Teaching Short Stories

Alexandra Lowe
Alexandra Lowe

At the recent TESOL International convention in Toronto, I was privileged to attend an outstanding workshop entitled “10 Tips for Teaching Short Stories” by Sybil Marcus, an inspiring teacher from the University of California, Berkeley. Presenting excerpts from two short stories, she showed us how she uses stories to teach critical thinking skills, style, grammar, and vocabulary, and to lay the groundwork for classroom debates and writing assignments. Sybil’s approach to teaching ESL skills through short stories sounded so compelling to me that I dashed back to my own classroom as soon as the conference was over to try it out. Continue reading

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ESP Project Leader Profile: Charles Hall

Kevin Knight
Kevin Knight

Hello, ESPers worldwide!

In this second TESOL Blog post on the professional communication of ESP project leaders, you will read the profile of Charles Hall. Continue reading

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Taking Learning out of the Classroom

Sherry Blok
Sherry Blok

Teachers often say that they would like to provide more authentic opportunities for students to experience language and culture out of the classroom but may feel constrained by a lack of time or lack of attractions in their areas. The good news is that you do not have to take on the impossible or live in a metropolis to take learning out of the classroom. Take advantage of the resources in your local community to create meaningful and authentic opportunities to apply student learning to real-life experiences. Continue reading

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Mind Mapping vs. Tired Templates

Kristen Lindahl
Kristen Lindahl

I’ve been busily evaluating lesson plans turned in by my preservice TESOL teachers, and as always, I’m reflecting my own lessons, all with the goal of improving the quality of their coursework: How can I improve my delivery? Format? Modeling? Assignments? One mismatch I’ve found through my reflections is that, although I stress the notion that language teaching is a cycle of instruction, practice, and assessment, rather than a rigid trajectory with a starting point and end point, many lesson plan templates pose a linear format: first do this, then do this, then do that . . . and you’re done! Continue reading

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ELs With Special Needs: Combining Language Goals With Learning Strategies

Nathan Hall
Nathan Hall

EL teachers know about the many factors that can affect language acquisition, ranging from how to deal with culture shock to how to simplify grade-level readings without compromising the message. But every now and then, we encounter students who simply can’t comprehend or produce language well—in either English or their native language— Continue reading

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Google+ Education: Part 6

Tara Arntsen
Tara Arntsen

It has been quite a while since I last posted something about Google+ and its educational uses, so allow me to present Google Keep. Google Keep is for saving notes, checklists, photos, and even voice memos either via the website or app. It may not be specifically designed for education but is another neat thing to add to our teacher toolboxes. Let me explain how and why. Continue reading

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Options in Classroom Self-Assessment

Robert Sheppard
Robert Sheppard

Why Self-Assessment?

I’ll be honest: It took me a while to come around to the notion of self-assessment. All I could picture was my sneeringly too-cool high-school self giving my apathetically underachieving high school self A+ after unearned A+. Continue reading

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A Significant Birth, a Crowning Jewel

Karen Taylor de Caballero
Karen Taylor de Caballero

On 2 May, after more than nine months in the making, the world celebrated a birth, the arrival of a long-awaited jewel that completes the family crown. While Princess Charlotte of Cambridge may come to mind, the arrival of which I speak is the Journal of Second Language Pronunciation or, more simply, the JSLP. Continue reading

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Reading Challenges for ELs in the Age of the Common Core

Judie Haynes
Judie Haynes

Learning to read in English presents many challenges for English learners (ELs) in the K–12 classroom, especially true in this age of high stakes standardized testing based on the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). ELs face many obstacles when reading in English. Continue reading

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TESOL Goes to India

Andy Curtis
Andy Curtis

The TESOL President’s Blog

For the first time in its nearly 50-year history, the TESOL International Association held its first ever event in India on 24 and 25 April. It was a TESOL Academy, and its theme was “Changing Classrooms, Supporting Teachers.” The event was held in partnership with the US Department of State’s Regional English Language Office, New Delhi, and the Regional Institute of English, Chandigarh. According Continue reading

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