TESOL Greece 2013 – Preliminary Programme

The 34th TESOL International Convention is coming up in Athens (30-31 March 2013), have a look at the preliminary programme here and don’t forget to visit www.tesolgreece.org for latest news and updates.

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Five things I think I know about teaching reading

Oxford University Press

Woman teaching young girl to readBarbara Hoskins Sakamoto, co-author of Let’s Go, shares five principles for teaching reading effectively in the classroom.

I’ve tried quite a few different approaches to teaching literacy over the years, initially with students learning to read in their first language, and now with students learning to read English as a foreign language. Like most teachers, I’ve settled on a fairly eclectic approach that seems to work well for me, and my young learners. Here are five principles that work for me.

1. Build a strong oral foundation first

When students begin learning to read in their first language, they have a working vocabulary of between 2,500 and 5,000 words. They learn to connect printed text to words that they already know. We want to be sure that our young learners have a strong foundation of oral language before we begin asking them to attach symbols to sounds, particularly…

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Summoning the Spirit of the Dodo

A wonderful article by Chris Franek – and a quick personal observation: sometimes you have to go back in order to move forward.

Oxford University Press

Chris Franek returns with a word of warning to teachers about getting caught up in the speed of technological change.

In a previous post I talked about the infamous dodo bird that mysteriously became extinct in the late 17th century and how we teachers should take care not to suffer the same fate due to our occasional blind love affair with technology. It’s quite funny. My girlfriend often affectionately refers to me as a dodo. More accurately, she calls me a “dodo bird” which is somewhat confusing because I don’t know if she’s referring to an extinct bird or an idiot. I suspect both.

It got me thinking about the evolution of the meaning of the word dodo. As I mentioned in the previous blog post titled, “Is the Teacher Going the Way of the Dodo?” I talked about how the original dodo was the infamous now extinct…

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Book suggestions – ECPE – Hellenic American Union

Preparing ECPE candidates? Try Build Up your Proficiency-Writing Skills, with 12 units on organising writing properly and developing writing skills for the C2 level examinations.

I’d suggest using it in courses of at least 40 hrs, as there’s plenty of material to cover and it can be a bit difficult for students at a low competency level. If, however, you don’t use a coursebook in C2 level courses, but only focus on exam preparation (e.g. a one-year-course), this book can prove quite useful.

Extra tip for greek EFL students: it’s a really helpful coursebook for students who find producing written speech challenging in their native language as well. I’ve used this book “backwards” with remarkable results.