The Unapologetic Advocate in Atlanta

David Cutler
David Cutler

How time flies! It’s almost time for the 2019 TESOL Convention in Atlanta, Georgia! My fourth convention, I’m excited to once again present attendees with an update on U.S. federal policies impacting English learners and teachers on 13 March from 1 pm–2:30 pm. In addition to my annual policy update, I’m excited to share with you a great lineup of policy-oriented sessions at this year’s convention. From state and local education organizations in Georgia to representatives from the U.S. Department of Education, this year’s convention offers a great variety of invited public policy and advocacy speakers. Please see the full list of our invited speaker sessions below. I’m looking forward to seeing and meeting so many fellow unapologetic advocates in Atlanta!

Posted in TESOL Advocacy Blog, TESOL Blog | Tagged as , , , , , , | Leave a comment

5 Tips for a Valuable Convention Experience

TESOL Ambassador
TESOL Ambassador

So, you’re coming to TESOL! You’re excited and you’re mapping out your entire conference experience on that handy dandy app. And if you’re like me, your plan is to get as much out of the convention as possible. In fact, you’ve got every minute of every day planned out with convention activities. Well, as a recovering overachiever, I’m here to tell you to flip the script.

Sure, this is the best professional conference for English educators in the world, and, yes, there is so much being offered. In fact, your inclination to do it all is natural, and motivated by the best of intentions: It’s for your students; you feel obligated to your employer, who’s (hopefully) paying for your attendance; and you have a healthy dose of FOMO (fear of missing out). However, as in life, so it is at professional conferences: MOST is not necessarily BEST. You, your students, and your employer will be so much better served if you seek quality over quantity this TESOL. So here are five tips for getting the best value out of TESOL 2019 without getting burnt out and bleary-eyed.

Posted in TESOL Blog, TESOL Convention Blog | Tagged as , , , , | Leave a comment

Listening and Speaking With Digital Assistants

Greg Kessler
Greg Kessler
There are numerous advances in artificial intelligence and automation that have created new opportunities for teaching and learning English. I will be sharing examples of these in the next few blog entries. These will provide a bit of background on the technology as well as numerous suggestions for how to integrate the technology in the classroom and to support extensive out-of-class language practice.

The first of these topics is using digital assistants. Digital assistants, sometimes called smart speakers, include the Google Home, Apple Homepod, and the Amazon Echo or Alexa. These devices have become familiar to many and are commonly found in homes today. They are also finding their way into more and more classrooms. These devices are very promising for educational use, and they are available in a range of sizes, functions, and costs.

Posted in TESOL Blog | 2 Comments

Overly Cluttered Classrooms and EL Learning

Judie Haynes
Judie Haynes
Many teachers believe that the physical environment of the classroom can serve as an additional teacher. Look around your classroom. Is it filled with store-bought signs, anchor charts, and posters? Do you have mobiles hanging from the ceiling, tables covered with realia, and walls hidden by student work from September when you studied how leaves change color?

Research shows that an overly cluttered classroom can be more of a distraction than an aid to learning. Children, particularly those in the early grades and those with special learning needs (this includes English learners; ELs), are easily distracted by a cluttered classroom. My friend and early child education expert Karen Nemeth wrote a guest blog for  TESOL about this topic in April 2017. I’d like to add some more details about the research. Although all of this research was completed using the general school population, it certainly applies to ELs.

Posted in TESOL Blog | Tagged as , , , , | Comments Off on
Overly Cluttered Classrooms and EL Learning

Redesigning the Classroom Board Game

Jeff Kuhn
Jeff Kuhn
Hello everyone, and welcome to another edition of the TESOL games and learning blog! Over the last month I hope you have found the time to play some games and consider what you found enjoyable about them. Though engaging games can be easy to identify, it can be challenging to pinpoint just what makes them engaging. This month’s post reveals a bit of the mysterious magic of games and how we can funnel it into the games we make for class.

Perhaps every language educator through history has played a board game in the classroom. We have all seen it, and we have all made one: 

Posted in TESOL Blog | Tagged as , , , , , | 1 Comment