2 Apps Generating Some Buzz about Assessment

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire, right? So when there’s buzz, there’s likely something worth looking at. At TESOL 2017 one buzzword in the Electronic Village seemed to be formative assessment. Why is it valuable? How can we do it well? Three teachers from Universidad de Los Andes (Trujillo, Venezuela) reviewed the basics during their talk…

Shadow Puppet: A solution for shy speakers

The interesting thing about shadows is that you can’t have them without light. Too little light will leave a room in darkness. Too much light can be blinding. For some ELLs, classroom presentations are the equivalent of standing in the spotlight with no opportunity to retreat to the comforting shadows. But if these reserved students…

TESOL 2017 Highlights: Building Independent Readers

Each visit to the Electronic Village helps me fill my treasure box for teaching. Phil Rice of the University of Delaware put three gems in my box during his talk A Suite of Online Reading Tools to Enable Self-study. Let me share what I learned. Readlang is clever web-app that helps readers with any online text. On…

3 Tips for Writing Online Instructional Posts

Happy New Year to one and all! It’s 2017. How will this year be significant for you? Each year serves a marker in some way. For some, 2017 will be their first year of teaching. For others, it may their twenty-fifth year in the field. As for me, 2017 will mark my tenth year teaching…

Is It Possible to Form Good Study Habits with an App?

My previous post prompted reflection on how good study habits are formed. I shared ideas on long-term change as described by B. J. Fogg in his TEDx talk “Forget Big Change, Start with a Tiny Habit.” In theory, it certainly sounds plausible that a new habit can become automatic if it is closely tied to an…

TESOL Highlights 2016: Part 6

It’s time to post my final set of highlights from the TESOL convention held earlier this month. In Baltimore I felt there was a strong focus on the use of technology in and out of the classroom to support many skills. A number of presenters even outside the Electronic Village addressed the use of e-portfolios. Jeannie Slayton and Cynthia DeRoma…

TESOL 2016 Highlights: Part 4 (Tech Buffet)

TESOL is a bit like an all-you-can-eat buffet. You attend as many sessions as you can, you speak with numerous TESOLers, and your head is full of ideas on the plane ride home. It takes a while to digest everything. But that’s the beauty, isn’t it? The TESOL experience continues upon our return to our desks…

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…

Leveraging Online Tools for Student Engagement and Follow-Up

Many of us use warm-up activities at the start of a lesson. They can be simple or clever in design, and the nature of a warm-up might remain light and fun or become a bit more thought-provoking. The first goal, of course, is to get students thinking in English. We want them to use the language actively,…

TESOL 2015: Why Use a Gamification Platform?

When it comes to education, we all know that technology shouldn’t be used without intention. Sometimes technology can have a coolness factor, but we certainly shouldn’t bring in a device or software simply to make learners say, “Wow.” The technology we choose is supposed to aid us, support our instruction, and facilitate the learning process. There are times…

Creative Use of Word Clouds

Over the weekend I had the pleasure of attending the ITBE’s 41st Annual Convention. I arrived on Friday with just enough time to attend one session. I quickly browsed the offerings (which were very impressive on both days!), and chose “Summarizing and Comprehension Activities for Adult ESL Reading Classes.” What a hot topic! Jeanette Diller…