New Year’s Greetings from Your TESOL Board

Yilin Sun
Yilin Sun

Happy New Year! It’s hard to believe that 2014 is now history and 2015 has arrived. As many of you are aware, 2014 was a very busy year for the TESOL Board as we worked nonstop on a few important initiatives. I’ll highlight three of them.

First of all, I am pleased to share with you that, thanks to the hard work of the task force led by Christine Coombe and Dudley Reynolds, TESOL has an exciting new Research Agenda. The agenda, which the Board of Directors formally approved in October, is an important part of TESOL’s ongoing efforts to build professional expertise through the dissemination of knowledge in the field, and in particular to strengthen the relationship between research, practice, and policy. Continue reading

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Influx of Immigrant Children From Central America

Judie Haynes
Judie Haynes

One of the top stories in the news during 2014 was about the influx of undocumented immigrant children at the U.S. southern border. More than 60,000 children crossed the border during 2014 seeking refuge in the United States. Many of these children were fleeing violence in Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala and were detained at the border by U.S. Customs.  More than 43,000  of these children have been relocated with family members and sponsors in the United States.

In this blog, I wish to present some of the articles and reports describing who these children are and how they have been received in U.S. schools. It is my view that more national organizations of teachers need to follow  the lead of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and issue position papers on this issue. Continue reading

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Analyzing Communication in an Article About Professional Performance

Kevin Knight
Kevin Knight

Hello, ESPers worldwide!

In order to enhance my ability to train professionals in specific fields, I am always looking for examples of outstanding professional communication. In this connection, have you ever read an article that focuses on the actions of professionals (such as company presidents, doctors, or lawyers) but not on their specific communication? One such article is titled What Air Crash Investigations Didn’t Tell You About QF32 (Airbus A380)by Tony J. Hughes. The article describes the actions of various professionals, but it does not answer one question to my satisfaction:

How did the various professionals communicate to achieve the results described in the article?

Continue reading

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New Year Resolutions: More Classroom Activities

Elena Shvidko
Elena Shvidko

New Year is a perfect time to set new goals and make personal promises. Perhaps at least once in our life, each of us makes New Year resolutions. And I believe it’s not just a cultural concept—most people consider New Year a new step in their lives, and naturally, many of us look forward to an upcoming year with motivation and determination.

Because New Year resolutions are something that many people know about and do, why not use them in our teaching? Last year, I shared several activities that teachers can implement in their writing classes. I thought maybe I could add a few ideas to that list, so here they are. Continue reading

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Electronic Village Online (EVO) 2015 – Register Now!

Tara Arntsen
Tara Arntsen

In case you did not know, TESOL’s Computer-Assisted Language Learning (CALL) Interest Section runs this wonderful project each year called The Electronic Village Online, or EVO for short. The EVO consists of these unique 5-week sessions starting January 12th and ending February 15th. The sessions are similar in some ways to MOOCs in that they are completely free and encourage participation from people around the world, and they are different in that they focus more on attracting educators to a topic and facilitating discussion and collaboration rather than necessarily teaching and assessing as a traditional course would.

The EVO sessions are an exceptional way to learn more about a topic or topics that interest you and to develop yourself professionally. Continue reading

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USA Learns: A Web-Based Tool for Self-Directed Learning

Alexandra Lowe
Alexandra Lowe

Many students like to be able to log into a computer program on their laptop, tablet, or smart phone to practice their English online outside of class. Here’s a free resource that every ESL teacher should know about: USA Learns, www.usalearns.org.

USA Learns is a free website funded by the U.S. Department of Education for immigrants who want to improve their listening, speaking, pronunciation, grammar, writing, and spelling skills. However, because it is Internet-based, it is available to adult ELLs anywhere in the world. It is a great resource for self-directed learners as well as for teachers who want to give their students extra practice opportunities outside of class. Continue reading

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Happy New Year 2015! Teaching Worldwide Celebrations

Judie Haynes
Judie Haynes

Whether your English learners celebrate the New Year on January 1st or not, they will enjoy learning about some famous New Year’s Eve celebrations taking place on December 31st. This is also a great springboard to having your ELs talk and write about their own New Year’s celebrations. Students can also learn how to say “Happy New Year” in a variety of languages. Continue reading

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Two Conferences for ESPers in Asia in 2015

Kevin Knight
Kevin Knight

Hello, ESPers worldwide!

With the new year approaching quickly, I thought that I would share with you information about two conferences in Asia.

The first conference will be held in Taiwan on 25–26 April 2015. Please see the information below including the link to a web announcement. Submissions are due on 31 December 2014. (I am hoping that many of you have already been informed of this conference.) The conference looks exciting even if you will not be presenting. I would expect to see some famous ESPers from Asia at the event. Continue reading

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ELL Students’ Descriptions of Effective Teachers

Elena Shvidko
Elena Shvidko

How can we become effective teachers? What do we need to do to better help our students and endow them with necessary skills and strategies, so they can continue obtaining knowledge independently? Receiving proper teacher education, attending professional conferences, observing experienced instructors, and conducting classroom research are only a few of the many tools that teachers can use to develop as professionals. However, our students, too, can be a source of our professional development. Therefore, asking students questions and reflecting on their feedback can help us better meet our students’ needs and implement activities that they want to see in our classrooms.

Today I’d like to share my students’ thoughts about effective teachers. Some of them may seem too obvious or perhaps even too demanding, but I think, overall, they are quite illuminating.

Continue reading

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Happy New Year! Two New Year Classroom Activities

ssahr
Sarah Sahr

Celebrating the start of a new year has always been a favorite holiday of mine. During this time of year, in most countries I’ve lived in, regardless of religion, a country’s true culture rings through in song, festivals, and food. What a wonderful opportunity for people to come together and reminisce about the year gone by while looking forward to the year to come! So, be it the Gregorian New Year on 1 January, Vietnam’s Tết usually celebrated in February, or Ethiopia’s Enkutatash celebrated in September, it’s out with the old and in with the new for everyone!

Here are some short activities you might want to use in your classes to help students celebrate 2014 and anticipate the new year. Feel free to modify and adapt anything below. If you use something that works, share in the comment box below this blog post! Continue reading

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