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?

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

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?

Reading Strategies for Students

Welcome back teachers! Wishing you a great quarter, wherever you may be! Today’s post focuses on reading and reading strategies. A lot of the information in this post is for the higher ESL levels and ERV. I hope some of these are new to you! What are your favorite sites for developing reading skills? Please share them in the comments!

UNC Writing Center  http://writingcenter.unc.edu/esl/resources/academic-reading-strategies/

Grammar  http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/  This site, as indicated by its name, is heavy on the grammar but it also includes composition and writing guides.

Harvard Writing Center http://writingcenter.fas.harvard.edu/

UNSW https://student.unsw.edu.au/effective-reading

University of Victoria Study Zone  http://web2.uvcs.uvic.ca/elc/studyzone/  This site includes timed readings and exercises. Levels start with high beginner.

University of Washington/Bothell  http://www.bothell.washington.edu/wacc/for-students/eslhandbook/reading  This page is geared towards the student, and includes reading and learning strategies.

University of Texas  http://uteach.utexas.edu/sites/default/files/files/SixKeyStrategiesELL.pdf  This site is all about reading strategies, not actual reading practice. Detailed and informative. Would be great for students.

Using English for Academic Purposes.com   http://www.uefap.com/ Go to the site, click on “Reading”.  From there, you’ll  see links on note taking, strategies, efficiency, critical thinking, etc.

English for University  http://englishforuniversity.com/   This site if FULL of info, from reading and writing guides to video and classroom presentations and exercises.

Marshall Educatiohttp://resources.marshalladulteducation.org/reading_skills_home.html  Readings are organized according to level. Each story includes pre-reading and vocabulary.

And lastly, an interesting article about teaching reading, along with teaching tips. https://lincs.ed.gov/readingprofiles/MC_Text_Comprehension.htm

 

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/

What Do YOU Have Planned for Halloween?

Halloween Lessons and Resources

by Sage_Solar attribution 2.0 generic ccby2.0

by Sage_Solar
attribution 2.0 generic ccby2.0

Halloween is next Saturday, and many ESL teachers will include some type of lesson or celebration about the holiday. Here are some links to some of the most popular sites that offer lessons on Halloween. This post just might save you a search or two!

If you are new to teaching ESL, or unfamiliar with Larry Ferlazzo, this might be the first place you want to look. It is filled with links and ideas, from lower level lessons to lessons on metaphors and figurative writing! http://larryferlazzo.edublogs.org/2008/10/05/the-best-websites-for-learning-about-halloween/

This site includes a powerpoint lesson, crossword puzzle, and other writing practice. www.elcivics.com/halloween

http://www.eslflow.com/Halloweenlessons.html

http://bogglesworldesl.com/halloween_worksheets.htm

http://busyteacher.org/3523-spooky-halloween-fun-for-your-esl-class.html

TONS of info and activities! http://www.esolcourses.com/links/halloween-resources.html

Above and beyond the usual vocabulary lessons about Halloween, this blog site has some good suggestions for classroom activities. This information is free, but they also have a paid site with complete lessons. http://blog.esllibrary.com/2010/10/25/10-ideas-for-teaching-halloween-english/

Comprehensive reading and associated comprehension activities about Halloween. http://www.eslholidaylessons.com/10/halloween.html

This site includes games for a Halloween party, but you could adapt some of them for the classroom.

https://www.eflsensei.com/?scategory=45

That should be enough information to get you started on a fantastic Halloween lesson. What are your favorite activities or websites for Halloween?