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TESOL Resource Center

Welcome to the TESOL Resource Center! Need a lesson plan? An activity? How about ideas for what to do in class tomorrow morning? Well, you've come to the right place. The TESOL Resource Center contains lesson plans, teaching tips, activities, assessment tools, and much more. Can't find what you need? Be sure to check back: New resources are posted frequently.

Latest Resources

  • Developing A Thesis for Common Ground and Points of Departure: Using NY Times A Room for Debate
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    By Lee Friederich | 24 Feb 2017
    Resource Description: This activity engages students in the process of working together to develop a "they say" thesis statement for a synthesis essay based on The New York Times online forum "A Room for Debate," a website that clusters short, opinion-based articles about current topics by experts in their field. When teaching a class with many levels of readers, it is best to choose one of the debate forums to work with, either with the instructor choosing or students voting.  The activity elicits intensive collaboration and negotiation between partners, what Vaivanpanah and Miri (2017) call a "collaborative dialogue," a higher-level and more productive task type than the "simple dialogue." The activity can be used to practice synthesizing ideas and formulating a thesis, with or without going on to write a synthesis essay.
    Resource Type: Activities
  • The world as I see it
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    By Nasreen Bhatti (Pakistan) | 24 Feb 2017
    Resource Description:

    This activity was actually a class task which required learners to draw the world as they see in their imagination.

    Resource Type: Activities
  • Songs and Activities for English Language Learners
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    By Sandra Heyer | 24 Feb 2017
    Resource Description:

    Are you looking for popular songs with clean, intelligible lyrics to bring into your classroom? At sandraheyersongs.com, you'll find a list of over 200 classroom-friendly pop songs, organized by theme, along with lesson plans for the latest hits. Updated monthly.

     
    Resource Type: Lesson Plans
  • SLWIS: Focusing on language and content in writing classes: Finding a balance
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    By Second Language Writing Interest Section | 17 Feb 2017
    Resource Description: Some research on language development in writing classes shows little language development over the course of a semester (e.g., studies in Connor-Linton & Polio, 2014 and Yoon & Polio, 2017).  It is not clear, however, if this is because of not enough language focus or in spite of language focus in writing classes.   In this discussion, I will first provide a brief summary of what we know about how language develops in writing classes.  After that, I will lead a discussion about what might be an appropriate balance between addressing language issues and matters related to idea development and organization.  We will talk about the role of context, student needs, and specific genres.

    Charlene Polio (http://polio.msu.domains/) is a professor at Michigan State University, where she teaches classes in the MA TESOL and Second Language Studies programs.  She is the outgoing co-editor of the Modern Language Journal and will soon be assuming the role of co-editor of TESOL Quarterly with her colleague Peter De Costa.  She has published widely on second language writing and is the author of Understanding, Evaluating, and Conducting Second Language Writing Research (Routledge, 2017, with Debra Friedman).  In addition, her book Authentic Materials Myths (Michigan, 2017, with Eve Zyzik) will soon be published.
    Resource Type: Teaching Tips
  • Communicative Competence and Performance: Getting Young Learners to Use the Target Language
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    By Agustín Reyes-Torres, Amanda R. Bird | 06 Feb 2017
    Resource Description: While writing and reading competencies are both equally important, at the young age of these learners, communicative competence through verbal interaction between teacher and peers is the more natural approach based on the knowledge and skills that correspond to these ages. The primary goal when teaching very young learners is for students to communicate using the target language. But, how can a teacher encourage communication in the classroom with young learners if their level of English is very low, almost minimal? How can a teacher plan a lesson that fosters communication in the target language when the students have only recently begun communicating effectively in their native language? In order to ensure a communication-based lesson for English Language Learners (ELL), the focus needs to be on students’ communicative competence and performance in the classroom. According to Phillips (2009), a students “performance” has to be understood as a multi-faceted concept that encompasses communicative, linguistic and social competency. These are all of the competencies that students demonstrate upon speaking in the target language in the classroom. Using children’s picture books as a base for young ELL lesson plans, students react verbally, the output, to what they hear the teacher read and what they see in the book, the input. While the teacher reads the picture book, students see the illustrations – they are able to make connections with the words they hear and the pictures they see to create their own meaning. Therefore, the images students see in these picture books are the link that helps them acquire and understand the target language. Young learners do not learn by taking notes, they learn through play and fun and to them, reading is an activity they enjoy. 
    Resource Type: Lesson Plans
  • TEIS Webinar with Jennifer Uhler at Dept of State
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    By Teacher Education Interest Section | 01 Feb 2017
    Resource Description: Jennifer Uhler, Branch Chief for Regional Programs in the Office of English Language Programs, U.S. Department of State, shares information of interest to our TESOL Teacher Educator community regarding the English Language Fellows Programs and other initiatives.
    Resource Type: Teaching Tips
  • Partner
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    By Bates, Jim Lavery, Andy | 09 Jan 2017
    Resource Description: Brains Sparks Labs has just introduced an iPhone app for ESL learners and teachers. It has 1200 open ended questions to start using English in a class room or small group. It can be found by going to the iPhone App store and doing a search on 'Brain Sparks Labs'. The app is named Conversation Starters - Language.
    Resource Type: Activities
  • Lesson on Adjectives
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    By Shirley Gomez | 03 Jan 2017
    Resource Description: Lesson plan that contains various activities to help teach adjectives to ESL students.
    Resource Type: Lesson Plans
  • 7 Tips for Effective Grammar Instruction
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    By Shirley Gomez | 02 Jan 2017
    Resource Description:

    Learning grammar can be a tedious task especially for students who grew up in other countries where the process of learning grammar is quite different from what they experience here.  The following are seven tips that can help a grammar teacher make the learning experience fun, interesting, and productive for students. An acrostic based on the word grammar is used to make these tips easy to remember.

    Resource Type: Teaching Tips
  • Five Common Problems with Thesis Statements
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    By Jessica Ruppert | 26 Dec 2016
    Resource Description: This purpose of this lesson is to teach students to properly identify inappropriate components of thesis statements.  
    Resource Type: Lesson Plans
  • Breaking Down a Writing Prompt
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    By Jessica Ruppert | 26 Dec 2016
    Resource Description: This lesson teaches ELLs how to effectively break down a summary writing prompt, thus showing them exactly what it is they are to write about and how to extract the correct information from a source for writing.
    Resource Type: Lesson Plans
  • Interactive Grammar Navigator
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    By Nick Koretsky | 05 Dec 2016
    Resource Description: This is a teaching aid tool that helps students with navigation across numerous verbs and tenses. I have built it as a practical teaching-aid tool for my classes. I use it on a daily basis with my students. They say that it helps them to see a general picture of English language and to navigate across English grammar smoothly.

    This website is a part of my «Grammar Navigator» concept, which I invented and develop as a project for English language teachers and learners. The site is far from being perfect (and I know it!) but this is the best I can do for the moment. I plan to do improvements on-the-go should this concept be accepted by teaching community. I hope that this tool will help you make your teaching easier and more efficient.
    Resource Type: Teaching Tips
  • ITAIS: Forming Your Teaching Identity as an International Teaching Assistant
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    By International Teaching Assistants Interest Section | 27 Nov 2016
    Resource Description: This presentation was organized by the International Teaching Assistants Interest Section and is recorded a few minutes after the start. A successful teacher is one who knows his or her own strengths and embraces their unique characteristics in the classroom. Alexis Finger and Anne Politz will discuss a reflective project that guides International Teaching Assistants in identifying and forming their teaching persona. Sample reflective activities will be shared.
    Resource Type: Teaching Tips
  • TEIS: Webinar with Wayne Wright on the TESOL Methods Course
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    By Teacher Education Interest Section | 27 Nov 2016
    Resource Description: ELL Methods Course for Teacher Education Students: An Interactive Conversation.
    Resource Type: Teaching Tips
  • SLWIS: Theorizing Your Practice Action Research in L2 Writing
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    By Second Language Writing Interest Section | 27 Nov 2016
    Resource Description: Facilitator:  Dr. Betsy Gilliland, Assistant Professor of Second Language Studies, University of Hawaii

    As writing teachers, we may sometimes feel like published research does not understand the realities of our classrooms. A promising activity reported in a journal article seems impossible to enact under the actual circumstances of our workplaces. At the same time, we don’t feel like we have the time or know-how to conduct research on our own. This is where action research comes into play. In an action research study, teachers ARE the researchers, selecting the focus and methods of a study and analyzing data from their deep knowledge of their own classrooms. Action research can be done within the busy schedules of most writing teachers and can further allow teachers to create their own professional development in ways that meet their actual needs.
    In this online session, I will give a short introduction to the concepts of action research in language teaching and then facilitate an interactive discussion among participants around key questions about action research. We will share ideas for conducting research, forming research groups for peer support, finding research mentors, and sharing research findings, among other topics.
    Resource Type: Teaching Tips