Resources for Educators of DACA Participants September 14, 2017 - On September 5, 2017 the Administration announced the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Below is a list of resources for educators of DACA participants and their families. Five Things You Should Know about DACA Frequently Asked Questions on DACA Termination Frequently Asked Questions and Workplace Rights Mental Health Resources for […]
The High Cost of Misplacing University Students in Intensive English Programs September 13, 2017 - When English communication skills are not thoroughly and accurately assessed, the implications for students, teachers, and Intensive English Program (IEP)/English as a Second Language (ESL) programs are higher than most people realize. It is a topic that has not been sufficiently studied, but when time, resources, and budgets are tight, there is little room for […]
Fast Fiction: Teaching Reading and Critical Thinking August 9, 2017 -   Sybil Marcus In ESL we’re constantly looking for new ways to surprise and engage our students while teaching core language skills. My focus has always been literature—I’ve found it to be the perfect vehicle for combining all the core language skills of reading, speaking, writing, grammar, and vocabulary with lots of critical thinking and the […]
P is for Pronunciation July 6, 2017 -  Dr. Ken Beatty The best gift I ever received was three large boxes of books. My much-older cousin, Donald, was a doctoral student in oceanography and was due to spend the better part of a year far from our homes in Vancouver, Canada, sailing in the Russian arctic. Before he left, he piled about 300 […]
New Insights into Grammar Practice from Cognitive Science June 1, 2017 -   New Insights into Grammar Practice from Cognitive Science By Stacy Hagen Grammar practice, particularly at the sentence level, may bring up associations of rote drills or mindless repetition. As teachers, we’re supposed to focus on activities that are communicative or task-based. Yet, as Dörnyei (2009) points out, communicative language teaching is based on learning […]
Flipping Your Grammar Classes with the Azar-Hagen Grammar Series March 3, 2017 - Geneva Tesh The flipped classroom model is not a new concept for most ESL teachers. We’ve been flipping classes long before it became the latest trend in education, long before we even knew what to call it, understanding intuitively that students will not acquire a language by passively listening to an instructor’s lecture. Flipping the […]
M is for Motivation September 19, 2016 -   Dr. Ken Beatty “Daddy, can I please help take out the garbage?” Now that my sons are teenagers, it’s been a while since I’ve heard requests like that. But when they were young, even the most mundane events and tasks seemed to appeal to them as exciting experiences and learning opportunities. What changed? All children […]
Watch a Video about University Success September 18, 2016 - University Success is a three-strand developmental course designed for English language learners transitioning to mainstream academic environments. A targeted approach focuses on the unique linguistic needs of students while preparing them to achieve academic autonomy. Watch a descriptive video here.  
Transferring Skills for University Success August 24, 2016 -   Robyn Brinks Lockwood, with Sara Davila  The challenge of having a C1-level learner in class may be familiar to many teachers. You have an international student, who, for all intents and purposes, is a highly advanced English speaker who seems perfectly prepared for the challenge of university life. It’s easy to have a conversation, and […]
L is for Listening August 24, 2016 -   Dr. Ken  Beatty How can so much say so little? Quickly skim the following play, Emergency; it’s only a couple hundred words long. 
K is for Keyword May 26, 2016 - Dr. Ken Beatty What do these words have in common? a funny look see and go make the away help me three big here my to blue I not two can in one up come is play we down it red where find jump run yellow for little said you
Tech-Based Feedback May 26, 2016 - Aaron Royer Teachers are constantly searching for ways to build better rapport with students, individualize instruction, and give more effective and personalized feedback. The benefits of using one-to-one conferences to achieve these ends have been well documented. However, as beneficial as it may be, this type of feedback is not always logistically possible due to […]
Literature in ELT: Integrating Literature into Language Learning May 26, 2016 - Sybil Marcus This content first appeared on the TESOL Blog. © TESOL International Association. Reprinted with permission. We’re all wired to enjoy a good story with intriguing plot lines and an individual prose style. So, it’s a pity that many teachers either ignore or are unaware of the creative possibilities that literature offers for language […]
Preparing Intermediate and Advanced Learners for EAP Studies: More than a One-Size-Fits-All Approach March 11, 2016 - Robyn Brinks Lockwood, with Sara Davila   One challenge facing instructors in second language programs today is providing a course that will be challenging and rigorous enough to ensure that students are prepared quickly and appropriately for their content classes at English-speaking universities. Perhaps students will only have one session in an EAP course to […]
N is for Note-taking* March 10, 2016 - Dr. Ken Beatty “Now, remember, don’t tip your hat to another witch unless she tips hers first—you’re still an apprentice. And if you should come across some fellweed, be sure to pick it, but only if it’s the four-leaf variety. The five-leaf kind will rot your fingers.” “Yes, Grandma.” Mason made a mental note not […]
Is Your Content Challenging Your Learners? March 10, 2016 - Sara Davila Learning Without Progress I worked overseas for a number of years in a variety of settings, spending the longest time in Korea with students at almost every point on their language learning journey from kindergarten to university. One thing that was always fascinating to me was how much time learners devoted to language […]
How the International Phonetic Alphabet
Can Help Us Teach Pronunciation
February 4, 2016 - Professor John Caine SUNY, Suffolk Community College How can we teach students to begin mastering the art of pronunciation autonomously? There is a very helpful tool that can be utilized in classrooms, one we may not be familiar with or may not have thought of using: the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). This resource is especially […]
J is for Jokes February 4, 2016 - Dr. Ken Beatty It felt like hours. The joke my student was trying to tell perhaps took no more than three or four minutes, but it involved many clarification moves on my part (“I’m sorry, do you mean …?”) and repair moves on his part, hesitating, saying the wrong word, and then backing up to […]
Picture It: A Drawing-Based Pre-Reading Activity February 4, 2016 -   Sandra Heyer In the last newsletter, I shared drawing tips that make it possible for any teacher, even one as inept at drawing as I am, to convey meaning with simple sketches on the board. In this newsletter, I’ll share some ideas for making drawings the centerpiece of a pre-reading activity. Many textbooks at the […]
Communicating Performance:
What does “intermediate” mean to you?
February 4, 2016 -  Sara Davila A few years ago, one of my colleagues asked to come observe one of my sophomore conversation classes. I’d been talking in the break room about work I was doing to incorporate more collaborative task-based activities with a truncated, or completely eliminated, presentation. Basically, the students walked in, got into their learning teams, […]