Category Archives: Weekly Feature

Trans-Siberian Railway English Language Programs Tour & Outreach

Crystal Bock Thiessen, an ESL instructor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, participated as a U.S. State Department English Language Specialist in a nine-city Trans-Siberian railroad tour across two continents and seven time zones, June 9-28, 2017, in Russia. She was accompanied by the Regional English Language Officer (ELO) in Moscow, Jerrold Frank. The tour kicked off in Moscow and made ... Read More »

Halloween Teaching Tip for the ESL Classroom

by Denise Mussman On Halloween in St. Louis and other parts of the Midwest, kids have to tell a joke to get candy when they go trick or treating. I compiled grade school jokes my students could understand and had them go trick or treating. Our administrative building has candy in the offices on Halloween, so my students went and ... Read More »

Classroom Community Builders Book Review

by Jan McClellan Classroom Community Builders – Activities for the First Day & Beyond by Walton Burns is full of differentiated games to include every student within your classroom. These games are easily adaptable to newcomers and mainstream ELLs as well as native or proficient English speakers. This book can instantly be implemented into your classroom. Every activity comes with ... Read More »

Eight Lessons Learned from the 2017 TESOL Advocacy Summit

by Adrienne Johnson How do you advocate for your English language learners? Maybe you speak up at your school or organization when decision makers have not considered the impacts of rules or practices on your language learners. Perhaps you have created a program in the community that meets an unfilled need for ELL parents or adult learners. It is possible ... Read More »

Interacting with Americans

by Terry Barakat How can we get our international students to interact with Americans and other speakers of English in authentic situations? At the English Language Institute of Missouri State University (ELI of MSU), this is an especially poignant question because the ELI building is located in downtown Springfield, a few blocks from the main campus. So, the internationals in ... Read More »

ESL Students’ Writing in English – Part 2

by Kendall Schuldt One Student’s Writing Journey One high school student who entered the U.S. recently had no background in English and hadn’t been in school for over two years. I found as she adjusted to her new setting in the U.S., she felt pressured to use English. She insisted she write only in English for my class which resulted ... Read More »

ESL Students’ Writing in English – Part 1

by Kendall Schuldt Throughout the United States, the number of English Language Learners (ELLs) in the public school system is on a sharp incline. As of the 2014-2015 school year, there were 4.6 million ELLs attending public school in the U.S. (National Center for Education Statistics). As these students enter the U.S. school system, it is crucial educators prepare themselves ... Read More »

TESOL & SLA Professional Development Conference 2017

by Terry Barakat The English Language Institute of Missouri State University (ELI of MSU) held our free bi-annual TESOL & SLA Professional Development Conference on Friday, April 28, 2017. We had about 30 participants who included colleagues from Ozarks-area K-12 and higher education institutions as well as intrepid attendees from Kansas City and Rolla, MO, and Lawrence, KS. We even ... Read More »

Iowa Student Learning Institute: The ESL Team/Experience

by Stephen L. Wonbenyakeh, Jr. The Iowa Student Learning Institute (IowaSLI) is a student organization driven by the passion to change the conventional views of being a student. As students, we are often told to “Show up to class, do the work, and you better not fail the class.” We sit in desks eight hours a day, five days a ... Read More »

Connecting Iowa K-12 ELL Classrooms with Iowa Senator Charles E. Grassley, Part 2

by Adrienne Johnson James Rice shares his reflections on his visit to Iowa K-12 ELL programs In preparing to write this follow-up to Mr. Rice’s visit in October of 2016, MIDTESOL reached out to Mr. Rice to ask him to share what he learned and experienced on his visits to West Des Moines Community Schools and Johnston Community School District. ... Read More »