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Showing posts from November, 2017

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 Thus I left the position feeling out-of-date with my understanding of L2 writing pedagogy.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)