Another day, another “The Best…” list…..
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Here are my choices for The Best Resources, Articles & Blog Posts For Teachers Of ELL’s In 2014 – So Far:
Helping language learners visualise their linguistic development: growing learning is by Lizzie Pinard. I’m adding it to The Best Posts On Metacognition. She wrote another great post on metacognition and language-learning, and you can find that link within that post. She also shared My top ten learner autonomy and metacognition resources..
I’ve often written about the Picture Word Inductive Model, my favorite teaching strategy for Beginning English Language Learners. I’ve published a post at The British Council with a more detailed explanation on how to use it in the classroom. You might be interested in all my previous posts there, which you can find here.
I’ve written over forty posts for The New York Times that each include a student interactive and teaching ideas for English Language Learners.
Stanford University has released a treasure trove of resources about teaching ELLs.
Six ways teachers can stay energized is another one of my monthly posts at Teaching English at the British Council.
Here’s an excerpt:
Last year, I wrote about a fun game for English Language Learners that I learned from late-night talk show host Jimmy Fallon (see Jimmy Fallon Comes Up With A Great Game For English Language Learners).
Today, I learned another one…
He calls it Word Sneak, and it’s a simple one — two people are given five words that they have to fit into a conversation.
Obviously, it’s very funny the way he uses it in this video clip, but it can also be used a nice interactive exercise for students.
I’m assuming that some other teacher has used this kind of game before so, if you have, and have some good additional suggestions, please leave them in the comments….
I’m adding this idea to The Best Sites To Practice Speaking English, where I’ve also been listing classroom speaking activities.
Good language teachers, as seen through the eyes of teachers and learners is by Adam Simpson. There’s a lot of substance there, and I would label it as a “must-read.”
Drawing Dictations is by Sandy Millin. I’ve started adding all dictation resources to The Best Resources For Learning How To Use The Dictogloss Strategy With English Language Learners.
Teaching mixed ability – some tips is from TEFL Reflections. I’m adding it to The Best Resources On Teaching Multilevel ESL/EFL Classes.
Experimenting with English (Part 2) – Activities for learners to do outside the classroom [26 and counting!] is another excellent post by Lizzie Pinard. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About Homework Issues.
McGraw Hill has a ton of online videos showing ELL teachers in action. I’m adding it to The Best Online Videos Showing ESL/EFL Teachers In The Classroom. Thanks to Judie Haynes for the tip.
ESL/EFL teachers who have been around awhile know of Jason Renshaw, who at one point had what I thought (and continue to think) was the best resource on the Web for ESL teachers — English Raven. Unfortunately, he took it off-line a few years ago, and now describes himself as a “former Tesol teacher, textbook author and web resources developer, now learning designer and elearning developer in higher ed (Open Universities Australia).”
Jason has continued his blog — with a somewhat different focus — and he has fortunately kept his huge archive there on TESOL available. His Open Source English resources, accompanied with his screencasts on how to use them, are a treasure trove.
One of my favorite inventions of his is called a “Sentence Navigator.” A screenshot of one small example is at the top of this post. It’s sort of a complex multiple choice exercise — I use some of the ones Jason produced, I create originals, and also have students make them for their classmates.
Jason explained them in an older article as:
a sentence navigation grid: five slots each containing three words. It will be up to the student to “navigate” this grid in order to build an appropriate answer to the question. The student will do this by circling the correct word in each slot and then referring to the teacher for feedback. Once all of the correct words have been circled, the student will be permitted to write the full answer in the space beneath.
Jason was kind enough to let me upload up two full units of Sentence Navigators to this blog so that any teachers can download them to use in class:
Plus, he sent over a Screencast he had made explaining how to use them:
If you’re not using these already in your classroom, I hope you can start and see how useful they can be…
Play It Again And Again, Sam is from NPR and, I think, may help explain why jazz chants are effective in language instruction.
MusiXmatch is a free Chrome extension that will provide karaoke-style lyrics to most YouTube music videos. It can be used very easily on desktop and mobile devices.
Using songs, and using lyrics karaoke-style, is a longstanding and effective language-learning strategy, and you can read about many of them at The Best Music Websites For Learning English.
You can read more about it at TechCrunch.
The What Works Clearinghouse at the U.S. Department of Education has released an updated Guide for Teaching Academic Content and Literacy to English Learners in Elementary and Middle School.
The recommendations are good ones, and it’s always nice to be able to tell one’s administrator that you’re following the recommendations of the U.S. Department of Education .
Even though they say it’s for elementary and middle school, I think it’s safe to say the ideas make sense in high school, too.
Creating The Conditions For Self-Motivated Students is another of my posts at the British Council Teaching English website. It includes specific suggestions for teaching English Language Learners, but most of what I write there is applicable to all students.
Here’s an interview with Ann Foreman and Paul Braddock, the key people behind the extraordinarily popular and helpful Learning English British Council Facebook page for teachers.
My colleague Katie Hull-Sypnieski and I wrote wrote a lengthy and, if I say so myself , excellent article that has been published by ASCD Educational Leadership.
It’s titled Teaching Argument Writing to ELLs, and it discusses very practical ways to teach writing to Beginning, Intermediate and Advanced English Language Learners — especially in light of the new Common Core Standards. But I think it offers helpful advice even if you’re teaching in a country not using CCSS.
Getting to grips with project based learning and I’m interested in project based learning but I don’t know where to begin! are two good posts by Adam Simpson discussing PBL and English Language Learners. I’m adding them to The Best Sites For Cooperative Learning Ideas.
Four questions to ask before using an Ed Tech tool is yet another one of my posts over at Teaching English-British Council.
Borrowed Words is a net interactive that shows from which languages English has borrowed the most words from during which periods of time.
Activate – Games for Learning American English is from the American English site of the U.S. Department of State. It’s a useful and free downloadable book. I’m adding it to The Best Ideas For Using Games In The ESL/EFL/ELL Classroom. Thanks to Barbara Sakamoto for the tip.
My colleague and co-author, Katie Hull Sypnieski, and I published a post over at Edutopia titled English-Language Learners and Academic Language.
Assessing English language learners is yet another of my posts at The British Council’s TeachingEnglish site.