Teaching ELs to Summarize and Synthesize Texts

Judie Haynes
Judie Haynes

Good readers need to learn to summarize text in order to highlight the important information that they read. In my last blog, I talked about teaching ELs how to determine what is relevant in nonfiction texts. They also need to learn how to pick out what is important in a text when summarizing. Many times children will want to recall every small detail.

Here are some hints for teaching ELs how to summarize a story: Continue reading

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The Personal Brands of ESPers

Kevin Knight
Kevin Knight

Hello, ESPers worldwide!

As an ESPer, what do you consider to be your area of expertise? Do you specialize in working with a specific group of professionals such as medical doctors or lawyers? Do you excel in training others to make presentations or to negotiate business agreements? Do you help students to become admitted to (or to succeed in) a specific major on campus (e.g., biology or economics)? In this TESOL Blog post, I consider how our areas of expertise as ESPers can become our personal brands as professionals. Continue reading

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ESL Classroom Routines

Elena Shvidko
Elena Shvidko

Several years ago, when I was doing my teaching practicum in my MATESOL program, I had the opportunity to teach a community ESL class. Most of my students were immigrants who were taking the course in order to increase their proficiency level. The class followed an integrated approach, and, frankly, my coteacher and I found it difficult at times to balance “the right amount” of speaking, reading, and writing. Since for both of us it was our first experience teaching ESL, we were afraid that the course would seem to appear a bit unstructured. Our practicum supervisor suggested implementing classroom routines to help us keep the course more organized. And he was right!

Establishing classroom routines not only helps the teacher organize the course, but it also facilitates learning and motivates students. Continue reading

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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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