Hello Teachers!! This is our blog! It’s just for instructors! Each month, we will post new information about ESL resources such as websites, new publications, technology in the classroom, worksheets, and creative ideas for use in your classrooms. This blog is also a forum for our ESL curriculum and sample lesson plans.
We’ve added a feature to the Teacher Resources blog that allows you to subscribe to email notifications. This will eventually be available for our other ESL blogs as well: ESL Central, Jobs Opportunities, English, and the Civics/Culture/Community blog.
- Go to the home page of the blog you want to follow: Teacher Resources, Jobs, English, Civics/Culture/Community, or ESL Central.
- Scroll down the right hand column until you reach the subscription box at the end.
- Fill in your name (optional but recommended) and your email.
- Click “Sign me up”.
- You will receive a confirmation email. Open and click the link in the email.
- With every post notification, you will receive a short email with a link to the new post as well as links to unsubscribe or set post notification / category filters.
We recommend you don’t set category filters. New posts to the Teacher Resource Blogs will primarily be a series called “Blog Blasts”, which will have tips and information on how to use the ESL Blogs.
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.
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.
and will display under this menu item:
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!
Click on the link below to find a worksheet about the different courses that WTCC (Wake Tech Community College) offers.
These websites will help you complete the scavenger hunt:
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.
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
Video with recommendations for tipping: http://www.eslvideo.com/esl_video_quiz_high_intermediate.php?id=686
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:
- Teacher uses a variety of instructional methods and activities to meet the needs of all of the students.
- 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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
- networking opportunities
- professional standards
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?
Today’s post focuses on schools, parents, and parent/teacher conferences. The resources in this post address the following topics:
- Types of schools in the USA
- Places in the community (including transportation around town)
- Wake County Public Schools Parent Academy
- Parent/Teacher Conferences
VOA Special English on youtube.com This video gives an overview of the types of schools in the United States. It’s in a “read along” format, with each word highlighted so students get both the audio and visual of the word.
Many Things.com This site includes a drop down list of activities to use with the vocabulary list. You can practice these as a group or individually in a computer lab or with the i-pads.
Types of schools: http://www.manythings.org/vocabulary/lists/c/words.php?f=types_of_schools Also, for more practice about Community Buildings and Places: Schools, go to the Civics and Community Blog at http://eslblogs.waketech.edu/esl-civics/2016/03/20/community-buildings-and-places-education/
MNliteracy.org is a great site for lower level teachers! It has complete lesson plans and worksheets. This link will take you to a lesson on places in the community and transportation. Check out the site for lots of lesson plans! https://mnliteracy.org/sites/default/files/beginning_transportation_week_1_of_2.pdf
Parents and Their Children: Parent Teacher Conferences Students always seem to want information about how to have a successful parent/teacher conference! Here are a few resources to consider, which you can modify for NC.
Parent Toolkit. A comprehensive toolkit for any parent. An ESL teacher could use the information from the toolkit to help prep students for the conference, all the while working on new vocabulary and grammar, not to mention American culture. This document is rich with resources and possibilities. The material is presented by grade level, and includes checklists and questions to ask the teacher. It’s produced by Education Nation and NBC. http://www.parenttoolkit.com/?objectid=CDD7B950-20A0-11E3-8EC10050569A5318
Color in Colorado. Relevant and informative. A complete lesson plan on parent-teacher conferences is included.
From Arlington public schools:
ESL Pod.com Listening practice: dialogue between parent and teacher. For higher level students. https://www.eslpod.com/website/show_podcast.php?issue_id=8720213
Wake County Public Schools Parent Academy. Although this isn’t a place in the community, per se, it’s full of info that our students are interested in. There are workshops “to provide families with strategies that have a positive effect on the education of children”. Information on the site is in both English and Spanish. Super informative! http://www.wcpss.net/parent-academy
Back in1956, Benjamin Bloom, along with other psychologists and educators, created a system of categorizing educational goals. Updated in 2001, this framework, consisting of six categories, has been applied by teachers and college instructors for decades now. It is organized from simple to complex, and concrete to abstract. It helps the teacher see where the student is, and what the expectations are for the next level. Bloom’s can help you, the teacher, write learning objectives and assess student learning.
Now, imagine connecting Bloom’s Taxonomy with modern day apps, websites, and technology! It has been done, and it’s called The Padagogy Wheel! And, it’s a beautiful thing! The Padagogy Wheel links apps/technology to these five categories:
There have been several iterations of the wheel over recent time, so make sure you are reading the most up-to-date version, which is V4.1. Here’s the link (printable poster): http://designingoutcomes.com/moodle/padwheel/padwheelposter.pdf
The creator of the Padagogy Wheel, Allan Carrington, educator, “techie”, and Apple fan, has an informative youtube video that explains the origins and early versions of the wheel.
And lastly, for all things Padagogy, go to The Padagogy Wheelhouse at: http://padagogy.net/?p=324#comment-3587
After you have visited the sites, let me know your thoughts about the Padagogy Wheel! How can it help you?