Monday, December 2, 2013

Interesting Things For The End Of The Term

Are you looking for things to fill your last class? Consider crafting a lesson out of these finds.

Planet Money Makes A T-Shirt
This is an interactive story in five parts titled Cotton, Machines, People, Boxes, and You. The story is told with both video and text. You could simply watch the video clips in your classroom, or you could ask students to do further reading of the text components during lab time. The story takes you to Bangladesh, Brooklyn, Colombia, Indonesia, Miami, Mississippi, and Wisconsin. It addresses the themes of agriculture, automation, entrepreneurship, gender inequality, genetic engineering, labor, manufacturing, shipping and logistics, urbanization, and workplace safety through the larger topics of the garment industry and globalization.

Soda vs. Pop vs. Coke: Mapping How Americans Talk
This is a lighthearted look at some of the dialect differences in the United States. There is an article and links for further exploration after a short video; perfect for independent work in a computer lab.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Helping The Philippines

In addition to this event, there will be volunteers around campus on Tuesday and Wednesday collecting monetary donations for Typhoon Haiyan relief efforts. Please mention this in your classes.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Job Opportunity For DIP Students

We have a job opportunity for a student! We are looking for a part-time evening Media Center assistant for the winter term and onward. We are looking for a DIP student, level 6 or higher, who is comfortable with software and hardware, and who can effectively support students and teachers in the Media Center. F1 students are eligible; a student with plans to study at LaGuardia or another CUNY school after completing TELC is preferred.

I will be going to DIP classes tomorrow to advertise, but if your (level 6 or higher!) students ask you about it, information is here.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

TELC On The Street Field Trips! NYPL and Grand Central

Please mention this in your classes, and encourage your students to sign up! The sign up sheet is posted near the language clinic board.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Professional Development Day 2013

Did you miss it, or would you like to review what happened? Click through for the presentations and handouts from Professional Development Day 2013.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Teacher Ideas: The Media Center Made Easy

Thanks to Gabriel Skop for this installment of the Teacher Ideas series.  You can find this article along with information about supporting our college-bound students in the Fall 2013 issue of the faculty newsletter.

The Media Center Made Easy

by Gabriel Skop

If you’re like me, you have not always shown up with your class for your regularly scheduled time in the Media Center. I don’t know if your reasons were similar to mine, but the following were among my excuses: I lost track of my schedule and forgot to go. Since our classrooms were converted to smart rooms, there is less reason to go. It takes too much time and effort to prepare meaningful activities for the Media Center.

Well, I can’t help you with the first issue. If the second one is your excuse, know that you can more effectively and more intensively monitor multiple student conversations in the Media Center than you can in your own classroom.

Little Ideas, Big Impact

If, however, you just don’t have hours to spend creating complex lesson plans for use in the Media Center, then this article is for you. It would be great to have extra time and energy to devote to putting together multilayered lesson plans, but few of us have the luxury such an effort demands. Here, then, are several simple ideas with maximum impact – Media Center class activities which do not require a great deal of preparation. At the end of each activity description, you will see a suggestion or two for ways of following up when your students return to your classroom.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Monday Links

Here's some stuff from around the internet to possibly use in class.

The only language in this video is written, so students can watch and read. It might be a nice warm up for the beginning of class, and would definitely put a smile on every face.

Allie Brosh writes and illustrates the popular blog Hyperbole and a Half. Her latest entry is a post-Halloween story about a girl, her dinosaur costume, and the intoxicating power it gave her. It's a nice personal narrative with an insight into the Halloween tradition, and her vocabulary is appropriately challenging for students at higher levels. (If you go on an Allie Brosh binge after this, she just published a book, so there's more!)

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Beyond Venn Diagrams

I have always liked teaching with graphic organizers. I think they are a great way to visually represent concepts, and I also think that when used well, they can help teachers structure lessons more effectively. ReadWriteThink is a rich resource for graphic organizers and other printable classroom material, and I've collected a few of my favorite finds here.

Connecting To Material


The Connection Stems printable is a great way to do guided comprehension in a reading class, and I think this could work just as well with a listening class. The prompts are in very simple language, so it would be ideal in a lower level class or perhaps with higher level students grappling with a complicated topic. The Making Connections printable is more sophisticated, introducing the concepts of text-to-self, text-to-text, and text-to-world connections, and it asks students to pick out specific quotes from a text and articulate their connections to those quotes (great for developing paraphrasing and citation skills). 

Friday, October 25, 2013

Ñ Train

Dedicated to the 24% of New Yorkers who speak Spanish - check out the Z Street Art collective.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Did you RSVP? All faculty and staff from The English Language Center are invited.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

1,000 Fans

We reached 1,000 fans on Facebook today! This is big news. More and more, prospective students prefer to communicate with us via Facebook, and current students rely on Facebook for school and program announcements. If something noteworthy happens in your classes, please get pictures and share with us so we can post and grow!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Talking About The Government Shutdown

If your students are confused by the government shutdown (imagine that!), this story by VOA News is written in simplified English, and attempts to explain particulars of the US system of government in plain terms. There is audio that accompanies that text, so students can listen and read at the same time.

This quiz at the New York Times Learning Network could serve as a nice introduction to the topic as well.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

What Young People Know About Social Media - And What We Might Not

Photos from the story by Dan O'Neil
Contrary to popular belief among adults, these teenagers are not oblivious to privacy settings and do care a good amount about who can see what online. If anything, most of them have consciously chosen what they want to show to me and the rest of the world through social media. And what they’re telling us is who they are and what they need from us as mentors.
This article by Jacqui Cheng over at Medium questions the idea that young people need adult guidance about privacy on social media. (If you are interested in Medium after clicking over, check out this About section.)

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Do You Want To Pilot An App?

Do you have a smart phone or tablet?

Are you interested in how you might teach with apps?

A company called Transparent Language has expressed interest in working with ESL teachers from LaGuardia to pilot their mobile app. We are looking to get a team of teachers together in the next few weeks - TELC and CLIP faculty, and possibly teachers from other departments - to work together with the Transparent Language team to explore and brainstorm how teaching with this app (or any app, really!) might look in a higher ed classroom.

Talk to Heather if you are interested.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Welcome Back: School-Themed Activities

For this fall, I selected some audio and video clips that explore the theme of school in the United States. I've got a classic scene from The Breakfast Club, a more recent classic scene from Mean Girls, a popular clip from Community, and two oral interviews on StoryCorps. The clips are embedded below, and the activities are on the wiki, in the binders in the teachers' computer room, and on the board outside the Media Center. Have fun!

This scene from  The Breakfast Club has a lot of action yet little dialogue, so it's an appropriate clip to use even with low level students. I created discussion questions that explore school lunch culture in the United States and in students' home countries.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Odds & Ends

As we get closer to the start of the term, you may be thinking a bit about ideas for the new teaching year, so here's a short round-up of things I've seen recently.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

See You In September!

Thanks for a great summer term, everyone. We will see you all when the trees start doing this!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Illustrated (And Animated!) Tips

Nathan W. Pyle is an illustrator originally from Ohio but currently living in New York City. His transplant's sensibilities are on display in his simple and elegant illustrations of tips for living in this city. He turned a few of these illustrations into animated GIFs for NY Magazine. Share them with your class! I've posted a few below.


Monday, August 5, 2013

Where Are Our Students From? Summer 2013 Update

Teaching Resources: SlideShare

Are you familiar with SlideShare? From their site, SlideShare is "the world's largest community for sharing presentations. With 60 million monthly visitors and 130 million pageviews, it is amongst the most visited 200 websites in the world. Besides presentations, SlideShare also supports documents, PDFs, videos and webinars." So what does this mean for teaching? I recently attended a conference where a teaching colleague talked about using the site for lesson preparation, and I wanted to share his insights with you.

Do you need to review a grammar point before you teach it? Are you looking for new ways to present the same grammar points? Rely on the shared wisdom of the teachers on the site to help you. Search by keyword, and access large numbers of presentations. This search for "adjective clauses" yielded 4,623 presentations!

You can also use the site to find presentations for particular subjects, and you can limit your search by language, popularity, and whether or not a presentation is downloadable. For example, there are 712 downloadable presentations on Machu Picchu in English on the site.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Undocumented Migration Project

Photo from National Geographic, taken by Michael Wells

Jason De León is an anthropologist at the University of Michigan, and he leads The Undocumented Migration Project. If you talk about immigration with your students, these are great resources to bring to class.

NPR and National Geographic both gave this project some press recently; the National Geographic photo slideshow is here, and the NPR story is below.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

And I'm Off!

I will be away from The English Language Center starting on July 10 and returning on July 24. Teguh will be in the Media Center, so if you are looking for help with your classes, he's your man. Any other requests can go to another program coordinator. See you at the end of the month!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Updates To Teachers' Room Computers

The IT department recently updated the operating system on each computer in the faculty resource room, so hopefully things move a little bit faster on those machines. Please let Heather know if you run into any troubles or glitches. Thanks!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

A Musical Timeline Of New York City

Been to this spot lately? Changes!

For this summer, we decided to revisit the musical timeline of New York that we featured in Summer 2011. The activities don't have a strong grammar focus - mostly a vocabulary focus - but it might be nice for students to listen to these songs as they read along. There are ideas on each worksheet for further reading, listening, or other exploration of the songs and artists. List of songs and artists below, click through for videos. Worksheets are on the Media Center board, in the teacher's computer room, and on the wiki.

The Velvet Underground, Sunday Morning (1966)
Simon & Garfunkel, The Only Living Boy In New York (1970)
Patti Smith Group, Because The Night (1978)
Kurtis Blow, The Breaks (1980)
Jeff Buckley, Last Goodbye (1994)
Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Maps (2003)
Jay-Z and Alicia Keys, Empire State Of Mind (2009)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Faculty Newsletter: Spring 2013

The Spring 2013 faculty newsletter is here.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Team "Bubblers" And "Crullers" For Life!

Have you seen these dialect maps floating around the internet? Click here for access to all 122 maps. You can include or exclude specific city data in your search, but I thought I'd tip you all off to how strange Milwaukee talk is. Thanks to both Wayne and Olivia for suggesting I put these up.