Frolleagues: Why Friendships at Work Matter

Laura Baecher
Laura Baecher

 Link to Podcast of this blog.

In an earlier blog I suggested that our strengths and skills in the professional sphere are interconnected with our personal growth and development, and that admonitions to separate the personal from the professional may not be realistic or helpful. In making the case for the interconnectedness of our personal skills and achievements with our professional ones, I focused on our growth as individuals. In this blog I want to further explore the strong connection between personal and professional development not through an individual perspective, but through the lens of friendship. In our increasingly displaced workspaces, colleagues who are friends are more important than ever in our professional and personal development. Continue reading

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5 Built-in iPhone Features That Can Help ELs

Brent Warner
Brent Warner

With the launch of new a iPhone inevitably comes a new iOS. (If you’re an Android user, I haven’t forgotten about you! I’ll be covering the same topic for Androids next month!) A lot of English language learners download all sorts of apps to help them with their vocabulary, grammar, listening, and more. But what many iPhone users don’t know is that Apple has a long reputation of growing useful accessibility features that can help students (and anyone else who wants to learn) get more access to English training with only a few taps on the screen.

Let’s look at five built-in iPhone features, some unsung and some brand new, that can boost learning for dedicated students.

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3 Ways to Harness the Power of Translanguaging

Naashia Mohamed
Naashia Mohamed

When 14-year-old Zena moved from Turkey to New Zealand, she was apprehensive about going to school. Zena had learned some English in school in Turkey but was not confident that she would be able to follow the teachers or converse with other students when she joined her new school. Zena’s family was Egyptian and spoke Arabic and Turkish at home. Zena’s parents worried that because she was an English language learner, Zena wouldn’t fit into her new school or be able to keep up with her school work even though she had been an excellent student in her previous school.

Zena’s story is not unique. It is one that many children and young people from immigrant and multilingual backgrounds share. Children all over the world receive education in a language that is not spoken in their homes, or in a language that forms only part of the linguistic landscape of the home environment. In such cases, what can educators do to make students feel welcome and create a sense of belonging in school? Continue reading

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What’s Different About Teaching Second Language Reading to Adults?

Barbara Gottschalk
Barbara Gottschalk

Early in my career, I used to be jealous of reading teachers. They had so much native speaker reading research to back them up, they had curriculum, they had progress tests, and they had ways to diagnose deficits. In contrast, as an ESL teacher, it seemed like I had…nothing. Even worse, I was sometimes expected to use methods and materials that weren’t appropriate for my students. The differences with young English learners are just as great with older students. To prepare to write this blog post on what’s different about teaching second language reading to adults, I talked with a teacher who has been on both sides of this scenario. Continue reading

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A Series of Interesting Choices With The Oregon Trail for ESL

Jeff Kuhn
Jeff Kuhn

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

Sid Meier, creator of the classic video game series Civilization, once described video games as a series of interesting choices. It is a wonderful way to think about how to use video games in the classroom, as the outcome of those interesting choices create experiences for our students which they can compare with one another or even with real world events. This month, let’s explore how students can connect in-game experiences to the real world with the game The Oregon Trail. Continue reading

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4 More Ways to Support the Families of Multilingual Learners When School Opens

Judie Haynes
Judie Haynes

There are many reasons why families may not come to school for school programs and conferences about their children. As I discussed in my August 2021 blog, “5 Ways to Support the Families of Multilingual Learners as School Opens,” families may not have transportation to and from the school or babysitting for younger siblings. They may feel embarrassed by their lack of English or for being unable to read the notices that come home. They may not be able to leave their work to attend conferences. Here are four more steps that schools can take to engage the families of their multilingual learners (MLLs): Continue reading

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3 Strategies to Support EL Language Development in the STEM Classroom

Darlyne de Haan
Darlyne de Haan

I am sure that at some point in time you have heard or read something along the lines of “We are all literacy teachers when it comes to teaching English learners, regardless of the content area we teach.” Or that “language and content occur simultaneously.” But what does this mean and, more importantly, how does the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) teacher teach something that they lack training in?

That is the topic for today’s blog, based on research published in the Journal of STEM Teacher Education (2016) and on the 2018 National Academy of Sciences Report, which I strongly recommend you read. Both articles can be downloaded for free.

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Writing Statements of Purpose for Awards and Grad School

Betsy Gilliland
Betsy Gilliland

This month, I will outline what goes into writing a very important but somewhat unfamiliar genre for most writers: the statement of purpose (SOP). I hope this is helpful both to readers who want to apply for something themselves and to teachers of students who will be applying. Some relevant program applications are coming up soon, most requiring an SOP:

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