TESOL 2015: Focus on Speaking

Farrah Littlepage
Farrah Littlepage
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TESOL 2015 Convention Blog Post

On Friday and Saturday, I attended many wonderful presentations with a focus on speaking. Here are three of them that I found most useful, and what I learned; I hope it can help you in your teaching:

Replacing “Long” and “Short” With the Color Vowel Chart

Some of my students love IPA, and others view it as an additional language they have to acquire for my class. All of my students have difficulty remembering how to say the anchor words for each of the symbols. On Friday morning, I attended a session called “Replacing ‘Long’ and ‘Short’ with the Color Vowel Chart,” presented by Karen Taylor. The Color Vowel Chart is a new way to represent vowel sounds to students. Continue reading

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TESOL 2015: Grammar and Writing in a Nutshell

Karissa Kilgore
Karissa Kilgore
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TESOL 2015 Convention Blog Post

To say that I was sad to not attend all the TESOL 2015 sessions I wanted would be an understatement. I was crushed. Grammar! Writing! Pronunciation! Research! Classroom strategies! Organizational involvement! I struggled to decide what sessions to attend, often vacillating between two final candidates on an escalator before committing. Fortunately, knowing that I needed to plan my blog on grammar and writing helped.

As a first-time attendee and new TESOL member, I proudly wore my badge and ribbons as I hustled from session to session, learning about topic after topic, taking page upon page of notes (yes, I’m one of the weirdos who doesn’t photograph every PowerPoint slide), hoping to distill some of the brilliance and enthusiasm I witnessed into bullet points and scribbled notes to later meld into my own craft as an ESL teacher. Continue reading

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TESOL 2015: Teacher of the Year’s Top 5 Highlights

Sherry Blok
Sherry Blok
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TESOL 2015 Convention Blog Post

Are you feeling invigorated and re-energized after the 2015 TESOL Annual Convention & English Language Expo? Here are my top five highlights from the TESOL 2015 convention in Toronto.

1. Reflection

In the opening keynote, Dr. Sonia Nieto’s talk on culturally responsive teaching was truly inspiring. ‘‘Bridges suggest that you can have two homes and move between them. You needn’t discard one when you reach the other.’’ I was moved by the stories she shared from teachers who embrace this idea and teach gently with sensitivity and humour. Great teachers form personal connections with students, care about them as people and empower them to be members of the community. Continue reading

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TESOL 2015: Focus on Culture

Christine Uliassi
Christine Uliassi
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TESOL 2015 Convention Blog Post

The theme of the TESOL 2015 convention was “Crossing Borders, Building Bridges.” Here is a summary of the wonderful sessions I attended related to culture and intercultural communication; hopefully you can use some of what I learned in your own teaching.

Student Teachers Learning Together to Enact Culturally Relevant Pedagogy for English Learners

Michelle Benegas enthusiastically shared her dissertation with us Thursday afternoon. She used Gonzalez’s (1993) definition of culture as “lived experience.” In her study, she brought together four student teachers in an urban school through a community of practice to promote cultural consciousness. Continue reading

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Flip Your Classroom With EDpuzzle: Video Lessons

Tara Arntsen
Tara Arntsen

As the flipped classroom approach continues to gain popularity, there are more and more sites to help teachers flip their classrooms. Delivering the content of a course to students outside the classroom usually entails the use of videos, and I have already suggested eduCanon and YouTube for that purpose in previous posts. If you have not tried either of those, or if they did not quite work out for you, I have another one today called EDpuzzle.

EDpuzzle is completely free, so just click “Sign up” to register for a teacher account. I registered using my Google+ account, so I have one less password to remember, and it took about 5 seconds. Right away, I received a short tutorial about creating a video lesson using EDpuzzle. Continue reading

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ESP Giants at TESOL 2015 in Toronto!

Kevin Knight
Kevin Knight
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TESOL 2015 Convention Blog Post

Hello, ESPers worldwide!

If you were able to attend the conference in Toronto, I would love to hear your voice in the comments to this TESOL Blog post below! Since I was unable to attend the conference this year, I did the next best thing. I stayed in contact with TESOL ESP IS leaders throughout the conference. In what follows in this blog post, I will share with you some of the comments that I received. Enjoy! Continue reading

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Saying Good-Bye to Toronto 2015

Barbara Gottschalk
Barbara Gottschalk
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TESOL 2015 Convention Blog Post

The theme of Toronto 2015 was “Crossing Borders, Building Bridges”; I literally crossed a border coming to Toronto 2015 when I drove over the Blue Water Bridge connecting Michigan to Canada. I have spent the convention figuratively building bridges by reconnecting with teaching colleagues, attending sessions led by new people in the field, and striking up conversations in receptions, coffee lines, and hotel lobbies.

It’s hard to write about a convention because everybody’s conference experience is so different. Plenary sessions, though, serve as a common denominator for all attendees. The session on Saturday morning with Jim Cummins made the biggest impression on me. Continue reading

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TESOL 2015: Focus on Speaking Sessions

Farrah Littlepage
Farrah Littlepage
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TESOL 2015 Convention Blog Post

Some days, I wish I could switch places with my students, and spend the day soaking in knowledge about language.  (Then again, I’m sure some of my IEP students would love to skip ahead in their careers and become instructors!) The TESOL convention allows me to be a student for 3 days.  Each year, I look forward to brushing up on teaching skills, catching up on the latest research, and meeting new colleagues.

Almost all of the sessions I am attending this year are related to speaking.  Over the next few days, I will post about the five most interesting and pertinent sessions I attend.

How to Help Students Guess How to Pronounce Written Words

I’ve been using Judy Gilbert’s Clear Speech books for years, so I was excited to attend her presentation entitled “How to Help Students Guess How to Pronounce Written Words.”  Continue reading

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TESOL 2015: Tips for Successful Conference Presentations

Elena Shvidko
Elena Shvidko
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TESOL 2015 Convention Blog Post

Greetings from Toronto!

The 2015 TESOL International Convention has been incredible so far. As always, there is a broad range of presentations and events that the convention organizers have prepared for the attendees.

Earlier today, I attended a great presentation entitled “Tips for developing and delivering successful TESOL International Convention presentations.” The presenters—Neil Anderson, John Schmidt, and Christine Coombe—offered invaluable suggestions, most of which were based on their own knowledge and experience. In fact, all of them have previously served as TESOL convention chairs: Neil Anderson in 1998, Christine Coombe in 2006, and John Schmidt in 2014. Continue reading

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TESOL 2015: Technology Overview

Christel Broady
Christel Broady
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TESOL 2015 Convention Blog Post

Attending TESOL conventions is a wonderful experience for attendees from all corners of the world. It allows us to meet like-minded professionals, make new friends and network connections, and, above all, learn new skills. In addition, attendees can experience what is trending in the field, foreshadowing professional developments that will affect their work in the future. One area where this is particularly important is technology.

Digital and technological advancements happen fast, and all of them impact how we as language professionals do our work. Technology affects learning, teaching, material development, data management, program administration, cultural connections, and so much more. It is safe to say that there is virtually no aspect of our work in ELT that is not touched by technology.

Therefore, the convention offers many opportunities for English teaching professionals to grow in their technology skills. Continue reading

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