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.

Schools, Parents, and Children

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.

http://www.colorincolorado.org/article/tips-parents-parent-teacher-conferences

From Arlington public schools:

http://www.apsva.us/cms/lib2/va01000586/centricity/domain/74/reepcurriculum/FamilyLiteracy/FL_lesson_plans/PT_Conferences_Lesson/PT_Conference_Lesson_Plan.htm

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

Linking Bloom’s Taxonomy and Technology!

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:

  • Remember/Understand
  • Apply
  • Analyze
  • Evaluate
  • Create

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?

Emergencies and Community Places

Welcome back to the Teachers Resources blog. This week we are looking at emergencies:  who to call, what to do, and where to go.  You can also visit http://eslblogs.waketech.edu/esl-civics/ for information and practice for your students.

We are posting links to multiple lessons. You can just “click” and print! These are all time savers!

Accessing Community Services and Reporting Emergencies/Beginner Lesson http://www.eastsideliteracy.org/tutorsupport/ESL/ESL_Emerg.htm

Multi-skills Practice for lower levels: http://www2.issbc.org/janis-esl/subtopicemergencies.html

Simple vocabulary with pictures: 

Calling 911, and emergency vs. non-emergency:

Listening and Reading Practice: http://www.reepworld.org/englishpractice/health/emergencies/index.htm

Discussion Questions and Vocabulary for higher level students:

http://www.tefl.net/esl-lesson-plans/worksheets-topic/Accidents-Emergencies.pdf

Be Prepared for Emergencies!

  • The American Red Cross has pictures of different types of emergencies on one page. Click on the picture and it takes you to an information page on how to prepare for the emergency. This information is excellent and can modified for most levels. Great pictures, safety checklists, and specific recommendations for how to prepare for and deal with all types of emergencies.     http://www.redcross.org/get-help/prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies
  • The United States government also has a comprehensive page on preparing for any kind of emergency. It also includes what to do if a disaster occurs, and how the government may be able to help.     https://www.usa.gov/prepare-for-disasters

Community – Government Buildings

permission creativecommons SA3.0

permission creativecommons SA3.0 BZrca8

In the next few weeks we are going to have some coordinated posts with the Civics and Culture blog! You will get two posts; one will be for students, and the other for the teachers. When teaching your lessons about places around town, prepositions of place, or just strictly “community places” vocabulary, make sure to also check out the Civics and Culture blog. You’ll find practice materials for your students on that site!

Today’s post is about government buildings in Raleigh. Use the links on this site to help plan your lessons. You can also direct students to the Civics and Culture page for additional practice. There are follow-up questions on the site that your students can do as homework if desired.  Here’s the link to the Civics and Culture page:  http://eslblogs.waketech.edu/esl-civics/

Government Buildings in Raleigh:

  • City/town hall-offices for government officials
  • Municipal Building-similar to city/town hall, with many offices and different gov. departments
  • Courthouse-where legal issues are managed, such as criminal and civil trials, marriage, divorce
  • Capitol Building-the governor’s office is located here.
  • Legislative Building-where NC laws are discussed and processed
  • Downtown Raleigh map http://www.ncleg.net/graphics/downtownmap.pdf

List of places to see in Raleigh:  http://www.visitraleigh.com/things-to-do/history/government-buildings/

What are some ways to use this information in your class?

What other ways can you use this information? What do you teach your students about government? Do your students know the government places downtown?

Everyday Conversation: Going to the Post Office

Mailing_LettersElectronic communication is the default mode of communication for many, however “snail mail” is still widely used for lots of things. There are a variety of resources available for both students and teachers. Here are a few of them you can use in the classroom, or with lesson planning.

African American female US Postal Service employee selling stamps to teen girl in post office, Oakland, California

from Wikimedia/photo by Migdale

http://www.englishwithjo.com/english-conversation-the-post-office/

Conversations at the post office:

  • Video
  • Conversation Questions
  • Phrasal Verbs
  • Vocabulary:  nouns, adjectives, and verbs

Additionally, Youtube has some videos that model typical post office conversations.

For a student focused lesson on mailing a letter and using the post office, please go to Beth’s Civics and Community blog and read her “How to Send Mail” post! It’s super informative and has lots of good practice on it!

http://eslblogs.waketech.edu/esl-civics/2016/01/24/how-to-send-mail-in-the-united-states/

What are some ways you can use this material in your class?

Components for Reading Success

permission flickr ekelly89

permission flickr ekelly89

All of our ESL classes are “multilevel”, with some students excelling in literacy, and others in spoken language. Research generally proves that spoken language is more quickly acquired and written English takes much longer. So, with that said, what are some ways to improve reading and writing? What do we need to focus on in our classes? Is it just a matter of more reading? Explicit phonics instruction? Where do you begin with literacy instruction?

To work on reading, multiple experts agree that there are five things to address. They are:

  1. Phonological awareness-understanding that language can be broken into smaller units.
  2. Comprehension-the ability to understand text
  3. Vocabulary-new words to help in reading comprehension
  4. Fluency-ability to read/speak text
  5. Phonics-the relationship between sounds and letters

Differentiated Instruction in the Multilevel Classroom

As you well know, not all students are at the same level in any given class. Therefore, we have to do the best we can to differentiate our instruction and meet the needs of our students. The website www.fcrr.org has some wonderful examples of how to do that. It is geared toward elementary school, but the lessons and differentiation are applicable to our adult classes. Follow the prompts on the left side of the page! www.fcrr.org Florida Center for Reading Research is a wealth of information that includes not only assessment tools, but actual instruction and sequencing for reading instruction. There are step-by-step instructions on differentiated instruction.

 Here’s how to find it:

  1. Click on “How to Differentiate Instruction”. http://www.fcrr.org/assessment/ET/diff/diff.html
  2. Next, select a “grade level”. You will be taken to a sample lesson, presented in step-by-step fashion. You can now customize for your class!

Sources:

http://lrs.ed.uiuc.edu/students/jblanton/read/5essential.htm

http://www.readingrockets.org/article/english-language-learners-and-five-essential-components-reading-instruction

http://www.fcrr.org/assessment/ET/elements/elements.html

http://www.colorincolorado.org/article/reading-101-english-language-learners

Teaching Pronunciation: What should I do?

Thank you to Lisa Uribe Ceciliano for her insight and wisdom about teaching pronunciation! She taught the pronunciation class in the ESL Teacher Certificate Program for many years, and has a depth of knowledge when it comes to the subject. Here’s what she had to say in response to my questions.

What are your top five tips for teaching pronunciation?

  1. Be prepared with on-the-spot mini-lessons
  2. Don’t try to teach 3 hours of non-stop pronunciation – break it up
  3. After your presentation, PUT THE SPEAKING ON THE STUDENTS!!!
  4. Learn about teaching pronunciation so YOU feel comfortable teaching it
  5. Concepts like rate of speech, stress, intonation, rhythm, linking, and reduction are more important than concepts of individual sound clarity

BONUS TIP #1: Shoot for improvement, NOT perfection. Consider comprehensibility in choosing which topics to teach (“does “x” affect comprehensibility?” – if NO, move on; if YES, work on it).

BONUS TIP #2: (For students) speaking faster is not speaking better. Work on rate of speech.

How often should you teach pronunciation?
It should be built in the lesson based on the needs of the class. Some lessons need to be explicitly taught, while others can be covered in a short, mini lesson. It depends on the demographics and needs of the class. Assess their needs and the level of instruction that may be required.

What are your favorite websites for teachers?
http://bogglesworldesl.com/
NCLOR.org
eslblogs.waketech.edu (the WTCC EL Civics blog!)

What books do you recommend for teaching pronunciation?

Gilbert, Judy B. (2005). Clear Speech: Pronunciation and Listening Comprehension in North American English. Cambridge University Press. (ISBN 978-0-521-54354-5)

Baker, Ann. (1990/2008). Pronunciation Pairs: An Introduction to the Sounds of English. Cambridge University Press. (ISBN 0-521-34972-9/ISBN 978-0-521-67808-7)

Hancock, Mark. (1995). Pronunciation Games. Cambridge University Press. (ISBN 978-0-521-46735-3)

Note: I can attest to the usefulness of all these books. Pronunciation Games has activities to address rhythm, stress, intonation, etc. There are activities for almost all levels too! Maggie

Wisdom to share with teachers:
See TIPS ~ especially learn how to teach pronunciation so you feel comfortable with it. We avoid things that make us uncomfortable. Don’t make it up – learn how to teach past tense endings – it’s easier than you think once you know it!

Also, have fun! Use props – feathers, rubber bands, foam, colors, games. Pronunciation has fun props ~ use them!

As a teacher make sure you are comfortable with the concepts! As with any material, once you understand the material and are comfortable with it, the instruction get easier.

Keep an eye (and ear!) out for students “relapsing” – progress is made while “in” the lesson, and then “forgotten” after the lesson, so keeping the awareness and practice going is important.

Final thought:
If you haven’t learned how to teach pronunciation, or if you’re not comfortable with it, take a class (the WTCC Certificate class can be taken by itself), or read up on it before you tackle it in class – just as you would with any other topic. There’s no “mystery” in teaching pronunciation – just understanding the concepts.

Thanks again Lisa for all the information! Super helpful!

In addition to the info from Lisa, here are a few other places you might want to check out:

http://www.cal.org/caelanetwork/resources/pronunciation.html

http://iteslj.org/Techniques/Dalton-Pronunciation.html

A compilation of practice sites:  http://larryferlazzo.edublogs.org/2008/03/31/the-best-websites-for-learning-english-pronunciation/

Help Me Understand the “Green Cards” and Educational Gains!

Let’s say you are a new, or newish teacher, at Wake Tech. Tomorrow is your first class! You’ve prepared a thorough lesson plan that covers all the four skills and includes creative, communicative activities. You even have a brand new pack of markers! You are READY!  With anticipation and excitement, you arrive at your classroom a bit early that first day.  Once you are settled into your class and awaiting the students, the intake folks throw some green cards your way and say “ Have a great class!” Um, um….….huh? If you’re like me, you probably thought, “What are these for? And why do I need them?”  So my dear teachers if any of that sounds a wee bit familiar, then you’re going to love today’s post. It’s all about those green cards, and why, you do, indeed, need them!

First things first.  What happens at registration? Each new student takes both a written and an oral test.  A file is created for each student which includes the following forms:  a permanent record, publicity release, attendance policy agreement, ability to benefit, and a green card. The permanent record includes personal contact information and is also where the student’s test scores are recorded. Now, about those green cards………

They are a tool to help you track your student’s progress. They are another record of test scores, and provide some insight into the student’s personal history and education. It includes the following information:

  1. Name, Address, Phone
  2. Native country and language – Do they know the Roman alphabet?
  3. Number of years of education- Do they have a solid academic background, or are they coming to ESL with limited educational experiences?
  4. Student’s identification number-This is the number that the students use to sign in to class at many of the sites.
  5. Test scores and dates-Both the written and speaking score will be included. You can take a quick glance at the green card to see if the student is making progress, has achieved an educational gain for the year, or when the most recent test was administered.
  6. Class level placement-Each time a student is placed in a class, their level and time of day is noted.

Let’s take a look at our student named RICKY MARTIN.

First test:         7/15/14 Ventures writing test (VW) and Best Plus (B+) test

Date                Lit                    Oral                 Form

7/15/14           50                    420                  VW/B+

9/10/14                                   471                  B+       ( Gain)

RIcky Martin Green Card

A note about educational gains……..The NRS (The National Reporting System for Adult Education is an outcome-based reporting system for the State-administered, federally funded adult education program.). It is the organization that manages and reports educational outcomes in adult ed. As you know, our funding is now predominately determined by educational gains, and not only by the number of students attending class. What that means for us as teachers is that we need to demonstrate to our funders that our students are improving. Students are expected to make an educational gain each program year. An educational gain is when a student goes to a higher NRS level. Let’s look at Ricky Martin’s test results.  Use the NRS chart to evaluate his test results.

Best Plus Score NRS Education Functioning Level
Below 400 Beginning ESL Literacy
401-417 Low  Beginning ESL
418-438 High Beginning ESL
439-472 Low Intermediate ESL
473-506 High Intermediate ESL
507-540 Advanced ESL

5/15/15   Ricky Martin got a Best+ score of 420, which placed him in the “High Beginning ESL” NRS level.

9/20/15   After 80 hours of class, he got a Best+ score of 471. This placed him into the “Low Intermediate ESL” NRS level. This is an example of a “gain”. He has moved up one level within the NRS.

Each student is expected to advance one NRS level every program year. These NRS levels don’t correlate exactly to our class levels, just fyi.

If Ricky Martin had scored 438 on his most recent Best+ test he would NOT have gotten an educational gain.

The next time you look at your students’ green cards, I hope the information makes a little more sense!

In the near future I’ll be reporting on the NRS.

Any questions you have about educational gains, green cards, or the NRS should be put in the COMMENTS section. I look forward to your feedback!