governance Structure Review

Yilin Sun
Yilin Sun

Greetings from the TESOL Board of Directors. At its October meeting, the Board of Directors spent considerable time discussing the results of the governance review, the recommended options and alternatives from the task force, as well as feedback received from members and leaders. Simultaneously, the board worked on developing a new 3-year strategic plan (2015-2017) for TESOL International Association. The timing of these two issues made for a very rich discussion around the kind of governance best suited to enable the association reach its goals, further its strategic direction, and effectively meet the needs of members and the field.

Because of the complexity of the work involved, additional time is needed to finalize the details on the draft strategic plan, as well as on the options for moving forward with reconfiguring the governance of the association. In both cases, there will again be opportunities for members and leaders to review each and submit their comments before the board makes its final decisions in March 2015. A more detailed timeline of next steps, including the time periods for feedback from members and leaders, will be disseminated in November. The Board is committed to making the whole process transparent. Stay tuned and thank you for your trust and support.

Warm regards,
Yilin

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Academic Earth: Free Education for All

Tara Arntsen
Tara Arntsen

Over a year ago, I wrote about free MOOCs for educators and mentioned Coursera and edX as good sites to find valuable courses for professional development. The importance of professional development can never be underestimated, so today, I want to add Academic Earth to that list and encourage you to get online and learn new things about the field.

According to their homepage, those at Academic Earth believe that “that everyone deserves access to a world-class education,” which is an idea we, as educators, can all support. Academic Earth is striving toward this goal by directing people toward open courseware at various universities around the world. Continue reading

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