Friday, March 28, 2014

TESOL 2014 in Portland, Oregon: Phonics in English Language Learning Contexts

I'm currently attending the TESOL 2014 conference in Portland. It is common each year I attend to recognize "themes" or areas of growing interest based on the presentation topics and the number of attendees drawn to each presentation. One of the popular areas of interest I've noticed at this conference has been phonics as it relates to language competency and enhancing learning in various language skills.

I attended a session yesterday by three TESOL graduate students from Florida State University. They presented on the use of an explicit phonics program over the last year in their Intensive English Program at FSU. I was happy to see that the results of their implementation have been positive.

One of the things they shared in their presentation was their training in the phonics methodology, which training I conducted for them at their campus about a year ago. I was pleased to see how they have retained and implemented the skills and rationale learned at the training. And they did an excellent job presenting their information!

I attended another session this morning in which the presenter discussed the use of phonics instruction to enhance grammar skills--specifically, the use of phonics to inform pronunciation in context of morphology instruction. She shared several activities that she has used in her classroom to reinforce these skills. The session was very well attended and generated much interest in the topic of phonics for English Language Learners.

I also attended a presentation on bottom-up strategies in context of listening. Again, the presentation was well-attended. I am amazed at the interest generated on the topics of phonics, decoding, and bottom-up strategy instruction.

My presentation at TESOL this year falls within the theme of phonics for ELLs and is entitled "Strategies and Tools for Enhancing Literacy Learning and Teacher Training." My handout can be accessed here soon!


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