Thursday, April 26, 2012

Interactive Activities in the ESL Classroom

Here is another guest blog post from the English Skills Learning Center (ESLC) about using interactive activities in the ESL classroom. (Read another guest blog post from the ESLC about using repetition in the classroom here.)

Interactive Activities in the ESL Classroom

Interactive activities should be a part of every class that you teach. They are an opportunity for students to practice what they just learned. Interactive activities are more effective practice than worksheets.   Follow these steps when conducting interactive activities in class:

Explain – Show students the materials that they will be using for the activity and explain the activity. Example: “Now we will practice introductions with other students in the class.”

Demonstrate – Show students how the activity is done. Do the first question on the page together, or call a student up to the front of the classroom and model the activity with them.

Do – Distribute any materials or handouts at this point. This ensures that the students are paying attention to you when you explain and demonstrate the activity. Have students try doing the activity on their own.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Free Online Professional Development for Adult ESOL Educators

I was just introduced to a fantastic free online resource for ESOL professionals. ELL-U is a National Adult English Language Learning Professional Development Network that serves as a free professional development portal for Adult ESOL Educators. Below is an announcement that was distributed through a Listserv that I thought I would include since it provides a clear introduction to current courses, as well as instructions for joining. I just signed up for two study circles myself.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Repetition in the ESL Classroom

I was pleased to have received a series of guest blog posts authored by the English Skills Learning Center (ESLC) in Salt Lake City, Utah. (I've mentioned them in a blog post before here.) I have conducted literacy training for some of their volunteers and staff, and I have been consistently impressed with their efforts to make a difference in the lives of those they serve. To provide a little more background on the ESLC, I've included an introduction from their website:

The English Skills Learning Center provides individualized English instruction to adult refugees and immigrants. Our students speak little or no English, and often are not literate in any language. We train and supervise volunteer tutors who then teach our students twice a week. Instruction is provided at times and locations that are convenient for both the tutor and the student.

We currently tutor students from 34 different countries. We are currently working with over 175 volunteers to serve close to 400 students in the Salt Lake City area.  Our approach focuses on helping our students become better integrated members of American society.

We have operated continuously since 1988, and provide the only free and individualized ESL tutoring program in Salt Lake County, Utah.

The first blog post of this series is about using repetition in the ESL classroom.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Engaging Activities to Teach Sight Words for Improved Reading Fluency

My poster session at TESOL 2012 in Philadelphia went well! I mentioned on my poster session display that my handout would be available on my blog. It is available on the page to the right, and can be accessed here:

I met some very interesting people who stopped by to talk about the poster session presentation content. I had one individual (a faculty member from a college in the mid-west) comment this way: "This poster presentation is so phenomenal. It's so pretty, and eye-catching, and so organized. I was really impressed with that. And also the topic, teaching sight words, is so important because actually, I have this specific chapter I need to teach to my students. So this is a perfect topic, and I was so excited when I found this one. And the presenter prepared the handout so nicely...very informative. Excellent, excellent presentation and poster." (I realize that she was very generous in her praise, by the way.)