Eurolingua Institute TEFL/TESOL Program

•21/11/2012 • Leave a Comment

title=”Eurolingua Institute TEFL/TESOL Program”>Eurolingua Institute TEFL/TESOL Program

Eurolingua Institute is an organization that offers services such as online language teaching, translation, home stays, internships, and opportunities to become an English as a Foreign Language (EFL) teacher. Languages offered other than English include: Arabic, Chinese, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish or Ukrainian.

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ESL Inclusion in an elementary setting

•03/12/2011 • Leave a Comment

So as of December 9, it will be my three month anniversary as a classroom teacher (first year) working with first grade ESL students. When I first started this position, I initially had four groups of students. My first and last group of the day are the smaller groups. My middle two groups were my larger and more diverse (capability wise), which made my one hour of instruction ineffective. It seemed I spent more time doing classroom management (do not get me started on this topic, PLEASE!!) which took away anywhere from five to ten minutes at any given time during the session. I must admit, I forget the rule about teaching and young children – the duration of all activities should equal the child’s age; for example, my students range in ages from 5 to 7. Therefore, activities should last anywhere from five to seven minutes in order to keep student engagement from falling flat.

Three weeks ago, I started doing push-in or inclusion with my largest and most diverse group (eight students on varying levels to be exact). My lowest students in the group needed the most attention but when I am dealing with other students, I hardly had time to make sure they were understanding what they needed to do. When this happened, the students would easily get off task. At this point, I felt that push-in may work better for this group. I came to realize that I didn’t know my students. Their homeroom teacher would know them better than I did. I felt that I needed to speak to their teacher about some of the things that they may have seen with their students. Based on some of the activities I noticed this group working in their classrooms, I decided it was time to speak with their teacher. She was more than happy to try inclusion and nearly a month later, I have seen a HUGE improvement with my ESL kids. One of my lowest students has moved past basic letter recognition and learning some digraphs. My top ESL student is reading on a super high level for her age. I am now to a point that I just check in with her and monitor her from time to time.

Two weeks later, the second largest class started their inclusion and its been rough because of student lunch and support class schedules. Nevertheless, the teacher for this group was very helpful in allowing me extra time with the students but I was not seeing all of my students. However, after sitting down with all the first grade teachers and one kindergarten teacher (I have a kindergarten group). We were able to work something out where all of my first grade ESL students would receive inclusion services for an hour. This will start on Monday.

Since I first started working the inclusion model, I have seen growth from students of both groups. As a first year teacher, I am learning more about working with very young children (historically speaking, I have worked with middle school to adult learners).

Would I recommend inclusion for all ESL teachers? I do no think I am in a place where I could say absolutely but if a teacher is thinking about doing it, then I say go for it, especially if you are a first year classroom teacher. You get to know your students’ homeroom teachers better, you get a better insight into student motivation, and it gives the ESL students an opportunity to be in a space where they are using more English with their peers instead of just the teachers.

Now if we can just work on getting a bilingual ed model :).

In Memorian, Katherine Siva Saubel

•09/11/2011 • Leave a Comment

This woman created books in the Cuahilla native language. 

http://www.latimes.com/news/obituaries/la-me-katherine-siva-saubel-20111106,0,1722440.story

The Reality of the Matter…

•15/10/2011 • Leave a Comment

Hello, it’s been too long since I have been on WordPress to update this blog. So, I think it is fair to let you know why. I have taken a position as a first grade ESL teacher at Egypt Central Elementary. I love it! There many challenges that I am working with but I have learned so much in just a month. Also, I have come to appreciate my past teachers in grade school and what their daily tasks may or may not have included.

I can say that I have made at least 1,000 mistakes. Here are some tidbits for those you looking teaching positions. Keep these questions in mind when you are applying and interviewing for work. This will help inform you as to how you approach your first few days of work, if you get hired.

  • Ask about the ELDA testing procedures. Some schools will send a proctor to administer the test. Others will have the teachers, themselves, administer the test.
  • Once you find out what grade you will be working with, immediately start looking up what are the main areas of focus for that area(my mistake #1). This will make developing your curriculum go much smoother. Also, it wouldn’t hurt to look up the areas of focus for the next grade level that your students will advance to.
  • If you get hired in the middle of the semester, take time to look at the space in which you will be working. Make notes of what materials are available to you; if there are items not available, how could you substitute? Does your school have items that are not in use that you could use for as part of your class? Schools or certain board departments may set aside funds for teachers to get certain items. Find out who you need to speak with and prepare a reasonable list. If there are items that can be made, let’s be economical and make them instead of buying them.
  • Don’t get discouraged if your lessons go over the students’ heads, it just means you need to go back to the drawing board (and trust me, you will do that a lot).
  • Try your best to stay in contact with your students’ teachers. If you work together, the better it will be for the student.
I am still learning as I go along.  I will continue to post tips as I learn them. Starting next week, I will go back to making regular posts. This first month of teaching has been very inspirational and I have some ideas that are starting to flourish and hopefully, I will have time to develop the other big project that will be part of the Language Today Curricula. I will drop this hint. By December, Language Today will have its own YouTube page (and possibly a TeacherTube – ok, maybe I’m overreaching).

Until next time…

Technology exploration

•12/08/2011 • 2 Comments

I have a confession to make. I have to be one of the most technologically disadvantaged person to exist; yet, I’m in a field where understanding technology is key to the developing of others. Well…depending on whom you ask.

Over the years, it seems as if our technology changes at the drop of a hat. With the arrival of bluetooth, smart phones, iPads, and notebooks, it is painfully obvious for some that we are coming a long way. I could not have fathomed 10 years ago that ESL students would be allowed to use their Blackberrys or iPhones as language dictionaries. As the generational adage goes, in my day, we used paperback foreign language dictionaries. We had the Internet but the concept of laptops were for the extremely wealthy, or at least that is what some of us thought.

The most amazing thing that I have been able to take advantage of as technology continues to develop is the availability of free books, specialized jargon glossaries for interpreters, sample lesson plans, and other materials for all language professionals. Let’s not forget that with the advent of email, instant messenging programs, YouTube, Skype, and the concept of podcasting has allowed us to connect with others in distant areas either by video, audio, and text. I could easily give a list of previously popular forms of communication technology that could have been, or still may be for some, beneficial.

There are those of us out there, myself included, that have been hesitant with adapting to the use of new technologies as they come. I have a challenge for you, if you are willing: starting either today or Monday, (1) write down a list of the forms of technology that you would not be willing to use; (2) next, write a list of technologies that you were familiar with or have used in the past; (3) think about why you warmed to the technologies that you have used and why you have apprehension to newer ones and write down your thoughts as you go along; (4) pick one new technology that you do not like and research it, using only unbiased information.

Once you have opened yourself to considering a certain form of technology, write down the possibilities of projects that you could do.

See what develops as you do this exploration. If you would like a small sample, here is mine:

  • Technology previously familiar or used:
  • Picture Pages
  • Speak n Say
  • Atari
  • Nintendo
  • Commodore 64
  • PC
  • Apple
  • cell phone
  • cordless phone
  • electronic translators
  • Gameboy
  • PlayStation
  • chat rooms
  • Instant messaging (yahoo, AOL, gmail)
  • email
  • iPod
  • laptop

Technology that I’m hesistant about

  • Skype
  • Bluetooth
  • Cloud
  • Smartphones
  • iPad

I’m chose Skype. I was willing to work with Skype because I spoke to other colleagues about the program. Each person explained how the process worked. When Skype was first available six years ago, there was a monthly cost and I was very unsure on how to use it.

Recently, I became a tutor for Livemocha and as a tutor or coach, it is important that one uses Skype. Majority of client dealings are for the purpose of conversation practice (at least in my case). Skype allows me to call other Skype members that live in other countries for free.

I can hold group conversations through text, audio, and video. If I decide to switch my role from educator to interpreter, I can hold conversations with a person needing language interpreting services in another state without having to leave the office. I started actively using Skype last month, and it’s been great!!!

I still have some reservations but this exploration has helped to lessen them and to broaden my mind more. I hope this example helps you to do the same.

 

 

Taking a Break

•02/08/2011 • 1 Comment

Hey everyone! Sorry it’s been a long while since my last post. I just moved recently back to my hometown and it’s been a big adjustment. I am currently doing research for upcoming topics and welcome any ideas from you on topics that may interest you. I will be starting back on the Multiple Intelligences series within a week. Be patient and thank you for visiting Language Today.

Working with Multiple Intelligences: Mathematical

•24/05/2011 • Leave a Comment

Today, we are going to discuss ways to motivate students in the language learning classroom who exhibit logical or mathematical intelligences.
I’m pretty sure that some of you may shake your heads or roll your eyes and think outside of talking about numbers…or so you THINK!

For those of you working in all forms of English Language Learning (ELL), think about some of the daily functions we go through such as filling out a deposit/withdrawal slip at a bank. I’m sure some of you are screaming at the screen, WE DON’T USE THE BANK BECAUSE WE HAVE DEBIT CARDS. Ok, I’ll give you that but even if you have a debit card, you have to balance your receipts in order to keep up with what’s currently in your bank account.

Do we not all plan budgets? Think about those shipping and receiving managers at your favorite shops. They have to keep an inventory of what they have and make smart estimates of what they will need in coming weeks.

Here is a short list of projects that will not only challenge the mathematically inclined but will meet the needs of most ESL standards.

Projects
Budget plan: You can either create a fictional yet realistic situation, where students are allotted a certain amount of money to spend either for a trip or a special event like a concert. Students will need to figure cost of tickets, tax, eating plans, gas or transportation needed, and any other factors that students may feel are required. Students have to write their answers both in mathematical and written forms. If students are able to not overspend on the budget, then they have mastered part of the lesson. You are also going to be able to assess their writing skills.

Class survey: create a list of topics related to your class or classroom. Examples can include topics related to students, favorite subjects, items needed for class, use your imagination. For example, you may decide to create a survey about students’ experience with using a foreign language, like Spanish. You may have had some students to take a primary course while in a daycamp. Some students may have traveled to a Spanish speaking country. Some students may have picked up the language skill from a part time job. Then you may have some students who have no experience at all. Then, students need to take the results of the survey and create a report about what has been learned and how it can affect class learning and how it can be helped to make the content material helpful for students of all levels.

Figuring taxes: Taxes are handled differently from state to state in the US. Does this same stigma exist anywhere else in the world? Have students research certain taxes like property tax in their home state (especially if you are in Tennessee) and compare with other countries. There are other taxes students can research like sales tax, fuel tax, etc. Students will gain a better understanding of how they are personally affected by their federal tax system and learn about taxes in other countries.

Word problem: Create an equation and give students what the variables represent. Give them a base answer for which they must write out the equation and the answer as a word problem. Students may write it as a step by step process or an essay.

Take this list and see what you can come up with on your own.