Another day, another “The Best…” list…..
You might also be interested in:
Here are my choices for The Best Resources, Articles & Blog Posts For Teachers Of ELL’s In 2014 – Part Two:
All My NY Times Posts For English Language Learners – Linked With Descriptions — there are three year’s worth, and there are many of them!
Language Travel Tips: How to Talk to Someone Who Doesn’t Speak Much English is from Slate, and could be a very helpful piece for ALL teachers to read.
Picture Word Inductive Model with Highschool Newcomers by Wendi Pillars is an exceptional step-by-step description of how to use one of my favorite ELL teaching strategies.
I’ve written A LOT about the advantages of inductive over deductive learning, and how I also use both in my classroom (You can see many posts here). The British Council shared a short post that Paul Kaye wrote six years ago that does a great job explaining the difference between inductive and deductive, and he provides a number of practical examples from the language-learning classroom. Check out his article, Presenting New Language.
Here’s an extensive list of excellent classroom activities from The British Council.
Literacy Through Photography for English-Language Learners is from Edutopia.
Unlocking Language for English-Learners is an excellent article at Education Week by Justin Minkel.
Teaching learning strategies to ELLs: What, why, when, how is an excellent article from Multi Briefs.
Making reading communicative is a very good post from The British Council.
Adam Simpson has also written an excellent three-part series on Socratic Circles.
Do you understand? is from TEFL Reflections.
Julie Goldman, the Coordinator of the great WRITE Institute that creates curriculum for English Language Learners, has written an excellent article on “Research-Based Writing Practices For English Language Learners,” which you can download for free here. I’m adding it to The Best Posts On Writing Instruction.
Lizzie Pinard – Course books in the language classroom: friend or foe? is from The British Council.
Core and Quirks has some intriguing ways to diagram verb tenses.
One of my Education Week posts brings together all my pieces posted there from the past three years on teaching English Language Learners — in one place!
Katherine Bilsborough – Taking the stress out of homework: 5 tips and 5 tasks is from The British Council.
To Get Fluent in a New Language, Think in Pictures is from The Wall Street Journal. It might be behind the Journal’s paywall. However, if you do an internet search for the headline and click on it from the search results, you’ll gain access to it. It’s a quirk in how The Journal handles its paywall.
The Disabled Access Friendly Site is for teachers of English Language Learners and “provides teachers with free teaching material that can be used in class, for projects or examination practice, but at the same time stimulates students to put themselves in the shoes of someone with a mobility disability, for a better understanding of their needs and feelings.”
Teaching Academic Content and Literacy to English Learners is a website collecting all the resources, including PowerPoints and materials, from a big conference on this topic in July, 2014.
Information gap activities: what does it take to design a successful task? is from A Different Side Of EFL. I’m adding it to The Best Online Resources For “Information Gap” Activities.
I’ve been posting monthly at Teaching English-British Council on very practical issues related to teaching ELLs.
Getting The Least Motivated Students More Motivated By Working With The Most Motivated is a post about an activity that’s been working quite well in my class this year.
Video: My English Language Learners Did A “One-Sentence Project” explains a lesson I did just before winter break that resulted in this video:
Here’s a video of a simple activity my Beginning ELL students did to learn to tell time in English. They created a poster explaining their daily schedule and then explained to the class and on video. You can see more examples at our class blog.
I learned about the free Shadow Puppet Edu (what appears to be a premium version of the more commercial Shadow Puppet app) through an article in ASCD Educational Leadership, and am very, very impressed. It has a bunch of bells and whistles that I haven’t even explored yet but, at its core, it’s an iPhone/iPad app that lets you pick photos and super-easily (and I do mean easily) lets you add audio narration to each photo and create a slideshow.
Jimmy Fallon from The Tonight Show keeps on playing new games that are perfect for the language-learning classroom, and I’ve posted about quite a few of them.
My extraordinarily talented teacher colleague at our high school, Dana Dusbiber, along with the extraordinarily talented bilingual aide Alma Avalos, teach a class of adult English Language Learners once-a-week at our school in the evening. With support from the University of California at Davis, their students have published a “must-read” book that I’m sure will be a model for ESL classes around the country and the world. And the University has made it available free! You can download an eBook version here. The stories in it are so moving and so well-written. You couldn’t ask for more engaging, and better-written, models for student-writing.
Dreamreader is a new reading site for English Language Learners created by Neil Millington, an English teacher in Japan.
Here’s how he describes it:
There are 25 lessons on the site right now and they cover a variety of topics. I’ll be updating with more free lessons on a regular basis, and by the end of the year I intend to have over 50 free readings on the site. Teachers can have their students read the articles online and do the quizzes or, if they want to use them in their class, they can just download the PDFs and print/copy them. There are also downloadable vocabulary worksheet PDFs that students can use for vocabulary study. The lessons are all graded across a wide range of levels (from beginner through to advanced) and I’ve done my best to develop them by using academic-based criteria (JACET 8000, Flesch Kincaid, etc.) and testing them out with EFL learners. I am planning on adding feedback videos to the site too, and hopefully they will be up and ready next month. I hope that students and teachers will find the site useful.
I’m quite impressed with what he’s done, and I suspect you will be, too….
The Atlantic has published some great pictures at “A Visual History of Kids Being Unimpressed with President Obama.” They’d be perfect to use with English Language Learners to have them talk and write about them.
FluencyTutor For Google is a web app only usable with a Chrome browser that provides a large selection of leveled reading passages that students can read, record, and store on Google Drive. Teachers can then listen at their convenience and correct and note students’ reading fluency. The reading passages provide quite a few supportive features that make them particularly accessible to English Language Learners.
Most of the features are free, but teachers have to pay $99 per year for some “dashboard” services like tracking student progress.
If I was teaching an online class of motivated adult English Language Learners, I could see FluencyTutor’s whole package as an excellent tool.
However, I definitely wouldn’t recommend a classroom teacher using it as a way to track a readers’ progress. I have the same concerns about using it for that as I have about Literably, a web tool in the same vein — having students read to us is as much about building the relationship (if not more so) than getting the data.
On the other hand, though, a site like FluencyTutor could be a super tool for students to practice on their own and compare their reading progress during a school year. It’s less about them tracking exactly how many words they read each minute and more about them seeing how their reading prosody — expressiveness, smoothness — improves. Just having the free features should be enough for accomplishing that goal.
Readers might be interested in three class blogs I maintain for English Language Learners: