Critical Discourse Analysis for Classroom-Based Research

Mariana Alvayero Ricklefs
Mariana Alvayero Ricklefs

TESOL International Association’s research agenda calls for research informed by practice. This call empowers scholar-practitioners to systematically observe and investigate activities in diverse TESOL contexts. In this blog post, I share how I used critical discourse analysis (CDA) for research in a fifth-grade English-medium classroom in a U.S. public school. Before turning to the research, let us briefly delve into CDA. Continue reading

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3 Better Ways to Work With PDFs

Brent Warner
Brent Warner

Ah, PDFs. The inevitably problematic file format that we all have to deal with. If you’re like most teachers, you’re loading up some version of Adobe Acrobat, or maybe a PDF reader that came preinstalled on your computer. I’m actually convinced that Adobe has relegated their PDF development team to a single, tired engineer, working alone in a basement with no windows and no oversight. Or perhaps I’m being too generous. All jokes aside, we’re all supposed to be able to do a LOT of work with PDFs, but most applications make them very difficult to deal with. Additionally, many teachers have moved their physical worksheets to PDFs over the last few years, sending them off to students and leaving it to them to figure it out.

What many teachers don’t realize, though, is that there are great online solutions that let teachers and students work with PDFs quickly and easily. Let’s look at a few options to make everyone’s lives easier when working with PDFs. Continue reading

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Meet the Teacher: 6 Questions for Rachel Lamb

Naashia Mohamed
Naashia Mohamed

Meet the Teacher interviews spotlight teachers from all curriculum areas and levels who work toward supporting multilingual language learners. In this first interview, I chat with Rachel Lamb, a chemistry teacher from Auckland, New Zealand.

Rachel, who describes herself as a Welsh migrant to New Zealand, is also the refugee coordinator in her school, who supports the integration and needs of former refugee students. Because she had no previous background in language teaching, she wanted to learn how to best support the students she was responsible for and is currently undertaking a postgraduate qualification in teaching multilingual learners. Continue reading

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“Literacy” vs. “Reading”: 3 Questions to Consider This Fall

Spencer Salas
Spencer Salas

Greetings from The University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where I’ll be writing this “teaching reading” blog for these next 12 months! To kick things off, I want to look a little at the categories of “reading” and “literacy.” To channel Shakespeare, “What’s in a name?”

Well, actually, there’s a lot.

The shift from the category of “reading” to  “literacy” has evolved (sometimes in contentious ways) over the course of my own 30-year career as a TESOL professional. Continue reading

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2022 TESOL Advocacy & Policy Summit

TESOL International Association
TESOL International Association

TESOL returned to Capitol Hill with its 2022 Advocacy & Policy Summit, 20–22 June 2022. More than 50 English language professionals attended and engaged over the course of the 3 days, hearing from government officials, networking with colleagues, and advocating on Capitol Hill and through social media. This year’s summit was sponsored by the American Federation of Teachers (AFT).

TESOL’s annual summit equips professionals with the information and strategies needed to advocate for multilingual language learners (MLLs) and to strengthen the support systems for their success. This year’s summit saw attendees learn from policy experts, engage with fellow TESOL professionals, and gain valuable insights for effective advocacy techniques and strategies. Continue reading

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5 Gestures to Teach MLLs

Judie Haynes
Judie Haynes

In my June blog, entitled “The Importance of Body Language for Effective Oral Communication,” I introduced how important it is to teach body language to multilingual language learners (MLLs) so that they can learn to communicate effectively. I specifically discussed the importance of teaching MLLs to maintain eye contact and respect the personal space of others, and how volume, pitch, and intonation affect oral communication.

This month, I would like to talk about gestures. I encourage you to read each item and do the motion with your own hand. Think about what the gestures mean in your own culture; compare that meaning to what I have written and consider how you might teach these to your MLLs. Continue reading

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10 Tips on Strengthening Home-School Partnerships Through Effective Family Engagement

Naashia Mohamed
Naashia Mohamed

In the context of schooling, family engagement refers to the process of schools and families working together through a participatory and collaborative approach to support a child’s learning and well-being. Research shows that when schools partner with families in meaningful ways, it leads to many positive impacts on students academically, socially, and emotionally.

Building strong partnerships is particularly important with multilingual language learners or families from minoritized ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Following, I suggest some ways for schools and educators to work toward strengthening reciprocal partnerships between families and schools. Continue reading

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Elementary School Writing for MLLs: Interview With Joanna Wong

Betsy Gilliland
Betsy Gilliland

Joanna Wong, Associate Professor, College of Education, California State University, Monterey Bay, is an elementary school teacher educator who holds a PhD in education focused on language, literacy, and culture. Drawing on her previous work as a bilingual teacher in California public schools, she advocates for immigrant multilingual children and their families. Her recent research examines teacher education to prepare teachers to serve multilingual and culturally diverse learners, asset-based literacy instruction, and culturally sustaining writing pedagogy. She has just been elected to the Elementary Section Steering Committee of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), a professional organization focused on the teaching and learning of English and the language arts at all levels of education.

Following, I’ve asked Dr. Wong some questions about elementary school writing for multilingual language learners (MLLs). In addition to discussing what young MLLs should learn about writing, she shares classroom strategies for teaching them as well as her favorite books for teachers of MLL writing.  Continue reading

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