Wednesday, March 30, 2011

New York City Public Schools Teach Students to Read: Part 2

I spent the last week in New York City following up with administrators, teachers, and students at several public high schools that I visited the first week in January. The purpose of my visit this time around was to discuss the Reading Horizons pilot that is currently being conducted there. I visited one or two public high schools each day, riding the subways to various parts of the city, including Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan, and walking to the historical school buildings (some days in the rain and snow, which added to the adventure). In this blog post, I wanted to provide a snapshot of what I experienced there by including a highlight of each day:

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Reactions to the TESOL Conference 2011 in New Orleans

The Reading Horizons booth at TESOL 2011
The TESOL Conference this year was held in New Orleans March 16-19. I spent much of my time at the Reading Horizons booth--not because I was supposed to, but because I chose to. I enjoy reconnecting with people there, as well as meeting new people, learning about what they do, and discussing their English interests and program needs.

I presented twice at the conference--once on Friday at 11:00am about the Reading Horizons v5 software, and once on Saturday at 10:00am on silent reading fluency rates. Both presentations were a success. I was particularly pleased that I had a good turnout to my presentation on Saturday morning, considering that it was the last day of the conference. One gentleman from Morocco who attended my Saturday session saw me in the conference center later that afternoon and told me how much he enjoyed my presentation and that it was the best presentation he’d been to all week. That was a generous compliment. I captured him on film and included the video below.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

English Teaching and Learning in the Middle East: Part 2

I am on the plane heading back to the States after spending two weeks in the Middle East learning about English needs in this part of the world and sharing the Reading Horizons program with English teachers and administrators. I wanted to document my experiences while they are fresh on my mind and before I head off to my next destination in a couple of days. I learned much about education in the Middle East and specific English learning needs after visiting several schools and talking with students, English teachers, and administrators.

One of the things I value most about traveling, especially traveling abroad, is the opportunity it affords me to meet individuals of various cultural backgrounds who have amazing life stories to share. I am often inspired by the life experiences of those I meet. I likewise value the opportunity I have to share Reading Horizons strategies and watching teachers' reactions to what the program has to offer.

A few highlights of my experience include the following:

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

English Teaching and Learning in the Middle East

The first morning after I landed in Doha, Qatar, I was awakened at 4:30 in the morning to the sound of a Muslim call to prayer over a loud speaker. I awoke a little disoriented, but then was reminded quickly where I was. I was in the Middle East, where I was going to be spending the next two weeks meeting with students, teachers, and administrators to discuss their English needs. I would also be presenting the Reading Horizons program, a phonics-based approach to learning English. I was looking forward to the people I would meet and the opportunity I would have to share these exciting strategies that I have grown to appreciate.