The Game: Games encourage authentic learning situations, develop enthusiasm, and allow students to envision mastering the content (Barab, Gresalif & Arici, 2009; Gee, 2005). This game, What Is My Occupation? helps students to learn a variety of skills from questioning and listening skills, to higher level thinking and problem solving skills. Along the way, students learn vocabulary while exploring the concept of occupations. Continue reading
If you are teaching English as a second language (ESL) rather than English as a foreign language (EFL), it’s likely that a significant portion of your adult students are currently experiencing some degree of culture shock as a result of their move to an English-speaking country. As Judie Haynes recommends in her recent blog post on this topic, I like to address this issue up front in the first week of class. Doing so allows my adult students to begin to reflect in a safe environment on some of the challenges they are facing as they confront our language and culture. Here’s an activity that helps normalize their feelings of disorientation and homesickness, and that also gets them up out of their seats and talking to each other. Continue reading
Many years ago, teachers in my school started exploring Reading Workshop to teach reading to children in Grades K–5. We attended workshops given at Columbia University and received staff development by members of Lucy Calkins’ Reading and Writing Project. Although English learners (ELs) were not specifically mentioned in early publications about Reading Workshop, I immediately saw the benefit of using it to teaching reading comprehension strategies to ELs. I liked the format of short mini-lessons about comprehension strategies followed by partner or group practice using books that are on the student’s reading level. Continue reading
Hello, ESPers worldwide!
The 2014 Cross-Strait International Conference on English for Specific Purposes (ESP) took place from 3–5 October at Asia University in Taiwan. At that conference, Margaret van Naerssen gave a presentation titled “ESP Can Be A Really Sharp Tool!” In this TESOL Blog post, I will explain the power of ESP that came across to me in her presentation. Continue reading
The concepts of audience and genre tend to be challenging for second language writers. Even when students seem to understand them theoretically, they struggle applying their knowledge to practice. We can help them demystify these concepts through simple classroom activities. Let me share one of them. Continue reading
A Guest Post by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program
The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), part of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), ensures only legitimate international students and exchange visitors gain entry into the United States. SEVP also certifies educational institutions to enroll international students and monitors them for compliance with federal rules and regulations.
The international student community in the United States is vast. On average, one million international students (F and M visa holders) pursue academic or vocational studies in the United States each school term. Additionally, nearly 9,000 schools and programs have been certified by SEVP to enroll international students.
Over a year ago, I wrote about The Flipped Classroom here on the TESOL blog, and I would like to revisit the topic since the flipped classroom has really continued to gain popularity in the past several years. It is really a hot topic and something that many educators are interested in learning more about and even trying out.
One of the most daunting tasks is figuring out how to deliver the content of your course to students at home, and the easiest solution to this is YouTube. YouTube is a great option for sharing content with students because it is free and comes with some really great features. Continue reading
The Game: Clueless is a game that uses many clues to describe a common word. Research supports the use of games to “…motivate learners, promote communicative competence, and to generate fluency” (Forum Vol. 35, No. 4, Oct.-Dec. 1997, M. Martha Lengeling and Casey Malarcher). Clueless does all three. Continue reading
For today’s blog on collaboration, I have collaborated with author and professional development provider Karen Nemeth. Karen is a nationally known expert in early childhood education and dual language learners.
Teachers in many general education classes lecture to impart information to their students. This teaching method prevents English learners (ELs) from benefiting and participating in the content instruction. ELs learn best when they collaborate with classmates to create a product of some kind (Cohen, 1998). Many ELs come from cultures where collaboration is the norm. Collaboration provides rich opportunities for language learning and oral language practice (Kagan 1995). Continue reading
Hello, ESPers worldwide!
A couple of years ago, I heard the following ESP story related to the global financial crisis. An ESPer had been conducting language training in a company when his students asked him to teach them how to communicate bad news. The students explained to the teacher that the shares of stock that they had sold to their client for a pension fund had dropped in value from 100 dollars per share to 7…not to 7 dollars per share but to 7 cents per share! In this TESOL Blog post, I will address the issue of communicating such bad news. Continue reading