Pre- and Postconvention Institutes: Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Full day, 9 am–4 pm

1. Working With Literacy-Level Adult English Language Learners

Target Audience: Adult ESOL practitioners
Skill Level: All levels of expertise

In this workshop, understanding the needs of the learners comes first. Based on those needs, participants practice techniques and activities, such as grids, line-up, and jigsaw, that support literacy learners as they begin their journey. Cultural considerations are woven throughout and participants are given the opportunity and resources to plan activities, including project-based learning.

In this workshop, participants

  • explore tools for needs assessment at the literacy level
  • use background and culture information to inform instruction
  • practice instructional strategies which merge reading, writing, speaking, and listening
  • identify strategies for managing multi-level literacy classes
  • plan instructional activities including  project-based learning

Presenters: Sharon McKay, Center for Applied Linguistics, Washington, DC, USA; Lynda Terrill, Center for Applied Linguistics, Washington, DC, USA

2. How to Change, Improve, or Create an ESL/EFL Curriculum

Target Audience: Language program administrators from elementary to university level
Skill Level: All levels of expertise

Creating, improving, or changing an English language curriculum can be extremely difficult. This workshop clarifies the process by introducing the “Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation” (ADDIE) model of curriculum development. Presenters lead attendees through the curriculum development process in clear, effective steps.

In this workshop, participants learn steps for creating, improving, or changing their language curriculum including

  • analyzing the needs of their current or projected curriculum
  • designing elements to fit those needs
  • developing the actual curricular elements
  • implementing curricular designs, improvements, or changes
  • evaluating the effectiveness of the new, improved, or changed curriculum

Presenters: Grant Eckstein, University of California, Davis, California, USA; Norm Evans, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, USA; James Hartshorn, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, USA; Troy Cox, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, USA; Ben McMurry, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, USA; Marisa Lee, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, USA

3. Teaching Pronunciation: Focus on Comprehensibility

Target Audience: High school, adult education, and higher education ESOL educators
Skill Level: All levels of expertise

New and experienced teachers benefit from this unique overview of teaching pronunciation that focuses on vowel quality as the key to comprehensible spoken English. Participants engage in a variety of classroom-tested activities, including an innovative approach to teaching vowel quality, and explore applications to everyday teaching.

In this workshop, participants

  • review the basics of teaching pronunciation, including the sounds of English, rhythm, word stress, intonation, and pausing;
  • participate in a variety of discovery activities to understand and teach the sounds of English, with special attention to vowel quality in stressed syllables;
  • practice using innovative, multi-sensory pronunciation teaching techniques, with an emphasis on how to integrate these into everyday teaching;
  • discuss how to adapt the skills and techniques of this workshop in K-12, Adult Education ESL, Higher Education ESL, and English for Special Purposes settings.

Presenters: Shirley Thompson, Washington, DC, USA; Karen Taylor, Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

4. Energizing Language Skills Through Process Drama

Target Audience: K-12, higher education, and adult education ESOL teachers
Skill Level: All levels of expertise

Recent brain-based research shows that the integration of motivation, imagination, movement, and emotion can vastly accelerate second language acquisition. In this workshop, teachers engage in action drama activities that develop speaking, listening, grammar, and literacy skills while maintaining an exciting and fun-filled atmosphere in the language classroom.

In this workshop, participants

  • learn to help learners develop fluency by utilizing drama techniques
  • construct dramatic contexts for active speaking, listening, reading and writing practice
  • explore ways to develop learner led dramas based upon student interests and student nominated topics and themes
  • design teacher-in-role projects that ignite inquiry within authentic context

Presenters: Gary Carkin, Southern New Hampshire University, Manchester, New Hampshire, USA; Shin-Mei Kao, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan ; Leslie Sapp, University of Arizona, Tacoma Park, Maryland, USA; Jessica Davis, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, Arizona, USA; Fernanda Molla, El Buen Ayre School, Buenos Aires, Argentina; Susan Hillyard, Ministry of Education, Buenos Aires, Argentina

5. Facets of Testing L2 Writing Ability

Target Audience: Secondary, higher education, and intensive English program administrators and teachers
Skill Level: All levels of expertise

This workshop examines the fundamental considerations when assessing second language writing proficiency in English language learners, both in the classroom and at the department level. The presenter defines the nature of second language writing ability, considers assessment methods appropriate for measuring writing ability for placement, diagnostic, and promotion purposes, and examines scoring methods and guidelines for rubric design.

In this workshop, participants

  • define the construct of second language writing ability: What are we testing when we test second language writing ability?
  • examine assessments designed for measuring writing ability for various purposes: assessments for placement vs. diagnostic uses vs. promotion
  • compare advantages and disadvantages of holistic vs. analytic scoring methods
  • use guidelines for rubric design to construct a rubric for an assessment

Presenter: Cynthia Wiseman, CUNY BMCC, New York, New York, USA

Half Day, 1 pm–5 pm

6. Integrating Grammar in Competency-Based, Life-Skill Instruction

Target Audience: Adult ESOL professionals
Skill Level: All levels of expertise

Many adult ESOL teachers using a lifeskill instructional approach debate the role of grammar teaching within the curriculum. In this interactive workshop, participants explore common myths and misconceptions about teaching grammar and gain knowledge and skills in integrating grammar in life-skill instruction and handling error correction.

In this workshop, participants

  • share experiences and questions about teaching grammar
  • learn techniques for presenting and practicing grammatical structures through an interactive jigsaw activity
  • create an outline for teaching a structure within a life-skills topic
  • practice three error correction techniques for oral errors
  • practice giving feedback on written errors

Presenters: Donna Moss, Arlington Education and Employment Program, Arlington, Virginia, USA; Emily Becketti, Arlington Education and Employment Program, Arlington, Virginia, USA

7. Engaging Students in Diverse, Exciting Ways Through Short Story Analysis

Target Audience: High school, community college, university, and intensive program educators of high-intermediate to advanced-level ESL and EFL students
Skill Level: All levels of expertise

In this workshop participants are shown how to mine texts creatively to foster critical thinking, reading, discussion, grammar, vocabulary, and writing skills. Participants learn the criteria for setting up an exciting short story course. Extensive handouts include multiple excerpts, unabridged stories, and many model exercises.

In this workshop, participants

  • learn how versatile short stories are for language learning and critical thinking
  • do interactive work, discussing one unabridged short story and numerous excerpts
  • share ideas on how to create a complete short story course
  • find exciting new ways to challenge and engage advanced and high-intermediate students in the classroom
  • share ideas on how to maximize interest in using literature in the classroom

Presenter: Sybil Marcus, University of California, Berkeley, California, USA

8. Microsoft Office Productivity Tools for Teachers

Target Audience: All ESOL professionals
Skill Level: Basic computer skills

*This PCI is a computer-based workshop and will take place in the Electronic Village.

This workshop provides an opportunity for teachers to learn some of the ways that Microsoft Office software can be used more effectively to prepare class materials, create reports, and perform other administrative tasks such as grade computation. Worksheets and videos allow participants to select just those tasks they deem useful, and at their current level of technical expertise.

In this workshop, participants

  • have an overview of the productivity tools used in this workshop and how each tool can assist teachers, either in the classroom or in the office
  • learn effective ways to set up and format a Microsoft Word document for a) journal submission or b) use as a template for class material
  • learn how to incorporate Internet materials into lesson plans
  • use videos and worksheets with the help of PCI facilitators to explore other MS Office-based tasks, such as using ready-made templates in Word and PowerPoint, incorporating graphics into Word or PowerPoint, using Track Changes and Insert Comment to respond to student writing, using Microsoft Excel as an aid to grade calculations, and embedding videos and audio clips into PowerPoint.

Presenters: Thomas Robb, Kyoto Sangyo University, Osaka, Japan; Deborah Healey, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon, USA

9. An Integrated Media Approach to Social Justice With ESOL Students

Target Audience: ESL/EFL teachers in middle, secondary, and postsecondary schools
Skill Level: All levels of expertise

This interactive workshop demonstrates effective ways of integrating the media of video, text, and graphics to teach ESOL based on issues of social justice in different contexts worldwide and at different periods in history. The presenters engage participants in the creation of activities for their own students using these three media. Participants gather numerous materials and resources.

In this workshop, participants

  • observe different ways of approaching issues of social justice
  • learn about a process of identifying issues
  • discuss how to adapt activities for students of different proficiency levels
  • practice creating ESOL activities for their students 
  • receive sample lesson plans and additional resources

Presenters: Mary Romney, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut, USA; Sylvia Sanchez, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia, USA; Shelley Wong, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia, USA

10. Using Authentic Video to Teach English

Target Audience: ESOL educators from middle school through higher education levels
Skill Level: All levels of expertise

Participants explore innovative approaches to the use of authentic video in the classroom, including promoting student noticing of linguistic features of authentic dialogue, empowering students to use video for autonomous learning, identifying teachable elements of movies and television, and helping students internalize common video vocabulary.  

In this workshop, participants

  • learn ways to make video watching effective for classroom language learning
  • explore techniques for helping students learn vocabulary
  • experience video watching from a language learners’ point of view

Presenter: Christopher Stillwell, Sojo University, Kumamoto, Japan

Half Day, 5 pm–9 pm

11. How to Establish a Newcomer Program

Target Audience: K–12 school districts considering a newcomer program (both teachers and administrators)
Skill Level: All levels of expertise

This workshop introduces participants to the concept of “newcomer programs” for new arrivals. The presenters provide practical suggestions on the process from initial consideration to implementation. Details covered include needs assessment, design options, selections of personnel and material, curriculum design and modifications, assessment, and program evaluation.

In this workshop, participants

  • complete a needs assessment
  • review design options
  • discuss curriculum modifications
  • review materials designed for newcomers
  • create assessments appropriate for newcomers

Presenters: Brenda Custodio, Columbus City Schools, Columbus, Ohio, USA; Judith B. O’Loughlin, Language Matters Education Consultants, LLC, San Ramon, California, USA

12. Technology Integration for Beginning-Level English Language Learners

Target Audience: Adult ESOL instructors of beginning and low-intermediate ELLs
Skill Level: Basic Internet navigation skills

*This PCI is a computer-based workshop and will take place in the Electronic Village.

Technology holds much promise for adult ELLs, yet integrating technology into beginning level instruction remains challenging. This workshop shows how to create more opportunities for communication, collaboration, and assessment—both in the lab and offline—by exploring multilevel activities, user-friendly tools, applied best practices, and fun!

In this workshop, participants

  • explore user-friendly tools for student learning and teacher planning
  • practice multilevel strategies for using tools in class
  • ensure continuity from classroom to lab
  • gain confidence for integrating technology

Presenters: Michele Cona, Arlington Education and Employment Program, Arlington, Virginia, USA; Nancy Ferguson, Arlington Education and Employment Program, Arlington, Virginia, USA

13. Scaffolding Instruction for English Language Learners

Target Audience: Secondary and higher education ESOL professionals
Skill Level: All levels of expertise

Students come to classrooms with such diverse levels of background and language proficiency. For content-area teachers with limited experience, making the content accessible to English language learners may seem daunting. The presenter provides some strategies that can help and engage students in learning content area.

In this workshop, participants

  • learn and practice effective strategies such as carousel brainstorming and making K.W.L (Know, what to know, what I learn) charts that help activating students' background knowledge.
  • acquire strategies such as RASA (Rephrase- Adapt-Support- Add), used to facilitate the understanding of condensed texts
  • learn how to use graphic organizers (Venn diagram, webs etc.) to facilitate the understanding of key concepts and help students construct meaning

Presenter: Nadia Bourouba, Graduate School for International Training, Brattleboro, Vermont, USA

14. Using Improv to Develop Oral, Visual, and Cultural Literacy

Target Audience: All ESOL professionals
Skill Level: All levels of expertise

This interactive and kinesthetic workshop explores the intersection of language, movement, and customs through performance activities centered on literacy development. Theatre games, improv structures, and process dramas engage participants in embodied learning that enables them to decode linguistic, visual, and cultural cues to become effective, persuasive, and compelling communicators.

In this workshop, participants

  • engage in a series of theatre games designed to create community and encourage creativity
  • learn how to use improvisational structures to develop oracy skills
  • experience how process drama can be used to explore a topic from a wide range of perspectives

Presenters: Amy Suzanne King, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri, USA; Randy Heitmeier, North Kansas City Schools, Kansas City, Missouri, USA


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