Augmented Reality for Language Learning

Greg Kessler
Greg Kessler

Augmented reality (AR) presents us with so many opportunities for language teaching and learning. If you are not familiar with this concept, perhaps the best example is Pokémon Go! This cultural phenomenon continues to be so compelling that it has inspired news events such as this one, just yesterday: “After causing mayhem, Pokemon Go shut down at Minnesota State Fair.”

This viral AR game captured the world’s imagination a few years ago, and I believe the engagement that this technology promotes can be harnessed for similar effect in the language classroom. AR allows us to interact with the physical world around us while our understanding is enhanced through the addition of digital content that is layered on that physical world. This additional content can include any information that might be helpful for a particular experience, such as video, directional guidance, historical content, or a virtual personal guide. Continue reading

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5 Ways to Help ELs Develop Pride in Their Heritage

Judie Haynes
Judie Haynes

English learners (ELs) offer a rich resource from which mainstream teachers and students can learn about other languages and cultures. If teachers support the diversity in their classrooms, all students will begin to understand and value the many distinct cultures of the world. Teachers should take advantage of this natural resource that is in their classrooms and support ELs from diverse backgrounds to develop pride in their heritage. Following are some classroom practices that you and your colleagues can adopt to help the ELs in your school develop pride. Continue reading

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5 Ways to Help ELs Develop Pride in Their Heritage

A Framework for Understanding Games and Learning

Jeff Kuhn
Jeff Kuhn

Hi all, welcome to another edition of the TESOL Games and Learning blog! This month I wanted to highlight Reinhardt and Sykes’ (2012) framework for incorporating games into classroom practice in response to Mary McDonnell who, on my initial blog post, asked for some games and learning research.

Reinhardt and Sykes (2012) have outlined a four-part framework for games in the language classroom that considers best practices for the use of games for second language (L2) learning. It’s a fantastic entry point for understanding the ways educators can view games and their role in the classroom. Continue reading

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A Framework for Understanding Games and Learning

Peer Response: 3 Ways to Foster Useful Feedback

Betsy Gilliland
Betsy Gilliland

Teachers worldwide lament the amount of time and effort it takes to give students feedback on their writing. We know it’s helpful for students to hear from readers on a regular basis as they draft and revise their texts, but we also feel the pressure to get through so many other activities that we can’t devote as much time as we would like. We also wonder whether students are becoming too dependent on us and not developing their own strategies for getting feedback that will carry beyond the classroom.

Peer response is one solution to both time management and strategy development. At its most basic, peer response engages students’ peers (usually their classmates) with providing response—in any form, oral or written, on a portion of or a whole text. Theoretically, this process has myriad benefits beyond saving the teacher time. Continue reading

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Peer Response: 3 Ways to Foster Useful Feedback

On Teaching Speaking: Extemporaneous Speaking

Julie Vorholt
Julie Vorholt
This TESOL Blog series focuses on teaching speaking to English learners.
In this TESOL Blog series, Julie Vorholt, editor of New Ways in Teaching Speaking, Second Edition, interviews contributors to the volume and gets some tips from them on teaching speaking to ELs. See Part 1 here, Part 2 here, Part 3 hereand Part 4 here.

Meet TESOL veteran Dr. John Schmidt and prepare to use his extemporaneous speaking activity with your students! “On Your Feet” is his flexible, ready-to-use, and engaging speaking activity published in New Ways in Teaching Speaking, Second Edition.

Students practice answering questions through short, impromptu speeches in “On Your Feet.” Participation in Toastmasters inspired John to create this activity, which he describes as “…a classroom variation of ‘Table Topics,’ conducted in club meetings of Toastmasters International around the world” (p. 155). Students from high beginner to advanced levels of English proficiency can participate in “On Your Feet.” Preparation takes the instructor only 5–10 minutes. Continue reading

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On Teaching Speaking: Extemporaneous Speaking