Gamifying the Classroom, Part III: Gamification Tools

Jeff Kuhn
Jeff Kuhn

Greetings everyone, to this month’s TESOL games and learning blog. This month, we will wrap up our long look at gamification by highlighting tools for the classroom. Following is a list of tools to get you started—or to keep you going. Continue reading

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TESOL Member Moment: Alexander Lopez Diaz

Alexander Lopez Diaz
Alexander Lopez Diaz

TESOL Member Moment celebrates our members’ achievements and contributions to the field of English language teaching. Continue reading

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Keeping Up With Issues of Plagiarism

Betsy Gilliland
Betsy Gilliland

Academic writing involves extensive interaction between writers and texts. Writers develop their arguments out of other writers’ ideas and use published sources to both support and refute perspectives. Examine almost any academic journal article, and you will see references and quotations from other articles and books woven throughout the text. Learning how to integrate those sources in ways appropriate to disciplinary and cultural norms is a core challenge of learning to write academically.

Second language writing teachers are almost certainly aware of plagiarism as a concern in their practice. In our own educations, we probably heard teachers stressing the importance of “using your own words” and “giving credit where it’s due” over and over again. We probably repeat those phrases ourselves. We may teach at institutions that impose harsh penalties on students who copy words from sources without appropriate citation. But plagiarism is nowhere near as clear an issue as it might initially appear. This post explores some of the concerns we should keep in mind as we work with second language writers in academic contexts. Continue reading

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The Civil Rights of English Learners

Ayanna Cooper
Ayanna Cooper

Hello TESOL community! I’m Ayanna Cooper, a new blogger for TESOL International Association. Having served as the keynote for TESOL PreK–12 Day in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, earlier year, I know that the issue of assuring the civil rights of English learners (ELs) remains of great interest to educators and parents alike. So much so that a yearlong blog has been dedicated to this topic. The framework for the blog centers around building educator capacity to serve ELs, professional learning, and cultivating advocates for culturally and linguistically diverse learners.

This first blog is dedicated to a recent professional learning event hosted by the U.S. Department of Education Office of English Language Acquisition (OELA). Continue reading

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Make Some News! Current Events for ELT

Greg Kessler
Greg Kessler

Contemporary news stories and current events can be a great context for English classes. The relevance and currency of content can increase interest and engagement and having students create their own news reports can help increase fluency, accuracy, and confidence (Tseng, 2018). Teachers can provide learners with news in text, video, or audio across various levels of complexity. Learners can also be supported to create their own news stories, reports, videos, or even newspaper websites.

Today, I share some suggestions for using the news in a variety of ways. I hope that those of you who have experience using other ways will share that in the comments. Continue reading

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10 Scaffolds to Support EL Learning, Part 2

Judie Haynes
Judie Haynes

Last month, in “10 Scaffolds to Support EL Learning Part 1,” I listed five types of scaffolds that strengthen a English learners’ (ELs’) ability to comprehend the content that is being taught in the classroom. As I explained in Part 1, a scaffold is a temporary framework that is put in place to provide ELs with a supportive learning environment and help them take ownership of their learning. We learned about

  1. using visuals, realia, and multimedia;
  2. connecting new information to prior experiences and learning;
  3. using miming, gestures, and modeling;
  4. preteaching academic vocabulary and key concepts; and
  5. supporting EL writing using sentence frames.

This month, I’d like to talk about five additional scaffolds: Continue reading

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Gamifying the Classroom, Part II: Core Motivations

Jeff Kuhn
Jeff Kuhn

Hello again, everyone! It’s another month and another blog post on gamification. Last time, we surveyed the foundational aspects of gamification—sketching out a definition, highlighting examples, and covering where to learn more. This month covers the core aspects of gamification and what to consider when applying it to the classroom.

The Eight Core Drives

In his book Actionable Gamification: Beyond Points, Badges, and Leaderboards, Yu Kai Chou itemizes gamification into eight core principles, each of which encompasses an aspect of motivation. These core principles are a solid foundation on which to gamify your classroom. Continue reading

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Writing-Related PD in the TESOL Resource Center

Betsy Gilliland
Betsy Gilliland

With summer break a reality for many teachers in North America, you might be thinking about professional development and wanting new ideas to infuse in your teaching after the holidays. Now is when you actually have time to devote to learning new ideas and deepening your knowledge of theory—but there are not many conferences going on, and books are expensive. Never fear! There are lots of opportunities online where you can increase your knowledge and fill your toolbox of teaching techniques. This post introduces one of those: the TESOL Resource Center (TRC).

The TRC is a service TESOL International Association provides to members and nonmembers. Billing itself as a place to find activities and lesson plans, the resource center serves as a searchable repository for both member-submitted and organization-created materials. Some are available open access and others require logging in with your TESOL membership credentials. Many resources are related to teaching second language (L2) writing. Continue reading

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