Building Vocabulary Through Word Parts: 6 Helpful Websites

Elena Shvidko
Elena Shvidko

Prefixes, suffixes, and roots are very helpful in vocabulary building. If students know the meaning of word parts (especially of Greek and Latin origin), they will more likely be able to understand the meaning of a word in a particular context and increase their vocabulary arsenal.

In my last blog I described seven websites that allow teachers to make vocabulary flashcards and to use a variety of flashcards on different topics. Today I ‘d like to share six websites that could help students build their vocabulary knowledge through prefixes, roots, and suffixes. Some activities can also be used in the classroom. Continue reading

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Elevate Your Mind: Brain Training

Tara Arntsen
Tara Arntsen

Seeing as I do not own a smart device capable of running apps (yet), I do not often have the opportunity to share apps with you, but today I bring you a free app for Apple and Android devices called Elevate, which is meant to improve communication and memory. According to USA Today, Elevate was named Apple’s best free app of 2014 and, before diversifying to include a wide range of exercises, actually began with language learners in mind. It is worth recommending to students for a number of reasons. Continue reading

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Research Matters to TESOL

Deena Boraie
Deena Boraie

I am delighted to announce the completion of TESOL International Association’s 2014 Research Agenda (RA). We hope you will find it of interest and value to you. This RA is the result of the work of a task force consisting of eight leading TESOL professionals who are both researchers and practitioners. The RA was developed on the basis of the expert guidance of the members of the task force as well as extensive consultations with various stakeholders and TESOL members.

Two previous RAs have been produced, the first in 2000 and the second in 2004. This RA, unlike the previous RAs, is accompanied with suggestions on ways to use the agenda and put it into actual practice. This ensures that the new RA is directly relevant to TESOL’s mission of advancing the quality of English language teaching through professional development, research, standards, and advocacy. Continue reading

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Teaching Idioms to Young English Learners

Judie Haynes
Judie Haynes

Well-chosen children’s literature can provide an excellent opportunity to explicitly teach the concept of idiomatic language to young English learners.  Thematic units on friendship or feelings are an especially good way to introduce idioms and tie them to the lesson theme and a children’s book.

Here is a list of “heart idiom”s for these lessons: Continue reading

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Disney Music for Business English Training

Kevin Knight
Kevin Knight

Hello, ESPers worldwide!

How do you get your students to visualize certain business situations when you are in the classroom? For such visualization, I have found Disney’s “Behind the Mic” video of the song “Let It Go” from the movie Frozen to be very helpful in my classes. (Actually, the students learned more from the video than I had intended.) In this TESOL Blog post, I will explain why and how I used the video. In addition, I will explain how the use of the video above led to the use of another related video. Continue reading

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Redefining Communicative Competence and Redesigning ELT in the 21st Century

TESOLConvention2015

Jun Liu will moderate the James E. Alatis Plenary, presented by Drs. Lourdes Ortega and Michael Byram, titled “Redefining Communicative Competence and Redesigning ELT in the 21st Century,” at the TESOL 2015 International Convention & English Language Expo, 8 am, Thursday, 26 March 2015.

2015 keynote_liu-ortega-byram

In the James E. Alatis plenary at TESOL 2015, which features for the first time an interactive format, the moderator (Jun Liu) and the presenters (Michael Byram, Lourdes Ortega) discuss the educational contents for communicative competence in the 21st century. Continue reading

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7 Online Resources for Learning Vocab With Flashcards

Elena Shvidko
Elena Shvidko

One of the most common difficulties that students experience in writing is their lack of vocabulary. Unfortunately, we don’t always have time for vocabulary activities in a writing class. Today I’d like to share a few online resources that can help students learn vocabulary with the use of flashcards. Some of these resources offer premade flashcards on various topics, others help learners produce their own cards, and some have online activities that can help learners study their words in a more efficient—and fun—way. Continue reading

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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

TESOLConvention2015

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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