Reflective Journals: Raising Students’ Awareness of Their Writing Processes

Elena Shvidko
Elena Shvidko

Reflection as a form of learning is a well-researched concept in second language studies. Through reflection on their own learning styles, the use of strategies, and factors influencing their learning progress, language learners are able to gain a better understanding of their language development. There is so much the teacher can do to help students develop their abilities to reflect on their learning processes. I shared one of such pedagogical tools in one of my previous blogs (“Writing-to-learn Activities”) and demonstrated how simple writing activities can help students monitor their learning processes and be better aware of their learning strategies.

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TLO 14: How to Teach Online: Assessing Online Learning II

Andy Curtis
Andy Curtis

Welcome to the 14th in this series of 16 TLO blogs. Last time, in TLO 13, we looked at some of the challenges of assessing online learning, based on a kind of “triangulated model,” with timeframes, quantity, and quality as three aspects of the online learning that can and should be assessed. In response to some of your e-mails asking for more details, I thought it would be helpful to look at the assessment aspect of TLO in more detail, as this does appear to be one of the aspects that is often not given as much thought as it should be given.
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Tech-Break: Slash Reading

Tara Arntsen
Tara Arntsen

After so many months of tech-related posts, it is time for another tech-break! This one is called slash reading, and I am always happy to explain it to people. It even made it into one of the articles I did for TESOL Connections last year, but it is worth going over again in more detail. Slash reading is very straight-forward, and I love it because it has so many possible uses, including working on reading fluency and/or accuracy, and works with almost every age and language level.
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ESL Games: Similarities Galore

Marc Anderson
Marc Anderson

The Game: The object of Similarities Galore is to see relationships in visual photos and to listen to others’ ideas about the personal connections they see. These relationships help spark imagination and creative thinking while building stronger language skills.

Research Says: This game is a type of game that “… encourages students to focus on the use of language rather than on the language itself” (Games for Children, Gordon Lewis, 1999).  If the group of players is large, you might consider playing with two decks and remaining as one large group or split into two groups.
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Role-Playing the Present Perfect: A Speaking Activity

Alexandra Lowe
Alexandra Lowe

In a recent post, I described having my students “eavesdrop” on how the present perfect tense is actually used in the world they live in: at work, on TV, on the Internet, and by their children as they speak English with their friends.  As promised, here is one of the activities I have used successfully in intermediate-level classes to put what my students discovered into practice.
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The Future of English Language Teaching and Learning Locally and Globally

Deena Boraie
Deena Boraie

Dr. Boraie will deliver the Presidential Keynote address titled, “Next Generation ELT: Voices of TESOLers” at the TESOL 2014 International Convention & English Language Expo, 8 am, Friday, 28 March 2014.

With my country, Egypt, going through many changes affecting all areas of life, including education policies, I started to think about the future and to reflect on what is happening in TESOL both locally and globally. Although I definitely do not have a linguistic crystal ball, I do want to try and look into the future of English language teaching and learning.
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ESP and Genre Analysis

Kevin Knight
Kevin Knight

Hello, ESPers worldwide!

At Kanda University of International Studies (KUIS) in Chiba, Japan, I am focused on preparing my undergraduate students for success in their business careers. In this regard, I have recently been considering how I can more effectively conduct genre-based research and teaching.

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The Cairo TESOL International Symposium Experience

Deena Boraie
Deena Boraie

The TESOL President’s Blog

Last week on 27 January, TESOL held an international symposium in Cairo, Egypt, organized in partnership with Egypt’s TESOL affiliate, NileTESOL, and The American University in Cairo. For me and for TESOL this was a very unique experience—it was a series of “firsts.” This was the first TESOL international symposium ever to be held in Cairo, and it was the first symposium outside the United States to be opened by an incumbent president (I am Egyptian) who is a national of the country where the symposium was held. I have to say, the opening of the symposium was a very emotional experience for me. There were many things I wanted to say, but I was not able express all of them.
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Function-Based Vocabulary Notebooks

Elena Shvidko
Elena Shvidko

A few years ago, when I was teaching an intermediate writing course in an intensive English program, one of the experiential objectives of the course was to help students build their vocabulary by having them keep a function-based vocabulary notebook. Since the curriculum in that program was brand new, I was one of the first-generation instructors teaching the class, and I, as with the other teachers in the program, was not really sure how to go about that objective.
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TLO 13: How to Teach Online: Assessing Online Learning

Andy Curtis
Andy Curtis

Welcome to the 13th in this series of 16 TLO (teaching and learning online) blogs. Here in eastern Ontario, Canada, there’s been a period of record-breaking, severe winter weather with temperatures getting down to 40 degrees below zero, where Fahrenheit and Centigrade meet. So, you can imagine the disruption to daily life, including schools, colleges, and universities having to shut down due to dangerous driving conditions on the roads. It’s also been a good reminder of some of the benefits of TLO, saving students and teachers, who can work together online, from having to go to and from bricks-and-mortar institutions.

However, one of the challenges of TLO is assessment of student learning. In traditional, physical classrooms, teachers and students can see immediately and constantly who is paying attention, who is on-task, who is working together, etc. Likewise, who’s not paying attention, who’s off-task, and who’s not working is equally evident. But to a large extent, much of that kind of face-to-face interaction can be masked in TLO courses.
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