AWW App: A SMART Board Alternative

Tara Arntsen
Tara Arntsen

Another gem from a recent training session I attended is the AWW app, which you can use to turn your regular classroom computer, projector, screen, and WiFi into a more interactive platform for free. The “AWW” stands for “a web whiteboard,” and that is exactly what this is. There is no sign-in or registration required, so getting started is as easy as going to the website and clicking “Start drawing.” It really could not be any simpler, and the uses are endless. Continue reading

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Teachers Crossing Borders and Building Bridges


Sonia Nieto will present the opening keynote, titled “Teachers’ Roles in Crossing Borders and Building Bridges,” at the TESOL 2015 International Convention & English Language Expo, 5:30 pm, Wednesday, 25 March 2015.

“I like to have parent conferences in laundromats,” declared Roger Wallace, a 6th-grade teacher in Amherst, Massachusetts. He continued, “If I know a parent goes to a laundromat on Thursdays, I show up with clean hands and a willingness to fold everything but the underwear! I’ll say, ‘Just sit down and look through the papers while I fold your clothes.’ It’s what I do. That’s why I think I thrive.”

When I interviewed Roger for my book, Finding Joy in Teaching Students of Diverse Backgrounds (2013), he had been teaching for 38 years. Continue reading

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Craigslist and the Art of Asking Questions

Alexandra Lowe
Alexandra Lowe

In a blog post last summer, I described a mnemonic device one of my students invented to help her classmates master the ability to pose grammatically accurate questions in the simple past. Here’s another fun way to practice questioning skills with your students using craigslist*, an online resource they can use to find a new apartment, look for a new job, or buy a used car.

Craigslist is a classified advertisements website with sections devoted to jobs, housing, items for sale, personals, community events, and more. Local versions of craigslist are available not only for many American and Canadian cities but for dozens of countries around the globe. Continue reading

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Four Tips for Teaching English Through Music

Judie Haynes
Judie Haynes

One effective method of teaching language to your ELs is through music and songs. It is remarkable how quickly children pick up words and sentences and remember them for a long time when music is integrated into a lesson.

Here are four tips for teaching language through music to Pre-K–5 ELs.

Provide comprehensible input through music.  This can be accomplished when teachers preteach the key vocabulary in a song and provide visual support of this vocabulary when the song is sung.  This can be done through realia, drawings, pictures, and photographs. Continue reading

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An ESP Project of the Incoming TESOL ESP-IS Chair

Kevin Knight
Kevin Knight

Hello, ESPers worldwide!

One of the benefits of being on the steering committee of the ESP Interest Section is that you are able to meet all of the other leaders. In previous blog posts, I have focused on current and former chairs of the ESP-IS including (in order of service) David Kertzner, Najma Janjua, Yinghuei Chen, and Kristin Ekkens (current chair). (I was chair after David. I am currently community manager.)

In this blog post, it is my pleasure to let you know a bit more about the work of Jaclyn (Jackie) Gishbaugher, who will be chair after the TESOL 2015 convention. Continue reading

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Building Bridges: Journey to a Better Future for TESOL

Yilin Sun
Yilin Sun

Dr. Sun will deliver the Presidential Keynote address, titled “Building Bridges: Journey to a Better Future for TESOL,” at the TESOL 2015 International Convention & English Language Expo, 8 am, Friday, 27 March 2015. 

The last 50 years have marked significant transformation in the field of TESOL.

  • What will happen in the next 50 years?
  • What will TESOL International Association look like in 50 years?
  • What will the TESOL field look like in 50 years?
  • What should TESOLers like you and me do to build bridges for a better future for TESOL?
  • What are the trends and strategies that ELT professionals should be aware of on our journey to build a better future for TESOL?

These are the questions I will address at my keynote address on Friday, 27 March, based on studies I have conducted. Continue reading

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Using Journals and Magazines to Teach About Audience

Elena Shvidko
Elena Shvidko

Today I’d like to share two simple activities that can help second language writers apply the concept of audience. The first activity is suitable for students of intermediate and higher levels of proficiency; the second one is designed for beginners (but can certainly be used with advanced students as well).

Activity 1 Continue reading

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Be a Super Teacher With Simple Tech Tools

Tara Arntsen
Tara Arntsen

A SMART Board training session I recently attended quickly turned into a great collaborative discussion about classroom tools. Super Teacher Tools was one such promising resource that was mentioned, and it is my pleasure to share it with you today. Super Teacher Tools’ tagline is ‘Teaching is hard. Technology Shouldn’t Be,” and while I do not know if everyone would agree with that first part, I think we can all agree with the second half, so it is just wonderful that resources like this exist.

It is easy to create an account and the site is free to use, but donations are accepted to help fund it. There are three main categories that teachers will find useful: games, tools, and extras. Continue reading

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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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