Finally home… I am exhausted but happy at the same time. The last several days in New Orleans have been quite an experience! There were interesting TESOL sessions, yummy food, and gorgeous weather. :)
There are a lot of thoughts, observations, and ideas I would like to share with you here, but today I am going to talk about just a few.
1) Remember Ashley mentioned a session on using blogs in writing classes presented by Kristina Scholz, an MA TESL student at Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ? (See Ashley’s post on March 17th). Her presentation was indeed fantastic! She shared six blogging activities that a writing teacher can incorporate in his/her class. Here are some helpful links:
Six Blogging Activities for Practicing L2 English Writing — Here you will find the PowerPoint Presentation and the handout
SAMPLE BLOG & Student Blogs
I won’t say more here–see for yourself!
Oh, and here is a photo of us with the presenter:
2) At another session I went to, the presenter, Cristin A. Boyd from San Jose State University, San Jose, CA, was talking about strategies for teaching paraphrasing and summarizing.
Her ideas you can find here:
Paraphrasing and Summarizing Activities
3) One of the most interesting sessions for me was Challenges of English Writing Stemmed From Cultural Differences by Mimi Doyle from Hanyang University in Seoul, Korea. Though the presenter conducted a survey to find out what kind of difficulties Korean students experience, I believe we can use the findings to better understand our ELP students, the majority of whom are Chinese.
The presentation looked at the survey data trying to find out what kind of challenges, stemmed from the culture, students experience when writing, so that ESL instructors can better help these students with their problems.
1) It is critical to plan some in-class time to brainstorm when assigning writing;
2) Since the students tend to focus on local issues, teachers need to help their students understand the importance of global issues (content and organization) rather than certain words / prepositions/ articles as they will not distort comprehension.
3) Individual conferences are important (Anticipate the problems caused by difference of culture in writing!)
I will stop here for now. Pictures are coming. :)