Skip to main content

Posts

My Presentation at the Conference on Language, Learning, & Culture

This Friday, April 6, 2018, I presented at the Conference on Language, Learning & Culture at Virginia International University in Fairfax on my study on the beliefs and practices of an online community of English language teachers. For the full schedule of the conference, click here.

I was one of the first presentations of the day, and I was happy to present to an engaged audience that morning. They asked me many questions and provided comments that inspired me to continue with this line of research. In fact, from this dataset I have a second paper I have yet to write. Both papers describe my professional learning network through the Communities of Practice framework. This presentation reports on my first paper that describes the domain and practices of that community, whereas the second paper describes the community itself.


You can access a PDF version of my presentation slides here.
You can access my handout for my presentation here. The handout will be useful because it lists…
Recent posts

Media in the Learning: Reflecting on a "New" Media Paradigm

The 21st century has been around for nearly two decades and media has always been used for teaching and learning. I'm trying to think of language teaching without any media, which can be defined as communication tools for storing and delivering information, and I cannot. When we talk about 21st Century Skills and New Media, I think most people don't know what they're specifically referring to. I traced the term "21st Century Skills" to the Framework for 21st Century Learning designed by P21: Partnership for 21st Century Learning. It's a brand that has already grown old with ideas that are even older. However, these skills are often overlooked for mostly political reasons. I believe most teachers would like to focus on these skills more, but that's not what usually counts in most standardized exams.

The other term, new media, is a teacher-centered term because the media is "new" for the teachers who did not grow up with computer-mediated technol…

How to Grade Essays Meticulously

As I was revisiting textbooks on how to teach writing for academic purposes a few months ago, I realized how much emphasis is on describing and explaining the varieties of essays. However there's very little on pedagogy. I've asked myself, "Should the writing teacher spend more time lecturing, consulting, or marking. Lecturing makes little sense to me as a writing teacher, but many ESL programs set up their writing courses the same as their courses on the other skills. The textbooks I've been reading don't really address this issue at all.


I believe (I wish I had more evidence than my own experience and observations) that the teacher's main role in an EAP writing classroom, if it's necessary to have a classroom, is consulting or tutoring to help the student craft their essay. But how much time should an EAP writing instructor take to mark papers?

I've been noticing more tweets and blog posts about this issue these days, so I wanted to write a snarky b…

I Left My Heart in Brazil

The loveliness of Iowa seems somehow sadly gray
The glory that was Chicago now makes me ill
I've been terribly alone and forgotten in Carbondale
I'd love to go down south and teach in Brazil

I haven't been blogging that much because over the past month I have been dedicating most of my professional life to the leaders of several Binational Centers in Brazil. This opportunity came to me through a grant I worked on with partners at Global Ties, World Chicago, and CIVIC (Council for International Visitors to Iowa Cities).





Purpose & Goals
The purpose of this program is to support a faculty exchange program for supervisors, coordinators, and teachers from the Brazilian Binational Centers. These participants have been chosen to make a lasting impact on the Brazilian ESL education system. Our program specifically focuses on English as a Second Language (ESL) and English Language Learner (ELL) programs. By the end of our program, participants will understand the different structure…

Update: Second Language Writing, part 1

When I left my previous position as curriculum coordinator, the curriculum revision process was incomplete. One of my roles as coordinator was to make sure the IEP's teaching practices were aligned with research. Most of this research was a literature review of ELT textbooks within the past decade and scholarly articles within the last five years. We successfully completed the whole revision process for reading and half of the process for speaking and listening, which means I was able to conduct a literature review of those three skill areas. Unfortunately, the committee dissolved before we could get to the writing literature. Thus I left the position feeling out-of-date with my understanding of L2 writing pedagogy.

Fortunately, I am a contributor to ELT Research Bites, which is a collaborative blog that provides bite-sized portions of scholarly articles on English language teaching, and writing is the language skill that is covered most. I thought reviewing ELT Research Bites…

The Horror! A Listening Curriculum for English Language Learning

I've been inspired by Clare Maas' blog post, which was inspired by Dr. John Field's TEASIG/CRELLA talks, to share my shock at the listening curriculum of an intensive English program where I previously worked. To be fair, this listening curriculum was designed twenty years prior and my job was to lead faculty efforts to revise it. Unfortunately, the program went through financial difficulties and leadership changes, resulting in the "non-renewal" of most of the curriculum committee members.
Upper-Level (EAP) Listening (B2-C1) Listening was relatively equally integrated with speaking and reading skills in one course set apart from another course that focused much more on writing. This was the case for the two highest levels for students who intended to matriculate into the university as undergraduates. The highest level was not dependent on any one coursebook, so all of the listening material had to be collected by the instructors. When I was the curriculum coordi…

Integrating Extensive Reading into Intensive English Programs

Last week at the 2017 INTESOL Conference, I gave a presentation with my colleague, Emi Zlatkovska from the University of Southern Indiana, on extensive reading at our respective IEPs. Below are excerpts from the slides from my half of the presentation.

What is Extensive Reading? ER is a pedagogical approach in which teachers help and allow learners to choose what they want to read, and they act as a role model of a reader to enable learners to engage in the specific type of reading: ‘fluent, sustained, comprehension of text as meaning-focused input; large volume of material; reading over extended periods of time; and texts are longer, requiring comprehension at the discourse level’ (Waring & McLean, 2015, p 165).

The Effect of ER Programs on Learners Overall reading proficiency – small to medium effect (Jeon & Day, 2015; Nakanishi 2014)
Highest effect with adultsOne year of ER had a higher effect than one semester of ER  Easier materials are more beneficial (Yamashita, 2015)
Li…