I serve as the professional development officer for the Emerald Coast Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (ECTESOL), which is a chapter of the Sunshine State TESOL of Florida. Our local conference for the Gulf Coast area will be held in Pensacola on February 9th from 9:30-3:00. It will take place at the International Center, Building 71, at the University of West Florida (UWF). Registration costs $25 and includes lunch. The theme is Exploring Paths to Literacy Proficiency. See the itinerary below.
9:30 – 10:00 Registration (and refreshments)
10:00 – 10:10 Welcome General Session: Ms. Rachel Hendrix, Executive Director, International Affairs, UWF; Overview of Conference: Dr. Arlene Costello, President, ECTESOL
10:15 – 10:55 Keynote Speaker: Ms. Ginger Alberto, Program Director, Student Achievement through Language Acquisition, Florida Department of Education, Topic: Meeting the Needs of English Learners in Literacy Proficiency
11:00 – 11:30 Concurrent Sessions
Room 1: Engaging English Learners, Dr. Arlene Costello
Room 2: The Pragmatics of EFL/ESOL, Dr. Laureen Fregeau, University of South Alabama
11:35 – 12:00 Lunch & 12:00 – 12:15 Cultural Performances & DOOR PRIZES
12:20 – 1:00 General Session
Featured Presentation: Dr. John Pecore, Associate Professor, University of West Florida, Topic: Writing a winning TESOL grant proposal
1:40 – 2:15 Concurrent Sessions
Room 1: Language Writing Frames to Aid ESOL Elementary Students’ Research Projects, Dr. Sandra Rogers, SHC
Room 2: Supporting Non-Literate Adult Learners of English on Paths to Literacy, Dr. Meg Smith, SHC
2:20 – 2:50 Special Presentation General Session
The Dynamics of Literacy: Language and Science Dr. Vanessa Mangual, Bi-literacy Consultant, Benchmark Education
2:50 – 3:00 Business Meeting: Report by President; Paper Report by Treasurer; Ms. Vicki Murphy, ECTESOL Conference Chair, DOOR PRIZES
3:00 – 3:20 ECTESOLBoard Meeting, Conference Room
Please register by January 29, 2019. You may bring your payment onsite on the day of the conference. Visit the ECTESOL website to download the registration form and learn more about our organization. Contact Dr. Arlene Costello at email@example.com for more information. We hope to see you there!
The English Language Programs of the U.S. Department of State is celebrating their 50th anniversary of the Fellow Program. As a former English Fellow to Mozambique, I want to share my teaching English experience as part of the celebration. I wrote about my fellowship in a newsletter while working elsewhere. Sections of the article are provided below. Please note that this information is outdated. It’s a snapshot of the early 1990s in Maputo, Mozambique from the perspective of a foreign worker.
The Multilingual Mozambican (Rogers, 1995)
I miss Africa. It was as great a pleasure as a hardship to teach in Mozambique. From September 1992 to December of 1993, I was employed by the Universidade Eduardo Mondlane (UEM) in Maputo, the capital city. After interviewing at TESOL Vancouver, the (USIS) United States Information Services provided me with an English Teaching Fellowship (ETF) contract for one year. Having always wanted to visit Africa, the stability of a US government contract made my adventure-in-the-wait a job reality with roundtrip airfare, medical insurance, and a generous stipend. In addition, UEM provided me with housing.
…My (US) salary as a visiting teacher was better than that of the host nationals. Monthly, I received $600 and the equivalent of $200 in their currency (Metical), which suffered from superinflation: one dollar equaled 5K meticais. My first check was for a million meticais.
When I first arrived in Maputo, the country was still at war. There were numerous war orphans and amputees on the streets. During my stay, I witnessed the uneasy steps towards peace that eventually led to a peace accord and democratic elections. I saw the UN tanks replace their army’s. I experienced the rebel leader leaving the bush and taking up residence in the city (my neighborhood). I talked to teachers who after being restricted from traveling outside the city for 15 years, finally got to go visit their hometowns. It was an amazing time in Mozambican history, one that I’m glad I can share. The UN Mission (UNOMOZ) was a success and the troops pulled out. The country was a tropical paradise in ruins that needed to be rebuilt. The major obstacle to rebuilding the infrastructure and a normal lifestyle was the litter of hundreds of landmines. Mozambique had the largest landmine problem in the world.
…Portuguese, as well as many African Bantu languages, are spoken in Mozambique. Spanish is understood by the Portuguese speakers and vice versa. It’s very close. I think it’s important to mentions this because, like most Americans, I was completely unaware of this fact. However, in my humble opinion, Portuguese is a more structurally complicated language.
Being fluent in Spanish helped me meet the language requirement to get the job. Also, my volunteer work with the Peace Corps (PC) in Honduras (1985-87) and an internship in Guatemala (1991) showed my ability to adapt to harsh conditions. Due to severe droughts and a sixteen-year-old civil conflict, Mozambique was one of the poorest countries in the world.
Teaching conditions at the university were definitely third world: no window panes to keep the dust out, sometimes no running water to wash hands or flush toilets, and frequent power outages. Most importantly, transit was limited for the students. Public transit was nonexistent in Maputo. Given these hardships, one must wonder why anyone would want to work there. Well, I knew from my PC experience that no matter how much I put into a job like this, I would gain more from it; and I strongly believe I have.
As a light-skinned, American female raised in a democratic society, I underwent a complete minority immersion. Placed in the Engineering faculty to teach English for Specific Purposes (ESP) to beginners, I encountered a majority of black males as well as a host of visiting professors from Communist countries. Mozambique was a Socialist/Communist country undergoing political change. In the past, they received assistance from Russia and Cuba, as well as other former East bloc countries. Some of my students had received military training in these countries and thus spoke Russian, German, and Spanish. Additionally, many Mozambican professionals had studied abroad…Not many Mozambicans spoke English, but a good number of them were multilingual. One charming example of this was the night I went out with some German backpackers to a simple open-air bar and had half the locals buying drinks for us and speaking German.
Another factor adding to the multilingualism in Mozambique is that many educational materials had been donated to the university in languages other than Portuguese… So learning how to read in English (the language of the largest selection of books) is necessary for third and fourth-year students at UEM. Hence, ESP programs focused on reading proficiency.
To add to the multilingualism, many visiting professors didn’t speak Portuguese and thus lecture in their native language. For example, my students were used to receiving math classes in Spanish because of the numerous Cuban professors employed at the Engineering faculty. Visiting professors make up about 50% of the staff due to the ‘brain drain’ caused by the civil conflict and previous war of independence. In such a case, the majority of management and PhDs are very young and abroad obtaining their credentials.
As for the communication in my classroom, students received instructions only in English at first, but they were informed of my Spanish fluency and consequent comprehension of Portuguese. We exchanged English for Portuguese during free periods. The only formal instruction for non-native (adult) speakers at that time was the Brazilian Cultural Center downtown. I attended classes for one month, but the accent was so different that I decided it wasn’t a good idea. Mozambican Portugues is truer to Portugal given the colloquial insertions and accent. This is because Mozambique was Portugal colony until 1975.
Eventually, I learned to communicate in Portuguese. My students were at ease after my acquisition. It led me to question the ‘English only’ rule: If I’m to be the facilitator, how can I help them if I can’t speak their language? That year (1993) an article appeared in the TESOL Journal questioning the validity and general acceptance of such rule with no empirical basis. In my opinion, this rule creates a high affective filter. I was made aware of this by reading hundreds of my students’ journals each week.
To further expand on my minority immersion, I was the only American teaching English in the city, probably the entire country. British English dominated Africa. This is due to…their colonization…and their continued outpouring of funds for English programs throughout the continent. For example, the British Council had a wonderful library and resource center in … Maputo.
…Teaching Mozambicans was a great pleasure. They were very receptive and gracious. I miss my students and the Mozambican teachers. Together they showed me how to relax and have a good time despite the harsh conditions. Thanks to them, I too have become multilingual. Initially, Mozambique was at the end of the world for me, as it appears to many based on their global location, but now it seems somehow closer with the education I carry of the land and its people.
#ELPalumni #Mozambique #TESOL #fellowimpact
Rogers, S. (1995). The multilingual Mozambican. The Teacher, 1(2). Recife: Brasil: Association Brasil America.
I’m enjoying the challenge of guest blogging for the Association for the Advancement of Computers in Education’s (AACE) new blog, the AACE Review. AACE is the professional organization that produces the LearnTechLib database and several educational research journals (i.e., International Journal on e-Learning, Journal of Computers in Math and Science Teaching, Journal on Online Learning Research). It hosts several educators’ conferences that I like to attend such as the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education (SITE) and the World Conference on eLearning (eLearn). See images of my past involvement with AACE.
SITE 2017 in San Antonio, TX
eLearn 2014 in New Orleans, LA
SITE 2017 in San Antonio
So far, I’ve blogged about these educational technology and learning topics:
As for this Teacherrogers blog, I haven’t slowed down on my writing. I recently updated the page on my teaching philosophy, added my research statement, and a page on my Google Map project. These are the static pages at the top of this blog. You may have noticed the new award for landing in the top 75 blogs on Feedspot on the topic of educational technology. I was actually #58! Thanks for reading and sharing my blogs. I’ve been blogging here since 2011, and it serves as my knowledge base that I’m continuously updating, as I learn from and share with educators at my college and peers worldwide.
The Emerald Coast TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) conference is this Saturday from 10-3 at University of West Florida International Center. The registration is $25 and includes lunch. The conference will feature professionals from northern Florida panhandle and the Alabama Gulf Coast. As a new Board member, this will be my first time attending. Here’s the schedule:
9:30 – 10:00 Registration
10:00 – 10:10 Welcome – Council Vaughn, Director, International English Program
Overview of Conference – Dr. Arlene Costello, VP/ECTESOL Conference Chair
10:15 – 10:50 Keynote Speaker: Chane Eplin, Bureau Chief, Student Achievement through Language Acquisition, Florida Department of Education
Topic Address: Quality Education for English Learners K-12 and Beyond
10:55 – 11:30 Concurrent Sessions
Room 1: ELs as Independent and Autonomous Learners (Kiss/Costello)
Room 2: Google Suite to Enhance English Language Instruction (Rogers)
11:35 – 12:00 Lunch and 12:00 – 12:15 Cultural Performances DOOR PRIZES
12:20 – 1:00 Featured Keynote Speaker: Dr. Susan Ferguson Martin, Faculty, ESOL and Educational Leadership, University of South Alabama
Topic Address: Academic Language in Teaching and Learning Across the Curriculum: A Functional Approach
1:05 – 1:35 Panel – Speakers
Grace McCaffery, Founder, Costa Latina
Shannon Nickinson, Project Manager, Early Learning Studer Institute
1:40 – 2:15 Concurrent Sessions
Room 1: Sowing Seeds (Sessions & Cuyuch)
Room 2: ESOL, EFL, and Reciprocal Service Learning (Fregeau, Leier, Ojiambo, Cornejo, and Chikatia)
2:20 – 2:50 Concurrent Sessions
Room 1: The SUCCESS from Teachers, Students, and Parents Working Together (Baker)
Room 2: Saudi ELLs’ Digital Gameplay Habits and Effects on LA (Rogers)
2:50 – 3:00 Brief Business Meeting: Report by President; Paper Report by Treasurer
Closing: Amany Habib, ECTESOL President DOOR PRIZES
3:00 – 3:20 ECTESOL Board Meeting
I’ll be presenting a case study on gameplay habits and an information session on Google Suite for enhancing English language instruction. I hope to see you there!
Note: Gagné’s instructional events have been widely adopted for instructional design purposes in multiple disciplines. For example, K-12 school systems utilize his instructional events as a framework for lesson planning and evaluation. See my blog post on Gagné to learn more.
Teacher Preparation: Review the lesson and consider content that requires scaffolding (support) such as bringing in realia or images of uncommon words, prepping for reviewing grammar or pronunciation rules, or considering practice activities and resources. Gagné’s (1985) nine events are iterative meaning you can jump around. For example, you might need to gain attention or provide feedback at different moments in a lesson. Also, ongoing assessment should occur for formative assessment checks in addition to summative assessment (test of everything they learned) at the conclusion.
Gain Attention: (Simple strategies) Show images or items you plan to discuss in the lesson. Practice pronouncing them. Ask if they are familiar with them. (Complex strategy) Role-play activity with ESL teachers to demonstrate the situation.
State Objective: Write the objectives on the board and check them off as you cover them. This helps the learner know what has been covered. Simplify the language of the objectives, so students will understand them. Use drawings for beginning levels. See the list of verbs for language objectives below.*
Stimulate recall of prior learning: Have you ever_____? Share experience. Tell me about ____. Use brainstorming to illustrate information on whiteboard. This will tap into their prior knowledge and ready their brain to receive related information for enhanced storage and retrieval.
Present content: Direct instruction of lesson. Provide examples and nonexamples.
Provide learner guidance: Accommodate learners as needed. Answer questions (consider ‘wait time’ across cultures may from a few seconds to minutes before a response). Guidance can be as simple as a head nod for the accuracy or other total physical responses such as going up on your toes when a syllable is emphasized in a word.
Elicit performance: Participants do the task individually, pairs, or whole group. Use gaming activities to make learning interactive (e.g., Hangman, Spelling Race, Mime for Guessing Game).
Provide Feedback: Answer questions and assist participants one-on-one. Provide clarification verbally and in writing. Check workbook. Provide answer key and let them check their own answers in pairs.
Assessment: Ask some basic recall and application questions. Ask higher order questions for analysis, synthesis, and evaluation. Assessment can be as simple as raising hands for polling questions. Alternative assessments include performance or production of artifact (drawing, essay, pamphlet).
Enhance retention and transfer: 1) In one word, how can you use what you learned today in your life/work? 2) Use language strategies to practice what you learned today. Which strategies will you use? Recommend appropriate strategies listed in my blog post. 3) Review newly learned material at the start of next class for retention.
I prepared this instructional sequence for novice ESL teachers to prepare their lessons. I’ll definitely be adding to it. I’d love feedback/input from my ESL/EFL peers!
*Language objective verbs (Excerpted from Echevarria, Vogt, & Short, 2012) focus on the language functions.
Listening – tell, role play, identify, review, label, describe, define, name, match listen, recognize, pint, show, follow
Speaking – name, discuss, rephrase, summarize, explain, tell, use
Last week, I shared my best sellers on TPT. This week, I thought I’d share how many downloads I have on my most popular freebies on TPT. Access to these is free as a digital download if you sign up for TeachersPayTeachers. Please leave a comment on the product page if you download one after reading this blog post.
TPT is an open market place for teachers to sell their self-produced (teacher-authored) material. To learn more about TPT, see my blog page. Before you sign-up for the TPT free account, read that blog to learn how to give me credit when you enroll. Thanks!
“The more radical the person is, the more fully he or she enters into reality so that, knowing it better, he or she can transform it. This individual is not afraid to confront, to listen, to see the world unveiled.― Paulo Freire