WINTER 2017 Edition
Action Research Workshop - Thanks to Dr. Polina Vinogradova for delivering a highly-rated, quality program! We look forward to seeing what research outcomes participants bring to our fall WATESOL conference or share in other meaningful ways. Proposal Writing Workshop - Review models of successful proposals and examine the rating process used for proposal acceptance. Mini Conference - Come see national conference presentations without having to travel!
Dearest WATESOL Community, We have an outstanding board to serve you this year. Each and every board member has already rolled up her sleeves and dug into important work including: organizing advocacy events, planning PD workshops, creating this newsletter, and updating membership, communications, and financial systems. Our first order of business was to look inward and reflect on WATESOL’s Vision and Mission. In order for us to achieve balanced, intentional growth, it’s important for us to reexamine who we want to be (vision), and what we want to do (mission). With that in mind, the board spent time on this strategic planning work. I am proud to say that we arrived at the following:
I want to highlight the Advocacy Chairs, Joanna Duggan and Colleen Shaughnessy. As soon as the election results were in, Joanna worked to get a committee up and running and to organize the December Policy Update event with John Segota WATESOL’s Vision (what we want to be): (with 45 attendees on a cold December We aim to be a trusted organization that serves our night). Colleen joined Joanna as Co-Chair shortly local TESOL community by fostering knowledge, thereafter. Their committee is upwards of 40 expertise, and advocacy. members strong. Get involved! WATESOL’s Mission (what we want to do): Our mission is to support professionalism and excellence in English language education through enriching multicultural teaching and learning communities promoting scholarship and research-to-practice connections supporting high-impact professional development advocating for the profession and our learners
I also want to highlight our Non-Native EnglishSpeaking Teachers (NNEST) Caucus, led by Sevtap Frantz. This caucus’s primary mission is to raise awareness about the benefits that NNESTs bring to teaching and learning communities. At the heart of our shared profession, we are coaches of multicultural awareness, facilitators of communicative competence, and most of all life-long learners of culture and language. The NNEST Caucus is a dedicated group of NNESTs and NESTs collaborating on current issues that touch our profession, sometimes more than we realize. To join us in this meaningful conversation, contact Sevtap.
As a member, you can help us with your input. A Referendum has been emailed asking members to vote on the revised vision and mission. You can participate by going to: http://bit.ly/watesolvision
The Newsletter Editors worked collaboratively to produce this newsletter full of rich ideas. I hope that you find useful tips and insights in this edition. And we hope to see you at the next WATESOL event!
With our Mission in mind, we created three new PD events this winter. All three were designed to foster collaboration, community, and research-to-practice In peace, Heather Tatton-Harris connections. WATESOL President 2016-17
FROM THE EDITORS Dear WATESOL Community, Happy New Year! We are excited to publish this edition of the newsletter and hope it contains practical, relevant, and thought provoking information. Included in this edition is:
A reflection on TESOL Preconvention Institutes A description of a visual arts integrated project A reflection on WATESOL Fall Conference An insight in teaching pronunciation with games An overview of WATESOL’s NNEST Caucus
As always, we would like to extend our gratitude to all of the contributors to this newsletter. Enjoy the articles and we hope to see you soon at a WATESOL event! Your Newsletter editors, Stephanie Gallop, Lindsey Crifasi, & Silvia Hildesheim
HELPING HAND AWARD INSIDE THIS ISSUE Reflection
on TESOL ................... 3
Visual Arts .................................... 6 Reflection on Fall Conference 11 Pronunciation ............................. 14 NNEST Caucus........................... 18
SPECIAL POINTS OF INTEREST SIG Member Profile ................ 10 Tech Tools Corner ..................... 17 Advocacy Committee............... 20 Member Spotlight .................... 21
Masha Vassilieva was this year's recipient of the Helping Hand Award. The Helping Hand award is a recognition of service that goes above and beyond the normal call of duty, something that certainly applies to Masha. Not only did she run all job board postings, registration for events, and membership subscriptions nearly singlehandedly (chances are you've gotten an email from her at some point!), but she also stayed on for an extra year beyond her set term. Doing so helped the incoming Board have access to institutional memory and assistance from an experienced Board member. She was always available and answered emails promptly and thoroughly no matter where she was in the world--literally! WATESOL would not have worked the way it did these past 3 years without Masha, and we are so grateful for the effort and expertise she poured into her position and the organization as a whole. Thank you, Masha!
TESOL PRECONVENTION INSTITUTES Betsy Lindeman Wong|Northern Virginia Community Collegeemail@example.com Thanks to WATESOL’s travel grant, I was able to attend two preconvention institutes of the 2016 TESOL International Conference. The institutes took a fresh approach to two common challenges: How to respond to ineffective writing from sources in a helpful but nonpunitive way, and how to design listening activities that help students to process the nuances and complexities of authentic speech.
Whatever the reason, students need to understand when and why they are not citing sources correctly – and as teachers, we can we respond to this in different ways. For example, Mott-Smith and Tomas asked, when you have students locate sources for their research paper, do you … Recommend search databases? Arrange for a session led by a librarian? Teach what constitutes “good” sources? Model how you find the right sources? Address linguistic and cultural accessibility?
Responding to Ineffective Writing from Sources When students borrow text from other sources, this borrowing falls along a spectrum, according to presenters Jennifer Mott-Smith (Townson University) and Zuzana Tomas (Eastern Michigan University). At one end of the spectrum is highly ineffective source use, or plagiarism; at the other end is effective source use, with citations, paraphrases, and boundary markers that signal movement to and from others’ ideas.
This scaffolding helps students to choose sources that are at an accessible linguistic level, MottSmith and Tomas said. They recommend having learners do research within one theme so that students will have an understanding of the vocabulary and concepts involved and know appropriate synonyms, which will help them to paraphrase. Once students have found sources for a research paper, they should rate each source’s credibility, relevance, interest, and accessibility.
In the middle is a problematic occurrence called “patchwriting” (Howard, 1999), which results when little pieces – ideas or actual language – are taken from other sources, patched together without attribution, and juxtaposed with the student’s own ideas and writing. In any one paper, a student can have a mix of effective, problematic, and ineffective source use, Mott-Smith and Tomas said. This spectrum illustrates why it isn’t enough to simply give students a handout of rules for avoiding plagiarism and expect them to internalize that.
In order to understand why citations are necessary, it is helpful for students to look at the citations within a journal article and identify the reason why an author referenced the sources, choosing from a checklist like this one that the presenters developed: Functions for referencing a source:
It’s also important to consider why students may improperly use sources, according to the presenters. Students might feel that their own words do not sound as academic or eloquent as the original author’s, or may believe that the information reflects their own prior learning, so they did not need to cite it. Alternatively, they may be wary of having too many citations but might not understand the content well enough to put it into their own words.
Giving support for a claim Letting readers know who the author’s allies are Name-dropping to establish authority Showing a gap in the resource Indicating that the author disagrees with the idea Establishing credibility Describing the context for the author’s position (continued on the next page)
Continued from “Functions…”
Step 2: Use adequate and authentic teaching material Introducing an idea that’s controversial Choosing real speech samples with unplanned Referring the reader to the article that speech, such as “pauses, false starts, establishes or explains the concept rephrasing, and fillers,” gives listeners muchneeded repetition and extra processing time After students have located appropriate (Vandergrift & Goh, 2012, p. 154). Authentic sources, they need to learn how to cite and speech sources include podcasts such as paraphrase ideas. They can learn National Public Radio’s “This American Life,” paraphrasing skills by analyzing and discussing TED Talks, radio shows, and open source examples of effective and ineffective lectures. In selecting materials, teachers should paraphrasing (or “patchwriting”). identify a specific objective for a lesson with the speech sample, considering what they need Listen Again: Strategies for an Integrated to teach learners before listening and what Approach to Listening Skills learners will be able to discuss or manipulate Listening is the skill over which learners feel the after listening to the sample. least control – and for which teachers have received the least training, according to Marnie Step 3: Plan strategies for teaching listening Reed of Boston University. Teachers typically An important strategy for teaching listening receive curricular guidelines like, “Students will involves metacognition, or the perception of the understand academic and professional different processes used in listening in order to discussions,” but they’re left on their own to build comprehension. To this end, teachers can determine what to teach in order to aid help learners to understand word segmentation learners in processing aural input. This – that is, the idea that they won’t hear each necessitates a new approach to listening word individually – and to be aware of how instruction that is skill-based and metacognitive intonation affects meaning. Students need at each step. explicit practice producing these aspects of speech in order to perceive them in listening. Here are the four steps, according to Reed:
Step 4: Implement diagnostic formative and summative assessment. Step 1: Operationalize goals Any diagnostic assessment of learners’ listening Learners must develop their listening skills to skills should address metacognitive goals as understand not only utterance content but also well as skill-based listening goals. For speaker intent, which is where comprehension example, students could share their initial often breaks down. Consider using short speech perceptions about how English is spoken by samples to parse connected speech through responding whether they agree or disagree instruction in the pronunciation features of with such statements as, “Native speakers use linking, blending, and gliding. Another helpful dictionary (‘correct’) pronunciation in skill is sentence inferencing to understand the conversation.” Another useful metacognitive implicational use of intonation. For example, assessment is to listen for contrastive stress in when a student asks, “Can I turn in my order to match utterances with their actual homework late?” and the teacher replies,“You meanings, or to use one’s awareness of can …”, the words are affirmative, but the intonation to decide whether a speaker has just message is negative. An operational goal for heard good or bad news. learners might be to make inferences based on contrastive stress and intonation. With these four steps, students can move from unconscious incompetence to unconscious competence in listening and speaking. 4
What to Do in a Student Conference
In a video from the Eastern Michigan University Library (2014), Zuzana Tomas models how to effectively discuss potential plagiarism or source issues with students. Here are some tips:
Howard, R. M. (1999). Standing in the shadow of giants: Plagiarists, authors, collaborators. Stanford, CT: Ablex. Vandergrift, L., & Goh, C. M. (2012) Teaching and learning second language listening: Metacognition in action. New York and London: Routledge.
Begin by pointing out what worked well in the paper to make your student comfortable. Encourage your student to use institutional resources like the writing center. Relate to your student (“If this were me, I would consider …”). Make an effort to understand your student’s reading and decision-making process (“What made you choose …”?). Use gestures and rephrase key information and unknown vocabulary to reinforce meaning. Help your student with useful academic language. Example: “Discussing … is beyond the scope of this paper.” Frame problematic source use from the perspective of your student’s voice or her ability to integrate arguments. Give your student direct advice on how to improve problematic sections. Guide your student in selecting sources (e.g., Wikipedia: “I wouldn’t use it as your main source, but it’s okay to use initially for basic information”). Focus on the purpose of source use and citations. Reassure your student and refer to the assessment tool (“You can lose one point if you don’t meet the page requirement, but you can lose many points if you …”). Have your student summarize the revision plan you create. Highlight key takeaways. Once again, relate to your student (“I know how difficult it is to …”), ending on a positive note.
Video Source: Departing from punishing plagiarism: Toward addressing ineffective source use pedagogically, by Eastern Michigan University Library (2014, October 2), retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch? WSfrwzo&feature=youtu.be Betsy Lindeman Wong teaches a variety of classes in NOVA’s Intensive English and TESOL certificate programs. She has coauthored a textbook and teacher’s guide for Pearson Longman and currently writes and consults for Burlington English.
Congratulations to the 2017 WATESOL Award Winners! Kelly Hill Zirker WATESOL Travel Grant
Tabitha Kidwell Jim Weaver Scholarship
THE VISUAL ARTS & VISUAL LITERACY IN LANGUAGE EDUCATION: AN INTERACTIVE PROJECT Dr. Monica Mulholland & Dr. Andrea Todd|Virginia Tech Language and Culture Institute The Visual Arts have unlimited advantages to offer the field of language education. They are a source of inspiration; they motivate learners to express themselves in writing and orally on a variety of topics; they promote critical thinking; and they connect cultures that might otherwise seem distant. In real life, art is often a catalyst for oral communication; therefore, it lends itself seamlessly to the communicative second language classroom. Visual Literacy denotes “[t]he ability to interpret, use, appreciate, and create images and video using both conventional and 21st century media in ways that advance understanding, thinking, decision making, communication, and learning” (Texas A&M, n.d.). An effective and engaging way in which these parallel areas, visual literacy and language education, can enrich each other is by the creation of VoiceThread projects using the FTC Palette approach (Sandell, 2010).
The concept of the FTC Palette was created by Dr. Renee Sandell to serve as a framework for Visual Literacy. As a starting point for Visual Literacy, “FTC is a balanced approach to exploring the form + theme + context of an artwork” (Sandell, n.d.) that reveals layers of meaning. The formal component consists of the composition, elements, and design principles of the piece of art. The thematic component refers to the broad subject, subject matter, and perspective (of the artist and, later, of the observer). The contextual component explores when, where, and by or for whom the piece of art was created. Understanding the FTC elements of a piece of art serves as a jumpingoff point for the student as art aficionado. VoiceThread (https://voicethread.com) is a web-based learning tool that can be used effectively to enhance student participation and collaboration in an asynchronous mode, and it is very easy to use. Voice Thread allows people to have online conversations and to make comments using any mix of text, a microphone, a web cam, a telephone, or an uploaded audio file.
Visual arts motivate learners to express themselves.
This article describes a VoiceThread/FTC project carried out with advanced ESL students at the Virginia Tech Language and Culture Institute in the National Capital Region. This project is the culminating activity of a series of tasks created with the “backward design” approach in mind. Backward design is a method of designing educational curriculum by setting goals before choosing instructional methods and forms of assessment (Wiggins & McTighe). In this unit, the overarching goal is an oral presentation on art which will be recorded by the students using Voice Thread.
Visual Literacy in the language classroom allows students to transcend language differences: art “speaks” to everyone without words. It allows students to highlight their cultures and their individual personalities via their artistic perspectives. Visual Literacy provides fodder for discussion by making a piece of art “your own” or by finding your own meaning in the details. “Like French or Spanish, Art is a language that can be learned and understood. Like English, Art has an established vocabulary and grammar: the elements and principles of design” (Goldonowicz, 1985, p. 17).
The following pages illustrate this project. 6
Project Title: A Work of Art Goals: Through this project, the students will
reflect on their own thoughts and emotions about art, use the target language orally in real-life contexts, display instances of creative expression and critical thinking, gain confidence in speaking in front of a camera, and share their thoughts and emotions with listeners/viewers beyond the classroom walls.
Level: High Intermediate/Advanced Materials: the digital image of a work of art that is meaningful to the student (it does not need to be by a well-known artist); a computer lab or students’ laptop computers; internet connection; VoiceThread user name and password. Time: 50 minutes Procedure: 1. Instructor shares a grading rubric with the class to raise awareness on how the project will be graded. 2. Instructor offers students a VoiceThread tutorial by accessing this link: https:// voicethread.com/howto/creating-a-new-voicethread-2/ 3. Students search online in the computer lab or on their own for a picture (painting or photograph) they would like to talk about during an oral activity which they will record on VoiceThread. 4. Students upload their picture on VoiceThread following the steps in the tutorial. 5. Students write six or seven sentences about their picture. 6. Students read the sentences several times, and then put them out of sight to encourage spontaneous speech as opposed to reading when recording themselves. 7. Students record their VoiceThread message on their laptops, their cell phones or in the lab. The VTLCI project is available at: https://voicethread.com/ #thread/6883886/36304477 and https://voicethread.com/myvoice/ #thread/6883900/36304559/37729154 7
The following are statements from students Following the FTC Palette, students were asked to about the assignment. explore: This project was useful because we should FORM (F) know about art, and it also helped us learn new vocabulary. All types of images: Oil paintings by well-
known artists, finger painting, charcoal, murals, and photographs
There was a lot of participation on Voice Thread!
Portraits, landscapes, family scenes, and urban subjects
There was an opportunity to repeat the recording. Intonation was a challenge for me.
I feel more comfortable on presentations online than face-to-face.
You are alone when you record, so you don’t feel nervous.
It gave me the opportunity to understand what art is.
I completely liked the project. I like all forms of art, and the project made me think what to share with the class.
I enjoyed the project because it was different from our usual topics, and change is nice.
This activity is unique. I loved it.
I like both face-to-face and online presentations, but the online one was new to me, so I really enjoyed it.
The advantage is that we save time in class that we can use for other things.
It was exciting to share a work of art I chose!
Reflections on creativity and the creative process
Racism through conceptual art CONTEXT (C)
Europe, The United States, Latin America, The Middle East
Throughout this project, the feedback from students was consistently positive. Students were enthusiastic about viewing each other’s choices of artwork and listening about why the stories behind the pictures. They were excited to provide commentary on VoiceThread and to listen to their classmates’ responses.
Integrating the visual arts and visual literacy with language education is an effective approach to second language teaching and learning that allows both teachers and students to go beyond language to reach the human being as represented by the artist, the subject, and the audience. Furthermore, students use 8
language with a real communicative purpose, to explore both the interpersonal and intrapersonal aspects of their intelligence. Through projects like the one presented here, students learn that art is a language, too, and, as such, it helps them reflect and grow not only as learners but also as human beings. The educator and the student can thus share their culture or cultures in a meaningful and engaging context, and interact with each other at a deeper level.
References Gardner, H. (1983). Frames of mind: The theory of multiple intelligences. New York: Basic Books. Goldonowicz, J. (1985). Art and other subjects. Art Education, 38(6), 17. Sandell, R. (2009). Using Form+Theme+Context (FTC) for rebalancing 21st-century art education. Studies in Art Education, 50(3), 287-299.
Sample Pictures Students Chose:
Sandell, R. (n.d.) Form+Theme+Context (FTC)TM. Retrieved from http://forthcovision.onair.cc Texas A&M (n.d.) Visual definitions. Retrieved from http://distance-ed.math.tamu.edu/ techtools/valgebra/resources/definitions.html Wiggins, G. P., & McTighe, J. (1998; 2005). Understanding by design (2nd ed.). Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Dr. Monica Mulholland, Ph.D. is an English Language Professor at Virginia Tech Language and Culture Institute National Capital Region. She specialized in teaching with digital technologies and The Arts in Argentina and in the United States. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org Dr. Andrea Todd is Director of Northern Virginia Operations for Virginia Tech Language and Culture Institute. She has worked in the field of higher education as an administrator and researcher and has taught English as a Second Language since 1989. Please contact her at: email@example.com. 9
ADULT ED SIG MEMBER PROFILE ChristyAnn Helm and Erin Ross interview Erin Ellingson |firstname.lastname@example.org Trends in the Field One of the growing trends in Adult ESL is students taking courses in a specific content area while at the same time learning English. There has always been the notion that students were not ready to learn career content until they had acquired an advanced level of English proficiency. This notion has been challenged as more and more programs are offering courses in career pathways at a lower proficiency of English. At Carlos Rosario International Public Charter School, students are learning Health at the same time as learning intermediate English. Erin Ellingson is the instructor for the ESL Level 5 Health course, and her thoughts and impressions of teaching an ESL content class follow below. 1. How long have you been involved in Adult Education? Have you always taught ESL and adults?
Erin E: I’ve been involved with Adult Education since 2011, though I’ve had the pleasure of working with all ages long before that. Some of my early classes were packed with kindergarteners while these days my students range from their early twenties to eighty years old. There are perks to teaching kids, but overall I prefer the experience of working with adults because they bring so much to the classroom. They’re usually full of curiosity, highly motivated and they’ve got interesting life experiences and knowledge to share. They contribute so much to the classroom environment and each other’s learning. 2. What is an activity that your students enjoy? Erin E: The students really get into the project on acute and chronic diseases. They tend to research and present on a disease that has affected a family member. So it’s personal for them, and that relevance translates clearly in the effort and end product. The project demands independent learning and I hope it reinforces agency and the idea that anything they want to know or learn about is at their fingertips. 3. What are some rewards to teaching an ESL Health class? Erin E: One of the great things about teaching a contextualized English class like Health is hearing their ability to share content that has a direct and immediate impact on their personal and family’s health. For example, after a reading and writing lesson on super foods, a student called the satellite phone in his village in West Africa. He shared the information he learned about the nutritional benefits of black beans, a food his village grew and traded but did not eat as part of their diet because they believed black beans to be unhealthy. 4. What are some challenges to teaching ESL in a contextualized theme? Erin E: For students who have learned in a more pedagogical classroom, contextualized ESL can be frustrating at first. They want to copy every last letter on the board, do drills, they want to see the grammar isolated and dissected. It can take some convincing that ESL Health is first and foremost about learning English, but it usually takes a couple of weeks to get a majority buy-in. 5. What would you like to see more of in contextualized/career pathways ESL classes? Erin E: I would love to see more resources! It can be a huge challenge to find materials that touch on relevant content and language objectives. 10
SCAFFOLDING LITERACY: REFLECTION ON WATESOL FALL CONFERENCE Julia Schmidtemail@example.com
WATESOL held the 2016 Fall Conference on October 15-16, 2016. Dr. Misty Adoniou delivered a keynote address and led a Sunday Workshop. The following is a summary of Dr. Adoniouâ€™s workshop.
An exciting and stimulating way to teach students how to write was presented in an excellent workshop by Dr. Misty Adoniou on Sunday. This fascinating approach moves away from the traditional method of using simplified readers to enable ELLs to learn to read and write in English. Dr. Adoniou instead showed us how to use authentic childrenâ€™s literature to give students the tools to understand the Dr. Misty Adoniou delivering keynote address writing process. Her approach highlighted the importance of drawing awareness to the use of grammar to build meaning, and best of all, to empower students to write in a similar way.
Dr Adoniou explained that exposing the students to beautiful literary language is the main way they will learn to write using similar language. Rather than using simplified readers, teachers learn how to unpack the language of difficult literature for students, so that it is not just exposure to, but a very carefully prepared interaction with the text using a series of different steps.
Once the appropriate book is chosen, the first step is to consider the prior learning and experiences of our students. This is called text orientation. If the book deals with a theme that is foreign to students, such as a faraway country or a certain animal or flower, we need to provide that information by using pictures, maps or other things before the students begin reading the book. The next step is to tell the story in our own words using illustrations, either from the book, or other creative sources. Part of the storytelling is to say explicitly what the author is implying. It is these inferences that ELLs usually miss, becoming confused and unable to follow the story. An example from the book Dr. Adoniou used was of a little girl fleeing her country, Afghanistan, by leaving on a boat. Neither the name of her country nor the boat are actually mentioned in the story, but they are implied by the author. It is our job as the teacher, when telling the story to our students in our own words, to explicitly give this background information.
The next step is to embed key vocabulary in our rendition of the book. This provides a base for the ELLs to feel like they know where they are going once they actually begin the book. After these two steps, the students are familiar with the story and they will have heard a few of the difficult words before they are confronted with this vocabulary in the book. Dr. Adoniou encouraged us to think carefully about what we want to highlight and then tell it in a way that makes it visible to the learners. She emphasized how much we need to make the inferences explicit and later on when we unpack the language, we will show the learner how the language achieved this.
One example of this in the book Dr. Adoniou used was an excerpt of the climax scene of danger and violence from which the little girl and her mother had to flee. She gave us the text and the language orientation began. The students are directed to notice the short simple sentences used to describe the sounds of gunfire and angry people. These sentences are as short and choppy as the action. The longer complex sentence describe the long journey the little girl makes with her mother to flee the danger. This method clearly shows the learners the necessity for simple and complex sentences and the authorâ€™s intentional use of them. After that, Dr Adoniou used these sentences to unpack the grammar that they consist of. I found this to be an interesting and stimulating way to teach grammar in a real context. The students use different colored pens to circle the subjects, verbs, objects and prepositions to show where the action is taking place. She also used the etymology of words with difficult spellings to explain why they are that way. This added an intriguing point of interest that helps the students to remember difficult spellings.
This is only a glimpse of the entire process presented. It was a workshop jam-packed with practical and interesting information, which was well worth my time. She certainly presented an approach to teaching writing that can have enormous benefits for any ESL teacher.
Dr. Misty Adoniou & 2015-2016 WATESOL President Sharla Rivera
ENLIVEN YOUR LESSONS WITH PRONUNCIATION GAMES Megan Calvert|Montgomery Collegefirstname.lastname@example.org Shirley Thompson|English Language Teaching Solutions |email@example.com Teaching with games has a number of benefits, some of which should be quite obvious to teachers and students alike. Games create abundant opportunities for language practice in a way that affords repetition without tedium. They also lower students’ affective filters and provide a lowanxiety atmosphere that encourages students to experiment. This latter benefit is particularly important when working with pronunciation, as students can sometimes be hesitant to “sound American” because of a strong association between ways of speaking and cultural identity (Avery & Ehrlich, 1992).
1. The Ball Toss Game This simple game reinforces lengthening of the stressed vowel and intonation in students’ pronunciation of multisyllable words. How to Play: Begin by saying a multisyllable word or phrase that students are familiar with while tossing the ball to a student during the stressed syllable. The time it takes for the ball to leave your hand and land in a student’s hand is the time it takes to say the stressed syllable. The visual of the ball in the air also mimics the slightly raised pitch of the intonation when the word is said normally. For example, if the word is “constitution,” the teacher says “con-sti” with the ball in his or her hand, “tu” while the ball is in the air, and “tion” when it lands in the student’s hand. The student tosses the ball back to the teacher, imitating the stress and intonation pattern. Once students understand the concept, they can begin to initiate new words while tossing the ball to classmates. The challenge is to say each word correctly with the throws.
One of the challenges of teaching with games, however, can be choosing ones that are not only fun but also effective for learning. When it comes to pronunciation, one helpful strategy can be to choose games that focus less on the segmental aspects, that is the individual sounds, and more on the suprasegmental aspects, mainly stress, rhythm and intonation. Research and experience have shown that students from all language backgrounds benefit from focusing on these key aspects of pronunciation (see for example, Monro & Derwing, 1999). The following pronunciation games are ones that were chosen because they allow for focus on
2. The Fly Swatter Game This is a classic game for vocabulary, but it can be given a twist to reinforce students’ declarative knowledge about syllables, stress, rhythm, and vowel sounds.
Games create abundant opportunities for language practice in a way that affords repetition without tedium.
How to Play: Write or project the words you want to review on the board so that the words are spread out. Divide students into two or more teams. Select a scorekeeper. Call one student up from each team and give each student a “fly swatter.” This can be as simple as a rolled up newspaper. The teacher then calls out a category, such as “A word with three syllables,” “a RED word” (e.g. headache, incredible, said; referring to the Color Vowel ® Chart), “a word that rhymes with …” or a word for which you use a kazoo to show the intonation and stress pattern. Students race to hit a word that fits that category by using the fly swatter. The first student to correctly hit a word in that category wins the point. That student then gets a chance at one more point by pronouncing the word correctly. If the student fails to say the word
suprasegmentals, provide ample practice opportunities, and create a fun, low-anxiety experience for students. They are also games that we have personally tested in the classroom and which have received very positive reviews from students and teachers alike. Some games reference the Color Vowel ® Chart, which is a system for helping students identify the stressed syllable and sound in words and phrases. You can learn more about the chart at https://elts.solutions/color-vowel -chart/. 14
correctly, his or her opponent gets a chance to gain one point for pronunciation as well. Points are assigned, the two students sit down, two new students get up, and the game continues.
How to Play: The teacher begins by telling students that Mrs. McGillicuddee is a very particular woman who likes some words and not other words. The teacher then gives 3 or more examples of words that she likes and 3 or more examples of words that she does not like. Students must then determine the distinguishing factor by asking questions about other things she likes and doesn’t like. The factor could be, for example, words with two syllables, words that have a particular sound, or words with stress on the first syllable. Words should be written on the board in a t-chart fashion to help learners keep track. Play continues until someone guesses the rule.
3. Stress Echo Game This is a game to help students understand and use stress in phrases and short sentences. It is adapted from Targeting Pronunciation (Miller, 2005). How to Play: Introduce the game by demonstrating to students how words and phrases can have the same stress pattern. Have students make the rhythm of these words and phrases by slapping their knees for each unstressed syllable and raising their hands for each stressed syllable. For example, “Let’s have LUNCH now,” has a rhythm of da da DA da and matches to the word “interrUPtion.” Give each student a different card with a word or phrase that has the stress marked. Ask them to first practice slapping out the syllables on their knees and raising their arms for the stress as they say the word or phrase. Next, have students stand up and mingle in order to look for their groups. As they encounter each student, they should use the physical rhythm to help determine whether or not another student is a match. Once students think they have found their groups, check by having students lead the class in choral repetition and acting out their group’s rhythm.
References Avery, P, & Ehrlich, S. (1992). Teaching American English Pronunciation. New York, NY: Oxford. Miller, S. F. (2007). Targeting Pronunciation. Boston: Heinle. Munro, M. J. and Derwing, T. M. (1999), Foreign Accent, Comprehensibility, and Intelligibility in the Speech of Second Language Learners. Language Learning, 49: 285–310. Shirley Thompson has taught ESL in K-12, higher ed and adult ed both in the US and overseas. She now focuses on training teachers to teach pronunciation effectively and joyfully. Shirley is co-author of the Color Vowel Chart.
4. Categories How to play: Divide students into teams of 4 6. Announce a category that is meaningful for your learners (e.g. three syllable words, things we buy at the grocery store, places we go in our town, RED words). Each team chooses a recorder. Set a timer for one minute. Learners list as many words as they can think of in one minute. Call time. Have one group read all of their words, focusing on pronunciation. If any other team lists the same word, cross it off the list. Teams only get points for words that no other team has.
Megan Calvert has taught in France, Kyrgyzstan and Turkey and currently teaches adult ESL at Montgomery College. Her interests include pronunciation, English for Specific Purposes and Task-Based Language Teaching.
5. Mrs. McGillicuddee This is a classic rule guessing game for children that can be easily adapted to review pronunciation knowledge. The name comes from the original rule that Mrs. McGillicuddee was a woman who liked words with double letters. 15
INTERESTED IN SUBMITTING TO THE NEWSLETTER? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for questions. Contributions can include: connecting research to practice, current topics of interest to the membership, and teaching tips. Guidelines include:
1,500 words or less
Up to 5 citations, following APA citation style
2-3 sentence author biography
Author photo (digital head shot)
Include a byline with your name, email, and affiliation
TECH TOOLS CORNER New to integrating technology in the classroom? Here are 3 go-to sites for ideas and professional development around tech in the ESOL classroom. Tech Tips for Teachers: Experienced ESOL contributors write monthly articles on practice and research for this blog. They always offer useful and inspiring ideas! Literacy Information and Communication System (LINCS): The Department of Ed and OCTAE run this extensive PD website for adult educators. They are currently offering an online course called “Integrating Technology in the ESL Classroom.” This 4-hour course walks educators who are new to tech integration through the Whys, Hows, and Whats of tech in the classroom! Edutopia: This website, funded by the George Lucas Foundation, is everything an educator could ask for around professional development. Their “Technology Integration” page offers videos, articles, discussion boards, and resources in this area. It’s a one-stop shop for all the techspiration you’ll need for your class! 16
LEARN ABOUT WATESOL’S NNEST CAUCUS Sevtap Frantz|NNEST Caucus Liaisonemail@example.com
Do I have to be a non-native speaker to join? NO!! The NNEST Caucus is a community for like -minded professionals, regardless of one’s native- or non-native status. We welcome both native- and non-native English speaking teachers and have NEST members. The Caucus is composed of those WATESOL members who are concerned with advocacy and against discrimination, seek research opportunities concerning how and why teachers interact with students in different ways, and are interested in NNEST research and participation.
What is the NNEST Caucus? First of all, “NNEST” stands for “Non-Native English Speaking Teacher” (pronounced “N”nest). We are here to support local NNESTs and promote NEST-NNEST collaboration. WATESOL’s NNEST Caucus was founded in 2004 supported by local TESOL members and leaders. The creation of the WATESOL NNEST Caucus followed the success of the NNEST movement in the field of TESOL in the 90s and was structured along the lines of the TESOL International NNEST Caucus in 1998, which became an Interest Section in 2008.
Why are NNEST issues important for everyone? There are far more NNESTs than NESTs in the world of TESOL, so clearly, NNESTs and NESTs must work collaboratively. In order to do so, it is very important for us all to know that NNESTs and NESTs sometimes have different needs and concerns. Second of all, despite their qualifications and training, NNESTs sometimes experience discrimination in the hiring, or may be disrespected by students, parents, or administrators, and are not accorded the credibility they deserve based on their education and teaching experience. We believe that TESOL professionals should support NNESTs because supporting NNESTs means that we believe in the importance of teacher education and training but not in one’s “native” status. After all, if administrators and the general public believe that “nativeness” is all that is required to be a good English teacher, none of us, whether we are NNESTs and NESTs will receive the respect and compensation we deserve based on our educational backgrounds and our professional experience. Therefore, we firmly believe that advocacy for NNESTs is an important way to advance our profession. NNESTs and NESTs must support each other and work together to survive and thrive in this rapidly globalizing world.
We are not a “SIG” but an “Other Group Entity” within WATESOL. This is because in 2004 the founding members of the Caucus and then WATESOL Board argued that SIGs and Other Group Entities may fulfill very different roles – One of the founding members, Karen Taylor, argued “SIGs tend to be about where you teach; Caucuses tend to be about who you are (or whom you choose to advocate for).” We believe this still holds true, and the NNEST Caucus welcomes any WATESOLers, whether or not they are non-native English speaking teachers as long as they value NNEST-NEST collaboration towards the future of our profession and welcome ethnic, racial, cultural, religious, and linguistic diversity in the field of TESOL. What is the relationship between WATESOL and the NNEST Caucus? The NNEST Caucus was established in 2004 after an online elicitation of member opinion and with the full approval of the WATESOL Board. Its structure and relation to WATESOL was designed to be identical to the relation of the NNEST Caucus to TESOL International, before Caucuses were disbanded in TESOL International in 2007. The NNEST entity in TESOL International is now an Interest Section. 17
What are the benefits of joining the NNEST Caucus? One great benefit is that you can have a community where you feel at home and welcome. We are a relatively small group compared to SIGs, which makes it possible for members to know each other better and to build close relationships. You can find a mentor from whom you seek advice and guidance, a colleague with whom you conduct research and exchange feedback on each other’s research, a colleague who shares similar concerns and issues in the classroom and has some innovative teaching ideas and tips for effective teaching, or just a good friend to hang out with at WATESOL events. Another benefit is opportunities to publish and present. For graduate students who have never presented at conferences, participating in our group presentation at the WATESOL Convention can be a non-intimidating first step where you can learn from co-presenters. Since we always try to make our session useful and relevant to practicing teachers, their input is often vital and consists of an important part of our session.
professionals, comprised of both NNESTs and NEST How is the NNEST Caucus leadership organized? We have a Chair and a Co-Chair who alternate each year. The Co-Chair usually takes over and becomes the next Chair, and a new Co-Chair is elected. Some years we have a research/newsletter editor, a website coordinator and or recording secretary. When can I meet members of the NNEST Caucus? You can meet us at either WATESOL Fall Conference, other WATESOL events, or NNEST Caucus meetings. At this fall’s conference, NNEST will have a dedicated roundtable discussion about current hiring challenges that NNESTs face. Once you are on our listserv, you will be informed about our monthly meeting and other events. You are always welcome to join us at one of our Caucus meetings. How do I join? First, become a WATESOL member. If you are new to WATESOL, you will be asked if you would like to join the NNEST Caucus or if you are interested in the Caucus. Check these boxes, then we will contact you individually. If you are already a WATESOL member and would like to join the NNEST Caucus (in addition to your choice of SIG), simply email us (firstname.lastname@example.org). We will include you on our listserv and look forward to meeting you at the meeting!
Finally, there is always an opportunity for new members to grow as future leaders. It is a small and very friendly community where you can learn about leadership and try out leadership roles. Members are all supportive and willing to offer help, and many of them are actually experienced leaders who can provide guidance and be role models What does the NNEST Caucus do? We typically have monthly or bi-monthly Caucus meetings to discuss future activities and plan WATESOL presentations. We organize campus visits in the universities in DC Metro area in order to meet with future and current ESOL teachers and introduce our advocacy to them. In the past, we also organized some social events like a pot-luck picnic.
Sevtap Frantz is currently an Assistant Professor at Prince George’s Community College’s Language Studies Department. She holds an MA in Curriculum and Instruction with an ESL speciality from George Washington University. She is a Swiss-born Turkish-American citizen who has had the opportunity to teach to students from various social-cultural backgrounds.
How many people are members of the NNEST Caucus? Today we have an active group of over 35 18
WATESOL ADVOCACY COMMITTEE WATESOL is very excited to be reviving the Advocacy Committee, which is being co-chaired by Joanna Duggan and Colleen Shaughnessy. Our first event, a Policy Outlook presented by John Segota, Associate Executive Director for Public Policy and Professional Relations at TESOL, was held in December. John presented very comprehensive information about the current education policies for K-12 and Adult Education and how they affect English learners. The recording of the presentation is available on WATESOL's website: http://watesol.wildapricot.org/TESOL-PolicyOutlook-Event The Committee held its first meeting in December and discussed ideas for events and activities that we will focus on in the coming year. We are starting to plan legislative action activities, our next in-person event, and providing resources for our membership on the website. Please contact Joanna and Colleen at email@example.com if you are interested in being involved in the Advocacy Committee.
UPCOMING CONFERENCES & PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
WATESOL Mini Conference—check WATESOL website for upcoming information TESOL International The World Comes Together at TESOL March 21-24, Seattle, WA
VIU Conference on Language, Learning, and Culture April 7-8, Fairfax, VA Summer 2017 MAACCE May 4-5, Linthicum, MD
MELLFIN May 25, Arnold, MD
ISTE Technology-charged learning starts here June 25-28, San Antonio, TX
MEMBER SPOTLIGHT Several WATESOL members have been accepted to present at springtime national conferences. View the full listing of presentations on our website: http://watesol.wildapricot.org/MemberSpotlights
2016-2017 WATESOL BOARD MEMBERS PRESIDENT Heather Tatton-Harris firstname.lastname@example.org
ADVOCACY CHAIR Joanna Duggan & Colleen Shaughnessy email@example.com
CO-VICE PRESIDENTS Rebecca Wilner & Heather Weger firstname.lastname@example.org
WEBMASTER & SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER Aimee Kelley & Erica Sanchez email@example.com
PAST PRESIDENT Sharla Rivera firstname.lastname@example.org
SIG LIAISON Lucy Ruiz email@example.com
RECORDING SECRETARY Julie Lake firstname.lastname@example.org
HIGHER EDUCATION SIG Shereen Bhalla email@example.com
MEMBERSHIP SECRETARY Connie Lee firstname.lastname@example.org
ADULT EDUCATION SIG Christyann Helm & Erin Ross email@example.com
TREASURER Jennifer Lubkin Chavez firstname.lastname@example.org
K-12 SIG Emily Naber watesol.k12.SIG@gmail.com
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT COORDINATORS Rebecca Sachs, Mary Spanarkel & Emily Vandermade email@example.com
NNEST Sevtap Frantz firstname.lastname@example.org A special thank you to the outgoing board members:
NEWSLETTER EDITORS Lindsey Crifasi, Stephanie Gallop & Silvia Hildesheim email@example.com
Bryan Woerner, Masha Vassilieva, Kris Lowrey, Michelle Chan, Jennifer Estenos, & Brock Brady 20