Testing in TESOL Part 2: A Taxonomy of Tests Continued

The second part of the Testing in TESOL Series aims to highlight a few approaches to designing TESOL tests that teachers should consider for their learners. Formative & Summative Tests We will begin with a broad category, and one that you’ve used before but probably didn’t know the lingo. As you might guess, formative tests […]

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Understanding Fluency: Setting Up a Task

Using tasks in the EFL classroom is great because once they get rolling the teacher can just sit back and watch. However, there’s a lot that must go into the preparation for the puzzle pieces to fall into place. Let’s first of all consider the problems we are asking the students to solve. My suggestion is to […]

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Understanding Fluency: The Basics

Do you ever wonder what someone means when they say they are fluent in another language? How can you know when you cross the line from “un poquito” to fluido? As an examiner, I evaluate fluency by assessing the fluidity and cohesion of an English students’ speech. By fluidity, I mean the ability and willingness […]

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Understanding Fluency: TEFL Speaking Activities Part III

Part 2 of this series on fluent speaking described a few TEFL speaking activities that involved student interaction. The next set of ideas also involve a great deal of interaction, but involve a slightly more authentic task: problem solving. In each of the activities below, the students are first presented with a problem that requires […]

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Don’t Be Afraid to Tell ESL Students All Your Secrets

I live a very “meta” lifestyle. I teach new language teachers how to teach meta-language. This means having each and every lesson I conduct in our TEFL course placed under my students’ microscopes so they can dissect the guts of my methodology. Rather than cower at the thought of this intense scrutiny, I embrace their […]

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Understanding Fluency: TEFL Speaking Activities Part II

Here’s an activity that doesn’t involve as much repetition as those described in my previous blog about speaking activities in the TEFL classroom, but utilizes a lot more student interaction instead.Start by giving each student a card with a different number on it. If you’ve got ten students, number the cards one through ten. On each […]

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TEFL speaking activity

Understanding Fluency: TEFL Speaking Activities Part I

Who doesn’t love a good TEFL speaking activity? Using speaking activities in the EFL classroom is an excellent way to help students improve their ability to access language and at a faster speed, thereby improving fluency. Here are a few I hope you love. Time Trials: This is an activity which has apparently been around […]

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Technology in TESOL: News You Can Use

I’m sure plenty of you in the TEFL field have spent hours combing the Internet looking for exercises, only to find yourself amazed at how many TESOL websites there are with lesson plans, worksheets, quizzes, and games for the EFL/ESL classroom. My problem with a lot of what I find online is that many of […]

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Technology in TESOL: The Wiki

It’s widely accepted that student collaboration is an effective tool in the TESOL classroom. Outside of the class, more and more collaboration is done online through the use of wikis. Why not bring wikis into the classroom to create an authentic collaborative environment for your EFL students? Why a wiki: Students collaborate more. Students think […]

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Testing in TESOL Part 5: Positive Washback

Have you ever gone into a test feeling like you knew nothing, only to leave feeling like you knew it all? It’s common for learners to benefit from tests. This effect is called positive washback, and it has a few possible implications. Tests help us to learn because they are typically challenging and often stressful […]

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