Problem (Tech) Solved: Vocabulary Drills 1

Tara Arntsen
Tara Arntsen

For part two of this little series I have started, let’s take a look at vocabulary, which I feel quite certain has been learned using the same methods for centuries. I know memorization gets a bad reputation these days, but repeated exposure and studying are still important when it comes to learning new vocabulary words. Neither of these is particularly appealing to most students who probably view repeated exposure as redundant and studying as tedious. Continue reading

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Best Practices in TESOL Leadership: An Interview with Naziha Ali, TESOL Arabia Past President

Sherry Blok
Sherry Blok

Past president of TESOL Arabia (2016–2017) Naziha Ali shares her best practices as a leader in TESOL Arabia and discusses the impact of teacher professional development associations on both teachers and employers. Continue reading

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What is a Seal of Biliteracy and How Does it Promote Bilingualism?

Judie Haynes
Judie Haynes

According to Education Weeks’ Learning the Language Blog,  22 States and the District of Columbia have recognized high school students who have achieved fluency in two or more languages by affixing a Seal of Biliteracy to their high school diploma and/or transcript. This is a movement that began in California in 2012 and has become more prevalent as the number of Dual Language Programs have increased across the United States. Continue reading

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ESP Project Leader Profile: Jie Shi

Kevin Knight
Kevin Knight

Hello, ESPers worldwide!

In the 24th ESP Project Leader Profile, it is my pleasure to introduce you to Professor Jie Shi.  I first met Jie at the 8th International Conference on ESP in Asia and the 3rd International Symposium on Innovative Teaching and Research in ESP in Japan, and I am pleased that she focuses on that event below. Fortunately, we were introduced to each other by former TESOL president, Yilin Sun. Jie is an ESP leader in Japan, as you can see from her bio: Continue reading

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Writing a Dissertation: Tips From Former PhD Students (Part 1)

Elena Shvidko
Elena Shvidko

Thinking back to the beginning of my doctoral studies, I remember having an enormous fear of writing a dissertation. Everything appeared to be intimidating: choosing a topic, collecting data, analyzing and interpreting results, writing chapters, and, of course, defending the complete project. I remember asking my fellow graduate students who were ahead of me in the process about tips and suggestions for writing a dissertation.

I know that I am not alone in my fear and uncertainty, as I often hear graduate students asking the same questions that I once had. So in my next two blogs I’d like to feature six young scholars—second language writers—who have recently graduated with their doctoral degrees from Purdue University and who are now working in various educational contexts both in the United States and abroad. I asked each of them to share their experience in writing a dissertation and provide a piece of advice to current students pursuing their doctoral degrees in the language teaching field. The suggestions from three of them are below, and the other three will be introduced in my next blog. Continue reading

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Problem (Tech) Solved: Comprehension Checks 1

Tara Arntsen
Tara Arntsen

For as long as I have been teaching, I have witnessed a similar pattern occurring time and time again in my various classrooms. Regardless of whether it was 40 Japanese high school students, 20 Chinese university students, or even just 5 ESL students from different countries in my classroom, when a question is posed to the entire class, the comprehensible response comes from just a small portion of students.

Sometimes students who want to answer will raise their hands and wait to be called on, or I may even call on students to answer. Then I have one response. Other times, the whole class more or less answers at the same time, and I have a majority or perhaps simply the loudest response. Sound familiar? The traditional call and response format cannot give educators a clear picture of what each individual student understands. Continue reading

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Corpora in Adult Ed

Robert Sheppard
Rob Sheppard

What Is a Corpus?

Corpse, marine corps, corporation, and corpulent all derive from the Latin word corpus, meaning body. That Latin word corpus also exists, intact, in English, but rather than an anatomical body, it refers to a body of language. A corpus is a large collection of language, traditionally written, but nowadays, corpora (the Latinate plural) of spoken language can be found.

Corpora in Language Teaching

The big benefit of using a corpus is that it’s data driven, and that data is based on actual language usage. It’s pretty much descriptivist heaven.

When a professor was first explaining to me the value of corpus data, he used this example: if asked to define the phrase par for the course, you’ll find “what is normal or expected in any given circumstances.” But if students depend only on definitions like that, from textbooks or dictionaries or teachers, they’re likely to miss some crucial information. Continue reading

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Public School Teachers of ELs: A Look at the Legal Requirements

Judie Haynes
Judie Haynes

I’d like to introduce you to guest blogger Sandy Nahmias. I met Sandy through NJTESOL/NJBE where we are both on the Executive Board. She is an experienced ESL/bilingual teacher who has also been active on projects for WIDA and has consulted with the N.J. Department of Education on numerous projects. Here is Sandy’s blog.

There was recently a query on the NJTESOL/NJBE discussion list in which a participant asked, “Are mainstream teachers with ELLs in their classrooms legally required to modify lessons for them?” I answered the question on the discussion list and would like to elaborate in this blog. Continue reading

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The TESOL Affiliate Speaker Program: Reflecting on the Last 3 Years

Guest Author
Guest Author

A guest post by Luciana C. de Oliveira
In this blog, Luciana de Oliveira reflects on the eight worldwide conferences she’s attended in the past 3 years as a participant in the TESOL Affiliate Speaker Program.

This past March, I ended a 3-year term on the TESOL Board of Directors. Those were a very busy 3 years in my professional life, and among the best in my career. Part of what made them the best was my participation in the TESOL Affiliate Speaker Program. I was invited to and participated in eight conferences led by eight affiliates: Uruguay TESOL (URUTESOL), Louisiana TESOL (LaTESOL), Yakut TESOL, California and Nevada TESOL (CATESOL), North and South Dakota TESL (Dakota TESL), Illinois TESOL (ITBE), Sunshine State TESOL of Florida, and Asociación Costarricense de Profesores de Inglés (ACPI-TESOL). Continue reading

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ESP Project Leader Profile: Philip Chappell

Kevin Knight
Kevin Knight

Hello, ESPers worldwide!

It is my pleasure to introduce Dr. Philip Chappell from Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, where I received my PhD in linguistics. I first met Phil in Tokyo, Japan at a JALT conference where he was head of the Macquarie University Showcase. Phil was also one of the leaders of the TESOL Research Network Colloquium (2015) at the University of Sydney and made it possible for me to present at that conference. (I am very grateful! You can read about my Sydney adventure here.) Phil’s bio highlights his expertise in TESOL: Continue reading

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