It’s that time of year again. As the new year rolls around, many people are making (and breaking) New Year’s resolutions. Gym memberships significantly increase in January, spring cleaning sweeps begin, bad habits are dropped (or go on hiatus), and some readers have likely resolved to focus on enhancing their teaching practices this year. Since we are a couple of weeks into the 2017, how many of these New Year’s resolutions are still in progress? Continue reading
When educators consider what children will need to be able to do in the future, hey think of 21st-century skills. This topic has been written about copiously over the past 20 years or more. So why am I writing about 21st-century skills now? In 2017 we are living in an era of high stakes testing and teaching to the test. We really haven’t paid much attention to the multiple lists of 21st-century skills unless they can be related to testing. Teachers are under a lot of pressure to focus on good test scores. I’m always dismayed when English learners (ELs) who haven’t yet acquired English are evaluated using standardized tests designed for mainstream students. ELs need to develop curiosity, imagination, initiative, and a vision for the future. I don’t think that the “drill and kill” approach to education that is the result of the emphasis on standardized testing helps our students develop these skills. Continue reading
The year 2016 was a golden year, with TESOL celebrating its 50th anniversary and educators across the globe making a difference in their classrooms and communities. It has been a honor for me to share some of their stories with you and highlight their unwavering commitment to the field. I am delighted to close the year with a very special interview with Harry Kuchah Kuchah. Inspired by the wisdom and intelligence of his great grandfather, Harry wears his name proudly. His best practices stem from his experience as a student himself of large classes in Cameroon, which has translated into a mission of embracing students as partners in teaching and learning and empowering teachers to become agents of change. Continue reading
The theme for CATESOL 2016, held in San Diego, last month (17–20 November) was 2020 Vision: Embracing the Past, Planning the Future. In the abstract for my plenary, titled “2020: Where Hindsight and Foresight (Might) Meet,” I wrote: “Predictions about the future, even over relatively short time frames, such as the next few years, between now and 2020, are notoriously unreliable.” As it turned out, most of the people I know were not prepared for was the result of the 2016 U.S. presidential election, which has made the future even more uncertain than usual, especially when it comes to international education in the United States. Continue reading
Hello, ESPers worldwide!
In this TESOL Blog post, I share a story of how I was able to meet the needs of Japanese adult learners in a business English class. The students asked me to start making my lessons more difficult than the material we were covering in the textbook. In meeting the students’ request, I was able to take advantage of videos on the Internet to weave together a very interesting lesson that expanded on the material in the textbook. Continue reading
Have you been to the Electronic Village and Technology Showcase at the TESOL International Convention & English Language Expo? It is a fantastic way to learn a lot of information in a very short time. People present their topics, which are computer and technology based, in short segments and small groups. Continue reading
John Dewey (1859–1952), American philosopher and educational reformer, said, “To find out what one is fitted to do, and to secure an opportunity to do it, is the key to happiness.” I feel that I am one of those truly happy people who have discovered their passion and found a way to turn this passion into a significant part of my life. Oddly or not, I have always dreamed of becoming a language teacher, and through many years, I have developed a true love and devotion to teaching. Continue reading
As part of its comprehensive review of governance processes and structures, TESOL International Association has been examining the function and structure of its knowledge-based member communities (KBMCs). Currently known as interest sections, these communities have been a central means for members to engage with the association for many years, and it is important that we ensure first that we have a clear understanding of their functions and second that we structure them in a way that best serves those functions. Continue reading
As part of its comprehensive review of governance processes and structures, TESOL International Association has been examining its relationship with affiliate professional teacher associations around the world. The association has more than 100 affiliates, creating a network of more than 45,000 English language teaching professionals. Our goal throughout has been to establish a clear vision for why we have these relationships and what we should be achieving through them. Continue reading
Hello, ESPers worldwide!
In this 25th ESP Project Leader Profile, it is my pleasure to present to you an ESP researcher and practitioner in Japan, Dr. Laurence Anthony. According to his bio:
Laurence Anthony is Professor of Applied Linguistics at the Faculty of Science and Engineering, Waseda University, Japan. He is a former director and current program coordinator of the Center for English Language Education in Science and Engineering at Waseda University. His main interests are in corpus linguistics, educational technology, and English for specific purposes (ESP) program design and teaching methodologies. He received the National Prize of the Japan Association for English Corpus Studies (JAECS) in 2012 for his work in corpus software tools design.