The role of the ESL teacher is changing. According to the TESOL’s Implementing the Common Core State Standards for English Learners: The Changing Role of the ESL Teacher, “ESL teachers should be recognized as experts, consultants, and trainers well versed in teaching rigorous academic content to ELs.” What can you do to share your expertise with the classroom teachers in your school?
Here are six strategies that classroom teachers need to learn:
1. Determine content and language objectives for each lesson. Teachers need to learn how to write a content objective for every lesson in language that ELLs can understand. At the end of the lesson, students should be asked if the objective was met. Classroom teachers also need to set language objectives for the ELLs for each lesson. Continue reading
Hello, ESPers worldwide!
In an organizational leadership seminar that I teach at KUIS in Japan, we were looking closely at behavioral-based interview questions in the career guide of a large university in the United States. All of the questions seemed to be asking for examples of “leadership.”
Consider the following nine questions from p. 26 of The Triton Career Guide (2013-2014 Edition) of the University of California, San Diego (UCSD).
- Describe a situation in which you saw a problem and took action to correct it.
- Describe a time when you had to organize a project under a tight timeframe.
- Tell me about a situation in which you used teamwork to solve a problem.
- Give me an example of a time you had to deal with an irate customer/client. Continue reading
I have always associated summers with being outside, somewhere in nature, spending time at a lake, going on a hike, and sitting by a campfire. Since I came to the United States, I have not spent a single summer without going to a national park. There are just so many of them here, and each of them offers unique opportunities for exploring and enjoying the beauty of the nature.
The good news is that thanks to online resources, we can prepare for a trip to a national park well in advance. My favorite website to search for these kinds of experiences is “National Park Service” (www.nps.gov). This website provides a wealth of information not only about activities you can do in the parks, but also a variety of educational materials covering a range of content areas, including history, geology, biology, and culture.
With this rich information, the website can also be an excellent resource for a classroom. Let me share some ideas how you can use this website in your writing class. Continue reading
Back in February, I wrote a post about using a site called News in Levels to help students improve their listening and, to a lesser extent, their reading. That site is really just one of the many sites out there that uses current news events as a starting point for learning. Today, I want to share two more similar sites with you.
Voice of America: Learning English
Voice of America has a site specifically designed for learning English. Like News in Levels, the site has levels, but not every news story has video or audio. If you want students to practice reading, you can use an article with no audio or video content, or choose an article that has one of those available so that students can focus more on their listening skills.
The Game: This classroom game gets your students actively focusing on identifying parts of speech while competing in a fun, interactive environment.
Research Says: Parts of Speech Lingo fits many of the advantages of using games in the ESL classroom: It is “motivating and challenging; it helps sustain effort of learning; it provides language practice in speaking, listening, and reading; and it encourages students to interact and communicate” (Forum Vol. 33, No. 1, Jan.-Mar. 1995, Lee Su Kim). Continue reading
At the NYS TESOL Applied Linguistics Conference at Columbia’s Teachers College earlier this year, much was made of Bloom’s Taxonomy and the importance of giving ESL students ample opportunities to practice “higher order thinking skills” (HOTS).
This caused me to take a fresh look at my own lesson plans to make sure I was including activities that challenged my intermediate-level adult ELLs to sharpen their critical thinking skills. Assured by several presenters at the conference that “ranking” activities promote critical thinking, I took what otherwise might have been a pedestrian discussion topic focused on “What success means to you . . . ” and turned it into a lively HOTS activity. Here’s how: Continue reading
Twelve years ago, I was interested in how collaborative teaching might work for our ESL program. I had read about ESL teachers who were “pushing into” the general education classroom to collaborate with classroom teachers and wanted to see for myself. After meeting with administrators and some classroom teachers, I had the advantage of being able to choose the teacher, the grade level, and the subject area for this experiment. I decided to push into Ms. Parson’s 3rd grade social studies class, where I had a group of intermediate English learners (ELs). Continue reading
Hello, ESPers worldwide!
One-on-one conversations with our students are valuable because we can often learn about their specific needs for English language communication skills. Such needs are not always apparent and not always covered in a particular kind of English class. You have to ask questions to get more details from the students before you can address such needs. (Think of a typical ESP needs analysis on a small scale here.)
Consider the following five conversations that I had with adult learners recently. Continue reading
The TESOL President’s Blog
Who can become a leader for a professional organization? As nonnative-English-speaking (NNES) educators, especially new teachers, many tend to say, “I’m just a graduate student,” or “I’m just a new teacher in the field. How can I take a leadership role with established professionals?”
Let me share a personal story of how I got started. When I was a young graduate student at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE)/University of Toronto in Canada about 29 years ago, my professors encouraged us to attend professional conferences. I remember my first: It was TESOL Ontario’s annual conference. Continue reading
As many of us know, music is a great tool for teaching English. It provides wonderful grammar exercises, opportunities for practicing listening skills, and topics for class discussions. Moreover, reflecting social values, ideologies, daily life, and human relationships, music provides an intercultural component to teaching the language. Music is also a source of authentic language use. Finally, it creates a more pleasant setting in classroom.
Unfortunately, music is rarely used in writing classes. Yet, there are various ways how music can enrich a writing classroom and provide an excellent ground for practicing important writing skills. Continue reading