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ESL MiniConference Online!

Training Reflective--and Effective--ESL Teachers
A 14-week Course with Links to Related Articles

A number of ESL MiniConference participants have written to say that they are planning to use articles from our online journal to supplement their M.A. in TESOL curricula beginning this fall. The 14-week schedule below is provided as a service to any ESL professional or teacher-trainer who is looking for a way to organize the content found on our ESL MiniConference site. A short list of related articles is included for each section of the course. Please write to to let other participants know how you are using this information and whether it is working for your students.

Week 1: Classroom Management (Theory)

  • Gauging needs & interests
  • Planning lessons
  • Conveying information
  • Evaluating success
  • Related articles in the ESL MiniConference newsletter:
    Achievement Profile: Renee Lacjack
    Achievement Profile: David Hopkins
    Achievement Profile: Fred Davidson
    Establishing Classroom Discipline with Fairness
    Report on TESOL's Adult ESL Standards
    Report from West Tokyo JALT Workshop about Managing Class Discussions
    A Cognitive Trick for the First Day of Class
    Brainstorming Class Rules with Your Students
    Phonemic Awareness and ELLs
    A New Age Approach to Classroom Dynamics
    Increasing Access for Visually Impaired ESL Learners

    Week 2: Classroom Management (Practice)

  • Teaching mini-lessons
  • 1st paper due, explaining development of mini-lesson, treating issues from classroom management theory
  • in-class writing, 10-minute response to one mini-lesson
  • Week 3: Action Research (Theory)

  • Data collection
  • Inductive/deductive reasoning
  • Forming a working hypothesis
  • Professional development
  • Related articles in the ESL MiniConference newsletter:
    Achievement Profile: Robert O'Neill
    Achievement Profile: Michael M.T. Henderson
    A Report on Action Research
    Bill VanPatten Explains Second Language Acquisition
    Experience v. Theory
    Stephen Krashen's Talk on Phonemic Awareness at NJTESOL/NJBE
    The Role of SLA Research in Teaching Practice
    Time to Rethink Our Bias Against Reading Outloud?
    Achievement Profile: Sharon Seymour
    Achievement Profile: Liz England

    Week 4: Action Research (Practice)

  • Presentations of ERIC search results
  • In-class group work: Respond to teaching scenario
    -identify problem/issue
    -develop working hypothesis
    -plan strategy for using hypothesis
  • Long-term research assignment
    -pick area of interest in ESL teaching
    -do ERIC search / follow ERIC leads
    -design experiment
    -turn in 10-page paper, 11th week
    -class presentations, 13th week
  • Week 5: Dynamics of Organizations (Theory)

  • Community/ecosystem concepts
  • Group dynamics
  • Ecological model of program management
  • Related articles in the ESL MiniConference newsletter:
    Achievement Profile: Terry Pruett-Said
    Achievement Profile: Edward Erazmus
    Achievement Profile: Virginia Jama
    What an Online Newsletter Can Do For a School Community
    Report From the Frontlines on Teacher Burnout
    Report From the Frontlines on Teaching ESL in Argentina Today
    A Best Practice Award for Community-Based Elementary School ESL
    How to Teach Within an Imperfect Curriculum
    Achievement Profile: Charles Mickelson
    Implications of the New ESEA Reauthorization
    Including ELLs in the School Community

    Week 6: Dynamics of Organizations (Practice)

  • Presentations of analyses of current institutional dynamics at any level (class, program, school, etc...), based on interviews and other available data
  • Week 7: ESL Methodology (Theory)

  • Content-based instruction
    -Natural approach
  • Grammar-based instruction
    -Discourse analysis / authentic texts
  • Project-oriented instruction
  • Reflective / eclectic teaching
  • Related articles in the ESL MiniConference newsletter:
    Achievement Profile: Marianne Celce-Murcia
    Achievement Profile: Betty Azar
    Achievement Profile: Ann Raimes
    Achievement Profile: Linda Marshall
    Tips From Contrastive Analysis for Teaching English to Chinese-speakers
    Is the Input Hypothesis Enough for Building Reading Skills?
    Open-ended Storylines for Listening and Reading: The Magic Bonsai Tree
    Conversation Bus: Getting Students Talking
    Motivating Children in ESL Classes

    Week 8: ESL Methodology (Practice)

  • Teaching mini-lessons
  • 2nd paper, explaining development of mini-lesson, justifying approach/method used
  • In-class writing, 10-minute response to one mini-lesson
  • Week 9: Personal Style (Theory)

  • Self-observation techniques
  • Changing routines
  • Responding constructively to criticism
  • Utilizing intuition
  • Related articles in the ESL MiniConference newsletter:
    Achievement Profile: David Papier
    Achievement Profile: Maria Spelleri
    A Report on H. Douglas Brown's "Strategy-Based Instruction"
    A Personal Journey Towards Excellence
    Achievement Profile: Joy Reid

    Week 10: Personal Style (Practice)

  • Presentations of 3rd paper, describing personal style and its sources
  • Week 11: Incorporating Technology (Theory)

  • Video, computer, CD-ROM, cassette player, OHP
  • Internet & hypertext
  • Information design/theory
  • Language labs
    *Major research project due!
  • Related articles in the ESL MiniConference newsletter:
    Achievement Profile: Anthea Tillyer
    Report on JALT CALL 2002
    Setting Up a CALL Lab
    Achievement Profile: Susan Gaer
    Achievement Profile: Denise Murray
    The Pros and Cons of Getting TEFL Training Online

    Week 12: Incorporating Technology (Practice)

  • On-hands experience at learning stations
  • Web-page authoring
    *Major research projects handed back!
  • Week 13: Presentations of Research Projects

    Week 14: Final Exam

  • Essay Questions
  • Basic English Grammar / Discourse Problems
  • Course evaluation
  • Syllabus by Robb Scott

    2002 ESL MiniConference Online