Creating TESOL 2019 Convention Goals: The Four Whys

TESOL Ambassador
TESOL Ambassador

As we inch closer to the 2019 TESOL International Convention, we are starting to see more and more of the many exciting events that await us. The TESOL Convention is notorious for providing a plethora of rewarding workshops, presentations, events, gatherings, and more. The first time I attended the convention, I felt like a kid in a candy store. There were so many exciting people to meet, ideas to share, and things to learn. As professionals, what more could we ever ask for?

While it is great to have a wide assortment of options and opportunities at convention, it can also feel slightly daunting to determine where to go and what to attend. There are a spectrum of ways that we can respond to this. We could not plan anything and see how the convention unfolds, or we could hyper-plan the entire convention. What I have learned by attending two different conventions is that there is a middle ground where we are flexible yet have some support. Continue reading

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ESP Project Leader Profile: Tim Murphey

Kevin Knight
Kevin Knight

Hello, ESPers worldwide!

In the 50th ESP Project Leader Profile, I am honored to be able to feature a TESOL veteran and my colleague at Kanda University of International Studies (KUIS), Professor Tim Murphey. Tim’s profile is my final post as an official, regular blogger for TESOL International Association. Since May of 2012, I have written 135 blog posts, including the 50 ESP Project Leader Profiles which feature ESP leaders and their projects on six different continents.

As a leader in the ESPIS, I am very grateful to TESOL International Association for giving me this opportunity to write about ESP, and I wish success to the next ESP blogger! I plan to continue the profiles in ESP News, the newsletter of the ESPIS of which I am the current editor. Please note that you can access all of the profiles in the ESPIS library and in ESP News. Now, let’s look at Tim’s impressive bio. Continue reading

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On Teaching Speaking: New Ways in Teaching Speaking, 2nd Edition

Julie Vorholt
Julie Vorholt

This TESOL Blog series focuses on teaching speaking to English learners.

As the editor of the newly released New Ways in Teaching Speaking, Second Edition, I’m thrilled to tell you about it! For those unfamiliar with the New Ways series, it’s a bestselling series in which English language teachers from varied teaching and learning contexts share professional knowledge and classroom activities gleaned from many years of classroom practice.

This volume contains more than 285 pages and more than 100 brand new activities, bringing together the very best activities designed, classroom-tested, and written about by dedicated English language teaching professionals from around the world. They represent every continent except Antarctica and work in a wide variety of contexts.

In this TESOL Blog series, we’ll meet some of the contributors from this exceptional, diverse group and get some tips from them on teaching speaking to English learners. In this first post in the series, you’ll learn a little about me and about the book, and you can download some free activities. Continue reading

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The Unapologetic Advocate: Why We Advocate

David Cutler
David Cutler

This blog has been a long time coming. Truth be told, I put this off for a long time; not because I had no idea what I wanted to say, but because I didn’t know how to say it. I decided on the version that reflects me the most: the brutally honest, oftentimes sarcastic, unapologetic one. I’m well aware that my style might be different than what is normally posted in this space, but I also think we shouldn’t be afraid to be honest about how we feel, what we’re thinking, and who we are, especially when it comes to advocating for the things we care about. So, if you came here expecting a black and white picture on advocacy, I’m not sorry; advocacy and policy work is as gray a picture as you can get.

I’ve titled this series the Unapologetic Advocate, not only because that describes me pretty perfectly (for better or worse), but also because all too often the advocates I work with feel the need to apologize for their beliefs around English learners and education in general. “I’m sorry, but I have kids who don’t come to school out of fear they’ll be deported,” was something I heard recently from an advocate. Why are we sorry for believing and advocating for our students? There is nothing to apologize for! Within this space, I’m optimistic that we can stop apologizing for who we are and what we think, and get to work on advancing the changes we want to see in English language learning and teaching while being true to who we are. Continue reading

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Language Acquisition vs. Language Learning in Elementary School

Judie Haynes
Judie Haynes

One of the questions I am most frequently asked is how I teach grammar rules to young English learners (ELs). Well, the truth is that I never taught out-of-context grammar to young students. I learned early in my career that research shows that grammar drills do not work with students of any age. According to Krashen (1988), a linguist specializing in theories of language acquisition and development, there is an important distinction between language acquisition and language learning. Continue reading

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