Hello everyone!Here is this weeks freebie!The 3 Sounds of “ed” Past Tense freebie Verb…

Hello everyone!
Here is this weeks freebie!
The 3 Sounds of "ed" Past Tense freebie Verb Game  This fun and effective freebie grammar game, The 3 sounds of "ed" Past Tense Verbs games and grammar activities are engaging and enjoyable ways for children to practice using The 3 Sounds of "ed" Past Tense Verbs.  This free game packet contains some of the great games/activities found in our original game packet.  This package consists of : *GAME BOARD *GAME CARDS *WORD CARDS *NUMBER CARDS  These grammar based games with lesson plans and activities give students the opportunity to practice English vocabulary and language skills in a fun and relaxing setting. As students play these engaging games they naturally transfer skills they learn in class!  Please follow us!

This fun and effective freebie grammar game, The 3 sounds of “ed” Past Tense Verbs games and grammar activities are engaging and enjoyable ways for children to practice using The 3 Sounds of “ed” Past Tense Verbs.

This free game packet contains some of the great games/activities found in our original game packet.

This package consists of :

These grammar based games with lesson plans and activities give students the opportunity to practice English vocabulary and language skills in a fun and relaxing setting. As students play these engaging games they naturally transfer skills they learn in class!

Click here to get your freebie!  Please follow us and rate this product!

Happy Teaching!

from Fun To Teach ESL – Teaching English as a Second Language http://ift.tt/1HR0vVa


ELs With Special Needs: Combining Language Goals With Learning Strategies

EL teachers know about the many factors that can affect language acquisition, ranging from how to deal with culture shock to how to simplify grade-level readings without compromising the message. But every now and then, we encounter students who simply can’t comprehend or produce language well—in either English or their native language—until we realize it’s time to call the special education department for an assessment. And, sometimes, we’re lucky enough to have an individualized education program (IEP) already written for us that gives us some guidance on how to adapt our lessons.

Too often, though, the language needs of our students get less respect than the special education plans (Balderrama & Diaz-Rico, 2005). We often must become advocates in the IEP meetings to clarify how many of the concerns relate back to the language learning process. The ultimate goal is to have our students placed in the least restrictive setting possible while receiving comprehensible input to promote language acquisition.

Students should ideally be assessed for special needs in both English and their native languages (Echevarria & Graves, 2011). A skilled interpreter can help you learn more about the students’ backgrounds, explaining to the parents why such interventions are necessary. It’s especially important for the interpreter to demonstrate cultural sensitivity because concepts from American education may not translate easily into other languages (Robertson, 2007).

After reviewing the data to determine the students’ needs and language levels, it’s time to offer our input on the plan. For us, outcomes are often more important than the process (Echevarria & Graves, 2011). We need to show what language growth and development looks like so the adaptations can target the skills for progress. Many techniques that apply to native speakers, such as extended time, more images, and real-life examples, can also help our students move forward.

Outcomes are the main focus here, so everyone needs to know what the student must be able to do to show proficiency. Many states have clear standards to show what language progression looks like by skills, such as the ability to find a main idea in a speech or compare and contrast points of view, to demonstrate strong comprehension and expression of language. Something like that in the IEP can give other teachers ideas of what the adaptions look like when delivering lessons or offering tests, which should make it more clear what they can do to help the students.

It’s up to each ELL specialist and special education department to determine how formal this process is, but as long as everyone—including the students and their parents—understand the goals you’re ready to move forward. If the student meets these outcomes by the next IEP meeting, you have measured progress. If not, you have a better idea of the students’ capabilities and can re-assess the necessary adaptations.

Work Cited
Balderrama, M. V., & Diaz-Rico, L. T. (2005). Teaching performance expectation for educating English learners. Boston: Pearson.

Echevarria, J., & Graves, A. (2011). Sheltered content instruction: Teaching English learners with diverse abilities (4th edition). Boston: Pearson.

Robertson, K. (2007). How to address special education needs in the ELL classroom. Retrieved from http://ift.tt/1BsmFWj.

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Google+ Education: Part 6

It has been quite a while since I last posted something about Google+ and its educational uses, so allow me to present Google Keep. Google Keep is for saving notes, checklists, photos, and even voice memos either via the website or app. It may not be specifically designed for education but is another neat thing to add to our teacher toolboxes. Let me explain how and why.

Getting started online is a breeze since you do not even have to register if you have a Google+ account. If you do not have a Google+ account, you are missing out on this and a lot of other resources, so take a moment to register. Google Keep is completely free and automatically syncs across multiple devices in addition to saving everything to Google Drive. To get started with the app, install it on your device and either register or sign in.

Google Keep is very simple and easy to use making it the perfect tool for people, like me, who often have a million little paper notes scattered about. Using an internet browser, you can save notes, lists, and photos. With the app, you can do even more including creating voice memos that automatically save both the initial audio clip as well as a transcription. With either platform, you can add location and/or time reminders. Have you ever gone home for the day and then remembered that you have to do something first thing in the morning? With the Google Keep app, you can save a voice memo and then add a location, school, to get reminded automatically when you get into work the next morning. Cool, right?

Even though there are a lot of programs out there for note-taking, I would recommend trying this one out. In an earlier post, I recommended Evernote for the same purpose and even though Evernote and Google Keep are both designed to save notes, they are vastly different. You just need to determine which one best suits your needs or use multiple programs for different purposes. While I like Evernote for some tasks, it is, in my opinion, overly complex for my basic day to day notes, while Google Keep has the potential to help me completely clear my desk of Post-it Notes.

As awesome as it is, I was surprised to discover that Google Keep has been around for over two years already and very few people seem to have heard of it. Have you tried it out? What do you use to stay organized? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below.

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Tuesday Tongue Twisters

Hello everyone,

It is time again for Tuesday’s Tongue Twisters!  Pronunciation can be a


challenge for second language learners.  A fun lesson to increase accuracy is to practice an assortment of tongue twisters.  Tongue Twisters lower the affective filter of English language learners and kids of all ages love to practice the sing-songy fun of a great tongue twisters.


  • Inchworms itching
  • Rubber baby buggy bumpers


  • Green glass globes glow greenly
  • Toyboat, toyboat, toyboat, toyboat


  •  Round and round the rugged rock the ragged rascal ran.
  • How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?
    A woodchuck would chuck  as much wood as a woodchuck could chuck, if a woodchuck could chuck wood!

Tongue twisters are fun and engaging for young English learners.  They are also culturally significant and native speakers of English are always willing to join in the fun of this challenging practice.

Click here to download our freebie sample of Tongue Twisters!

If you want the full version of our Tongue Twisters product, Click Here!

Tongue Twisters Pronunciation Made Fun!  This 48-page pronunciation unit has everything you need to teach students the correct pronunciation necessary to be academically successful in English. Tongue Twisters – Pronunciation Made Fun contains 30 traditional tongue twisters to help elementary students master English pronunciation!  Wall posters and game cards are provided for your students to practice the sounds of English with these engaging tongue twisters.   In addition, our activities and ideas provide fun and interest so your students learn through hands-on experiences. This unit is ready to go to work for you! Tongue Twisters – Pronunciation Made Fun has everything you need to teach students the correct pronunciation including black lines for the 30 traditional tongue twisters as wall posters, game/mobile cards and game boards Each of the 30 tongue twisters has its own wall poster and game card.  Practice English pronunciation with fun activities and game boards.  •WORD WALL CARDS •GAME BOARDS •GAME CARDS  Each tongue twister is printed on an individual wall poster (8 x 11 ½) and game/flash card. Simply copy, cut, and use.  Use this great English pronunciation package for kindergarten through 6th graders.  Perfect for second language learners and speech students!  See all our great math and grammar games at www.funtoteach.com.

What are some of your hardest tongue twisters?

Happy Teaching!

from Fun To Teach ESL – Teaching English as a Second Language http://ift.tt/1LC0N02

Options in Classroom Self-Assessment

Why Self-Assessment?

I’ll be honest: It took me a while to come around to the notion of self-assessment. All I could picture was my sneeringly too-cool high-school self giving my apathetically underachieving high school self A+ after unearned A+.

Can we really trust students to assess themselves? Is a student’s assessment of her own progress or performance reliable? Is it valid? If reliability and validity aren’t guaranteed, then what’s the point? These are important questions to ask, but as long as we think of assessment not just as a tool for bureaucracy and accountability but as an opportunity to empower our learners, and as long as we keep an eye to its limits and its role in a broader assessment system, then such self-assessment is most certainly a worthy undertaking.

The benefits of self-assessment are numerous and widely attested. The most compelling of these are affective: greater learner autonomy, a sense of empowerment, boosted confidence, an increased sense of responsibility, and stronger motivation number among them. Many of these affective effects are tied to secondary benefits, such as increased attendance and persistence. Another plus is the transparency that comes with self-assessment (especially rubrics, discussed below); students understand the criteria on which they are being scored. Involving students in assessment is also a language-learning opportunity in itself because it requires language that students might otherwise not have an opportunity to use. This includes developing metalanguage (“I used the wrong article before the noun”) and nuanced evaluative language (“My paragraph was good, but it would have been stronger with more supporting details”).

Direct and Indirect Measures

Before moving on to individual methods of self-assessment, it’s a good idea to review the distinction between direct and indirect assessment, which comes into play when choosing the method best suited to your needs.

Speaking and writing, the productive skills, can be assessed directly. That is, if we want to assess writing, we can simply look at a piece of student writing. On the other hand, listening or reading comprehension occur inside the head, so barring electrodes or something similarly invasive, we’re stuck with indirect measures and the validity issues attendant thereto. We might assume, for instance, that underlining the main idea is an indicator of reading comprehension, but many students have simply learned tricks for identifying the main idea without actually comprehending the paragraph.

When we as instructors test the receptive skills, we need to take extra care to ensure that we’re assessing what we think we’re assessing. This is even more important when we turn the task of assessment over to students. Some self-assessment techniques are generally better suited to productive skills, and others work for both productive and receptive skills.


Portfolios are a strong option for ongoing self-assessment. A portfolio is generally made up of a collection of student work curated by the student to show their progress over a period of time. Another common component is a commentary composed by the student, reflecting on their work and progress. Although writing is the skill that most readily lends itself to this form, we can also incorporate written responses to reading and listening tasks into portfolios.

For a long time, speaking portfolios were a comically impractical undertaking on par with having your entire class make a mixtape Ă  la 1986. But emerging technologies make them an increasingly viable option. I recently ran a small pilot of speaking portfolios using SoundCloud, with some promising results.


Scoring scales, or rubrics, can be an excellent way to introduce self-assessment while controlling for reliability. Who among us hasn’t, in our own studenthood, composed an academic masterwork, anxiously skimmed the professor’s vaguely positive marginalia, only to be puzzled and frustrated by a lackluster letter grade at the end? Surely we sometimes overestimate our own work, but there are also certainly times when grades are influenced as much by the content of the work as by the teacher’s moods or whims or the state of his digestion. Rubrics help both teachers and students by tethering scores to sets of observable characteristics.

Again, rubrics are well-suited to the productive skills, but they can also add reliability to certain tasks meant to measure receptive skills such as response to TED talks or summaries of news articles.

Keep an eye out for future posts on how to design your own scoring rubrics!

Can-Do Inventories

The can-do checklist is a seriously underutilized assessment tool. It’s exceptionally simple to build and customize to your course content, useful at all levels, and can be used for a variety of needs, from placement to summative assessment. I recommend grouping very specific abilities (e.g., “I can use uppercase and lowercase letters correctly”) into broader can-do statements that derive directly from course objectives (e.g., “I can write using proper mechanics”). When used as a pre-/postassessment, such a checklist can be used to easily quantify student progress. The simplicity of this technique is sure to keep students and teachers happy, and the alignment with course goals and objectives will keep admins and funders out of your hair.

Limitations and Further Considerations

As I’ve said, self-assessment has its limits. I use it in conjunction with more conventional assessment methods and peer assessment (which has many of the same positive effects as self-assessment). What I like about the three methods I’ve discussed above is that they can easily be used by both students and teachers. That is, you can use the same rubric for both you and students to assess their work and encourage them to compare their score with yours. The same goes for can-do inventories, and it’s easy enough to incorporate a section for instructor reflections into portfolios.

I encourage you to use the comments section below to share some other self-assessment tools and methods that have worked well for you!

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A Significant Birth, a Crowning Jewel

On 2 May, after more than nine months in the making, the world celebrated a birth, the arrival of a long-awaited jewel that completes the family crown. While Princess Charlotte of Cambridge may come to mind, the arrival of which I speak is the Journal of Second Language Pronunciation or, more simply, the JSLP.

The first issue of the JSLP was published in May 2015.

The first issue of the JSLP, edited by John Levis, was published in May 2015.

The JSLP, edited by TESOL’s own John Levis, is a scholarly journal devoted to research and practice surrounding second language pronunciation in all contexts of learning.

If TESOL is a family and its interest sections are siblings, pronunciation has long suffered the status of the fabled stepchild. Have you ever wondered why?

Levis opens the JSLP with a story we all need to know: that pronunciation was considered a fully legitimate aspect TESOL until the 1970s, when a new kid, communicative language teaching (CLT), came to town. Emboldened by its bully sidekick, the critical period hypothesis, CLT pushed pronunciation to the side, arguing that learner pronunciation would take care of itself (with enough comprehensible input), and that, in any case, teaching pronunciation was a waste of time (because face it: English learners will never sound like native English speakers, so why bother?). Pronunciation understood its own importance, but lacking a strong comeback, it moved into the attic to consider its plight.

Forty-five years later, never losing sight of its own value and having worked with several good therapists to make sense of its odd family culture, pronunciation is back, it’s all grown up, and it’s become downright sophisticated. The arrival of the JSLP heralds the return of pronunciation to its rightful place alongside second language reading, writing, grammar, and vocabulary.

Every one of us should benefit from reading the JSLP, and many of us surely have something to contribute. Realistically speaking, the JSLP will not show up on newsstands next to People magazine anytime soon, because, well, no academic journal can hold a candle to Princess Charlotte.

Indeed, to get your hands on the Journal of Second Language Pronunciation, one must be “in the know.” Here are a few steps you can take:

1. Read the first issue online. If you have time to read only one article, read this one, in which John Levis describes the very existence of the JSLP as an “essential step toward disciplinary identity” and outlines how the JSLP is significant not only for pronunciation specialists, but to ESL/EFL professionals more broadly and, beyond English, all language teaching professionals.

2. If you work for an academic institution, tell your librarian that there’s a new journal in town, and that all the cool kids are reading it. (I find that librarians are particularly sympathetic to my desire to be cool, so long as by cool I mean “professionally engaged.”)

3. Share news of the JSLP with the same passion given baby Charlotte’s first coo. Seriously, the JSLP deserves to be talked about, and, as a new journal that relies on its readership, it needs to be mentioned in staff meetings, conference presentations, and social media.

4) Submit an article. Really. As the JSLP forges its path, it will need thoughtful contributions from the very people who read it. If you are a researcher, report your findings. If you love reading research, write up a synthesis of two or more studies and tell us what it all means for teaching. If you are a masterful practitioner, submit a teaching article, and if you are a savvy consumer of pronunciation textbooks or software, consider writing a review.

As with all marriages and births, the arrival of the JSLP has the potential to unite the family while forging stronger alliances beyond, in this case with applied linguistics, phonology, language assessment, and technology among others.

We’re headed in an exciting direction. In John Levis’ words, “We can predict… that surprises are in store.”

Levis, J. (2015). The Journal of Second Language Pronunciation: An essential step toward a disciplinary identity. The Journal of Second Language Pronunciation, 1(1), 1–10.

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Hello everyone,Time for another Friday freebie! Click on over to our Teachers Pay Teachers store and…

Hello everyone,

Time for another Friday freebie!


Click on over to our Teachers Pay Teachers store and pick up this great freebie!

Kinder Color Game Board and Color Cards

Get ready to have fun practicing colors with this great colorful game board and color cards. This 2 page kindergarten packet includes a game board and color cards for endless fun and color name practice.
This kinder unit will definitely get your students motivated to learn through hands on activities that are so much FUN! 

 Click here to get your freebie!  Please follow us and rate this great freebie!

Happy Teaching! 



from Fun To Teach ESL – Teaching English as a Second Language http://ift.tt/1elkaA3