Tag Archives: adult education

Grit, Resilience, and Conation in Adult ESOL: Part 2

Robert Sheppard
Robert Sheppard

It was Gatlinburg in mid-July… In the classic country song “A Boy Named Sue,” popularized by Johnny Cash but penned by Shel Silverstein, the titular toughguy roams the west in determined pursuit of his sworn goal: to kill the absentee … Continue reading

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Grit, Resilience, and Conation in Adult ESOL

Robert Sheppard
Robert Sheppard

Two learners, both smart, both with strong extrinsic motivations to learn English, beset by similar adversities: one adapts, persists, overcomes, and emerges that much the stronger. The other becomes frustrated, loses heart, gives up, and ultimately fails to achieve fluency. … Continue reading

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Authentic Text Time in Adult Ed

Robert Sheppard
Robert Sheppard

Adult learners, especially immigrants who have various competing priorities which may take precedence over English, need to see an immediate application for their new language. In many contexts, English can be a luxury; for adult immigrants, it cannot be. As … Continue reading

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Narrowing In on Narrow Input

Robert Sheppard
Robert Sheppard

In this quick post, I want to introduce the concept of narrow input. We’ll go from what to why to how: what it is, why it’s a good idea, and how you can implement it in your classroom. Defining Narrow … Continue reading

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5 Tips for Enriched Vocabulary Presentation

Robert Sheppard
Robert Sheppard

Even in integrated skills courses, we often have some kind of time dedicated expressly to vocabulary. Many of us approach it in a similar way: listing out words on the board, providing definitions and sample sentences for each. In this … Continue reading

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The Positive Effects of Pretesting

Robert Sheppard
Robert Sheppard

Last week, I had the pleasure of attending an exceptional PD workshop in Boston put on by First Literacy. The presenter was Sarah Lynn, and her topic was Brain-Based ESOL Instructional Techniques. It was a fascinating talk, rich with practical, … Continue reading

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In Defense of My Defense of the 5-Paragraph Essay

Robert Sheppard
Robert Sheppard

I posted last month on what I see to be the value of the five-paragraph essay. Though I was responding to another author’s post, I thought I was making a fairly innocuous and common-sense point: basically, don’t throw the baby … Continue reading

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Helping Language Learners Learn How to Learn Language

Robert Sheppard
Robert Sheppard

Last time I posted about orientation in adult ESOL, and it got me thinking about some of the notions that I try to impress upon my students at the very beginning of a course. I’m not just talking about baseline … Continue reading

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Volunteering: A Strategy for Speaking More English

Alexandra Lowe
Alexandra Lowe

For many international and immigrant ESL students, the American tradition of volunteering is an elusive concept. Many immigrant students work long hours at survival jobs and feel they have no time to volunteer. Others who may have an interest in … Continue reading

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Orientation in Adult Ed

Robert Sheppard
Robert Sheppard

If you’re like me, and surely you are, the word orientation still triggers posttraumatic flashbacks to August 2002: trustfalls on the quad when Sharon Yakomoto didn’t catch you when you trustfell to treat the ensuing concussion you had to wear … Continue reading

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