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Showing posts from May, 2009

MA Research Proposal - Teacher Burnout

Today I found the summary of my research proposal as a graduate student in the ESOL/Bilingual Master's program at UMBC. I'd like to share it with everyone now.

The short post above was published on May 23, 2009.  Below are more details and an update from March 16, 2015.

I chose this topic based on a list that TESOL used to provide on trending research topics.  I believe they discontinued this list a decade ago.  I haven't checked lately, so they might have revived it, but with the dawn of web 2.0, there are many other ways to do this besides picking up the TESOL Quarterly and other similar journals.

I was happy to have found this PowerPoint slideshow because I lost the original research proposal shortly after graduating from UMBC.  I found it missing from my diskette (remember those?) containing all the papers I wrote for the MA program.  I'm still interested in teacher burnout, but not as much as my current research interests in the professional and cultural learning o…

Who's Improving?

I've taught three classes in which I never changed the content of the course and I only changed the teaching approach by very little. They were my advanced writing class at the University of Wisconsin in La Crosse and both methodology courses at Sookmyung Women's University in Seoul. In all three classes, I noticed a marked improvement in the students semester after semester. Either the students were getting better or I was improving.

I taught the same material in relatively the same manner in Seoul for 3 years, which is 6 different terms. In La Crosse, I did the same for 4 semesters. However my feelings about the outcome were different for each case.

Seeing better results from my students from term to term in Korea was rewarding. This meant I didn't have to spend as much time explaining certain vocabulary and concepts as I did in previous terms. The students' English levels weren't necessarily higher, but it seemed that their understanding of the content (TES…

Authenticity and Autonomy

I have been teaching English as a second or foreign language now for ten years. Five of those ten years were spent training teachers of ESL or EFL. At this point in my profession, I've demonstrated to myself that my guiding principles are authenticity and student autonomy. (On a personal note, I find it oddly coincidental that my newborn daughter's name share's the first vowel sound as my guiding principles.)

When I was a teacher trainer in Seoul, Korea, students in many of my methodology courses informed me that the word I most often used was "authentic." Looking at the base content, the word didn't come up as frequently as I mentioned it. I confess this was my spin on delivering the TESOL methodology content designed in a collaborative effort between professors at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and at Sookmyung Women's University-TESOL.

But it wasn't really spin more than exaggerating what I believe to a fundamental prin…

Reading Across the Curriculum

At the ESL Institute in La Crosse, I have been teaching a reading class for intermediate students. I wrote a paper about my initial reaction to this course which is pending publication in the English Teaching Professional. This posting serves as a follow-up to that article.

Upon entering my second semester (Spring 2008), I experimented more with content-based instruction. In the first four weeks, students read World Folktales by Anita Stern. In the last ten weeks, students read their choice of an academic text. The following are my guiding principles for the course. I will refer to the first module as WF for World Folktales and the second module as AT for "academic text."
Students practiced reading in groups (WF) and individually (AT).Students read WF in a jigsaw activity that incorporated the entire text, thereby leading them to more autonomy with less dependence on the instructor. I acted as a guide rather than an instructor.
More student autonomy was developed when st…

New Introduction

I haven't written in this blog for nearly two years. Let me re-introduce this blog by answering the 6 WH questions:

is writing this blog? Me (Jeremy Slagoski). You can see my profile in the margin.

is this blog for? Take a look at the list below, which is prioritized from primary audience to secondary audiences.
All ESL and EFL teachers around the world, primarily ones who are teaching or will teaching English in Japan, Korea, Russia, and in American universitiesEFL and ESL teacher trainersResearchers in the fields of curriculum & instruction, teaching & learning, intercultural communication, and related academic fields
Those involved in the English Language Fellowship ProgramAnyone interested in teaching EFL or ESLEnglish language learnersInstructors in generalAnyone else who has interest in my profession, my interests, and myself.
is a blog? Click here at

is this blog about? See below for another list.
My observations on teachi…