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

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?

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

 

Refugee Organizations

Our classes include students from all over the globe. With an increasing number of refugee students entering our program, I thought it might be a good idea to shed some light on the facts about displaced persons, what resources are available for them, and what organizations facilitate their settlement. At the end of the post are resources for local refugee resettlement organizations. Like most non-profit organizations, they are in need of donations and volunteers.

The refugee crisis that has erupted around the world has been a mounting problem for some time now. Every year numerous organizations publish status reports on the state of the world’s displaced persons. In June 2015, The UN’s Refugee Agency UNHCR published their annual analysis of global forced displacement, revealing shocking numbers of people who have been forced to flee their homes. Here are just a few of the facts that emerged from the report:

  1. In 2014, global displacement reached historic levels: 59.5 million people were forced to flee their homes: roughly the same number of people in Britain. If these people made up their own country, it would be the 24th largest nation in the world.
  1. In 2014 alone, 8.3 million people were forced to flee: the highest annual increase on record.
  1. That means that 42,500 people were forced to leave their homes every daybecause of conflict or persecution.
  1. Of these people, 19.5 million are refugees, 1.8 million are asylum seekers and 38.2 million were internally displaced within their own country.
  1. 86% of the world’s refugees are hosted by developing countries.
  1. More than half (53%) of the world’s refugees are from just three countries: Syria, Afghanistan and Somalia. The largest source of the world’s refugees is Syria. One in five displaced persons is from Syria.
  1. The top 5 host countries for refugees are:
    • Turkey
    • Pakistan
    • Lebanon
    • Iran
    • Ethiopia
  1. More than half of the world’s refugees are children(51%): the highest figure in over a decade.
  2. In 2014, 34,300 asylum claims were made by unaccompanied children: the highest number since records began.Most of the children were Afghan, Eritrean, Syrian or Somali.

Organizations that Advocate, Educate, and Provide Services

International Office of Migration. http://www.iom.int/

IOM is committed to the principle that humane and orderly migration benefits migrants and society. As the leading international organization for migration, IOM acts with its partners in the international community to:

  • Assist in meeting the growing operational challenges of migration management.
  • Advance understanding of migration issues.
  • Encourage social and economic development through migration.
  • Uphold the human dignity and well-being of migrants.

UNHCR. The UN Refugee Agency. http://www.unhcr.org/cgi-bin/texis/vtx/home

UNHCR is “United Nations High Commission on Refugees”. www.unhcr.org They are probably the most well known organization that provides assistance to refugees, but they also do much more:

  • Advocacy
  • Alternatives to Camps
  • Asylum and Migration
  • Capacity Building
  • Durable Solutions
  • Emergency Response
  • Climate Change
  • Assistance

US Committee for Refugees and Migrants.  http://www.refugees.org/  This organization focuses its efforts in the following areas:

  • Refugee resettlement
  • Human trafficking
  • Advocacy
  • Migrant Children

USCRI North Carolina http://www.refugees.org/about-us/where-we-work/north-carolina/

Refugees International.  http://www.refugeesinternational.org/  Refugees International (RI) advocates for lifesaving protection and assistance for displaced people and promotes solutions to displacement crises. We shine a light on the real problems, and make recommendations to policy makers at the highest levels that help shape the response to those in need.

International Rescue Committee.  www.rescue.org
The International Rescue Committee responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises, helping to restore health, safety, education, economic well being, and power to people devastated by conflict and disaster.

Organization for Refuge, Asylum & Migration  http://www.oraminternational.org/en/  ORAM is the only international organization devoted solely to advocating on behalf of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) refugees fleeing persecution due to sexual orientation or gender identity.

Local Refugee Resettlement Agencies

  1. Lutheran Services (Raleigh) http://www.lscarolinas.net/services-for-refugees/refugee-resettlement/
  2. Church World Service (Durham) http://cwsrdu.org/
  3. USCRI (Downtown Raleigh) http://www.refugees.org/about-us/where-we-work/north-carolina/?referrer=https://www.google.com/
  4. World Relief (Durham) http://worldrelief.org/page.aspx?pid=192
  5. North Carolina African Services Coalition (Greensboro) http://ascafrica.org/

How can you help?

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