Tech-Break: A Quiz Game for Review the Fun Way

Tara Arntsen
Tara Arntsen

It has been quite a while since the last tech-break, so I think it is time for another one. While teaching in Japan, I learned how to play a version of Jeopardy with students and then adapted this activity from that. I usually refer to it as the “review game” or “quiz game,” because it is a great way to review materials as a class before a major exam. Let me explain the prep, execution, and some possible variations. Continue reading

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Professionalizing L2 Writing: A Symposium

Elena Shvidko
Elena Shvidko

The 13th Symposium on Second Language Writing, which was held in Tempe, Arizona, just came to the end, and I’d like to share some of my thoughts and observations. The title of the symposium this year was “Professionalizing Second Language Writing,” and many of the presentations, as well as plenary talks and colloquia, addressed the topics of professional development of the field of second language writing, its relation to and interaction with other disciplines, professionalization of writing teachers, and, of course, the current state and the future of second language research. Paul K. Matsuda, the chair of the symposium, said: “I invited speakers who could speak about the importance of building the field and also moving the field collectively by promoting professional development and engagement at many levels of professionalization.” Continue reading

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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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