And the theme of this carnival will be vocabulary development using my favorite part of speech…VERBS! — cause that’s what’s happening. This is my first time doing a blog carnival. I’ve been trying to up my game by using this handy dandy list of verbs on our state tests. Now, I’m not a big “test prep” fan, but I do love vocabulary development, and there are some really great words that take you out of the boring “write” and “learn” and into the more interesting, “paraphrase”, and “infer”. So I’ll be using words from this list to describe the really great posts that have been sent to me. Drum roll please…
Karenne Sylvester relates an excellent, and brief example of teaching idiom in Business English Idioms – The ball’s in your court appearing at How-to-learn-English. She even manages to include variants for auditory, visual, physical (kinesthetic) learners. Not content with this, she includes an “encore” with this post, The Business of Twitter – an English for Special Purposes Lesson residing at Kalinago English where her business students discussed business plans for twitter to develop their language skills. Brilliant!
Mathew Needleman shares some home-truths about making movies in How to Get Started Making Class Movies delivered at Creating Lifelong Learners. It can be tedious getting to the final product. After seeing some of Mathew’s students’ work, you’d probably agree it’s worth it. The bad news? Another of Mathew’s home-truths, making movies is like playing Carnegie Hall, you need to practice. Not content with cinematic creativity, Mathew Needleman deconstructs and reconstructs Comprehension Strategies Posters V.3 on Creating Lifelong Learners, taking boring old clip-art and making it pop visually (and make more sense). Even if you aren’t stuck with Open Court for reading, these are great.
Drew analyzes How to Make a Good Impression in the IELTS Speaking Test ~ English Trainer carried on the English Trainer blog, with some really frank, and easy to follow advice that students may not be aware of, but need to know, to put their “best foot forward”.
Darren Elliott explains what he does in teacher development – Assessing Speaking contributed at teacher development blog. He does a great job of analyzing some of what he does (formal speeches) in contrast with the type of oral communication they are likely to encounter. He then asks for folks to share how they assess speaking, so do Darren a favor, and keep the conversation going by sharing what you do.
Edu-tainer relates how he introduced Role-playing Games in the classroom #1 on Edu-tainment Canada to teach two otherwise surly Korean teenagers English. He definitely wins the wise use of minimal materials prize for that hat-trick.
Myscha Theriault explores Spelling Activities: Twenty-Seven Ways to Practice in Style at Myscha Theriault in a post that will help you take spelling activities from the boring, “write the word 10 times” to something meaningful and engaging.
Ann S. Michaelsen creates a full unit on Teaching Hamlet putting in an appearance at Teaching English using web 2.0. It looks short and sweet, but it’s packed with meaty details in the links. Take a bite!
Larry Ferlazzo takes a look at chatbots, online applications using artificial intelligence that students can use to practice conversational English with. He analyzes and lists the best of them at The Best Online “Chatbots” For Practicing English | Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day… shared at Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…. The skivvy? Most are only good for fun and not suitable for replacing human-to-human conversational practice, except the last one. Nice job making sure folks read the whole article Larry!
In a post aimed at EFL students, One Language provides suggestions for Literary Choices for Students of English as a Second Language published at the Learn English blog. The article has a nice helpful and encouraging tone as it leads student through some of the entry-level choices to English literature.
AtlTeacher relates a project from Mr. Mayo (a recent “Totally Wired Teacher” winner) in Performance Assessment: Creating Films shared at Awesome Resources for Curious Teachers. The project had a small group of students in an after school group, creating stop-motion films to show what they had learned.
Seth Dickens shows how to connect classes in difference countries by pairing students up with Skype Calls for e-Twinning in L2 showing at DigitaLang. The post does a good job going through the overall setup and preperation. Another helpful part was the analysis of both what went well, and what he would have done differently.
Nik Peachey describes an activity for improving English pronounciation in Poems for Pronunciation putting an appearance in at Nik’s Daily English Activities. This is Nik’s blog aimed at EFL/ESL students. He goes through the steps for getting a poem, and recording it to practice pronounciation complete with screenshots (helpful for students and teachers alike). The activity has potential for oral fluency practice with middle grade ELD students. Hat tip Nik!
Michelle Klepper sees an application for a white elephant gift of 20 Questions for both struggling readers, and language learners in 20 Questions. What’s really nice is that she provides some activity plans for how to implement this tool to maximize the learning. Not content with that gem, she then outlines how she had students create Amazon Book Review 1st Post as part of doing book reviews. I like how she focuses not just on the thinking, but the actual steps and how long it took. And the final entry in Michelle’s triology chronicles implementing Language Arts Stations in an eighth grade class with a large number of ELLs and SPED (special education) students. Once again, very thorough in describing the setup, the implementation, and what worked, or didn’t. All of her posts appear at Ellclassroom.
There is thinking outside the box about how to teach English, then there is David Deubelbeiss’ brilliant, but not to be taken literally, The 7 Sensational Sins of Great English Language Teachers appearing at EFL Classroom 2.0 – Teacher Talk. Resist not the temptation to sin, and be a better teacher for it.
Mary Ann Zehr recounts how Seattle Plans Overhaul of ELL Programs–With Stimulus Funds reported at Learning the Language. This is a really interesting use of stimulus funds, and is news worth learning more about. Keep sharing Mary Ann!
Deven Black asks, “What were they thinking?” in Vice Versa showing at Education On The Plate about the scary and foolish things that can happen when Special Education meets ESL students. I used the post as a springboard for my own experience with ESL students not getting special education services when they probably should in Stupid ESL and Special Ed Tricks.