New – Instant Access for Your Students

Do you have situations where some students don’t have an access code for MyEnglishLab, because they bought or rented a used textbook? They can often hold up the rest of the class, until they buy an access code card and wait for it to arrive in the mail.

Or have you ordered textbooks without a MyEnglishLab access code, then realize some of your students could benefit from the extra practice in the MyEnglishLab?

Now there’s a solution. Students can purchase from and get an access code emailed to them. All within 5 minutes!

Student can use their credit card or PayPal.

In the Instant Access site, students can purchase access codes for a variety of courses, including:

Focus on Grammar
Azar-Hagen Grammar Series
Pearson English Interactive
Project Success
MyEnglishLab: Reading
MyEnglishLab: Writing
Also available is access to streaming audio for Contemporary Topics and Learn to Listen, Listen to Learn.

In January, students will be able to purchase subscriptions to four online dictionaries:

  • Longman Study Dictionary of American English
  • Longman Dictionary of American English
  • Longman Advanced American Dictionary
  • Longman Thesaurus of American English

You can give this flyer to your students, or have them go to

Police/Community Relations and Our Immigrant Students

Bill Bliss Photo 2014Bill Bliss

In the wake of the 2014 grand jury decisions in Ferguson, Missouri, and New York City and the protests and tension that have followed, many of our immigrant students are expressing concern about issues of law enforcement in their communities. These concerns vary widely based on students’ previous experiences with the police in their countries of origin and their current experiences with the justice system in the United States––experiences that can vary from state to state and from one locality to another based on requirements for issuing driver’s licenses, local cooperation with federal immigration enforcement such as the former Secure Communities program, the presence of bilingual personnel in police departments, and many other factors.  Here’s a story that can prompt some critical classroom conversations about police/community relations. READ MORE


Using Technology versus Integrating Technology

SCAD Language Studio ? Professor Christina Cavage, Human Resources headshot, Fall 2013 ? Photography by Stephanie Krell, courtesy of SCADChristina Cavage

Last month I introduced the concept of using technology versus integrating technology. Since then I haven’t stopped thinking about this concept and my own classes.  I believe that we need to strive towards true integration rather than just technology use.  One criteria outlined in recent publications regarding the integration of technology is where we use the technology.

With this push towards technology in learning, is it really effective to use it in the classroom?  Research says no.  Although certain tools can help facilitate learning, students using technology in the classroom takes away from the cooperative, communicative environment needed for language learning.  So, how can we effectively use tools in the classroom to facilitate learning while at the same time integrate technology outside of the classroom? Continue reading

Uses of Technology:
Sharing Resources with Students

Sharing learning resources with students is a great way to utilize technology in language teaching.[i] Like a lot of teachers, I compile resources that I find that I think will be suitable for my students to utilize as they try to challenge themselves outside of the classroom. And I’ve organized my resources into a kind of mind map[ii] that enables me to locate the kind of resource I might recommend to any particular student or any particular class. Now I wasn’t always so generous and certainly not always so organized in the ways that I recommended resources to students. In fact, I was probably very conservative about protecting resources rather than sharing them early on in my career.

I’d like to share with you a story of how my perspective on this began to shift. Continue reading

Using our Brains:

Sarah Lynn

“Our senses are designed to work together, so when they are combined . . . the brain pays more attention and encodes the memory more robustly.”

                                                                                            ~ Medina 2014
Multimodal Learning

Study after study show that memory improves when more than one sense is stimulated at the same time. The early pioneer in multimodal learning, Edgar Dale found that people learn better from pictures and words than from words alone. In more recent years, Richard Mayer has established that learners who receive input in a variety of senses have better recall than learners who receive input that is only visual or auditory. Hear a piece of information, and three days later you’ll remember 10% of it. Add a picture and you’ll remember 65%. (Medina 2014)  Furthermore, people who receive information via multiple modalities are more creative in their problem solving by 50% to 75% (Newell, Bulthoff, Ernst 2003).

The ultimate expression of simultaneous and multimodal learning is learning by doing.  When we learn by seeing and hearing, we remember 50% fourteen days later.  But we remember 90% if we actually experience it.  (Dale 1969)   This means that simulations, such as role plays, are very effective in helping students remember the new language they learned. Continue reading