Monday, March 11, 2019

The #ELLEdTech Twitter Chats are on Hiatus

"Sometimes you need to press pause to let everything sink in."
-- Sebastian Vettel

For those of you who have participated in the monthly #ELLEdTech Twitter chats, I would like to inform you that Laurah and I are taking some time off from co-hosting them.
FYI: No more #ELLEdTech chats until further notice; source: The ESL Nexus
We both were too busy to do one last month and our schedules going forward are also pretty filled.  So rather than post an announcement every month, I want to let you know that we won’t be doing them for the foreseeable future.  If and when we return, I will certainly post here to let you know.

In the meantime, many thanks to those of you who participated and contributed your thoughts and suggestions on how to help English Language Learners and their teachers use educational technology.  I appreciate it very much and hope you learned some useful ideas to implement with your students.


Monday, February 25, 2019

Time for a TpT Sale!

Time flies when you're having fun.
-- Traditional proverb

Have you ever run out of time when teaching a class?  Have you ever wished you had more time in the day to get all your lesson planning and photocopying done?  Does time seem to pass you by because you’re stuck inside grading papers?

Well, don’t despair!  TeachersPayTeachers is about to rescue you!  TpT is having a sale on Tuesday and Wednesday, February 26th and 27th and my store, along with many others, will be participating.  All my resources, including bundles, will be 20% off and when you use the promo code ticktock at checkout, you’ll get an extra 5% off for a total savings of 25%.  Woo hoo!

Enjoy savings up to 25% during TpT's February 2019 sale at The ESL Nexus TpT store!
Remember to use the promo code TICKTOCK at The ESL Nexus TpT store!
How does TpT save you time?  Well, you can find great resources on TpT that meet the specific needs of your students.  Many of my resources address Common Core standards and many of them also include sample WIDA Model Performance Indicators.  This is noted in the product description of my resources.  You can find material for English Language Learners at various levels of language proficiency in my store.  Content-area resources aimed at ELLs in mainstream classes as well as students in ESL programs are available.  You can also find resources for teachers with ELLs in their classes in my store.

In keeping with the theme of Time, I’ve just created a new resource.  It consists of 6 posters (sized 8.5” x 11”) and each poster has a photograph and a quotation about time on it.  Display them on a bulletin board or display them on an interactive whiteboard and have your students discuss the meaning of the quotes.  Five suggestions are included in the resource.  Best of all, it’s FREE!  Just click HERE to download your own copy.

Enjoy savings up to 25% during TpT's February 2019 sale at The ESL Nexus TpT store!
Download your FREE copy HERE!
Remember, the sale is only for 2 days so don’t waste time and head on over to TpT and my store to grab some time-saving resources!


Saturday, February 16, 2019

The February #ELLEdTech Chat is Cancelled

"The truth is you don't know what is going to happen tomorrow.
Life is a crazy ride, and nothing is guaranteed."
-- Eminem

Due to unforeseen circumstances, neither Laurah nor I are able to host the #ELLEdTech chat that is scheduled for tomorrow.  As a result, the February chat is cancelled. We hope to be back next month!

The 2019 February #ELLEdTech chat is cancelled, due to unforeseen circumstances |The ESL Nexus
There is no #ELLEdTech chat this month; source: The ESL Nexus


Monday, February 4, 2019

13 Ways Learning to Use an Instant Pot is Like Learning English

"If you're cooking and not making mistakes, you're not
playing outside your safety zone."
-- Guy Fieri

If you're cooking and not making mistakes, you're not playing outside your safety zone.
Read more at: you're cooking and not making mistakes, you're not playing outside your safety zone
Me learning to use an Instant Pot is like my students learning to use English.  I bought an Instant Pot during the cyber sale over Thanksgiving weekend last year and as I went through the process of figuring out how to use it, I was reminded of the stages of language acquisition that English Language Learners go through as they develop fluency in English.

How learning to use an Instant Pot is like learning to speak English | The ESL Nexus
My new Instant Pot; source: The ESL Nexus
* I was scared to try it because I didn’t want to do anything wrong and inadvertently break it — Just as newcomers are often scared to say anything in English for fear of saying something incorrectly.
* So I held off for a couple weeks and let it sit in the box it came in, silently reminding me every time I looked at it that I needed to take it out of the box and make sure it functioned properly — Just like the Silent Period often experienced by ELLs.

Early Production
* Eventually I opened the box and found a place for my Instant Pot on my kitchen counter — After a while, ELLs gather up their courage and say a few words in English.
* But I was busy and put off reading the instruction manual for several more days because when I first glanced at it, it seemed too technical — ELLs who are not proficient in English get easily frustrated when they try to read texts that are beyond their comprehension level.
* When I did read the manual, it was very confusing and I didn’t understand it — The English language is confusing to ELLs when they first encounter it because they don’t yet have the social language, let alone the technical or domain-specific vocabulary needed to succeed in school.

Speech Emergent
* I decided to take a risk and invited my parents and aunt over for a dinner in which the main dish would be made in my Instant Pot — At some point, ELLs decide they have to start using English, often because they want to socialize with their classmates.
* I searched online for a recipe that looked easy to make — ELLs try out simple language first, using common words and phrases.
* But I didn’t take into account the time needed to heat up the device, so we ended up eating much later than I'd planned – ELLs make lots of errors when speaking and still don’t understand grade-level texts at this point.
* I wasn’t sure how to clean it afterwards and asked friends what to do — ELLs rely on their friends and other people to help them communicate in their new language.

Intermediate Fluency
* I used it a few more times, cooking different types of dishes, but I still miscalculated how long it’d take to cook them — ELLs start using more complex features of the English language as they begin to feel more comfortable with it, though they still make some mistakes.
* I took a risk and cooked dry garbanzo beans in it, because one of the main reasons I wanted an Instant Pot was to be able to cook beans quickly, and they turned out really well — As ELLs become more proficient, they experiment and try out new language structures.

Advanced Fluency
* I invited my aunt and parents over again to celebrate my aunt’s birthday and made a more complicated dish using the high pressure setting, and everyone thought it was delicious — ELLs are able to communicate well with others, making minimal errors and using higher level vocabulary and grammar structures.
* I now feel reasonably confident in using my Instant Pot — As ELLs develop more proficiency and improve their skills, they, too, develop more confidence in using the English language for various purposes and it often becomes almost second nature to speak, listen, read, and write in English.

Now, I am excited about using my Instant Pot and will branch out from just sautéing and following recipes to the letter to using the other functions and cooking more complicated dishes.  I have become fluent in the language of the Instant Pot and understand how the recipes are written so now I can create original meals of my own.

Likewise, ELLs in the last stage of language acquisition are able to use complex grammar structures and high level academic vocabulary when speaking and writing, they can comprehend the grade-level texts that they read, they are able to play with the language and make and understand jokes, they understand what they hear without first translating it into their native language, and they understand the songs and dialog they hear in movies, TV shows and podcasts.  In other words, ELLs have become fluent in their use of the English language.