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Showing posts from September, 2014

Designing Quizzes

As promised inmy previous posting, here are some of my ideas regarding quiz design for English language learning following the tips suggested inMake It Stick:  The Science of Successful Learning.




Tips Frequent quizzing Create study tools that incorporate retrieval practice, generation, and elaboration Reach back to concepts and learning covered earlier in the term Space, interleave, and vary topics

If I could go back and include more quizzes in the English language courses I taught at the ESL Institute at the University of Wisconsin at La Crosse, I would start the class with a quiz every day for courses that were offered twice a week and every other day for courses that were offered four times a week.  Although I would design the time of the quizzes to be completely predictable, the content of the quizzes would be less so.

I would prefer that the quizzes take no more than 10 minutes of the class.  If all of my students and I had access to the technology, I would try to use assessment tools l…

Make English Language Learning Stick

Over the summer, one of my favorite reads was Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning by Brown, Roediger, and McDaniel, published earlier this year by Belknap Press.  This book was very helpful in summarizing studies I have read and heard about as a graduate student and it also helped clarify the teaching techniques and learning strategies that have sufficient evidence in their efficacy.  I believe this book should be included in introductory courses in teacher education programs.

For this posting, I'd like to go through the book's Tips for Teachers (pages 225-228) and apply them to English language teaching and second language acquisition.

Tip #1 - Explain to Students How (English Language) Learning Works
If students are finding that English language learning is difficult that may indicate that they're improving their learning.  The language will be easier to use and components of the language (grammar rules, vocabulary, ways to pronounce, etc.) should be easier…