Category Archives: Weekly Feature

App Review: English Central (ECentral)

by Lindsey Jackson ECentral is an app designed to introduce English Language Learners (ELLs) to authentic materials in the L2. The app description boasts over 10,000 available videos for users to watch and learn from, directions given in eight different languages, and a variety of activities learners can do in response to the videos. Positive Features of English Central The ... Read More »

4 Words to Describe 4 Days at #TESOL16

By Shaeley Santiago I recently spent four full days in Baltimore, Maryland, at the TESOL 2016 International Convention. Since returning home, I have struggled to summarize the convention so I can share with colleagues what it was like. So, I have selected four adjectives that capture the highlights of my experience this year. Educated – One of the best parts ... Read More »

Building Trust with International Students

By Lindsey Jackson Like many teachers, one of my main concerns in the classroom is lowering my students’ affective filters. Reading past and current literature on the topic always further convinces me of my need to make my students feel safe in our English Composition for Non-Native Speakers classroom. Following best practices set forth in the literature, I make attempts ... Read More »

Five Sources for Understanding & Implementing Universal Design for Learning

By Lindsey Jackson Universal Design (UD) is a concept originally intended for consumable products, operating under the principle that products should be usable by any consumer without requiring adaptation. It has since been implemented in other areas, too, and has fairly recently begun taking the educational world by storm, despite having been introduced there back in the 1980s. Universal Design ... Read More »

How to Get the Most Out of the TESOL Annual Convention

TESOL’s annual convention is one of the largest gatherings of English language teachers in the world. Whether you have attended the convention before or not, it can be a little overwhelming with so many sessions to choose from, not to mention all the vendors in the Exhibit Hall and social gatherings to attend. Here are some tips from MIDTESOL board ... Read More »

Using EDPuzzle for Listening Instruction

By Melissa Meisterheim Planning a listening class can be difficult. Sheppard (2015) accurately described what usually goes on in class: assessment disguised as instruction. Teachers and textbooks often give a few pre-listening activities, then have students listen to something before asking them to answer comprehension questions. In response, Sheppard advocates a balanced approach to listening instruction that combines the process ... Read More »

MSU’s CELTA Program

By Jennifer Johnston The English Language Institute (ELI) at Missouri State University is now one of only 25 centers in the United States to offer the world renowned CELTA certificate (Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) from Cambridge University English Language Assessment. The ELI is only one of 3 U.S. university-based centers and the only center available ... Read More »

Book Review: Academic Conversations: Classroom Talk That Fosters Critical Thinking and Content Understandings

by Shaeley Santiago When two or more people converse, their ideas mix and interact to create new knowledge. Talkers walk away from the conversation with much more than they could have thought up on their own. Like flowers that rely on bees to pollinate them, we need the ideas of others for our minds to thrive. (Zwiers & Crawford, 2011, ... Read More »

Fun and Useful Apps for the Classroom: Aurasma & Kahoot

Technology has become ubiquitous in today’s classrooms. Regardless of whether or not an academic environment is outfitted with the latest technological equipment, students are likely to be carrying cell phones, a fact that is often the bane of many a teacher’s classroom experience. Few educators can report that they have never been frustrated by the sight of a student engrossed ... Read More »

Student Connections: The Great Iowa Pizza Caucus

Living in Iowa, it is impossible to escape the hype and media coverage of the Iowa Caucuses. Even though I try to leave political discussions out of the classroom, the caucuses are an important process. This process is new and complicated to our ESL students. As I work with students, both K-12 and adults, one common request I hear is ... Read More »