Many students like to be able to log into a computer program on their laptop, tablet, or smart phone to practice their English online outside of class. Here’s a free resource that every ESL teacher should know about: USA Learns, www.usalearns.org.
USA Learns is a free website funded by the U.S. Department of Education for immigrants who want to improve their listening, speaking, pronunciation, grammar, writing, and spelling skills. However, because it is Internet-based, it is available to adult ELLs anywhere in the world. It is a great resource for self-directed learners as well as for teachers who want to give their students extra practice opportunities outside of class. Continue reading
Whether your English learners celebrate the New Year on January 1st or not, they will enjoy learning about some famous New Year’s Eve celebrations taking place on December 31st. This is also a great springboard to having your ELs talk and write about their own New Year’s celebrations. Students can also learn how to say “Happy New Year” in a variety of languages. Continue reading
Hello, ESPers worldwide!
With the new year approaching quickly, I thought that I would share with you information about two conferences in Asia.
The first conference will be held in Taiwan on 25–26 April 2015. Please see the information below including the link to a web announcement. Submissions are due on 31 December 2014. (I am hoping that many of you have already been informed of this conference.) The conference looks exciting even if you will not be presenting. I would expect to see some famous ESPers from Asia at the event. Continue reading
How can we become effective teachers? What do we need to do to better help our students and endow them with necessary skills and strategies, so they can continue obtaining knowledge independently? Receiving proper teacher education, attending professional conferences, observing experienced instructors, and conducting classroom research are only a few of the many tools that teachers can use to develop as professionals. However, our students, too, can be a source of our professional development. Therefore, asking students questions and reflecting on their feedback can help us better meet our students’ needs and implement activities that they want to see in our classrooms.
Today I’d like to share my students’ thoughts about effective teachers. Some of them may seem too obvious or perhaps even too demanding, but I think, overall, they are quite illuminating.
Celebrating the start of a new year has always been a favorite holiday of mine. During this time of year, in most countries I’ve lived in, regardless of religion, a country’s true culture rings through in song, festivals, and food. What a wonderful opportunity for people to come together and reminisce about the year gone by while looking forward to the year to come! So, be it the Gregorian New Year on 1 January, Vietnam’s Tết usually celebrated in February, or Ethiopia’s Enkutatash celebrated in September, it’s out with the old and in with the new for everyone!
Here are some short activities you might want to use in your classes to help students celebrate 2014 and anticipate the new year. Feel free to modify and adapt anything below. If you use something that works, share in the comment box below this blog post! Continue reading
Hyungsoo, a second-grade student from Korea, sat across from me at the table in my ESL class with a pained look on his face. “Santa didn’t come to my house!” he complained. “I didn’t get any presents.” I knew the source of his disappointment. Many elementary age public school students in the United States spend a good part of December discussing Santa, elves, and presents. They listen to stories about Santa, make presents for their parents, exchange grab bag gifts with their classmates, and produce Christmas artwork to decorate the halls of the school. In Pre-K–2, a Christmas-related activity might occur every day during December.
Hyungsoo’s family is Christian, but for them Christmas is strictly a religious holiday. His parents did not realize that most of his classmates would be receiving gifts from Santa, and they were not aware of how left out he would feel. Unfortunately, many elementary schools give little thought to the children who are looking in from the outside during December. Continue reading
Hello, ESPers worldwide!
As an ESP practitioner, how often do you find yourself in the role of a student? In this TESOL Blog post, I will focus on the ESPer’s role as a learner based on some of my own experiences.
For 30 years, I have had the opportunity to work as an English teacher for professionals in various occupations. Some of my current students in Japan have careers involving scientific and/or social research. These students speak in English at international conferences (e.g., UAE, Australia, France, etc.) about their research. In order to prepare themselves for such conferences, they like to bring to our one-on-one, hour-long sessions articles in English related to their research.
What do such students want from me? Continue reading
The TESOL President’s Blog
In recent years, several researchers in the ELT field have raised a series of conceptual issues around how we should express our cultures in English (Honna,2005; Byram,2009; Wen, 2013,). As a speaker, should you stick to your own way of thinking? Or should you adapt to the listener’s way of thinking? As a listener, should you impose your own way of thinking on the speaker? Or should you be sensitive to and tolerant of the speaker’s different way of thinking and speaking? Continue reading
As we all know, the Internet provides a wealth of teaching materials, and many of them are free of charge. There are lots of web-based resources that we, writing teachers, can use to help our students become better writers: websites for ESL teachers, online corpora, discussions and forums, just to name a few. I’d like to share another resource—online writing labs, or OWLs, as they are commonly known. Many universities and colleges offer freely accessible OWLs. I often use the OWL hosted by my university (Purdue OWL), and it helps me both in my teaching and in my research. And, of course, I recommend it to my students as well.
Let me share my five favorite OWLs.