TESOL 2016 Highlights: Part 1

TESOL 2016 is still in full swing. I’d like to start sharing some highlights, and I’m certain that it will take a few posts to do that.

On Day 1 I attended a session that brought together the Materials Writers and CALL Interest Sections: Creating, Adapting, and Using Content for Mobile Apps. Each presenter on the panel offered a good amount of take-away.

Sandy Wagner of the Defense Language Institute made the important observation that students today are very familiar and comfortable with technology, but that doesn’t mean they know how to use technology for language learning. Teachers can provide guidance.

Nick Robinson of ELT Jam called attention to the nature of vocabulary and how it lends itself to independent study. This perspective took on more meaning once Nick also pointed out that there are more mobile devices than people in the world today! Perhaps we teachers should think more about where vocabulary should be learned. It certainly made me rethink the value of vocabulary resources designed for independent use.

Susan Gaer of Santa Ana College never fails to deliver good recommendations. Her segment focused on how students can use technology to produce content for the classroom. Among several ideas, Susan mentioned the possibility of having students create class quizzes. The process of creating such materials is in itself a learning experience. Susan listed Kahoot!, Socrative, and Quizzizz as possible tools.

Kurtis Foster of Missouri State Univerity added to the list of apps worth checking out. With his students he has used Aurasma and Layar, two augmented reality apps. I appreciated Kurtis’s emphasis on giving students more autonomy. With keen perception he explained how traditional materials tend to push content, whereas mobile apps can create a pull, meaning learners will pull content when they need it.

Thank you to all the presenters for a wonderful session!

Would you like to view full sessions? The CALL IS is webcasting a good number of presentations.
Click for details.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s