đź’§Songs as lesson openersđź’§

đź’§FILL IT INđź’§

This is a great opener after the song/chant has been used for several days.

GROUPING: Small group or whole class.

OBJECTIVE: To practice a song/chant


• Copy the song to use with
overhead, on the document camera or on chart paper
• Blank pieces of paper, small Post it Notes or index cards
• Cover up the vocabulary words or grammatical form you are teaching in the song/chant


• Sing/say the song/chant
• Stop at the blanks and have
students fill them in
Happy Teaching! 

ESL & ELD Songs and Chants Volume I SING IT LOUD! SING IT CLEAR!  This 51-page collection of ELD and ESL songs and black lines are perfect for every classroom with second language learners. Open every lesson with a song or chant from this rich collection of ELD based lyrics and watch your students' fluency grow. Volume I includes 22 songs/ chants, lesson ideas and activities that will raise the oral academic language of your students to new heights. The songs and chants are sung to familiar popular songs or the lyrics are used in call backs or chant style tunes. These lyrics provide a compelling way to begin your ELD lesson while targeting complex English Structures. You and your students will enjoy these engaging and memorable lyrics.  Songs and Chants for: Possessive Pronouns Reflexive Pronouns Present Tense Questions Regular Past Tense Verbs Past Tense Questions Present Perfect Prepositions  Language levels included: Beginning Intermediate Advanced

This 51-page collection of ELD and ESL songs and black lines are perfect for every classroom with second language learners. Open every lesson with a song or chant from this rich collection of ELD based lyrics and watch your students’ fluency grow. Volume I includes 22 songs/ chants, lesson ideas and activities that will raise the oral academic language of your students to new heights. The songs and chants are sung to familiar popular songs or the lyrics are used in call backs or chant style tunes. These lyrics provide a compelling way to begin your ELD lesson while targeting complex English Structures. You and your students will enjoy these engaging and memorable lyrics.

Songs and Chants for:
Possessive Pronouns
Reflexive Pronouns
Present Tense Questions
Regular Past Tense Verbs
Past Tense Questions
Present Perfect

Language levels included:

from Fun To Teach ESL – Teaching English as a Second Language http://esleld.blogspot.com/2017/12/songs-as-lesson-openers.html


Tips for TESOL Teachers on ELL Advocacy

This is a guest post by Alpha A. Martínez-Suárez, a doctoral student in the culture, language, and literacy program at the University of Texas at San Antonio. She works as a research scientist for the Academy for Teacher Excellence and volunteers as an advocate for the Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights, helping unaccompanied minors detained by immigration officials. Alpha also serves as board member and chair of the Advocacy Committee for TexTESOL Region II. In this post, she discusses what she learned at the 2017 TESOL Advocacy and Policy Summit.

Alpha A. Martínez-Suárez

This past summer, I attended the TESOL Advocacy and Policy Summit in Washington, D.C. These three days of presentations, conversations, and discussions gave me a better understanding of policies and legislation affecting the English language learners (ELLs) in the United States, the population that we serve and care about. The summit also provided an opportunity to connect with like-minded teachers and administrators from all over the United States, sharing their experiences and ideas. As TESOL professionals, we are already at the forefront of the realities and challenges our students and their families encounter daily, many of which stem from short-sighted legislation, poorly designed programs, a lack of proper local funding, a shortage of prepared teachers, and limited opportunities for teachers’ professional development.

During the three-day summit, participants had the opportunity to review issues regarding funding for federal education programs serving our ELL population and their families. We also had the opportunity to learn about Title III of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and why it is paramount to fully fund it. The conversation also included the need for improved and fully funded professional development for current and future teachers of ELLs. It is important that our teachers and administrators have opportunities to acquire the skills necessary to meet the needs of our country’s ELL population, currently at over 4 million students and counting (National Center for Education Statistics, 2017). As the fastest-growing student population in the country (The Annie E. Casey Foundation, 2015), ELLs will be a majority of the workforce by 2040. Ensuring our ELLs have had quality instruction with culturally, instructionally, and linguistically efficacious teachers could prevent the United States from having the least educated workforce in the last 70 years.

What can you do to better advocate for your ELL students?

  • Be involved in your local TESOL affiliate! Sign up for advocacy opportunities to learn more about legislation, preparedness, and the issues pertaining to your ELL population.
  • Attend the TESOL International Convention and the Advocacy Summit in 2018!
  • Write, call, text, mail, or email your local and state representatives and discuss these topics. For this year’s Policy and Advocacy Summit, the priorities, according to provided documents, are
    • PreK-12 education, English language acquisition, and teacher preparation: Full funding of Titles I, II-A, and IIIof ESSA for FY 2018.
    • Adult Education: Full funding of Title II of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) for FY 2018. WIOA Title II funding allows adult English learners to receive education and workforce training to improve their English language proficiency, which helps families integrate and assist in their children’s educational journeys.
    • International education and cultural exchange programs:  Maintain funding at the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State This bureau manages programs like the Fulbright scholarships and the Office of English Language Programs, which works to foster U.S. policies through cultural exchanges and English language teaching programs abroad.

This summit stressed the importance of passing legislation like the Bar Removal of Individuals Who Dream of Growing Our Economy (BRIDGE) act and Development Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act. Another key piece of policy for ELLs who are K-12 school age is the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which affords temporary protected status to young, undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children, also known as Dreamers. Recently, however, the president chose to end the DACA program effective in March 2018 unless Congress takes action. DACA provides Dreamers with protection from deportation and allows them to continue contributing to the economy by working legally, enrolling in colleges and universities, and paying their fair share of taxes. According to reports from the U.S. National Immigration and Naturalization Services, there are more than 750,000 young people that have benefited from DACA and who actively and positively contribute to U.S. society (American Council on Education, 2017). The U.S. economy and local communities could ultimately benefit from a well-prepared young workforce. Supporting legislation  such as the DREAM Act (and letting your representatives know that you do) is a bipartisan solution that will be beneficial for both the U.S. economy and the communities that these young people serve.

from TESOL Blog http://blog.tesol.org/tips-for-tesol-teachers-on-ell-advocacy/

How to Create More Engaging Conference Presentations

Have you had the experience of attending professional conferences where you experienced death by PowerPoint—a presentation in which the person at the front of the room has too much text on too many slides? Often, the presenter then proceeds to read to the audience everything that is already written on the slides. This can soon become very dull indeed. But what if that presenter is you? How can those of us who find ourselves at the front of the room make our presentations more interesting and engaging to our participants?

Presentation Zen

One step you can take is to make your presentations more visual and less text heavy. Over the past few years, I’ve made a lot of changes in the slides that I use when giving presentations at professional conferences. I try now, whenever possible, to use slides that contain strong images and only a few words.

I find that although our field is largely concerned with literacy and helping our own students read, in general we’re not very literate ourselves when it comes to basic concepts of graphic design.

My approach to presentations has been strongly influenced by a book by Garr Reynolds called Presentation Zen. In his book, Reynolds argues for the following:

  • Use strong images in your presentations
  • Use less text
  • Fill the entire slide with your image; don’t use tiny images here and there.
  • Try to focus on only one idea per slide. It’s better to have a larger number of slides, with just one idea on each one, than to fill your slides with many different ideas.

In a presentation available on SlideShare, Reynolds cites research on the brain by John Medina emphasizing that human listeners have finite attention spans. He points out that the brain is wired to notice change and things that are different. If you change your slides more frequently, that will help keep your audience involved. Medina also states that vision is the strongest of our senses. By using slides that are visually interesting, we help keep people engaged in what we are saying.

Constructing meaning

Of course, much of what we do in our profession is heavily text-based, so this approach won’t work for all presentations, but even if your talk includes lots of text, you can still break things up with occasional photos in between sections. It is fairly easy to find royalty-free images online that you can use in your presentations by giving attribution to the photographer. Be sure that your use of the image isn’t violating anyone’s copyright. Think of the concept that you are trying to get across, then think how that concept might be expressed visually.

For example, when talking about the idea of constructing meaning, you might show a photo of a child working with building blocks. If you are on a panel and you would like to express appreciation to fellow panelists or organizers, you might find an image of someone applauding. To show the idea of developing autonomy in reading, you might display a photo of a child learning to ride a bicycle.

Developing reader autonomy

A drawback, of course, is that image files are often quite large, so a presentation that is full of images is soon going to balloon to an unwieldy file size. To alleviate this problem, you want to optimize your images by reducing the file size. To do this, open the photo using image-processing software such as Photoshop or a similar program that came with your computer. Determine the size (in pixels) of your presentation software.

For example a basic PowerPoint slide is in a 4:3 ratio. That is, the slide is set up horizontally in landscape format, with 4 units across the top and 3 units down. The resolution of most computer screens these days is set at 72 dots per inch (dpi). Your software will let you cut or crop the image to change the shape. For a basic PowerPoint slide, if you set the size to 960 pixels wide by 725 pixels high, the image will fit perfectly on a PowerPoint slide. So you are probably making your image smaller in size by cropping it. Then, when you save it, don’t use the highest resolution, rather, use a medium or medium-high setting. This will further reduce the file size so that your presentation isn’t too large if you choose to email it or post it online.

Adding text over the photo

Once you have optimized your photo and saved it, you can then insert it onto your slide. Use a text box overlay to add text to help explain your concept. Experiment with the location, size, and color of the text to maximize legibility. You may need to slightly darken or lighten the area behind the text to ensure that your words are visible.

In a subsequent blog posting, we’ll look at where to find royalty-free images and how to use them while giving appropriate credit to the copyright holders.

from TESOL Blog http://blog.tesol.org/how-to-create-more-engaging-conference-presentations/

ESP Leader Profile: Sandra Zappa-Hollman

Hello, ESPers worldwide!

In this ESP Project Leader Profile, it is my pleasure to introduce you to Sandra Zappa-Hollman, who was introduced to me by another ESP project leader, Ismaeil Fazel. Her story is an inspiring one of bringing together experts in various disciplines to create a new English for specific academic purposes (ESAP) program for students coming to the University of British Columbia from all over the world.

Sandra Zappa-Hollman, MA and PhD in TESL, is the Director of the Academic English Program at Vantage College, University of British Columbia (UBC), where she is also an assistant professor in the Department of Language and Literacy Education. Before moving to Canada from Argentina, Sandra taught EFL for several years at the elementary, high school, and college levels. She has been working at UBC since 2001, teaching a variety of undergraduate and graduate courses and across programs (teacher education, MA and PhD in TESL, exchange programs for international students, etc.). Her research interests include English for specific academic purposes, academic discourse socialization, second language writing, intercultural competence development, systemic functional grammar, collaborations between language and disciplinary specialists, and integrated language and content instruction. She has published in TESOL Quarterly, The Canadian Modern Language Review, the Encyclopaedia of Applied Linguistics (among others); has presented widely at key international, national and local conferences; and has served as editor of the NNEST Newsletter and is currently on the steering committee of the Second Language Writing IS.

After reading Sandra’s bio, I was reminded that many different TESOL Interest Sections have ESP practitioners and researchers. Sandra discusses her ESAP program development at UBC in her interview responses.

Sandra Zappa-Hollman
Director of the Academic English Program
Vantage College, University of British Columbia

1. Define leadership in your own words.

Leaders are individuals who are in a position to inspire and have influence over others. Yet, being in a leadership role doesn’t automatically turn someone into a good leader. Being effective at it is the result of a process of “becoming.” Among other things, this process requires engaging in sustained critical reflection, gaining self-awareness of one’s strongest and weakest areas, and seeking professional development opportunities in a wide range of aspects related to the responsibilities of the role.

Excelling at leading involves following a set of core values and principles, as well as possessing certain personal attributes that include

  • Having a vision for the program/project one is responsible for, being passionate about it, and being able to communicate this vision to others to provide initial direction and motivation
  • Having a curious, open mind, and recognizing that learning is a lifelong endeavour through observation, interactions, as well as training
  • Fostering respectful, trustworthy relationships with colleagues through promoting and modelling effective collaboration
  • Consulting widely with all stakeholders and taking into account multiple perspectives to make fair, informed decisions
  • Advocating for the rights and needs of others, which assumes deep familiarity with the situational contexts and the individuals one works with

Good leaders are enablers who strive to empower others by recognizing their potential and their contributions, and by pointing to helpful material and human resources. Effective leaders are encouraging and patient, displaying a high degree of adaptability and resourcefulness. Beyond the skills and technical knowledge required, approaching leadership humbly, ethically, with gratitude as well as with a sincere caring disposition for the wellbeing of others (and of oneself) may well be what most significantly contributes to transformative, rewarding leadership.

2. Tell me an ESP project success story. Focus on your communication as a leader in the project. How did you communicate with stakeholders to make that project successful?

The story I would like to share here is fairly recent; in fact, we could say it’s still in progress. The setting is the academic English program at Vantage College, a new academic unit that offers first-year programming for international students at the University of British Columbia, Canada. Our students are enrolled in either a bachelor’s degree in science, arts, management, or engineering. They complete their freshman year at Vantage, where they are provided with an enriched educational experience that includes embedded disciplinary language instruction across the program.

As newly hired director of the academic English programming at Vantage in 2014, my first task was to head the design of discipline-specific language-oriented curriculum and materials for each of the first-year bachelor’s degree program options. Working on a tight timeline and alongside a curriculum manager and another ESAP specialist (a consultant at the time) with expertise in systemic functional linguistics (the language orientation that underpins our curriculum), we interviewed our disciplinary colleagues, examined their instructional materials, and conducted a survey that allowed us to identify the academic and professional skills, genres, and registers in the respective disciplinary areas. This mapping exercise informed the design of the language-oriented curriculum. A materials designer was subsequently hired to create customized sets of lessons for the various adjunct courses paired up with the different disciplinary courses. Almost concurrently to all these developments in programming and materials, I launched the hiring process to build our instructional team, which was to include six full-time ESAP lecturers.

The challenges at the time, as you can imagine, were almost overwhelming: We were all charting new territory; none of us had previously collaborated in such an interdisciplinary environment, where epistemologies, pedagogical approaches, and discourses didn’t always align. Yet despite all this, we managed to establish a very productive relationship in great part due to our shared efforts at understanding each other’s needs and goals. By the time we launched our program – six months after my initial appointment – we had a full team of highly motivated, experienced, and relentless ESAP instructors ready to welcome our first cohort of 188 students from across the world. I would be providing you with a distorted account of “reality” if I said we were fully ready: there were many bumps to overcome and tweaks to make, yet overall our launching year was a great success, and a testament to that are our graduates, who are now about to begin their fourth (for many their graduating) year of undergraduate studies at UBC.

As we begin our fourth year, our program has matured and learned much from the ongoing program evaluation findings, from our regular planning meetings throughout the academic year, our yearly retreats, our in-house professional development sessions, and from the collaborations with our disciplinary colleagues. Our ESAP instructional team, which has since grown to include 14 full-time members, has now engaged in a variety of scholarship of teaching projects and knowledge mobilization activities to report on the innovative pedagogical approaches in our program. I feel extremely grateful and privileged for the opportunity to lead such a fine, dedicated group of colleagues.

Sandra’s interesting account illuminates the value of boundary-spanning leadership for ESP project leaders. How do you span boundaries in your ESP program creation and implementation?

Please feel free to contact Sandra with any questions or comments.

All the best,

from TESOL Blog http://blog.tesol.org/esp-leader-profile-sandra-zappa-hollman/

đź’•Friday freebie!đź’•

Hello Teachers,

Here is another Friday freebie for all of you teaching math in Spanish or wanting to send home Spanish homework!


This is a 26-page unit that has essential math vocabulary to build a foundation of math understanding. You can use it whole class, with second language learners or struggling math students. 
The 15 carefully selected math vocabulary words integrate kid-friendly definitions with rich information about the concept. 

Words included are: poligono, figuras congruentes, simetria, ordenacion, diametro, lineas paralelas, lineas perpendiculares, area, angulos, cilindros, perimetro, rombo, cubo, esfera y cono. 
This Math Game packet includes black line masters to reproduce and use as games and activities.

This package includes: 7 Math Games:
•Match It Up!
•I Know the Word
•Tic Tac Go!
•And the Answer Is!
•Word Association
•A Game of 20 Questions


Also included:
• Flashcard Mania
• Math Games as Homework


Reproducible black lines included in this package:
-activities to send home
-easy to use teacher
-teacher’s guides
-easy game assembly
-variety of games
-complete game boards and game cards
-activity black line masters

Click here to download!

Happy teachingđź’•!
Lori Wolfe

from Fun To Teach ESL – Teaching English as a Second Language http://esleld.blogspot.com/2017/12/friday-freebie.html

How the EFL and ESL Classrooms Differ

This is the final blog in a four-part series on teaching English abroad. This blog will focus on ways in which the EFL classroom differs from teaching in an ESL context.

Homogeneous Classroom
If you choose to teach English abroad, you will likely be facing a group of students who have a similar linguistic and cultural background. Of course, every student will be different, and cultures do not only exist at the national level. Nevertheless, the level of homogeneity may be greater than you would experience teaching ESL. Although this homogeneity may limit your students’ opportunities to engage in traditional cross-cultural interactions, it can have its benefits. Teaching in China, I can sometimes use Mandarin to facilitate teaching in a way that was impossible when I was teaching ESL in the United States (because doing so would have required learning five different languages). I’m also better able to address specific issues of grammatical accuracy because my students often make the same kinds of errors. So, though I love teaching an obviously multicultural group of students, a more homogenous group gives me more time to focus on how my students’ linguistic background can influence their English learning.

Missing Motivation
Another factor that needs to be considered in teaching EFL is motivation. Students may be studying English because it is required by the government or to get a promotion. However, they may have few opportunities to use the language for genuine communication outside their English classes. An ESL setting provides more opportunities to speak English that can motivate even the most reluctant student. In an EFL setting, you will have to create more opportunities outside of class for students to practice English. Providing these opportunities will help motivate them to work on their language skills, especially speaking and listening.

Teaching Culture
When teaching abroad, one final thing to keep in mind is that your perceptions of effective language instruction and classroom culture will likely be different from your host culture. How different will vary. It is important to find out what is expected of you from administrators, fellow teachers, and students. Differing expectations can create a negative impression on all sides. Learn as much as you can from different voices about how teachers should behave, what language teaching methods are most commonly used, how much content is expected to be covered, and the kinds of grades students normally receive.

If you feel very strongly about an expectation, you will need to find a diplomatic way to make a suggestion or change. Do not be surprised, though, if your suggestions are initially ignored. Programs are often unwilling to make many changes for someone who may not even be teaching at the school next year. So learn as much as you can and be prepared to make some adjustments. These challenges can help improve your teaching skills and effectiveness!

So, that’s all for this blog series. For more suggestions, activity ideas, and other insights, check out the latest edition of TESOL Press’s More than a Native Speaker!

The Other Blog Posts in This Series

from TESOL Blog http://blog.tesol.org/how-the-efl-classroom-differs-from-the-esl-classroom/