A Unique Convergence of Networking, a Great Learning Experience, and Fun-Filled Conversations

Cheryl Casapao Matala
Cheryl Casapao Matala

TESOL Ambassadors are English language professionals and students who have agreed to share their Convention experiences with other attendees. Cheryl Casapao Matala, English Instructor in Manila, the Philippines,  is a 2021 TESOL Ambassador. 

The TESOL International Convention & English Language Expo is one of the most prestigious events worldwide. It is the most awaited convention and language expo, attended by thousands of professionals, particularly English language educators. It is my second time attending the said event. But last year was different from the previous event since the unexpected pandemic occurred. Continue reading

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Writing-Related PD Through MOOCs

Betsy Gilliland
Betsy Gilliland

With summer holidays approaching for many of us in the northern hemisphere, you may be looking for professional development (PD) opportunities to improve your own writing or increase your knowledge of how to teach writing. In most of the world, however, we are still stuck at home and not able to travel to conferences or workshops. In this post, I discuss one form of online PD, MOOCs. Continue reading

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STEM in ELT: 3 Ways to Seal the Leaky STEM Pipeline

Darlyne de Haan
Darlyne de Haan

The “Leaky Pipeline” is a metaphor for students’ disproportionate exit from participation in a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) content area throughout K–12 school and college, resulting in their underrepresentation in STEM careers. Middle and high school English learners (ELs), students of color, and girls—particularly those from low-income families and schools—are disproportionately excluded or dropped from the STEM pipeline at formative moments in their academic trajectories (Lyon et al., 2012).

In this blog series, over the next year, I will discuss how to seal the Leaky STEM Pipeline and steps to increase the low number of ELs entering the STEM fields.

Here are three ways of sealing the Leaky Pipeline: Continue reading

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7 Steps to Increasing Active Spoken Vocabulary

A. C. Kemp
A. C. Kemp

Most students have a much larger passive than active vocabulary, but increasing active spoken vocabulary can be difficult. Though using new words in writing is lower stakes than in speaking, with only peer review partners and the teacher seeing potential errors, speaking is a different story. Students can feel awkward using new words out loud, especially when they are unsure of the meaning, pronunciation, or context.

So how can we help our students to move those words from passive to active use in speaking? A few years ago, I created the Active Language Journal, which has been very successful. I ask students to make a weekly list of words and phrases they already know—but don’t use orally—and use them in conversation, keeping a record of their successes and difficulties. They then share the highlights of their week with classmates, expanding the active vocabularies of their peers as well. Continue reading

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3 TESOL Conventions, 3 Outstanding Experiences

Jorge Torres Almazán
Jorge Torres Almazán

TESOL Ambassadors are English language professionals and students who have agreed to share their Convention experiences with other attendees. Jorge Torres Almazán, EFL teacher in Tamaulipas, Mexico,  is a 2021 TESOL Ambassador. 

Attending a TESOL Convention is one of the goals and dreams for many teachers all around the world. We all know, have read, or heard of the quality of such an event. I have had the opportunity to attend three of them—each of them unique, different, and special. Continue reading

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Creating Interactive Stories With Twine

Jeff Kuhn
Jeff Kuhn

Welcome to another edition of the TESOL Games and Learning Blog! This month I wanted to dive into Twine, a browser-based tool for creating interactive stories. Twine first appeared on the October 2020 Interactive Fiction for Reading, Writing, and Grammar blog post, but its robust set of tools and ease of use make it worth revisiting.

Twine is a fantastic tool to enrich and expand writing assignments, and I highly encourage everyone to check out the research of both Shannon Sauro and Frederik Cornillie on interactive fiction to learn more about how it can benefit your language classroom.

The homepage of Twine describes it as “an open-source tool for telling interactive, nonlinear stories.” Besides being open source (and free), it is also entirely hosted in the user’s web browser, so all the information is stored on the user’s computer and Twine requires no extra software installation. Continue reading

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4 Ways to Celebrate Bilingual/Multilingual Learner Advocacy Month: Start With Names

Judie Haynes
Judie Haynes

In 2016, the U.S. House of Representatives recognized April as the National Bilingual/Multilingual Learner Advocacy Month. Bilingual and multilingual learners are one of the fastest growing student populations in U.S. schools. The number of English learners (ELs) grew 28.1% between the 2000–2001 and the 2016–2017 school years. Currently, ELs represent 9.1% of all K–12 students in the United States.

How can school districts and/or individual teachers celebrate Bilingual/Multilingual Learner Advocacy Month? Names are a great place to start, because they are a huge part of a person’s personal and cultural identity, in particular for students who have immigrated to the United States. Here are four activity ideas for teachers to engage their students in the celebration, beginning with names. Continue reading

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Recent Research Trends in ELT: A Look at TESOL Quarterly

Scott Douglas
Scott Douglas

Part of the work of the TESOL Research Professional Council (RPC) is to identify research trends in teaching English as an additional language. Published research is one area where these trends can be identified, with a review of recently published full-length articles and brief research reports in TESOL Quarterly pointing to topics, contexts, and locations that have been in focus over the past few years. Since the start of 2018, 157 full-length articles and brief research reports have been published in the regular issues of TESOL Quarterly or as online versions of record (i.e., early view). Each of these articles and reports was coded for this blog post, with similar codes gathered together to uncover common trends. Continue reading

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