Translate This Blog

Saturday, November 5, 2016

5 Awesome TED Talks On How Technology Is Changing Education

TED Talks are influential videos from expert speakers on education, business, science, tech and creativity, with subtitles in 100+ languages. Click on the link to know more.

Two posts from Edutopia

The first story is about inspiring your students to write more. And the second is about 6 opening and closing routines for new teachers. I was interested in the second even though I am not a new teacher, but because sometimes we as educators need to go back and be reminded of techniques we might have learned in the past. Click on the links in red for more information. 

Monday, October 24, 2016

Two publications of interest to English language educators

Here are two recent publications of interest to English language educators. The first is from the British Council and uses action research to integrate ICT and technology into the classroom. The second is from TESOL Press and deals with school leaders and how to equip them with effective, research-based strategies and best practices to help both ESOL and content-area teachers succeed in their roles. Includes Professional Development Guide and rich array of "Grab and Go" online resources. I have already started reading the second one. Both of these would be good additions to any school library. Click on the links in red for more information.

Two upcoming online conferences

Here are two upcoming online conferences that you can register for free. Both are sponsored by TESOL International. The first is a joint web conference on professional development between IATEFL and TESOL. The second is a policy summit for industry leaders, I don't know how useful this would be but it could be a good opportunity for networking. Click on the links in red for more information.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Online recordings of British Councils online conference

The British Council is offering links to recordings of their online conference. I attended the first ever conference. On the whole it was very good. There were some technical issues with audio and not having enough band width. Today is the last day of the conference. The individual talks are a bit short, with only 20 min for presenting and 10 for a Q and A. There were a wide range of topics over the 5 days of the conference. Many thanks to the presenters, moderators and all at BC who helped organize this. You can find a link to the recordings below. 


International TESOL Conference

This is the big one in our industry that everyone talks about. The best speakers and presenters and the reason why everyone goes is the networking and collaboration with other educators. Check out the links below for the conference and travel and research grants. 

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Tech tips from Larry Ferlazzo via British Council

This post has links for listening, reading, writing, and speaking. Check out the link below.

Thai cops making home visits to fill ‘invasive’ immigration forms, foreigners say

This one also effects teachers in this country. More and more in many countries of the world our rights are infringed upon in the name of national security. It might get to the point where we as citizens of the world won't be able to enjoy any of our freedoms. 

New test for English teachers, students

We first heard about this a few months ago. So when is it going to start? A year? Five years? How will the test be graded? If it is administered by the TCT can we expect grammar mistakes like the tests for license equivalency? How will we know it is fairly graded? Will it be difficult to pass? Most of the teachers at my school could not pass all 4 tests. How much will it cost? Where do teachers go to take it? Will the content of the test be relevant? Unlike the Thai culture course where teachers were forced to learn Thai dancing and cooking. Agreed there does need to be a system of making sure teachers are competent. But what about those who have already proven there competence? Those who already have a license and verified their degrees. English subject teachers aren't the only ones who teach in English. What about math and science teachers? What about Thai teachers? Every time a story like this comes out there are more questions than answers.      

Saturday, September 24, 2016

90 Tech Resources for Teachers

Even more ED Tech for teachers. I know I post a lot about  Ed tech on this blog, but I had to include this list from TESOL because it covers many educational categories. Reading, writing, communication tools, listening, speaking, PD, vocabulary, and more. Click on the link below. 

Royalty free music and sound effects for your classroom.

Do you like to make your own resources? What about making presentations that are more engaging for the students? Here is a post from "Free tech for teachers" that lists several free sites to try. 


Quill: A Digital Tool for Teaching Writing

I have posted about Quill before on this blog. They have just added several new features. This could work with advanced Thai students, but it could be challenging with the lower levels. A good warm up activity to try in the computer lab. Check out the links below.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

2 Ed Tech websites that have possibilities in the ESL classroom

"Storyboard That" lets you use thousands of pose-able creative common figures and speech bubbles to make story boards. and "SeeSaw" is a student driven digital portfolio that empowers students of any age to independently document what they are learning at school. Both sites are free to try, but if you want the more powerful features, you have to pay for it. Check out the links below.

10 Characteristics of Highly Effective EF/SL Teachers

In this post from TESOL Connections The question of what makes someone a good teacher is relevant for all teaching contexts, but it is especially important in the field of English as a foreign or second language (EF/SL) where teachers can be hired simply for being a native speaker with a bachelor’s degree. Click on the link below for more information. 

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Three websites that let you and students take notes and interact with videos.

(from free tech for teachers) Creating flipped lessons in which students answer questions about a video that you make them watch can be one way to check whether or not they watched a video. Another way is to have them simply record their own observations and or write their own questions while watching a video. The following three tools are excellent options for those purposes. I just included the first video here. For more videos click on the links below. 

Huge online library of books

The books found here are not ESL books or the same you would find in a bookstore. However, the books might be ones that students and parents could read together at home. The books are readable on any device and also printable. You can search for books according to topic, language, publisher, genre, and publication date.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Teaching Empathy to Children Through Storytelling

This post from TESOL is not necessarily for ESL students in Thailand, but some of the same strategies can be used for story telling. 

Two Techie Teachers: 10 Apps that Fuel Creation with Technology Across ...

10 Apps that Fuel Creation with Technology Across the Content. I just found this blog by 2 female teachers. A great blog with a lot of creative ideas. Click on the link below.

Upcoming online conference sponsored by the British Council

The Teaching for Success Online Conference will take place from 5 - 9 October 2016 and is the British Council’s first global online CPD conference for teachers and teacher educators. Registration is free. A link to more information about the conference is below.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Go Completely Paperless

Looks like this might be a platform where a school can become more digital in it's day to day operations. Premium features are not free but the non profit education account is cheap. 


33 ways to speak better English – without taking classes

We as educators only spend a very short time with our students. When the bell rings, our students go out into the world and are often left to study on their own. Here is a site that might help those motivated students to study outside of class on their own. 

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Teacher Toolkit

If you're looking for ways tech can boost your teaching, this list is here to help. These top-rated apps and sites -- ranging from instructional supports to organizational tools to social networks and beyond -- help make one of the world's toughest jobs a bit easier. Some of these you may have used, most of them are free or free to try. Check out the link below. 

4 Reasons Why Teachers Hate Professional Development

It is important to remember that educators need and want pretty much the same things that their students do.  Motivation, encouragement, support and a general sense of excitement that injects an energetic and productive vibe into the classroom. 

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Two posts from the British Council that are ESL related

'I can understand my teacher's English, but when I speak to 'real people' I can't understand them'. This is a comment I'm sure many teachers have heard. Click on the link to the BC website.

In a related BC video David Crystal talks about the biggest challenges for teachers.

Two Ed Tech tools to help you in the classroom

Edorble – A 3D Virtual Classroom. I was delighted when I first saw Edorble because I felt it offered the opportunity for any teacher to set up their own 3D virtual classroom and start teaching online for free. Check out the link below. 

 Next is a video from Vizia that I saw on "Free tech for teachers" It allows you to add interactive quizzes to youtube videos and puts an end to passive viewing. Check out the video and links below.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

10 very real teacher ailments and diseases

Here is an irreverent look at the difficulties teachers face. Some of them seem plausible. Click on the link below. 

Critical Thinking and English Language

I completed my masters in TESOL in 2001. Critical thinking was a staple of our training and it is nice to see new research being explored. A good article in 2 parts. The link from EFL Magazine is below.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Putting Students In Charge: 3 Ways the ESBC is a Model for Education Reform

From a website called "Live Tiles"
Education reform is an extremely important issue. Whether it be digital classrooms or mobile learning, 21st century education reform is usually tied in some way to digital innovation. However, despite the ever-increasing presence of technology in the classroom, the most important element is the human element. 

Having problems with your students and their writing? Read, Write, Think can help.

From Free Tech for Teachers by Richard Byrne

Read Write Think's Compare & Contrast Map is a template for creating a comparative essay. Using the template students are guided through writing three styles of comparison essays. To get started students identify two things that they wish to compare and or contrast. Then they choose if they want to write a "whole to whole" essay, a "similarities to differences" essay, or a "point to point" essay. Whichever essay type they choose, students are guided through the types of information they should put in each part of their essays. When their essays are complete students can share them via email or print them.

I have used Read,Write, Think in the past. There many templates in the resources section on the site. Check out the video and links for more information.

Free Professional Development for Teachers

EdmodoCon is a live online global event where educators from around the world connect with each other to share how they’re using Edmodo and other digital tools to personalize learning. The educational professional development event of the year, EdmodoCon will help you collaborate with other teachers, discover valuable new resources, and inspire you to harness the power of edtech in your classroom. The event is August 2-3 some of the sessions are for the English language classroom. Click on the link for more information.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Tech for teachers: a website review

Formative is a website that could make a good alternative to Google Docs, Moodle or other on-line educational management systems. One difficulty is student participation. My school uses an electronic management system for homework and only 50% actually do their homework. Please check out the post on "Free Technology for Teachers" by Richard Byrne. There are also links to the Formative website and a "how to" on YouTube.  


Saturday, July 9, 2016

Project Based Learning

Project Based Learning has seen a comeback in recent years. There have been several stories in leading Thailand newspapers on how wrote learning is hurting the education system in Thailand. With Thailand seeking membership in the ASEAN community and many soon to be graduates entering the business and trade job markets it seems project based learning is a good thing to be teaching (at least part time) in the Thai school system. As it is now, a teacher lectures and lectures, students listen, and then understanding of what has been said is tested. Soon after what is learned is forgotten. The method in PBL is to set a task, with minimal guidelines and supervision. and let the students discover the topic themselves and try to develop a solution on their own. Then what is learned is retained for much longer time. Watch the video below for a basic introduction to project based learning.  


Critiquing Your Critiques: What to Ask Yourself Before Giving Written Feedback

How do you mark your students writing assignments? What type of feedback do you give them? At my school there are many different teachers from many countries. And along with that comes different ways of being trained, how to mark student work, and giving beneficial feedback. There is no real standardized rubric from grade to grade. So here is a post from TESOL to help you think about how educators mark and give feedback on written assignments and tests. 

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Websites and Apps for Making Videos and Animation

Here is a list of websites and apps from Common Sense Graphite for video animation and production. Some on the list are free and free to try, but like all internet entrepreneurs, the premium features are not free.  

'Teachers must embrace new technology or risk becoming obsolete'

It is true I am slipping in this area myself. As an educator at 50 something I have had to slowly teach myself these new technologies. It is also true (like in a previous post on this blog) that my students are more adept at this tech than I am. Read the full post by clicking on the link below. 

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Should an ESL Teacher be a Native English Speaker?

This post from Jimmyesl sets the debate strait about Native and non-native speakers and their abilities as ESL teachers.  

Sunday, June 19, 2016

What a Decade of Education Research Tells Us About Technology in the Hands of Underserved Students

Although this post is about students in the west, certain aspects can be applied to situations in Thailand. Click on the link to read the full story. 

Try MindMup for your mindmaping needs in the classroom.

from free technology for teachers by Richard Byrne

MindMup is a nice mind mapping tool that can be integrated into your Google Drive account. MindMup works like most mind mapping tools in that you can create a central idea and add child and sibling nodes all over a blank canvas. MindMup nodes can contain text and links. When you're ready to save your MindMup mind map you can save it to Google Drive, save it to your desktop, or publish it online. If you publish it online, you can grab an embed code for it to post it in a blog post or webpage.

I have used this app for the writing section of the learning journal. If you have a Google account, it integrates well with other Google applications.  

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Teaching English In Thailand: Is The ‘No Fail’ Policy Failing Students?

The short answer...yes. For Thailand to be a competitor in the ASEAN market English must improve. The tourism industry in the next 10 years alone will increase from 5 million to 8 million workers. Unless something in the Thai education system changes, the next generation of Thai youths may have these opportunities slip between the rungs and go to their Asian neighbors instead.
Click on the link to read the full post from "what's on Sukumvit" 


Ten innovations that have changed English language teaching

Here is a post from the British Council about interesting innovations in education. Click on the link below to read more.

Adapting Folktales for ELL Learning Activities

For a number of years we have been trying to improve the reading abilities of students at my school. Folk tales are stories deeply ingrained in the cultures of the world. They add mystery and substance to our lives. This poster on the TESOL forum was able to achieve some success with his Spanish students. Click on the link to read more. 

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Being an English teacher in Thailand just got more difficult

Council set to test all English teachers. According to a recent Bangkok Post article, the TCT will institute more tests to ensure the quality of English teaching in Thailand. That in itself is a good thing, but there was quite a heated debate on social media on how this would be done. Like usual, the article just seemed to raise more and more questions than answers. Click on the link for the full article.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Read, Write, Think

I found this website featured on the technology for teachers website. It is called Read Write Think. It is a great place to find story starters and interactive writing templates. A good example of that is found on Read Write Thinks compare and contrast map. Also check out the other classroom resources and the professional development section.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Seminars and Conferences

Seminars, conferences, training meetings, and even just two teachers sharing ideas is the best way for educators lift up our industry. Networking with professionals within our industry is essential. Here are two upcoming local events in Thailand. Click on the links for more information.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Professional Development Webinars

CPD or Continuing Professional Development is and will continue to be part of the education industry. Let's face it, we want to be better teachers for our students right? and our bosses will continue to make it mandatory for us to engage in some form of CPD. But many times seminars or classes are expensive, too far away, or in many cases not appropriate to our type of teaching. So I am a strong believer in starting your own personal CPD. There are many ways to do this. Form groups of like minded teachers at your school or near by schools. Get your self on some email subscription lists. These are just a few of the many ways you can start. Even if you cant get others interested in CPD's you can still do it on your own. I have found a website that hosts educational webinars on a wide range of topics and I wanted to share it with you. Click on the link below. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

2 Great posts on the TESOL Blog

Game-Based Learning and Pre-K–5 English Learners
Game Based Learning (GBL) and K-Grade 5 English Learners.
Although GBL is usually associated with middle or high school students, there are many ways it can be used with pre-K–5 students. Click on the link below for more information.
Although GBL is usually associated with middle or high school students, there are many ways it can be used with pre-K–5 students. - See more at:

At the 36th annual TESOL Convention that had the theme of "Empowerment Through Glocalization"  9 strategies came up to deal with the changing landscape of ELT. These strategies are happening in the west, but do not exist or are slow to catch on in Thailand. Please click on the link below. 

Empowerment Through Glocalization

Game-Based Learning and Pre-K–5 English Learners
Game-Based Learning and Pre-K–5 English Learners
Game-Based Learning and Pre-K–5 English Learners