Guest Writer: 21st Century Flashcards with Quizlet

Tara Arntsen
Tara Arntsen

This week, you are in for a treat, courtesy of Andrew Pharis, an ESOL educator and fellow ed-tech enthusiast based in Japan. Andrew was a classmate of mine at USC and introduced me to a number of amazing sites, such as Quizlet. Rather than sharing what little I know about the site, I thought I would let you learn about it from a master, and Andrew has kindly agreed to share his knowledge with you. Thanks, Andrew!

Guest Writer Andrew Pharis

Guest Writer Andrew Pharis

When it comes to using flash cards to drill, vocabulary teachers’ opinions seem to vary from “useful tool” to “necessary evil” to “waste of time.”  Surprisingly, however, many students prefer it, and some schools expect it.  Whatever your feelings may be on the subject, Quizlet is an online resource that streamlines the process for students and teachers. Continue reading

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ESL Games: Finders Keepers – Scavenger Hunt!

Marc Anderson
Marc Anderson

The Game: Finders Keepers – Scavenger Hunt! is a fun way to reinforce vocabulary. The teacher helps create a list of what needs to be “found.” Finders Keepers – Scavenger Hunt! builds on comprehension and encourages players to learn more about their surroundings.

Research Says: The benefits of using games in the classroom are various. they “range from cognitive aspects of language learning to more cooperative group dynamics.” Games also lower the affective filter and encourage “creative and spontaneous use of language,” promote “communicative competence.” What’s more—games are fun. (“Index Cards: A Natural Resource for Teachers“in Forum, Lengeling & Malarcher, October-December 1997). Continue reading

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Finally, a focus on English learners

Rosa Aronson
Rosa Aronson

English learners (ELs) are a heterogeneous group with differences in ethnic background, first language, socioeconomic status, quality of prior schooling, and levels of English language proficiency. They are also the fastest growing population in K-12 schools in the United States, where 1 in 10 students is an English learner. By 2015, 10 million ELs will be enrolled in K-12 schools, and by 2025, ELs will make up 25% of the student population. To learn how best to serve this growing population, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan recently invited 11 executives representing key stakeholder groups to share their thoughts. TESOL International Association was among those invited.

Three questions were presented to the participants: Continue reading

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Learning the Ropes: A Project-Based Speaking Activity

Alexandra Lowe
Alexandra Lowe

Group oral presentations are a staple of many ESL classes. While students get a lot of speaking and listening practice during these projects because they are working in and outside of class with partners to prepare their presentations, it dawned on me last semester that these assignments, paradoxically, do not necessarily require them to speak in order to gather the information they present.  Most of the information my students have presented in the past was something they could find by browsing the Web—data about their country’s economy, current news stories, interesting facts about famous historical figures, etc.  While this may be helpful for their reading skills, I wanted the students in my high-intermediate IEP speaking & listening class to actually use their speaking skills to gather the information they would need for their presentation.

Hence, our “Learning the Ropes” project.  I challenged my students to get out into the surrounding community to find out information that could only be unearthed by having a conversation in English with a local “expert.” Continue reading

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Strategies for Providing a Bully-Free Environment for ELLs

Judie Haynes
Judie Haynes

English language learners (ELLs) are often the targets of bullying. Accented language and cultural customs that are perceived as different frequently cause ELLs to be victimized by bullies. Bullying is evident in the classroom as early as preschool, and there are potentially many long-lasting effects of bullying for the victim.  Children who are bullied have low self-esteem and tend to be anxious and insecure.  They are often lonely and depressed. Because of bullying, their social skills are typically deficient, making it difficult for them to make friends (Nansel et al., 2001).

There are many types of bullying. Physical bullying is composed of actions such as hitting, pushing, and punching; verbal bullying includes name-calling and teasing; and emotional bullying consists of behaviors such as excluding someone from an activity. Continue reading

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One Side of ESP: English for Occupational Purposes

Kevin Knight
Kevin Knight

Hello, ESPers worldwide!

One thing that I have really enjoyed about my career in ESP has been the opportunity to work in academic and occupational settings. In other words, I have been able to create and/or teach ESP courses in academic institutions (e.g., universities, vocational schools, language schools, etc.) and in public and private sector organizations (e.g., company headquarters, factories, government offices, etc.).

I have also been able to teach English for Academic Purposes (EAP) and English for Occupational Purposes (EOP). In this case, I do not necessarily mean academic or occupational settings. Continue reading

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Questioning Techniques to Engage Students in Critical Thinking

Yilin Sun
Yilin Sun

The TESOL President’s Blog

One of the most challenging tasks for language teachers when working with English language learners is to engage students in critical thinking and encourage them to ask questions that go beyond factual information. In this blog, I’d like to share a few simple questioning techniques that I have been using to engage students in the learning process.

Asking the right questions and engaging learners in inquiry-based learning are important steps to help students develop critical thinking skills and metacognitive skills. Continue reading

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4 World Cup Writing Activities

Elena Shvidko
Elena Shvidko

As World Cup 2014 is about to start, we, teachers, can create interesting and motivating activities to make this popular event a part of our courses.  Like many people in Russia (and Europe), I enjoy watching soccer games, and in today’s blog, I will share a few World Cup–related activities that you can incorporate in your writing classes. Continue reading

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TESOL’s New Strategic Plan

Andy Curtis
Andy Curtis

The American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) has more 21,000 members, representing 10,000 organizations. On 2–3 June, the Executive Committee of TESOL International Association (Yilin Sun, Andy Curtis, Deena Boraie, and Rosa Aronson) attended, together with around 100 participants from different associations, two days of ASAE talks and presentations. One of the recurring themes was the tremendous importance of strategic plans and planning. Continue reading

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Google+ Education: Part 4

Tara Arntsen
Tara Arntsen

It has been a while since I have shared anything new about using Google+ for education, but I would like to add Flubaroo to the series (which has so far covered Google Hangouts, Sites, and Drive). Flubaroo is this handy little add-on that works with Google Drive, specifically Forms and Sheets, to grade assignments. It is so easy to use and—even better—free! Continue reading

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