Pre-K–5 at TESOL 2015: Four Excellent Sessions

Judie Haynes
Judie Haynes
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TESOL 2015 Convention Blog Post

Hello from TESOL 2015 in Toronto. In this blog, I’d like to share information on some of the excellent pre-K–5  sessions that I have attended at this convention so far.

Beginnings: Planning and Implementing Successful Pre-K–K for English Learners was a Preconvention Institute presented by Karen Nemeth, Language Castle LLC, Newtown, PA.   This session is one of the few preschool offerings that were presented at TESOL 2015. Continue reading

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Do-It-Yourself Professional Development

Alexandra Lowe
Alexandra Lowe

If you’re reading this blog, then you already know how vital professional development is to our success as teachers. But staying abreast of developments in our field can also be a challenge.  For some, traveling to conferences may be too expensive or time-consuming.  Webinars, though often very informative, still lack the give-and-take of face-to-face interactions with peers and colleagues.

That’s where do-it-yourself professional development comes in. In New York, where I live, Ravneet Minhas, co-chair of NYS TESOL’s Adult Education Special Interest Group, organized an informal ESL picnic last year that brought together TESOLers from all across the New York City region to share ideas and resources. Continue reading

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TESOL 2015: From the Eyes of a First-Time Attendee

Navnish Sidhu
Navnish Sidhu
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TESOL 2015 Convention Blog Post

As I sit down to write this blog, I realize that my brain has reached its capacity to receive or produce information. I am overwhelmed, over stimulated, and overworked, and yet I feel I have only just scratched the surface of what TESOL 2015 has to offer. Not surprisingly, this is what you will hear from most first-time attendees and even returning attendees.

With more than 1,100 sessions and approximately 6,000 educators from around the world, TESOL 2015 is doing exactly what it promises—crossing borders, building bridges. Continue reading

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TESOL 2015: What Keeps a Long-Time TESOLer Coming Back

Barbara Gottschalk
Barbara Gottschalk
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TESOL 2015 Convention Blog Post

Toronto TESOL will be my 23rd TESOL convention, and, of course, I’ve experienced just about everything the conference offers. I’ve attended sessions, volunteered, browsed the exhibition area, and networked at receptions. I’ve presented, but received more rejections than acceptances; I’ve attended interest section meetings, but never held an office of any significance; I’ve interviewed for teaching positions, but didn’t get the “dream job”; I’ve had my conference expenses funded some years, but other years I’ve paid my own way. In short, I represent the typical TESOL convention attendee. What makes me atypical, however, is that I keep coming back. Here’s why: Continue reading

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ESP Sessions at the TESOL Convention in Toronto

Kevin Knight
Kevin Knight

Hello, ESPers worldwide!

Have you seen the Program Book for the TESOL convention in Toronto? For ESP practitioners and researchers, there are some very exciting and informative sessions! In this TESOL Blog post, I would like to share some information about these sessions with you! (The descriptions below are replicated from the Program Book.) Continue reading

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6 Websites for Learning English Idioms

Elena Shvidko
Elena Shvidko

When you ask university-level English language learners how they would like to improve their English, many of them say they want to use more idiomatic expressions. Unfortunately, teachers seem to rarely have time to explicitly teach idioms in class. Luckily, there are various online resources that learners can use to enlarge their repertoire of idiomatic expressions. And certainly, some of these resources can be used in the classroom as well. Here are six websites for learning idioms. Continue reading

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2015 Teacher of the Year’s Most Memorable TESOL Moments

Sherry Blok
Sherry Blok

What are your most memorable TESOL moments? Here are some of my most memorable moments from past TESOL conventions.

1. Cerebral Moments

How can you satisfy your intellectual curiosity as an ESL educator? The impressive diversity of scholars each year at the convention satisfies my intellectual curiosity, as ESL is such an emerging field and each year I have new questions to answer. My top moments are Howard Gardner’s Five Minds for the Future (Boston, 2010), and Penny Ur’s Correctness and Correction (New York, 2007). The golden nuggets taken away from Schmitt, Goldstein, Ferris and Cumming’s Academic Writing in IEP Programs (New Orleans, 2011) led to a dynamic faculty workshop examining genre in reading and writing assignments in our program and the decision to introduce certain academic skills earlier in the program. Continue reading

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Guest Writer: Technology in an Adult Ed ESL Program

Tara Arntsen
Tara Arntsen

Realizing that readers of the TESOL Blog teach in a wide variety of contexts, I invited a colleague, Darrin Hetrick, whose students are very different from my own, to share his experiences with technology in the classroom. For those of you teaching in adult education with limited available technology, his story may seem familiar, but his solution can give you a starting point for introducing your students to technology, too. Thank you for sharing, Darrin!

“Who here is on Facebook?” I asked my five upper-beginner ESL students one day. I received back five blank stares. Incredulous, I repeated, “Facebook? Do you have it?” Finally, one of the five pulled out a smartphone, held it up, and said, “Facebook? Yes, teacher. I…Facebook.” In that class, only 20% of the students in that class had even heard of Facebook! Continue reading

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A Congressman in My Classroom: Making Connections

Guest Author
Guest Author

A Guest Post by Lori Menning
Lori has been teaching in the School District of New London, Wisconsin, for the past 13 years, where she is also the district ELL/bilingual coordinator. In addition, she instructs current and future ELL and bilingual teachers for Silver Lake College. This is her fourth year serving as WITESOL advocacy chair, and this year she is also WITESOL President. Lori provides workshops and presentations at regional, state, and national conferences, teaching best practices and strategies for working with ELLs.

As Advocacy Chair for WITESOL, I attended the past three TESOL Advocacy and Policy Summits in Washington, DC. During these powerful summits, I participated in grassroots activities led by John Segota and had the opportunity to meet with my local members of congress on Capitol Hill. These meetings were sometimes challenging. So the congress members could make connections, I shared current happenings in my high school classroom, school, and district. I also invited them to visit my classroom and meet the ELLs. Continue reading

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7 Magic Steps Toward Developing Teachers as Leaders

Yilin Sun
Yilin Sun

The TESOL President’s Blog

With all the educational reforms around the world and increased demand for teacher accountability and more rigorous student learning outcomes, the need to engage teachers in professional development has never been as urgent as it is now.

Recently, I have been asked to give talks on developing teachers as leaders—a topic that has seen an increasing interest among ELT professionals. In reviewing the current trends in professional development, two major trends surfaced. Continue reading

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