Explore the New Pearson ELT eCatalog

ESL16_CAT_CVR1

IMMEDIATE – INTERACTIVE – INFORMATIVE 

These three words describe the new eCatalog from Pearson ELT. This new eCatalog has everything you would expect from a catalog, and so much more! Do you want to know how to use the catalog – click here to watch the video!

What does the fully interactive catalog mean for you?
With just a click of a button, you can:

  • View hundreds of sample units from any level.
  • Listen to podcasts and audio samples.
  • Watch product and author video clips.
  • Search by key word, author, or ISBN.
  • Read articles by Pearson authors.
  • Link to easy online ordering.
  • E-mail your ELT Specialist directly.
  • Share with colleagues by e-mail, Facebook, or Twitter.

Start exploring today! 

Back to the Future: Still More Low-Tech Activities
for a High-Tech Classroom

2013_Heyer_Sandra Sandra Heyer

This is the last article in a four-part series on activities that foster physical activity in the classroom. I titled the series “Back to the Future” because my search for activities led me back to time-tested ones I began using years, even decades ago. At first I balked at reviving them; I confess that the razzle-dazzle of the new technology had a stronger pull on me. But when I saw how enthusiastically my class responded, I had to remind myself that although the interactive activities were old hat to me, they were novel to my students, who were accustomed to a teacher-centered learning environment, one in which they rarely, if ever, got out of their seats.

I chose the activities because they might benefit our physical health, but they may have improved our psychological health as well. I think we all enjoyed periodically taking our attention off the big screen at the front of the room and instead focusing on one another. After all, that people-to-people connection, not gliding desks or a high-tech console, is what makes a class great. It’s what has always mattered—and always will.

In previous newsletters, we took a look at six activities:

  1. The Moving Line
  2. Conversation Stations
  3. Walking Dictation
  4. Find Your Match
  5. Opinion, Please
  6. Line Up According To

Below are the final two activities, Find Someone Who and The One-Question Survey. Continue reading

Teaching Short Stories

Alexandra_LoweAlexandra Lowe
ESL instructor at SUNY Westchester Community College

The following blog post was written by Alexandra Lowe and originally published by TESOL International Association on June 3, 2015. It can also be accessed through the TESOL website.

At the recent TESOL International convention in Toronto, I was privileged to attend an outstanding workshop entitled “10 Tips for Teaching Short Stories” by Sybil Marcus, an inspiring teacher from the University of California, Berkeley. Presenting excerpts from two short stories, she showed us how she uses stories to teach critical thinking skills, style, grammar, and vocabulary, and to lay the groundwork for classroom debates and writing assignments. Sybil’s approach to teaching ESL skills through short stories sounded so compelling to me that I dashed back to my own classroom as soon as the conference was over to try it out.

One of the short stories she showcased in her workshop was Daniel Lyons’ “The Birthday Cake” (.doc). The story features two immigrants—an old, embittered woman from Italy and a young single mother from the Caribbean—who find themselves locked in an unexpected conflict. The story subtly raises challenging issues of attitudes toward immigrants, single parenthood, aging, isolation, and death.

The story was an immediate hit with my high-intermediate, low-advanced students. When we discussed an issue central to the story—whether the old woman was justified in her contemptuous response to the young woman’s plea for a special favor—my students were as bitterly divided as the two protagonists themselves. Even students who were normally shy and reluctant to speak in front of the whole class launched into a passionate debate over the merits of the old woman’s behavior. And what was particularly fascinating was the discovery that the battle lines among my students were drawn in unpredictable ways—students whom I would have expected to sympathize with the plight of the young mother were surprisingly hostile to her.

One bonus of this particular short story is that it is written almost entirely in dialogue, as if it were the script for a short play for three characters (the two women, and a man who finds himself entangled in their conflict).  So, naturally, I put my students into small groups of three and asked them to practice acting out the dialogue. After giving them the opportunity to practice their lines with three different sets of partners, I asked for volunteers to act out the story in front of the whole class. It was one of the highlights of the semester, as some of my shyest students threw themselves into their roles, displaying acting skills and abilities no one would have suspected, while some of the more outspoken students were able to “ad lib” additional theatrical lines for their character. Continue reading

Active Teach: Helping You and Your Students
“See the Language”

SCAD Language Studio ? Professor Christina Cavage, Human Resources headshot, Fall 2013 ? Photography by Stephanie Krell, courtesy of SCAD Christina Cavage

Classroom teaching has evolved during my last 25 years in the classroom.  Our students have changed as well.  Long gone are the days of audiocassette recorders, and overhead projectors. Many classrooms today are outfitted with Smart Boards, smart TVs, and other digital tools. However, due to funding constraints and dated buildings, many classrooms are not fortunate enough to have these tools.  How can you appeal to digital natives, while at the same time work within the constraints of your classroom?

ActiveTeach is the answer. What is ActiveTeach?  ActiveTeach allows teachers to bring the text to life without the worries of a Smart Board. Take a look at this video of my colleague, Elizabeth Holland using the Active Teach for Next Generation Grammar during her class.

Notice how she is able to highlight text to draw more attention to the content. You also have the ability to enlarge, manipulate and annotate. These are great tools for any classroom, and can really appeal to our digital natives.

One great feature is the ability to do exercises from the text, right on your board, through the ActiveTeach.  My students love when I have them come up and complete information within the Student Book via the ActiveTeach. Take a look at the image below. You can see how to select an exercise, and have students complete the answers on the ActiveTeach.

The ActiveTeach also includes all the videos and audio files, as well as some great teaching tips, exercises and games.  Make your grammar come alive!