By Leslie Sherwood and Kara Mac Donald
Teachers have continually sought ways over the last year to make online language learning more dynamic, incorporating engaging activities. The topic of sharing and engaging with resources for online learning activities is still relevant, even with the availability of a vaccine and lock-down restrictions being loosened as online learning for many students will continue as the situation is fluid across the state and nationally. There will be forms of hybrid instruction, some learner groups continuing full virtual instruction, while others may be returning in some form to the f2f classroom. The dynamic nature of what is to come requires teachers to continue to think outside the box for hybrid instruction and ongoing virtual teaching. 101 Activities and Resources for Teaching English Online, Practical Ideas for ESL/EFL Teachers is a super accessible, lesson activity tool kit with online teaching ideas and suggestions arranged across 7 sections with numerous activities offered within each section, and with a resource section at the end. Since each section offers so many activity ideas, with little to no textual discussion associated with each section, the book review will provide a brief overview of each section and a description of a few activities that stood out to give the reader a feel for the types of engaging activities offered.
By Mirna Khater and Kara Mac Donald
Effective team interaction in the online environment has been a prominent topic in business and in education for more than a decade. However, with the mandatory mass move to online teaching by educators across the globe, many teachers who were not familiar with leading and/or interacting as a team in the virtual environment were forced to learn how to do so. The summer book review series addressed online teaching approaches, the fall series of short text reviews considered teachers’ needs in the online instructional environment, and the new year January book review continued with the online teaching focus. This February issue of the CATESOL’s Blog book review also emphasizes the online context, but shifts the focus from pedagogical and student-focused content to the leadership needs of teachers operating in the virtual environment.
By Robb Hill and Kara Mac Donald
Grit in the Classroom in many ways builds on Duckworth’s 2016 Grit: The power of passion and perseverance, discussing how to develop an environment that fosters learners’ resiliency. The book isn’t new off the press, it was published in 2017 and doesn’t focus on the virtual learning environment. However, the book came to mind for the authors as teachers are wrapping up the schoolwork and going on a much needed break after delivering instruction online for the second semester. Teachers are again going to be having virtual instruction for the third time as classes resume in 2021. This short accessible text is an enjoyable reading with some ideas to further develop the resiliency teachers have built in their learners over the last year in the virtual environment, even if not specifically geared to this context. Resiliency and the factors that develop it are not context specific.
By Jose Franco and Kara Mac Donald
Corpus linguistics as a form of instruction is a relatively new field, due to this fact, many teachers may not be familiar with how to utilize corpora for classroom teaching (also known as data-driven learning). The authors provide an extremely accessible and practical discussion with examples for readers to understand corpus use processes and techniques. Chapters include ‘Think and Do’ activities that support the reader in applying the information read, which permit the reader to apply the content to his/her context and needs.
Lucinda Pease-Alvarez, Laura Alvarez, Katharine Davies Samway (2020), TESOL Press
By Yara Khamis & Kara Mac Donald
The authors come from distinct fields within education and utilize their extensive experience to define, embrace, connect with, and advocate for newcomer learners in the classroom and beyond. The text is highly accessible and relevant to novice as well as experience teachers working with newcomer students.
The introductory chapter helps to lay a foundational understanding for the rest of the book by defining the political, social, and economic contexts that newcomer students come into in the United States (U.S.) and more specifically schools. We learn about the newcomer experience once they arrive in the U.S, like the programs they are put into. This chapter also helps to outline the historical flow of immigrants into the U.S, the effect of current immigration policies, the difficulties faced along the journey and the effect it leaves on the students once arriving.
By Aylin Baris Atilgan Relyea and Kara Mac Donald
The CATESOL Blog Book Review column has provided reviews of short booklets from three development series out of the TESOL Press edited by Thomas S.C. Farrell or Andy Curtis for the CATESOL 2020 fall issues. Since teachers have been busy with the ongoing and continual changes of the online teaching environment during COVID19, the column has offered members with accessible short practice-based and pedagogical-oriented texts that are highly relevant to inform online instruction, provide support and accessible professional development to teachers in the current context. With the end of the fall semester approaching, this will be the last installment of this series. Indeed the semester continues through November and into part of December, but the intention of returning to traditional review of full-length texts in November is that members can read the conventional length book reviews in preparation for possibly selecting reading for professional development over the winter break.
By Erin O’Reilly and Kara Mac Donald
In the Introduction, Chapter One, the author places teachers in three categories, with no value on the category one may self-assign or be assigned. He explicitly stated that each teacher, regardless of the category at any point in time, are doing what they understand best and the book is aimed at all educators across such categories, because he believes in teachers’ sincere intent.
By Erin O’Reilly and Kara Mac Donald
An installment of the CATESOL 2020 FALL Book Review Sequence for Busy Teachers – Featuring TESOL Press ELT Development Series & English Language Teacher Development Series, Editor Thomas S.C. Farrell and ELT in Context Series, Editor Andy Curtis
Quick Recap to the 2020 Fall Book Review Sequence for Busy Teachers
The CATESOL Blog Book Review column is offering reviews of short booklets from three development series out of the TESOL Press edited by Thomas S.C. Farrell or Andy Curtis for the CATESOL 2020 fall issues. The goal is to provide members with accessible short practice-based and pedagogical-oriented texts that are highly relevant to inform online instruction, provide support and accessible professional development to teachers in the current COVID19 teaching environment.
By Viktoriya Shevchenko and Kara Mac Donald
Challenge your students and create a collaborative classroom environment with project-based learning. Explore the benefits of using project-based learning with English language learners and learn techniques for every step of the lesson, from rubric design to assessments and reflection. Discover how to create an enriching teaching and learning experience for you and your students! - TESOL
By Viktoriya Shevchenko and Kara Mac Donald
The Introduction frames the context of online learning as unique to many language learning settings, as students are often in class spread across many countries and highlights the importance of the diverse factors in online teaching. The format of the book, distinct from other books in the series, is described based on the nature of online learning as not constrained by a particular context.
By Viktoriya Shevchenko and Kara Mac Donald
Overview to 2020 Fall Book Review Sequence for Busy Teachers
With the swift transition to online teaching, many instructors were not only figuring out how to navigate the online delivery platform, but also how to apply language acquisition and pedagogical principles to online lesson delivery on the fly.
With face-to-face (f2f), as well as some hybrid and online, educators grappling with the hasty switch, the reality is teachers may likely have little time to invest in reading full length professional development books, even though of interest, in the current constantly changing educational and social contexts.
Consequently, the CATESOL Blog Book Review column will offer reviews of short booklets from three development series out of the TESOL Press edited by Thomas S.C. Farrell or Andy Curtis for the CATESOL 2020 fall issues (August to November). The goal is to provide members with accessible short practice-based and pedagogical-oriented texts that are mighty1 and highly relevant to inform online instruction, provide support and accessible professional development to teachers.
Book Reviews from the ELT Series
The books were selected, among many in the ELT series, with the COVID19 online context in mind. The first text addresses a seemingly lesser focus of discussion on teaching adults online, as the K-12 context has somewhat prominent. The second text responds to the enormous screen fatigue experienced by students, regardless of educational context, who can benefit from the organization of off-screen in-class activities through project-based learning while being held accountable through communicative final products.
Resiliency. This is the theme of the CATESOL 2020 State Conference. If you’re new to CATESOL, our state conference is an annual event where educators from up and down the state and beyond come together in one place for four days to learn, collaborate, and enjoy the company of passionate colleagues. Knowing this, you can imagine why we decided to center this year’s conference around resiliency. We, the conference organizers, hope that this year more than any other year in CATESOL’s recent past, conference attendees walk away from the four days with renewed passion and resolve, and sharpen their skills so that they may continue to show up for their students and colleagues amidst the many obstacles that we currently face.
By Kara Mac Donald and Suzanne Bardasz
Pre-service and In-service teacher education in increasingly being offered and accessed online. It may be the delivery of training and professional development for teachers, and informs their delivery of language instruction to students virtually. Therefore, pedagogy needs to be the underlying source for development, design and delivery, not technology. The authors share principles and examples the how to accomplish this.
By Liza E. Martinez
Spring 2020 began as any semester. On our first week back, teachers came to campus to prepare for the upcoming semester; this culminated with the Faculty start-up meeting. The next two months progressed as usual. During that time, we heard of COVID-19 increasing and spreading, but we were not alarmed. It was still far away and not a part of our daily lives. Everything changed during the week of March 9. We heard that ASU, our sister institution, would be abandoning face-to-face classes and switching to online instruction. “We need to get ready,” advised Dr. Susan Salminen, a fellow ESL professor. “Since we share two classes, I can get them Zoom accounts,” she continued. I meekly agreed hoping it would not come to this.
By Judith B. O’Loughlin, CATESOL Advocacy and Policy Advisor (email@example.com)
From June 22-24 I attended the 2020 TESOL Annual Advocacy and Policy Summit representing CATESOL. This year the Summit was delivered virtually for advocates from all over the U.S. and internationally representing TESOL Affiliates. Days one and two were dedicated to providing attendees with updated information about what was happening related to upcoming legislation about English learners, their programs, and their teachers. There were speakers from 9 AM – 5 PM PT. Much of the first day was devoted to understanding what is happening for K-12 programs and the second day focused on the adult learner both nationally and internationally.
By Amber Paluszynski and Ondine Gage // Originally published in July 2019
As we come to the end of the second decade of the 21st century, the landscape for TESOL professionals has changed dramatically. From a burgeoning profession in the 1980s, we now find fewer and fewer viable graduate programs. Since 9/11, the intensive English industry has largely moved to other countries. As many of us have repurposed our TESOL training, the situation has led us to consider what unique skills do TESOL professionals provide to other areas of society? In response, the Steinbeck Chapter has shifted our focus to providing professional development which considers the ways in which we bring our unique set of TESOL knowledge, skills, and attitudes to a variety of social contexts. For our spring 2019 event, we offered a presentation and panel titled, “Education and Social Justice; The Role of Civic Engagement, Service Learning and Interculturality."
By Kara Mac Donald and Sonia Estima
The importance of language for survival regardless of the context is raised at the beginning of the Introduction with an example among animal species. This is linked to the importance of English Learners (ELs) having the appropriate language skills to participate in the English-speaking communities in which they live. However, the concern is raised that ELs spend much of their instructional day with teachers that are not trained in working with learners of English. The argument presented is that educators in ESL need to be trained to not only teach ELs language, but also serve a guides and mentors of general subject matter content teachers. The Introduction moves the discussion of how investment in one U.S. state EL legislation (i.e. English Learners in the Mainstream [ELM]) relevant to the author/s, then developed into a school-wide English learning (SWEL) model that offers guidance for teacher leading other educators.
As two ESL instructors teaching adults in a university Intensive English Program (IEP), we decided to conduct timely action research early on in this transition process. We collected data by keeping a teaching journal, recording all online courses we taught, comparing course syllabi/learning outcomes with actual instruction that took place online, and gathering informal input from our students regarding their perspectives on online instructional practices. Next, we analyzed the data to identify patterns of obstacles we faced and specific ways we overcame them. In the following sections, we will share the challenges we encountered and the practical strategies we found useful in five relevant areas: technology, students, teachers, program
requirements and support, and pedagogy.
"Alexandria, VA – (1 June 2020) Over the last week, we at TESOL International Association have joined with the rest of the world in our feelings of sadness, disgust, and anger at the senseless killing of George Floyd. With this most recent incident of police brutality involving a person of color in the United States, it seems undeniable that while the fear and pain caused by one epidemic has upended our lives, another equally menacing epidemic of racism continues to tear apart our communities and threaten the ideals of freedom, peace, and prosperity to which we so tirelessly aspire." // FULL STATEMENT
"This fact sheet outlines States’ responsibilities to English learners (ELs) and their parents1 during the extended school closures and, in some cases, the move to remote learning2 due to the national emergency caused by the novel Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)."
US DOE - FACT SHEET // MAY 2020
By Kara McDonald and Kristen Arps
Social Justice in Language Teaching, edited by Christopher Hastings and Laura Jacob consists of 22 chapters, divided into 7 sections that address specific topics around social justice in ELT. Part I: Social Justice and English Language Teaching: Setting the Stage, Part II: Peacebuilding and English Language Teaching, Part III: Positioning for Advocacy, Part IV: Language Rights, Privilege, and Race, Part V: Gender and Sexual Orientation Justice, Part VI: Working Across Borders/Advocating for Students. Part VII: Classroom Practices.
By Marsha Chan and Jaydene Elvin
In Spring 2019, 2018-19 TOP Co-coordinators Marsha Chan and Ellen Lange, along with Assistant Coordinator Jaydene Elvin, polled the Teaching of Pronunciation Interest Group. An online Google survey was announced via (the now-defunct) TOP-IG Google Groups, and TOP members were encouraged to participate. The survey was designed to gather information regarding how members would like to engage in TOP-IG platforms.