Convocation 2017

During our fall Convocation, Ellen Overington and Edith Cowper gave an interesting presentation of the importance of writing in our classes. They discussed that surveys indicated that writing is underutilized and is an area that teachers could focus more on.. 

Please take a look at their presentation here:   Ready to Write 

Introducing the Blog Blast!

ESLBlogsHello ESL Teachers!

The Wake Tech ESL Blogs are a wonderful resource for you and your students.  The Blogs contain links to help students improve their English and navigate everyday life in the U.S.  Please help us “spread the word” to the students and our other teachers!

In this series of blog posts (called the “Blog Blast”), we will tell you all about the ESL Blogs.  Each post will  focus on ONE category (ex: Class/Textbook Resources) of one of our ESL Blogs.

Since each of our categories has many links, only the most popular links will be shown for that category.  Underneath those, you will see links to additional blog “pages”.  If it is a link to a separate blog page, it will start with 3 dots “….”  Click on these to see other related links and websites.

In this first set of Blog Blast posts, we’ll describe the English Language Blog.

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The first category we’ll explain is Class/Textbook Resources, right under the ESL Topic Blogs group.  The Class/Textbook Resources category contains web links to complete ESL student textbooks, online resources/activities from specific textbooks, and key ESL reference books (like dictionaries).

The following are directly tied to textbooks used at our ESL sites:

  • Ventures Arcade link brings you directly to the publisher site where you can choose activities based on textbook level and unit.
  • The Great Writing page links you to activities for  Keith Folse’s series of books.
  • The Side by Side Videos can be used with or without the books. They visually go over specific grammar points in an entertaining way. Students love them.

The Curriculum Lesson Student Sites page can be used to easily access student activities / websites referenced in our Wake Tech Curriculum Lesson Plans.

The Dictionary.com link is a fast, easy way to link to a great dictionary  but the  Online Dictionaries page has several links (many suggested by teachers in one of our convocations). The list can be endless and the bottom section of the page list sites that have even more links.

Lastly, the  More Textbook Links can be useful to you to supplement activities from GrammarLinks  books and  other text books. Please check out the COMPLETE textbook PDF’s in the bottom section. You may be able to make great handouts from some of these.  Some students also want to buy a good textbook and these can save them money and help them study English at home.

The right hand column is the best way to reach the category and links described above.  However screen size is limited on some mobile devices (especially phones) and the right column links are often shown WAY below the blog posts where students can’t find them. We’ve placed a similar set of links for the category on the top menu bar that can be reached via this icon on phones.

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and will display under this menu item:

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If you have any suggestion to add to this link category, feel free to add them via a comment to this post. Thanks and welcome to the ESL Blog Blasts!

 

Scavenger hunt for Wake Tech Courses

Click on the link below to find a worksheet about the different courses that WTCC (Wake Tech Community College) offers.

WEB Scavenger Hunt for WTCC Offerings

These websites will help you complete the scavenger hunt: 

http://www.waketech.edu/programs-courses

http://www.waketech.edu/programs-courses/non-credit

http://www.waketech.edu/programs-courses/non-credit/strengthen-basic-skills/high-school-equivalency-preparation

http://www.waketech.edu/costs-paying-college

https://secure.waketech.edu/eaglesnest/forms/files/tuition-fees.pdf

http://www.waketech.edu/student-services/financial-aid/contact-us

http://www.waketech.edu/student-services/financial-aid

http://www.waketech.edu/student-services/international-students-office

Wake Tech ESL Curriculum & Lesson Plans

We are proud to announce that our entire Wake Tech ESL Curriculum, Levels 1-6, is now available here on the ESL Teachers’ Blog. A huge “thank you” goes out to all the members of the ESL curriculum team, particularly Kim Saunders, for the enormous amount of time and effort that they have spent on this project over the last two years —  and especially to Carrie Cargile, who created all of the Level 4,5,6 lesson plans and initial curriculum for these three levels.

We welcome helpful feedback on this curriculum and the accompanying lesson plans. To leave a comment, idea, question, or suggestion, click on “Leave a comment“. Please reference the specific level, module/unit, strand and lesson plan, if applicable.

To access the entire curriculum, click on “Wake Tech ESL Curriculum” in the blue menu bar, above — or on the specific level, to the right.

Tips? Who and how much?

Tipping is a part of American culture. Most of us know to leave a tip for hair stylists, waiters, massage therapists, pizza delivery people, and valet parking? But, what about other services, such as movers, hotel housekeepers, and take out food? What’s the standard? Who should we tip? Along with vocabulary and grammar in a lesson on tipping, you’ll also be sharing in American culture with your students. Take a look below for lesson plans and resources.

The information here is for teachers. Students can use the link on the Civics/Culture page at http://eslblogs.waketech.edu/esl-civics/2016/05/14/how-much-should-you-tip/

Lesson Plans and Resources for the Classroom

http://www.nc-net.info/ESL/Caldwell/Year_2/Lesson_Plans/CustomaryTip/customarytip-02.php

http://www.newsenglishlessons.com/0907/090712-tipping.html

http://www.uen.org/Lessonplan/preview.cgi?LPid=28735

Video with recommendations for tipping:  http://www.eslvideo.com/esl_video_quiz_high_intermediate.php?id=686

 

Multilevel ESL Classes and Differentiated Instruction

Students come into our classrooms with varied levels of knowledge, experience, and motivation. With differentiated instruction, the teacher plans and carries out varied levels of instruction in response to this variety of needs.

What is Differentiated Instruction?

And, for those who want to read a little more, here’s an interview with one of the “gurus” of DI, Carol Ann Tomlinson.  http://www.edweek.org/tsb/articles/2008/09/10/01tomlinson.h02.html

Much of the research and information about differentiated instruction centers around K-12 education. However, many of the recommendations are applicable to the adult ESL classroom.

In summary, there are two key points about differentiated instruction:

  1. Teacher uses a variety of instructional methods and activities to meet the needs of all of the students.
  2. Teacher uses a variety of assessments to evaluate knowledge, instruction, and learning.

Here are some links that include academic research, classroom strategies, and approaches, specific to ESL.

http://iteslj.org/Techniques/DelliCarpini-RoundRobin.html  (w/lesson plan idea)

http://www.teachers.ab.ca/SiteCollectionDocuments/ATA/Publications/Specialist-Councils/ESL-3-5%20Differentiating%20Instruction.pdf

http://www.colorincolorado.org/article/differentiated-instruction-english-language-learners

This link has specific recommendations for differentiated instruction in the classroom. Although it is geared toward K-12 education, the activities and ideas are applicable to the adult classroom.

http://www.teachersfirst.com/content/esl/adaptstrat.cfm#readlit

The Core Tenets of Differentiated Instruction https://www.amle.org/BrowsebyTopic/WhatsNew/WNDet/TabId/270/ArtMID/888/ArticleID/350/Differentiating-Instruction-for-ELLs.aspx

Differentiated Instruction for the English Language Learner: Strategies for the Secondary Teacher http://journals.library.wisc.edu/index.php/wej/article/viewFile/378/479

This article obviously is targeted towards  the secondary level teacher, but there are many strategies included here that apply to adult learners. It includes specific examples of differentiated activities.

More learning strategies.. https://elt-resourceful.com/2012/02/17/ideas-for-providing-differentiation-that-dont-involve-writing-different-materials-and-a-different-plan-for-each-student-in-the-class-2/

Differentiating Reading and Writing Strategies for the Classroom

  • shorten a lengthy text
  • Provide visuals along with the text
  • Simplify text
  • Write words instead of complete sentences
  • Write a fewer number of sentences
  • Create an illustration to demonstrate comprehension
  • Use a word bank for cloze activities
  • For a dictation activity, (lower level), have students write the beginning letter of the word, while the higher level students write the complete word

 Differentiated Learning Stations

  • Open ended activity. Example: Students draw a picture to illustrate a story. Beginners can write key words, other students can write sentences. The video demonstrates using thought bubbles for this activity.
  • From simple to complex. For example, in the Memory Game, the higher students use vocabulary words, while the beginner students use pictures and letters.
  • Students choose the activity.

 

Food Idioms–Lesson Plans and Videos

Today’s post is about food idioms. It focuses on materials you can use in the classroom for some of the common food idioms that we use in the United States. It is structured to be used in combination with the food idioms post on the English Language blog (http://eslblogs.waketech.edu/esl-english/)which has information and practice for students! Use them together and save lesson planning time! Scroll to the bottom of the page to find quizzes.

Lesson Plans

http://www.visualthesaurus.com/cm/lessons/learning-idioms-in-esl/ This lesson plan is not specific to just food idioms, but you can follow it and use the idioms of your choice.

http://www.educationworld.com/a_lesson/dailylp/dailylp/dailylp064.shtml

Video #1

Butter someone up – be extra nice to get someone to do something

Take it with a (pinch) of sale – be careful, don’t believe everything you are hearing

A piece of cake – easy

Go pear shaped — get fat

Not my cup of tea – something you don’t like

Video #2

Take the cake – be #1

A bag egg – be a bad person

A big cheese – a leader or important person

Bread and butter – basic necessities

Cool as a cucumber – to be calm and relaxed

Cup of tea – enjoy it, like something

A hard nut to crack – to be difficult to understand or figure out

Out to lunch – be crazy or mad

Apple of my eye – someone you like very much

Couch potato – lazy person

A piece of cake – easy

Spill the beans – reveal a secret

Take something with a grain of salt – believe only part of something

Have a bun in the oven – to be pregnant

To butter someone up – be extra nice to someone for personal benefit

One smart cookie – very intelligent

List of even more idioms in chart form: https://www.englishclub.com/vocabulary/idioms-food.htm

Quiz about food idioms:  https://www.englishclub.com/vocabulary/idioms-food-quiz.htm

Practice using idioms:  http://a4esl.org/q/h/id-lb-food.html  Students read the sentence and select the correct word/idiom from the drop down box.

Professional Organizations for ESL Teachers

In celebration of the TESOL Convention in Baltimore, MD this year, I thought it would be interesting to highlight some of the professional organizations that serve ESL teachers. TThere are quite a few of them, each with a special niche in education.

What do these organizations do? They work to provide information and services related to:

  • professional development
  • advocacy
  • networking opportunities
  • employment
  • professional standards
  • research
  • policy

Organizations:

http://www.tesol.org/     Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages

Its mission is “enhancing the quality of English language teaching through professional development, research, standards, and advocacy. Every year they sponsor an international conference with key speakers, workshops, and trade shows.”

http://www.cal.org/caela/  The Center for Adult English Language Acquisition was created to help states support their adult English language learners.

www.cal.org     The Center for Applied Linguistics’ mission is to” promote language learning and cultural understanding by servicing as a trusted source for research, resources and policy analysis.”

http://www.ncte.org/     National Council of Teachers of English is “devoted to improving the teaching and learning of English and the language arts at all levels of education.”

http://www.nabe.org/     The National Association of Bilingual Education is “a non-profit membership organization that works to advocate for educational equity and excellence for bilingual/multilingual students in a global society.”

http://carolinatesol.shuttlepod.org/     Carolina TESOL “is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to improve the quality of education for English language learners and to promote effective intercultural communication and understanding.”

What professional organizations are you a member of, and why?