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20
SEP
2008

Who ranks English language programs and ESL schools?

How would you choose an English language school? What if you lived in Korea, Spain, China, Brazil, Turkey, or Vietnam? What factors would influence your decision? How would you find out the school’s reputation? Who ranks ESL programs? What is their criteria? Hundreds of thousands...
15
JUN
2008

Teaching Immigrants English makes daily life better, safer for citizens!

A good society helps its citizens flourish and visitors feel welcome.   A good society also invests in education, including teaching immigrants enough English that they can use their considerable intelligence, creativity, and skills in the workplace. Unfortunately, low standards...
15
JUN
2008

Unexpected events at TESOL Convention

Pleasant surprises at TESOL Convention “Expect the unexpected.”  -ProverbI kept an open schedule, previewed some workshop titles, and conducted more research than usual before going to the Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages convention in New York. I expected...
15
JUN
2008

Center for Applied Linguistics Suggests Workshops at TESOL convention

CAL offers workshop suggestions “The Center for Applied Linguistics is a private, nonprofit organization promoting access, equity and mutual understanding for linguistically and culturally diverse people around the world.” -Center for Applied Linguistics homepage How...
01
MAR
2016
Pencil and answer sheet

Teaching Matters: How much can we rely on standardized tests to assess?

“Education is helping the child realize his potentialities.” ~Erich Fromm (1900-1980), German social psychologist and pscychoanalyst   By Andrea Schmidt, Guest-writer    Standardized tests: how helpful are they in assessing one’s true skill level? This...
15
JUN
2008

Negative headlines and trendlines for ESL in California

Adverse effects of public education budget cuts “Only the educated are free.” -Epictetus (55-135), Stoic Philosopher The dollar continues to decline in value. The national budget, seldom balanced, has zoomed deep into mega-debt during the Bush II era with two...
15
JUN
2008

ESL classes should include more conversation activities!

Conversation activities need greater presence in classrooms “Speech is civilization itself. It is silence which isolates.” -Thomas Mann (1875-1955) German novelist Conversation remains a vital social skill for our English students. Naturally, immigrants and...
26
JUL
2014

Teachers and Tutors Should Know About Compelling Conversations

English teacher and tutor Joan V reviews Compelling Conversations “We all like to be recognized not for one piece of fireworks, but for the ledger of our daily work.” ―Neil Armstrong (1930-2012) American astronaut Sometimes you just have to smile. Praise, especially from an...
05
MAY
2009

Finding more practical materials at CATESOL

Time flies. Or, as the Romans used to say, “tempus fugit.” Two weeks after the CATESOL 2009 convention in Pasadena ended, I’m finally having a chance to sort through the numerous books, doublecheck website leads, and evaluate materials that I picked up. Sometimes “the eyes are...
15
JUN
2008

Make time for conversations – in and outside of English classrooms

The art of conversation, once considered the sign of a civilized individual, seems less common today.  Yet I treasure the moments of sharing experiences, collecting news, and exchanging ideas.  I make a point of knowing my neighbors, allowing casual greetings to become long...