Tips for the ESL Classroom
Blum-Martínez Offers a Strategy to Help English Learners
Cope with the More Complex Language Requirements of the Common
adoption of the Common Core Standards (CCSS) has brought the
issue of complex texts to the forefront. The questions for teachers,
administrators, and teacher educators have become "How
does one revise the curriculum so that complex texts are included
as a part of everyday school life?" and "How does
one teach students to interact with complex texts, particularly
those who are struggling readers?" These questions are
intensified for English learners, who now make up 21% or more
of the public school population, depending on the region or
have been concerned about the slow progress many English learners
have made in their academic careers. While most EL students
were able to communicate socially within a few years of attending
American schools, many were not able to keep up with their English-speaking
companions when it came to more academically complex material.
A look at the teaching practices and materials used with EL
students may help to explain the reasons for the lengthiness
of many ELs' trajectory in the development of more academic
registers of language.
Pictures of Home Make it Harder to Speak a Foreign Language
research shows that merely seeing faces and images that you
associate with home could make speaking in a foreign tongue
more difficult. In a study published in the Proceedings of the
National Academy of Sciences, researchers from Columbia University
and Singapore Management University found that for Chinese students
who'd recently moved to the U.S., seeing several different types
of China-related visual cues measurably reduced their fluency
The researchers explain the results as an example of "frame-switching."
In essence, for the native Chinese speakers still learning English
as a second language, being exposed to faces or images that
they associated with China unconsciously primed them to think
in a Chinese frame of reference. As a result, it took more effort
to speak English-causing them to speak more slowly-and perhaps
made them more likely to "think in" Chinese too, using
literal Chinese linguistic structures instead of translating
into the correct English words.
Language Learners, a Digital Tool that Tries to Find the Right
Turn of Phrase
Karov said she'd often search the web for English phrases to
make sure they were correct before including them in emails
and other documents. Via the web, for example, she'd learn that
"on July" should be "in July" or that "3
millions" should be "3 million." But given her
background in statistical models and natural language processing,
she knew that there should be a less tedious way to perfect
her writing. Now, with her startup Ginger
Software, she's putting algorithms to work to help other
English language learners correct their writing and try to improve
The company says it's mapped one trillion English sentences
on the web. Its "Proofreader" and writing "Coach"
apps have been downloaded three million times. Its coaching
app (Ginger Coach) analyzes a user's written language over time
to identify mistakes and diagnose her biggest areas of weakness.
From there, it provides her with customized lessons intended
to improve those skills.
4 Pillars of the Flipped Classroom
all classrooms are different, there are four critical elements
that successful flipped classrooms have in common, according
to a new report developed by the Flipped Learning Network, George
Mason University, and Pearson's Center for Educator Effectiveness.
The report, "A
Review of Flipped Learning," is designed to guide teachers
and administrators through the concepts of flipped classrooms
and provide definitions and examples of flipped learning in
action.The guide provides references to research supporting
the teaching methods used in flipped classrooms and includes
three case studies focusing on flipped classrooms in action
at the high school and college level.
Learn about English Language and Culture, Help Fight Hunger
is an easy to use site offering multiple choice questions in
the categories of the humanities, math, languague learning,
science, English, chemistry, geography, SAT test preparation.
There are five levels of diffficulty. The upper levels in English
vocabulary and grammar are challenging for advanced students,
who can take advantage of this site to learn outside of the
classroom. Freerice is part of the United Nations World Food
Programme, and for every question answered correctly ten grains
of rice are donated to help end world hunger.
Mastering Pesky Prepositions
Students of all levels tend to be challenged by the correct
use of prepositions. This TESOL resource suggests activities
for practicing prepositions of location. It include a detailed
lesson plan, handouts, classroom extension activities, and homework
Link to resource