Literacy/ESL

Help Your Students Slide Up, Not Down, Over the Summer

During the summer months, young children lose literacy gains made during the school year, a phenomenon known as “summer slide.” The most important thing teachers can do to reverse this trend is to help families adopt family literacy routines and promote opportunities for families to talk, read, and write...

Fluency Matters to Readers

Fluency Matters offers a wide range of compelling leveled readers specifically designed to facilitate language acquisition with novice to intermediate level students. All readers are strategically written with a manageable number of unique words, making them highly comprehensible to even novice-level students.Core vocabulary is masterfully woven into a compelling story, which inconspicuously provides repeated exposure to key language structures...

A Futile War

 Ross Thorburn rejects the illogical insistence upon banning mother tongues in the second-language classroomThe War on DrugsIn 1998, the United Nations decided that it was going to eradicate drugs from planet Earth by 2008. The project was doomed to failure from the start. Human beings have been getting high since prehistoric times. How could the UN hope to eradicate...

Tensions in Teaching Spanish

Ann Abbott sees tensions in Spanish programs that cannot holdIn one of my roles as a director of Undergraduate Studies at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), I work closely with our advisor, I speak directly with potential students and their parents, and I am on our department’s...

The Art of Teaching

M. Elhess, E. Elturki, and J. Egbert offer strategies to support creativity in the language classroom“Our students aren’t creative,” claimed one of the language teachers in the professional development workshop. The other participating teachers nodded in agreement.“How do you know?” asked the workshop facilitator.The teacher hesitated. “Well,” she said, “I guess I don’t. We don’t ask them to do anything creative, mostly...

What Does Good Blended Learning Look Like?

Stephen Noonoo shares best practices for blended learning programs that workDuring the past few years, blended learning has been hailed by schools worldwide as everything from the future of education to the conduit that will finally make true differentiated instruction a reality. And it is not all hype: the...

Helping Academic English Learners Develop Productive Word Knowledge

Dr. Kate Kinsella offers evidence-based instructional practices to advance students’ verbal and written command of critical wordsVocabulary Knowledge and Overall Academic AchievementVocabulary plays a crucial role in all aspects of academic competence in K–12 schooling. Certainly, one of the most consistent findings in reading research is the extent to which students’ vocabulary knowledge directly supports their reading comprehension (Baumann and...

Taking Teaching to New Heights

Denise Murray examines the future of the TESOL profession in preparation for next month’s international summitWhat are the megatrends (political, economic, social, intercultural, legal, and digital) that are impacting English and English language education? How can we overcome the native speaker as the standard and address the changing realities of English language use around the world? How can practice shape...

Taking the Holistic Approach

Margarita Calderón and Shawn Slakk believe that the whole school is responsible for the success of English learnersEnglish learners (ELs) are no longer solely the responsibility of the ESL teacher. The entire school’s staff of educators—counselors, secretaries, and of course administrators included—should embrace the success of ELs along with all their peers. Leadership teams are deliberately deciding to focus...

Senate Votes Against Civil Rights of American Students

Despite a passionate appeal by Senator Elizabeth Warren, the U.S. Senate has voted in favor of rolling back critical regulations of the ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) by a narrow margin of 50 to 49. This is the same bill that passed with the bipartisan support of 85 senators less than 18 months ago.“Today’s repeal undermines important civil rights...