MWIS Newsletter

MWIS News, Volume 19:2 (July 2006)

by User Not Found | 10/27/2011
In This Issue...
  • Articles
    • Letters the MWIS Chair and Chair-Elect
    • Mary Finocchiaro Award to Mary S. Smith
    • Preparing Materials for Athletes
    • Summaries from TESOL Presentations: 2005–2006
    • Accolades and Announcements
    • TESOL Responds to President’s Address on Immigration, English Language Legislation

Articles Letters the MWIS Chair and Chair-Elect

Julie Vorholt-Alcorn, juliev-a@hotmail.com

Dear Fellow MWIS Members,

Do you recall the theme of TESOL’s 40th Annual Convention in Tampa, Florida? What about the 39th Annual Convention? The dancer on the tote bag is memorable, but I’ve forgotten the words that accompany it. Life is busy, and my “To Do” list is ever-growing.

Yet this year’s theme, “Daring to Lead,” is one that I want to remember, along with the image of a galleon sailing into a city’s harbor. We can all relate to this image because, no matter what our professional accomplishments may be, future opportunities that require new skills will continually present themselves.

The leadership of many MWIS members was evident in Tampa. At our Interest Section meeting on Wednesday evening, Susannah MacKay graciously volunteered to take the minutes. I thanked many volunteers, including Dorothy Zemach and Carlos Islam, our past MWIS cochairs. I owe an especially heartfelt thanks to Dorothy for answering my numerous questions throughout the past year and for her support at the convention. Leading a group with approximately 475 members scattered around the world is no easy feat! Gabriel Diaz-Maggioli, a TESOL Board member, presented both Dorothy and Carlos with certificates of appreciation.

I also thanked volunteers Tay Lesley, our past newsletter editor, and Bill Walker, who continues for his second year as our e-list manager. Thanks to Bill, we were able to conduct our first online election with over 70 members participating. Emily Lites shared exciting news about the status of our Interest Section's Web site, which will be completed later this year. I also thanked (and would like to thank again) all the other MWIS volunteers who gave presentations, represented us at our MWIS booth in the Exhibit Hall, made and distributed invitations to Friday's Networking Event, and so on . . . too many things to list. Please consider volunteering some time to support our IS in the upcoming year. This can be your chance to lead.

I also welcomed our new officers: Kelly Sippell, our chair-elect, and Christy Newman, our newsletter editor. I’m delighted that our professional backgrounds mirror the diversity of our IS’s membership. For example, Kelly is executive acquisitions editor/product development manager at the Universityof Michigan Press. Christy is a writer and partner at the development house, Weston Editorial. And I’m an ESL/EFL freelance materials writer and an adjunct instructor at Portland State University and Clackamas Community College.

During the MWIS Business Meeting, we all enjoyed a surprise visit from Sandy Briggs, the first MWIS member to become TESOL’s president-elect. We’re proud that a MWIS member is “daring to lead” TESOL, and we wish her well in her new position. (For more details, see the March 2006 MWIS Newsletter, Volume 19, Issue 1.) In fact, our interest section has two members on the board of directors this year: Sandy and Gabriel Diaz-Maggioli. You may enjoy visiting TESOL’s Web site to see some convention photos that include Sandy and Gabriel. We wish both of them well in their new positions.

On Friday night, about 100 people enjoyed our annual Networking Reception. It was definitely the place to be seen! This event, cosponsored with the Video-Digital Media Interest Section (VDMIS), enabled materials writers and publishers to make connections in a relaxed setting. (I heard through the grapevine that some job opportunities have resulted from contacts made at the reception.) We also welcomed prospective members to this event and all of them were impressed by the friendliness of our group.

The highlight of the Networking Reception was the awarding of the Mary Finocchiaro Award for Excellence in Pedagogical Materials. Penny Alatis from the TESOL Awards Committee presented the award to Mary S. Smith, coordinator of ESL at the University of California at Merced. (See more about Mary’s project below.) Congratulations again, Mary! Thanks also go to the many MWIS members who played a part in the event’s success: Marta Dmytrenko-Ahrabian; Laurie Frazier; Helen Solorzano, and WordPlayers’ Paula Eacott.

Earlier in the week, several of us attended the IS Council Meeting. Carina Klein, Larry Zwier, and I participated, ensuring that our IS would receive our maximum three votes. (See Carina and Larry’s summary below.) All the Materials Writers Interest Section’s sessions were well attended and thought provoking. Summaries of discussion groups, the IS assembly, and an energy break are given below. Our Academic Session focused on the latest information about writing L2 reading materials, including theory, research, and practice. The presenters were Andrew Cohen, Marc Helgesen, Linda Jeffries, Bea Mikulecky, and Rob Waring. We also had an InterSection with the Elementary Education IS, about writing materials that incorporate TESOL’s standards. The presenters included Don Wulbrecht from Pearson Longman, Tim Collins and Mona Scheraga from the MWIS, Judie Haynes from the EEIS, and Margo Gottlieb.

From my perspective, corpus linguistics was the topic that repeatedly came up. Was it just me? I’m interested in hearing your views on our e-list. Send your messages to mwis-l@lists.tesol.org.

Looking ahead, how will you “dare to lead” this year and at TESOL 2007 in Seattle? Perhaps you have already submitted a proposal for a presentation. If not, consider leading a Discussion Group. Check out Kelly’s message below for more details. I would also like to encourage you to nominate yourself or others for a TESOL award. The deadline for award consideration is November 1. The James Alatis Award deadline is the only exception, with a September deadline.

Enjoy a writing-filled summer!

Best wishes,

Julie

______________

A Word From the MWIS Chair-Elect

Kelly Sippell, ksippell@umich.edu

As the new MWIS chair-elect, I am working on TESOL 2007 by organizing the Academic Session and two InterSections, one with Second Language Writing and the other with English for Specific Purposes. I'll be able to report more about them in the next newsletter.

Our MWIS submitted over 50 proposals for TESOL 2007.  And you can still get involved through Poster Sessions, Hot Topics, Video Theater, and/or Discussion Groups. Just get your proposal for those in by August 1, 2006.

There are so many exciting things happening in the area of materials design and development and issues affecting authors (and publishers!) that you should have no trouble presenting something you are interested in. Chances are, if it's of interest or an issue for you, it is for others as well.

For more information about TESOL 2007, visit www.tesol.org/tesol2007.


Mary Finocchiaro Award to Mary S. Smith

Mary S. Smith was awarded the 2006 Mary Finocchiaro Award for Excellence in the Development of Pedagogical Materials for her project entitled Weighty Matters: Considerations for Maintaining a Healthy Weight.

This content-based module is intended for prenursing students in a community college or university setting, but is also suitable for general postsecondary student populations.  The format of this work integrates all language skills as students collaborate to investigate aspects of obesity. It also encourages students to explore the physical, emotional, and social consequences of this critical public health issue. 

Mary S. Smith is coordinator, English Language Institute, at the University of California, Merced, where she also teaches writing. She previously taught ESL at a community college in Georgia. Her BS is in nursing from the University of Tennessee. She also has a BS in biology from the University of Memphis and an MA in TESOL from the Monterey Institute of International Studies in California. Her science background stimulated an interest in English for specific purposes and materials development for nursing and biology. She can be contacted at msmith5@ucmerced.edu


Preparing Materials for Athletes

Daniel Droukis, droukis@kyukyo-u.ac.jp

This year, Kyushu Kyoritsu University opened a new sports department. In preparation for its opening, the English teachers worked hard to write a textbook suitable for the incoming students. All seven full-time English teachers played specific roles in the production of this book.

As I was the only native speaker involved, it was decided that I would write the opening passages, dialogues, and questions for each unit. Other teachers created the grammar activities, which required a lot of work in Japanese. We spent a great deal of time checking and rechecking each other’s work. I am sure that my colleagues would agree that the experience was interesting, frustrating, tiring, and satisfying all at the same time.

To begin, we selected the grammar points to focus on and discussed how each unit would begin. We decided that each unit would start with a passage on an athlete familiar to the students, such as Koji Murofushi, who is introduced in the first unit; Murofushi is an Olympic gold medalist. Of the 12 units, 10 focus on Japanese athletes. Among these are graduates of our university: Daisuke Nakano, who won a gold medal at the 2004 Athens Olympics in gymnastics, and Nagisa Arakaki, who is a pitcher in the Japanese Professional Baseball League. Including these two athletes in the text will hopefully make the text more attractive to the students as they can make a connection to successful graduates of the university.

We are only a month into the course and, except for the occasional student who forgets the textbook, there have been few problems. Students have had some difficulty with cloze passages, but the passages seem to be challenging, yet not too complicated, so students can experience some success from the outset.

The grammar activities produced by the Japanese teachers focus on the main points in each unit. These activities include some translation exercises that help familiarize the students with the materials.

After two lessons, I felt that the students needed more chances to answer questions, so now I fire off quick questions to them that can be answered by referring to a particular sentence. For example, Koji started hammer throwing in high school. The passage is read aloud and then followed with quick questions such as Who started hammer throwing in high school?, What did Koji do in high school?, or When did Koji start hammer throwing?

This type of activity, while simple, seems to be just the right type of activity to get all the students involved and keep them on their toes. Keeping activities fast paced helps the students focus more even if it does sometimes make them afraid that they will be called on in class. A lot of listening also makes the class a little less threatening to those who are not comfortable speaking out in class.

Finally, asking the students to make their own questions about the text helps them to practice asking questions, an area in which they do not get enough practice. The response from other teachers has been promising.

It is still early but as the course continues we will hopefully see more activity and progress in our students and an affirmation that this type of material is a good way to get students involved in using the language a little bit more.

Having athletes in our classes is nothing new. We have popular baseball, gymnastics, rugby, and soccer programs composed of students in economics and engineering. However, having a department dedicated to sports is a new world in which the English teachers will have to come up with ever more creative ideas for making the English classes more attractive. In addition, it will be a place where athletes can be as successful as other students. Teachers will also be required to produce more materials in the coming years as we grow to include classes for the sophomores, juniors, and seniors.

Reference

Arimura, Y. Takesue, Y., Tanaka, M., Nakashima, H., Nakano, H., Yukitoki. K., and Droukis, D. (2006). English learning with athletes.  Kitakyushu City, Japan: Ad Luck Press.

Daniel Droukis is associate professor at Kyushu Kyoritsu University, Kitakyushu City, Japan. Daniel also holds the membership chair for the Japan Association for Language Teaching (JALT) Material Writers Special Interest Group.


Summaries from TESOL Presentations: 2005–2006

The Interest Section Council Meeting

Representatives: Carina Klein, carina@travelcraftusa.com, and Larry Zwier, zwier@msu.edu.mailloc

After parliamentary housekeeping (adoption of credentials, etc.), the assembly heard reports from several TESOL officers and the following committees.

  • Awards Committee
  • Nominating Committee
  • Publications Committee
  • Serial Publications Committee
  • Rules and Regulations Committee

The president and the executive director each said a few words of thanks to the Transitional Leadership Committee, the body moderating this assembly, and others active in promoting TESOL’s interests over the past year.

In new business, the assembly approved two resolutions. One expresses support for greater professional development opportunities for part-time and adjunct teachers. It was approved unanimously. The other calls for TESOL to consider a more finely graduated scale of conferences fees so that attendance at the conference might be more affordable. This resolution passed 13-12.

The Materials Writers IS was represented at the assembly by Julie Vorholt-Alcorn, Carina Klein, and Larry Zwier.

Carina Klein is the 2006 TESOL Professional Development Scholarship Recipient.

Larry Zwier is associate director of the English Language Center at Michigan State University. One of Larry's titles for Lerner Publications was named a 2005 Notable Book in the Social Studies for Children by the National Council on Social Studies and the Children's Book Council. Larry also wrote the script for software by DynEd International that won notice as 2005 Best Software for Adults from the American Publishers' Association.

****

TESOL 2005: Discussion Group: Top 10 Ways not to Get Your Manuscript Published For First-Time or Wanna-Be Authors

Discussion Leaders: kfolse@mail.ucf.edu and Kelly Sippell, ksippell@umich.edu

This list was presented by an author and acquisitions editor at an MWIS Discussion Group at TESOL 2005 in San Antonio, Texas. It is intended to save new ESL/ELT authors time and reduce anxiety, quibbles from experienced writers and publishers aside. Any item that appears on the list has come up more than once at the University of Michigan Press, but the authors welcome further additions.

10. Write the whole book before you submit the idea to a publisher.

  9. Send in your manuscript or proposal blind, without having made any contact with an editor at the publishing office.

  8. Neglect to do your homework, such as which publisher to send your proposal/inquiry e-mail to.

  7. Neglect to find out who or what the competition is for your proposed book project.

  6. Ignore the realities of an acceptable contract with an ESL publisher. (For more information, see “Negotiating ESL/ELT Publishing Contracts” onwww.tesol.org.)

  5. Shirk some of your responsibilities as outlined in the contract.

  4. Resist the guidance of reviewers and your editor.

  3. Insist on doing the illustrations or audiotaping yourself.

  2. Demand approval of design and marketing matters.

1.      Think all your work is done once you have submitted the final manuscript to the publisher.

Keith Folse is associate professor, TESOL, and coordinator of the MATESOL program at the University of Central Florida.  He is the author of 40 ESL books, including The Art of Teaching Speaking (University of Michigan Press, 2006) and Greater Essays (Houghton Mifflin, 2006).

Kelly Sippell, MWIS chair-elect, is the executive acquisitions editor at the University of Michigan Press.

****

Discussion Group: Productive Writer/Editor Relationships

Discussion Leaders: Deborah Gordon, dbgordon52@cox.net, and Penny Laporte, laporte@cambridge.org

We began our discussion by presenting the results of a survey we’d done on what writers and editors believed helped to create and maintain an effective and productive writer/editor relationship. We then discussed the positive and negative experiences we’d all had as materials writers and editors. A lively discussion ensued, resulting in a list of relevant issues and talking points editors and writers might find useful in facilitating productive working relationships.

The results of our informal survey were as follows:

Comments most often made by editors and writers were that a positive working relationship needed to include

1. a willingness to take the time to talk things over

2. respect for schedules

3. prompt replies

4. appreciation shown to both parties at appropriate times

5. recognition of and respect for each other’s strengths

6. a restraint from trying to do each other’s jobs

7. a sense of humor

Editors reported that they preferred writers who

1. were genuinely open to suggestions

2. showed appreciation to their editors

3. were willing to talk on the phone at length to sort out problems rather than always relying on e-mails

4. didn’t need constant help

Writers reported that they preferred editors who

1. cared as much about the project as the authors did

2. were clear about what they wanted, and didn’t keep changing their minds

3. respected the classroom experience of the author

4. weren’t willing to settle for something that wasn’t as good as it could be

In short, we all agreed that a productive writer/editor partnership is built on many of the same qualities as a good marriage: excellent communication, good listening skills, mutual respect, shared goals, and a willingness to compromise. We also discussed the need to remember that we are all on the same side and that there is value in starting a working relationship with a frank discussion of the personal working style preferences of each party—for example, letting editors know the types of changes they can make without first checking with the writer, the ways in which writers preferred to receive and editors preferred to give feedback, and the writers’ and editors’ preferences about the points in the writing process at which it is best for the editor to be involved.

Deborah Gordon is an independent materials writer, a 2005 Professional Development Scholarship Award recipient, and a past cochair of the MWIS.

Penny Laporte is publishing manager for ELT at Cambridge University Press.

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Discussion Group: Pros and Cons of Using Technology

Presenter: Marta O. Dmytrenko-Ahrabian, aa4605@wayne.edu

Electronic media has affected writers, teachers, and students.  The discussion group began with a survey of how many participants actually use technology in their teaching and how many author their own materials with technology.  The group investigated which principles guide writers and/or editors in adding technology to materials or using technology for material in their teaching to support, enhance, or replace traditional materials.  The discussion was very lively and included a wide spectrum of opinions as participants applauded as well as admonished uses of technology in materials. Highlights of the discussion included the following:

-          Technology is good if it works, especially if it is user-friendly for both student and teacher.

-          Technology needs to enhance teaching and learning.  It should not be used just for the sake of technology or innovation.  Some very practical questions and issues were raised:

Why use PowerPoint if you can simply write the few words on the blackboard? 

Why put the same hardcopy textbook or workbook exercises on a Web site for students to do without correction?

Should the student be learning alone without the classroom environment? 

Can technology foresee all of the students’ questions?

Can technology give all forms of teacher feedback?

How can a virtual classroom be made using technology?

-          Publishers now seem to be producing more ancillary materials such as instructor’s manuals, answer keys, and handouts, on their Web sites instead of in hardcopy. Why?  Is it for easy access or does it save money?  Do teachers like it or not?

-          How do students react to using technology?  What studies have been done to investigate this?

-          Technology takes time to author; therefore, if material is already authored, use that even if it’s not exactly what you had in mind.  But the nagging question still exists:  Does technology really enhance the teaching/learning?  Have there been any studies that can answer this question?

-          Is it necessary to use technology for effective teaching and learning?  What about the good old-fashioned classroom environment?

Time was short and discussion could easily have gone well beyond the half-hour allotted.  Everyone agreed that technology can be a good resource and tool in teaching and learning; however, using it just for the sake of technology—the novelty of the media—is not the best reason for including it in materials.  It should be used as an enhancement and not as a replacement.  Classroom studies need to be carried out to investigate the effectiveness of technology in the classroom.

Marta O. Dmytrenko-Ahrabian, PhD, is associate director of the English Language Institute at Wayne State University.

****

Energy Break: My Aptly Named Energy “Break” in Tampa

 

Leader: Dorothy E. Zemach, zemach@comcast.net

This was my first year attending an Energy Break session at TESOL, because in the past, I always figured, hey, why spend $10 when there are so many other good sessions for free?  But this year, I was asked to lead one. Because I got to pick my topic (I chose plagiarism, a long-standing interest) and there were going to be free snacks, I couldn’t refuse. (No, no, of course, I didn’t get to keep the $10s.)

The rationale behind Energy Breaks is that you get a small group of no more than 10 people and the chance to interact with a leader in the field while fund-raising for TESOL.  I can’t say for sure how they pick the leaders, but judging from other names, it looks like they are people who have led Interest Sections or done spotlight sessions or plenaries or have in some other way got their names out there in the TESOL atmosphere.

Though my session sold out well in advance, on the actual day only 6 of 10 registrants showed up. One, I heard later, had her own presentation to give at the same time. Some others were confused by incorrect numbering of tables (all of the sessions took place at large round tables grouped in the same area) and wound up attending other sessions by mistake.

There were snacks, yes, but no coffee and nothing, well, doughy. Coming from Eugene, I’d just assumed that “snacks” meant lattes and croissants, not apples, sodas, and water. 

But if I’d known what was coming, I would have poured a stiff drink.

The session started off as planned: I read several pages from a grade school chapter book called Ramona the Brave by Beverly Cleary (1975). The passage, which I read to university students in research paper writing classes, describes a first grader’s experience making paper bag owls in class. Everyone has the same paper bag and is making, roughly, the same sort of owl.  Every child is drawing eyes looking straight ahead, so our hero, Ramona, decides to draw her owl’s eyes looking off to the side, and also draws glasses around the eyes. When she looks up, Ramona sees that her arch-rival Susan is staring at her owl. Susan then proceeds to draw her owl’s eyes looking off to the side and with glasses.  When the teacher comes by and sees Susan’s owl, the teacher praises it for its originality.  Ramona crumples her paper bag and throws it away. Later the teacher asks Ramona where her owl is.  Ramona replies coldly, “I do not care for owls.” 

Then I read the last line from the passage: “But she did care. She cared so much it hurt.”  The point here is that I’ve never had a student, whether fromChina or Saudi Arabia or Turkey, who was not able to empathize with Ramona. I’ve had students cry during that passage. We then discuss what the problem is (Susan took credit for Ramona’s idea) and whether anyone else can use Ramona’s ideas for their paper-bag owls (yes, as long as they tell the teacher that the idea was Ramona’s). It’s a nice lead-in to a discussion on plagiarism with students, and, I thought, to my little discussion at TESOL.

But no. The woman to my left sort of sniffed and said, “Well, that’s not what I want to talk about.” What she wanted to talk about, and what she did talk about at great length, was that someone she knew who worked in a summer program for Asian students was photocopying different textbooks and distributing those pages in a little packet, and wasn’t that plagiarism?

Well, OK, it was off-topic, but as a materials writer, I felt I could handle this question quickly and easily. I said it wasn’t really plagiarism, it was just stealing, and the teacher should either (a) buy one textbook for the program and use it, or (b) use class sets of many books.

But the woman wouldn’t let go. She’d warned her friend! But her friend wouldn’t stop! Many students came and paid lots of money!  It was a famous program! The abuse had been going on for years! It would probably get worse in the future! Large companies sponsored the program! “And you know what happens to whistle-blowers, don’t you?  They get killed!”

That didn’t sound like a bad idea, actually, but none of us was apparently willing to take the initiative. Some of the other participants began complaining that this was not what they’d paid $10 to talk about, and she responded that it was what she’d paid $10 to talk about, and she’d signed up the day the Energy Breaks were advertised online, and this was the only reason she’d come to TESOL. (She was retired from teaching, even.) Great.  She’d flown great distances just to derail my first Energy Break.  Someone else pulled out the abstract to the session to prove its actual topic, and we sort of forced the discussion back to plagiarism.

The Whistle Blower remained quiet for a little while, until I made some comment about telling students that if they had chosen to write their academic papers in the United States, even if they found our writing customs silly or strange, they nevertheless had to abide by them.  At the phrase “silly or strange,” she blew up again. “DON’T you apologize for our customs!” she yelled.  I said I wasn’t apologizing, but just pointing out (again, for it had come up quite a bit during the discussion) that plagiarism rules are more or less arbitrary and cultural. “No, they’re not!  Our ways are right, and people who don’t think so are liars and cheats!” 

Well, anyone who knows me knows it’s hard to shut me up, but that remark did it.  There was a deathly quiet, and then one woman (braver than I) remarked quietly, “I can’t believe you just said that.”  But the whistle-blower was unsquashable, and 2 minutes later, the session was over.  We all left feeling rather unsettled.

What are the lessons to be learned from this?  Many, perhaps, but here are my conclusions:

1) If you host or attend an Energy Break, make sure you’re sitting at the right table.

2) It’s a snack—it’s not lunch.

3) Hecklers happen, sometimes when you least expect it. Have a strategy for dealing with unwanted interruptions, off-topic remarks, or outright personal criticisms, whether you’re leading or even just attending a session.

4) Photocopying of textbooks would be a great topic for a Discussion Group. But think twice before suggesting it for an Energy Break!

5) Not everyone in our profession is as open-minded as we might think. It is therefore not necessarily a waste of time to make “obvious” points.

6) There are some terrific non-ESL resources for talking about plagiarism with students. My personal favorites are Ramona the Brave and the MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour program from January 28, 2002, on Stephen Ambrose and Doris Kearns Goodwin (20 minutes long, and you can order the tape and find the transcript on the PBS site at www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/law/jan-june02/history_1-28.html). If you have time for a full-length film, I like Shattered Glass(2003), about New Republic reporter Stephen Glass. If you need more sources, just e-mail me!

Would I attend another Energy Break?  Sure, I would (depending on the topic). So maybe I’ll see some fellow MWIS members at one in Seattle. And inSeattle, I bet there’ll be coffee.

Reference

Cleary, B. (1975). Ramona the brave. New York: Avon Books.

Dorothy E. Zemach is senior development editor for Cambridge University Press.  Dorothy was the 2004-2005 MWIS cochair (with Carlos Islam). She is an unrepentant TESOL conference junkie, and has given two plenaries, two spotlights, and various other types of presentations over the past few years.

******

Video Theater: Welcoming New Learners Video: Perspectives From Refugee Children, Their Parents, and Their Teachers

Presenter: Judith Diamond, jdiamond@thecenterweb.org

Religious, political, and ethnic rivalries divide the world.  The victims of the resulting turmoil become refugees. The United States offers shelter to some of these families. In exchange for freedom from war and potential for the future, refugees must adapt to a new language, a new culture, and, often, totally different physical surroundings.  For some, this includes a first experience of school. 

Illinois, particularly in the Chicago area, is a new home for many refugees.  For this reason, the Department of Human Resources and the Illinois State Board of Education decided to create two videos, for refugee parents and their children, and for educators, social service staff, and the American parents and children who would be welcoming the new families into their schools.  

 

Juma

Instead of focusing on the first few days of enrollment when families often have the help of support staff, the videos speak through the children, parents, and teachers of the struggles and successes of the weeks and months following.  The children, from elementary to high school, talk about their misconceptions and frustrations and their eventual successes.  Parents and teachers discuss what school means to them and how essential, although sometimes difficult, they have found the communication between school and home.  The goal of the videos is to give insight and help to all the partners in this new adventure.

The first video is In Our Country, Educating Newcomers in America.  It is on both DVD and VCR tape as well as streamed from the Illinois State Board of Education Web site, www.isbe.state.il.us/bilingual/htmls/refugee_services.htm. The DVD has optional translations into Arabic, Maay Maay, Somali, Swahili, and Spanish.  Spanish was chosen because it was felt that the videos would be helpful to immigrants as well as refugees.  The second video, Welcoming New Learners, A Professional Development Tool, is for educators and social service professionals.  It is available streamed and on VCR. Both VCRs have English language subtitles.  Some interviews are on both videos.

A video kit for Welcoming New Learners containing the DVD, videos, and guidebook is available free of charge as long as supplies last, by contacting Sherry Johnson, principal consultant, Illinois State Board of Education, at sjohnson@isbe.net.

Judith Diamond is instructional resource consultant for the Adult Learning Resource Center in Chicago. As a teacher trainer, Judith specializes in ESL, math, and technology. She also created the video and handbook, A Framework Comes Alive: Experience an ESOL Curriculum and wrote Strategies for Test-Taking Success: Math (Heinle, 2005), among many other publications.

 


Accolades and Announcements

Congratulations to Tim Collins of National Louis University! Tim has been awarded an 11-month Fulbright grant to produce an EFL teacher development project in Taiwan. In addition to this project, he will be organizing educational exchanges, speaking at conferences and special events in Taiwan, the mainland, and neighboring countries, and conducting research on culturally relevant language pedagogy. TCollins@nl.edu

New Publications from Members

Well Said Intro: Pronunciation for Clear Communication by Linda Grant, a lower-level companion to the very successful pronunciation text, Well Said, was published in February by Thomson Heinle.  The new text targets high beginning to intermediate students. 

Strategies for Test-taking Success: Writing by Christy M. Newman is the third book in a test-prep series intended for middle and high school students who must take standardized tests mandated under NCLB.  Instruction is on a 3rd- 6th grade reading level, but the series contains all the sophisticated skills taught by higher level (and higher priced) test prep guides and courses. The Reading and Math (with Judith Diamond) volumes were published in 2005 by Thomson Heinle. 

Cruising the World in Style: A Journal for the Savvy Single Traveler by Valerie Whiteson describes the adventures of Dr. Monica Mendell on an around-the-world cruise on the QE2 to visit the countries of her former students. The book has three purposes: to depict a world cruise, to describe a romance, and to give advice to singles traveling alone.

Dr. Whiteson is the author of eleven English textbooks published in the UK, the US, and the Middle East.

Cruising the World in Style: A Journal for the Savvy Single Traveler by Valerie Whiteson describes the adventures of is available from Amazon.com (ISBN 965-555 218-7)

Announcements

CALL for PARTICIPATION at TESOL 2007

Spanning the Globe: Tides of Change

March 21-24, 2007

Seattle, Washington, USA

The deadline for Poster Sessions, Hot Topics, & Video Theater and Discussion Groups

is AUGUST 1.

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TESOL Responds to President’s Address on Immigration, English Language Legislation

Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, Inc. (TESOL), a global education association representing more than 13,000 English language educators, issued the following statement in response to President Bush’s May 15 address concerning comprehensive immigration reform and the U.S. Senate vote on May 18:  

TESOL lauds the recent comments of President Bush recognizing the important role that  the English language plays in the United States, and the role it plays for immigrants  coming to this country. There is no question that English is the common language of the United States, and as the President said in his speech, English “is the key to unlocking the  opportunity of America.” 

However, TESOL opposes measures such as the amendment approved by the U.S. Senate  on May 18 that seek to “preserve and enhance” the status of English as the national  language by limiting government communications to English-only. With U.S. Census figures showing that 92% of Americans have no difficulty speaking English, and with English becoming the language of global communication, it is in no way endangered or  in need of preservation. Moreover, policies that limit the government’s ability to TESOL Responds to President’s Address on Immigration communicate with people who are speakers of other languages will only divide rather than unite the country, and could jeopardize the public’s health and safety. 

Immigrant adults do want to learn English, but have limited opportunities to do so. While English language learners make up almost half of the 1.2 million students enrolled in federally funded adult education programs, many programs across the country report long  waiting lists for English as a second language (ESL) programs, with waits up to months  or even years for space. The overwhelming demand for ESL programs far surpasses the current supply.  

Enhancing English language learning will come not from official decrees, but from committing resources to those programs and services working directly with immigrants to help them learn English and become U.S. citizens. TESOL urges the President and Congress to affirm their support for educators of adult English language learners and for ESL programs by increasing federal funding for adult education, and thereby increasing access to these critically needed programs. ESL educators and programs are on the front lines in helping immigrants and others learn English and become citizens. TESOL stands ready to work with the President and the Congress in helping to enhance these opportunities for all new Americans.

Reprinted with permission from TESOL.