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Need Ideas

  • 1.  Need Ideas

    Posted 20-05-2018 21:11
    Hello Everyone!

    I have a student who won a really neat grant through her school district to study abroad this summer. We decided this study abroad would be her program elective for her degree.

    It's a graduate level course, and I do not want her to feel like she just has to write papers.  Do you have any suggestions for assignments she could do?  She and I will also discuss potential ideas. I will be using rubrics from the tesol teacher prep standards to guide us too.

    Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!

    [Susan] [Rutledge]
    [Assistant Professor of Secondary Education & Administrative Leadership]
    [M.Ed ESL program coordinator]]
    [California University of Pennsylvania, California, PA]

  • 2.  RE: Need Ideas

    Posted 21-05-2018 03:36
    Perhaps the student could keep a multi-media journal of her experiences as they relate to course learning outcomes. This could include photos, brief videos, interviews with local people, and reflective writing about her experiences. She could then collect the most meaningful pieces into a final portfolio or even create a mini-documentary or a recorded multi-media presentation to try to capture her learning. I use the VoiceThread platform for students to create final project recordings and it allows them to record themselves speaking, as well as incorporate video, photos, slides, and other creative touches. A twenty-minute long presentation is equivalent to about 2400 written words, so it is substantial. You could set up guided check-point assignments along the way to make it less overwhelming and to make sure she stays on track during the study abroad experience.

    Marcella Caprario
    Lecturer, English for Academic Purposes
    New York University Shanghai

  • 3.  RE: Need Ideas

    Posted 21-05-2018 06:26
    One-on-one or small group tutoring project. Administer a diagnostic, design targeted lesson plans, deliver a pre-specified number of lessons (anywhere from 2 to 8 30-60 min. lessons), write a 4-5 page reflection paper that includes revised lesson plans in Appendix.

    Suzanne Franks, PhD

    Teaching Assistant Professor

    ESL Pronunciation & International TA Coordinator

    MA TESL Faculty

    Department of Linguistics

    Office: 3053 Foreign Languages Building

    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


    As We Speak... /aez wiy spiyk/

    Speech, Listening, and Pronunciation Newsletter

  • 4.  RE: Need Ideas

    Posted 21-05-2018 07:34
    Hi Susan,

    What a great opportunity for your student! I have a couple of suggestions. She could do an interview (or interviews) with people in the country focused on topics that you think would be helpful for her to understand in more detail. She could also write a reflection journal about her experiences; perhaps she could focus on phases of culture shock and how she managed them, comparing her understanding of the country before departure with what she experiences, or how she could apply her experiences abroad to her classroom in the future when interacting with students who are new to her school, especially if they are English learners.

    Have a great day,
    Melissa McAllister

  • 5.  RE: Need Ideas

    Posted 21-05-2018 08:07
    I might have her blog once a week about her experiences throughout the week, or even every other day. That way you have an idea of what she is experiencing and she is sharing her adventure with other potential study abroad students. 

    Richele Dunavent
    NBCT, M. Ed. ESL 
    Upward Elementary 
    Room 204
    (828) 697-4764

    "The most effective messenger is the one who lives the message." – Matthew Kelly

    All email correspondence to and from this address is subject to the North Carolina Public Records Law, which may result in monitoring and disclosure to third parties, including law enforcement.

  • 6.  RE: Need Ideas

    Posted 21-05-2018 11:10
    ​Could she observe an EFL program, learning a bit about their organization, philosophy, and pedagogy? She could analyze the program according to what she's learned in her grad classes.

    Sheryl Slocum
    ESL Coordinator
    Alverno College

  • 7.  RE: Need Ideas

    Posted 21-05-2018 11:12
    Hi Susan!

    Where will she be studying? My students who go abroad typically connect through a provider such as CIEE to set up a learning experience--for example, my TESOL methodology course focuses on the refugee experience, since I am in Upstate NY and we have several resettlement agencies placing refugees in our schools. So your student could potentially work with a group teaching English to refugees (for example, in Berlin), perhaps help them set up a rigorous curriculum and demonstrate best practices.

    You could require that the student demonstrate knowledge of the theory/ research by the curriculum she produces.

    Good luck!

    Melody Hallenbeck Nadeau
    Associate Director of International Programs/ ESOL specialist
    Siena College

  • 8.  RE: Need Ideas

    Posted 21-05-2018 11:40
    Hi Susan,

    Congratulations to your student! It's great that she will be able to use her study abroad as an elective.

    Here are a few assignments that come to mind.

    1. Can a visit(s) to a school English class in the host country be arranged? If so, there are a number of tasks she could undertake.

    • Your student could assemble an artifact box reflecting her school or state culture to take along for a possible visit. She could also make an artifact box based on the host country to use with her class when she returns.
    • She could interview English language teachers to learn more about ELT in that locale.
    • She could do an action research project.
    2. She could develop a teaching unit based on the host city/country, or on a famous person or some other topic related to the area.

    3. She could make a video of interesting sights in her host city/country to use as teaching material and possibly a model for a similar student project.

    4. If there's a fairly large bookstore in the host city, she could peruse ELT textbooks and write a book review or an annotated bibliography.

    I'm sure others on the list will come up with many more.

    Best wishes,

    Sally La Luzerne-Oi
    Freelance ESL/EFL Teacher and Teacher Trainer

    Sally La Luzerne-Oi

  • 9.  RE: Need Ideas

    Posted 21-05-2018 11:42
    Your student could gather items that are significant to the culture in which she will be living and create a culture kit that teachers can use in their classrooms. Take a look at some of the culture kits available at the Corvallis Multicultural Literacy Center:
    All items are small enough that everything is stored in a tub.

    We had visiting English teachers from Mexico create reading, writing, listening, speaking, and vocabulary activities based on items in the Cultures of Mexico kit. These were scored using a rubric. Most kits have short descriptions of each item in the kit - what it is, what it's used for, history, etc.  If you want any of the guidelines or rubrics we used, I can email those to you.

    Collecting and learning about items during her study abroad may also enrich her conversations with people while living abroad.


    Melinda Sayavedra
    Corvallis Multicultural Literacy Center

  • 10.  RE: Need Ideas

    Posted 21-05-2018 15:38
    What a great opportunity for your student! I would recommend encouraging her to develop some kind of hands-on project, maybe an ethnographic study if she plans to live with a host family and/or immerse herself in the host culture (maybe she can find a local teacher to live with?), or maybe some kind of service learning project where she could get a chance to work with kids the same age as her own students. The final product could be something multimodal that she could use in her own teaching or share with other teachers--videos of the local area, a website with resources, lesson plans...


    Betsy Gilliland
    Associate Professor
    University of Hawai'i Manoa

  • 11.  RE: Need Ideas

    Posted 01-06-2018 22:52

    Hi Susan,

    I'm assuming this student will be teaching in K-12 classroom learning environment---when she's done with the program.  I would ask this question:  If she is taking an elective class, how much credit is an elective class---if taken at her home campus.  The expectation should be adequate to the course/elective requirement---so not to go over-the-top with the required work she has to do.  Some elective courses require more than 3 graduate credits to satisfy a TESOL Program requirements---though most courses would normally have a minimum of 3 credits per class---with a much higher graduate credit tuition fees. 

    If the program expectations would be based solely on her travel experience---the required work should also be equal to about her travel. Thus, a more appropriate course preparation---might be keeping a folio of places she went to, (i.e., taking pictures of exotic places; visiting a museum gallery; restaurants; people she had met; music & theater; public schools; popular tourists sightseeing places; her hotel accommodation; culture & religion, etc).  In retrospect, if the student is to satisfy an intellectually challenging course requirement where mental work is usually likely---then it is expected she will be taking exams and must pass the class and provide her final grades back to her home campus.  An essay written reflective paper would be inadequate for this requirement and I probably would not ask her to design a lesson-plan---as she won't be satisfying an academic part of the program, but an elective.      

    It appears many colleagues have already responded to this post with some wonderful ideas---I would use their input without skepticism.  Where is this student going to travel to satisfy this elective requirement?  Does she have to satisfy the intellectual side of her program?  Notice the two divergence of the requirements---this student has to meet.

    MerriLee  Leonard
    M.A.Ed., TESL
    ESL Adjunct Faculty
    Northern Virginia Community College