Live From TESOL 2014: Tic-Tac-Toe

Tara Arntsen
Tara Arntsen

Tara Arntsen is blogging live from Portland
during the 2014 convention. Look for her posts!

Blogging was not on my agenda today, but after traipsing back and forth across the Oregon Convention Center all day, I ended my day, exhausted and numb, at a session titled 10 Ways to Play Tic-Tac-Toe for Language Practice. The title says it all, and attending this session was my reward to myself for getting through another long and exciting day. It was worth it! Continue reading

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Live From TESOL 2014: Day 3: The Learning Goes On!

Elena Shvidko
Elena Shvidko

Elena Shvidko is blogging live from Portland
during the 2014 convention. Look for her posts!

Once again, greetings from Portland!

Today is the third day of the convention, and it seems like the energy is not fading away!  There are so many interesting sessions going on, and I wish I had time for all of them! At the same time, it’s great to stay busy and feel a part of this lively and stimulating event.

Yesterday, I had a chance to attend the TESOL town meeting, and I was impressed by the dedication of the TESOL leaders—the convention organizing committee and the board of directors.  Continue reading

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Learning English With William Shakespeare

Alexandra Lowe
Alexandra Lowe

In honor of U.S. National Poetry Month, I wanted to share with you an activity I did with my Level 6 IEP Speaking & Listening students last semester that drew its inspiration from the words of the most exalted poet in the English language, William Shakespeare.

As explained in my last blog post, my students and I had worked extensively with the movie The King’s Speech. In a pivotal scene in that film, Lionel, the iconoclastic speech therapist, asks Bertie, Great Britain’s soon-to-be king, to read Hamlet’s “To be, not to be” soliloquy aloud.   Continue reading

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Live From TESOL 2014: Most Memorable Moments

Tara Arntsen
Tara Arntsen

Tara Arntsen will continue  blogging live from Portland
during the 2014 convention. Look for her posts!

Despite being involved in a preconvention institute yesterday and attending the opening keynote by Surin Pitsuwan, nothing could have prepared me for the sheer number of sessions and participants at the TESOL 2014 Convention today. To prepare for such an important day, I planned out a rigorous schedule (8 am–8:30 pm) and it went mostly according to plan. Here are a few of the memorable moments that I want to share with you.

I started the morning off at the James E. Alatis Plenary Session where David Graddol spoke on the Five Megatrends Shaping the Future of TESOL. At one point, he made a very convincing argument for the changes that he predicts for the ELL population in the future. Continue reading

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Live From TESOL 2014: Transform the World Into a Better Place!

Elena Shvidko
Elena Shvidko

Elena Shvidko will continue  blogging live from Portland
during the 2014 convention. Look for her posts!

The TESOL 2014 Convention commenced yesterday with the opening meeting and the keynote speaker address.  Even though the sessions officially start today, many people came yesterday to register and attend the first keynote speaker talk.

When I came to the Oregon Convention Center—which seems to be a perfect venue for such a great event—I spent some time walking around and becoming familiar with the layout of the convention center.  It was great to see familiar faces: attendees of previous conventions, members of the interest section groups, and colleagues and friends from my MA program.  The atmosphere was very lively and I sensed the overall excitement.

Continue reading

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Live From TESOL 2014: Megatrends in TESOL

Andy Curtis
Andy Curtis

Andy Curtis will be blogging live from Portland
during the 2014 convention. Look for his posts!

Wow! I usually tell my English language learners not to use that word, as it tends to be overused. But after having attended David Graddol’s plenary this morning, “Wow” seems entirely appropriate! He spoke about five megatrends shaping our world, and how those trends are affecting languages and education globally, and within that English language teaching and learning.

One of the things that was so impressive about his presentation was the sheer volume of data he shared with us on the shifting demographics of the world’s population in relation to economics, technology, and politics, over the last several decades. Continue reading

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TESOL 2014 for ESPers Worldwide!

Kevin Knight
Kevin Knight

Hello, ESPers worldwide!

The TESOL 2014 International Convention & English Language Expo is taking place from 26–29 March in Portland, Oregon, USA! How do you get the most out of the convention?

My suggestion is that you conduct a personal needs assessment and determine two things:

  1. What do you want to learn?
  2. How do you want to connect?

Continue reading

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Preconvention Planning

Tara Arntsen
Tara Arntsen

Tara Arntsen will be blogging live from Portland
during the 2014 convention. Look for her posts!

This will be my first year attending the annual TESOL Convention, and I am looking forward to sharing the experience with you with some posts live from Portland. I have been telling people that I will be attending this convention in late March for months and suddenly it is not just late March anymore, but this week! There is still some planning I have to do, but here is some of what I have figured out already. Besides blogging from the convention for TESOL, I am participating in a number of ways.

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Preconvention Thoughts

Elena Shvidko
Elena Shvidko

Elena Shvidko will be blogging live from Portland
during the 2014 convention. Look for her posts!

A couple of months ago, when I was preparing the next issue of our graduate program newsletter at Purdue University, I asked Aya Matsuda—one of our alumni—to give some advice to our graduate students in the Second Language Studies Program.  And this is what Aya said:

The most valuable experience as a graduate students at Purdue was…that I attended as many conferences as I could. Even though it meant a huge financial sacrifice, it was so worth it. I strongly believe in the importance of contextualizing our work and ourselves in our field—our work does not exist in a vacuum, and its meaningfulness depends on what it contributes to the context it is part of. The easiest way to visualize this abstract idea of “context” or “home for my work” was to attend a conference and see a group of scholars gathering, having a conversation that I wanted to be part of.

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TLO 16: How to Teach Online: Review and Wrap-Up: Part 2

Andy Curtis
Andy Curtis

Welcome to the last of this 16-part series of TLO Blogs, which have had, in total, well over 2,000 hits (so far). So, I wanted to thank those readers, especially those of you who posted questions and comments. Thanks also to Tomiko Breland, the Editor and Publications Project Manager at TESOL, who looks after all the TESOL blogs.

One of the recurring themes in these blogs has been the extraordinary connectivity that the Internet has made possible over the last 20 years. But in spite of that, one of the things that the Internet has not changed dramatically is the fact that writing remains a relatively solitary activity. So, feedback from readers will always be an essential part of the writing process, whether the feedback is face-to-face or online.
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