Harnessing Higher-order Academic Skills to Develop Language

Presented by Carol Numrich and Frances Boyd

We’ve learned that academic English Language students thrive on materials rooted in engaging topics, integrated skills, and critical thinking. But what can materials do to further support higher-order academic skills? With specific examples, we demonstrate activities that develop note-taking, presentation skills, and application of grammar and vocabulary to varied academic tasks.

About the Speakers

Colleagues at the American Language Program of Columbia University for over 30 years, both Frances Boyd, Ed.D.,  and Carol Numrich, Ed.D., have also trained teachers at home and abroad –in Latin America, Asia, and the Middle East—in content-based, integrated skills, and critical thinking pedagogy. Launching NorthStar in 1998, they have been continuously committed to creating the highest-quality, most engaging language-learning materials for academic students of English and their teachers.

What is Plurilingual Pedagogy and What Role Can It Play in EAP and Academic Writing classes in Higher Education?

Presented by Steve Marshall

Today, students and educators face many lingualisms: for example, bilingualism, multilingualism, metrolingualism (Pennycook & Otsuji, 2015), and plurilingualism (Coste, Moore, & Zarate, 1997, 2009; Council of Europe, 2001), not to mention codeswitching, codemeshing, and translanguaging (Canagarajah, 2011; García, 2009; Li & Zhu, 2013). I review these differences in terminology, before focusing on plurilingualism, its defining features, and the goals of plurilingual pedagogy. I then present data from recent research I have carried out at a university in Western Canada that is characterized by multiculturalism and high levels of linguistic diversity. In the project, a research team assessed the effectiveness of plurilingual pedagogical approaches in a first-year academic writing course and in several contexts across the disciplines. I present the following data: interviews with students and their instructors; recordings of in-class interactions involving students mixing Chinese, Korean, and English as they work on collaborative tasks; and samples of students’ writing. In analyzing the data, I suggest that teachers in EAP and academic writing classes in English-medium higher education should break free from the English-Only mindset, embrace other languages and cultures, and encourage their students to actively use their other languages in the process of learning English.

About the Speaker

Steve Marshall

Steve Marshall is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education at Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada. He coordinates the university’s Foundations of Academic Literacy program, taken annually by 800+ students. Steve researches academic literacy and plurilingualism in higher education, and is author of Advance in Academic Writing 1 & 2, and Grammar for Academic Purposes 1 & 2 published by Pearson ELT Canada.

An Inductive Approach to Teaching Grammar


Grammar teachers often rely on a deductive approach, one in which a grammar target is presented in a lecture format with follow-up practice in the form of drills and exercises. While this method certainly has its place in the grammar classroom, an inductive approach is a more engaging and effective way for students to acquire grammatical structures. In an inductive approach, students analyze examples of a target structure and attempt to figure out the rules on their own. This webinar will explore why an inductive method works so well in today’s grammar classroom. Participants will be presented with creative ways to teach inductively, even while using a traditional grammar book and syllabus.

About the Speaker

Geneva Tesh

Geneva Tesh is a teacher, teacher trainer, researcher and materials writer in Houston, Texas. She has taught at Red Rocks Community College in Colorado, the University of Houston Language and Culture Center, Houston Community College, and Texas A&M. She has contributed to several ELT textbook series, including the Azar-Hagen Grammar Series, Future English for Results, and StartUp.

Ten Tips to Accelerate Academic Listening


This interactive webinar will explore our best ideas for accelerating academic listening. The tips will include ways of increasing engagement, shifting learners into an “active listening” mode, and constructing “while listening” tasks with specific objectives. Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions and suggest their own tips.

About the Speaker

Michael Rost

Michael Rost, principal author of Pearson English Interactive, has been active in the areas of language teaching, learning technology and language acquisition research for over 25 years. His interest in bilingualism and language education began in the Peace Corps in West Africa and was fueled during his 10 years as an educator in Japan and extensive touring as a lecturer in East Asia and Latin America. Formerly on the faculty of the TESOL programs at Temple University and the University of California, Berkeley, Michael now works as an independent researcher, author, and speaker based in San Francisco. Michael is the author of critically acclaimed works on second language development, including Teaching and Researching Listening (Routledge) and Active Listening(Routledge), Dr. Rost’s interests focus on spoken interaction and listening. He is also author or series editor of a number of successful EFL/ESL courses, including the global series Worldview and English Firsthand, as well as the academic listening series, Contemporary Topics (Pearson).

Fostering Independence: Helping Students Become More Effective Self-Directed Learners


Explore ways to get students to recognize themselves as agents in their own learning and develop the methods, skills, and practices they need to become more independent learners. In this practice-oriented session, participants learn classroom activities and routines to develop students’ essential “learning-to-learn” skills.

About the Speaker

Sarah Lynn

Sarah Lynn is an ESOL teacher, teacher trainer, teacher coach, author, and curriculum design specialist. She has taught adult learners in the US. and abroad for decades, most recently at Harvard University’s Center for Workforce Development. As a teacher-trainer and frequent conference presenter throughout the United States and Latin America, Ms. Lynn has led sessions and workshops on topics such as: fostering student agency and resilience, brain-based teaching techniques, literacy and learning, and teaching in a multilevel classroom. Sarah has co-authored several Pearson ELT publications, including Business Across Cultures, Future, Future U.S. Citizens, and Project Success.

Teaching Grammar with Pop Songs: Ain’t No Reason Not To


Many teachers of grammar are reluctant to bring popular songs into the classroom, with good reason: Incorrect grammar is rampant in pop music! While there’s a lot that’s grammatically wrong in pop song lyrics, there’s a lot that’s grammatically right, too. In this webinar, I’ll share ideas for using pop songs to reinforce grammar points, as well as share dozens of song-based grammar worksheets.

About the Speaker

Sandra Heyer

Sandra Heyer is the author of the popular True Stories series. Each of the books in the series uses real-life, human-interest stories to build vocabulary and language skills through a carefully paced, step-by-step process.

Space for Uncertainty: Developing Critical Thinking Skills


Too often, language textbooks (and textbooks in general) deal with narrow certainties and absolutes: “How are you?” “I am fine”. This leaves teachers the task of addressing the language of uncertainty and ambiguity in measuring doubt, exploring hypothetical situations, identifying bias, hedging ideas, as well as in differentiating among opinions, beliefs, and facts. Helpful in addressing these issues in language learners’ toolboxes are clarification and disambiguation strategies, but teachers first need to make space in their classrooms and tasks for discourse around uncertainty and ambiguity. This session outlines the issues and offers practical advice for helping teachers help students face the complexities of the world outside the classroom.

About the Speaker

Ken Beatty

Dr. Ken Beatty, Anaheim University TESOL Professor, has worked in secondary schools and universities in Asia, the Middle East, and North and South America, lecturing on language teaching and computer-assisted language learning from the primary through university levels. Author of 67 textbooks for Pearson, he has given 300+ teacher-training sessions and 100+ conference presentations in 33 countries. His most recent books are Learning English for Academic Purposes for Pearson Canada.

Engaging Students in the Classroom Through Photos and Images


An effective way to engage our students more deeply with the content of our classes is through the use of photographs and images. In this interactive webinar we will explore principles and practices of creating unique and engaging lessons using visual stimulation. We will look specifically at several kinds of practical in-class collaborative activities for the teaching of a variety of language skills. We will investigate how teachers and students can create and use personal images in addition to sharing great sources of copyright-free images to be used in classroom and presentations. Our focus will be primarily on the use of photographs but we will also briefly explore the use of drawing and art. The ideas in this webinar will be relevant for teachers of students of all ages and proficiency levels, and applicable to those who work in a variety of settings.

About the Speaker

Joe McVeigh

Joe McVeigh is a teacher, teacher trainer, and independent educational consultant based in Middlebury, Vermont. He has worked in a variety of countries and has taught at Cal State LA, Caltech, USC, Middlebury College, the Bread Loaf School of English, and Saint Michael’s College. He serves on the Board of Directors of the TESOL International Association and has worked as an English language specialist for the U.S. Department of State. He is co-author with Ann Wintergerst of Tips for Teaching Culture from Pearson along with other books for students of English. In addition to giving plenary talks and workshops at professional conferences, Joe contributes to the field through his website, which contains videos, resources, and presentation slides and handouts at www.joemcveigh.org.

How to Organize a Lesson Plan Around a Short Story


In this webinar, we will read and discuss excerpts from a short story by a Cuban-American author. In the process, participants will learn how to use short stories to create complete lesson plans that cover all the major language skills – reading, writing, speaking, grammar, and vocabulary, We will also explore how analyzing a story promotes critical thinking. We’ll discuss criteria for choosing a short story that works well for these purposes.

About the Speaker

Sybil Marcus

Sybil Marcus is a co-author of the A World of Fiction series, which uses literature to teach integrated language and critical thinking skills to ESL/EFL students at the high-intermediate to advanced levels. She has lived and worked on four continents and has taught ESL at the University of California at Berkeley Extension and at the Summer English Language Studies program on campus. Sybil has been a frequent presenter at ESL/EFL conferences in the United States, Mexico and Canada. For 15 years she offered a Pre-Conference Institute at TESOL on using the short story to advance language skills. She has also conducted workshops in Russia, Colombia, and Peru for the State Department. The topics included using literature for critical thinking purposes and using literature for conflict resolution.

21st Century Teaching and the Global Scale of English


The key elements of 21st century learning help prepare students for future jobs and careers where digital knowledge is seamlessly integrated across a variety of professional roles. Often summarized as the 4 Cs of collaboration, creativity, critical thinking, and communication – with a thread of digital and blended learning – the principles of 21st century learning are open to adaptation into the language learning environment. The key challenge for educators is knowing how to build lessons that address the 4Cs while providing measurable success and progress in language development. In this session we will explore how the Global Scale of English can be used with 21st century skills principles to create dynamic learning experiences for students of all ages.

About the Speaker

Sara Davila

Sara Davila is a teacher, teacher trainer, and educational consultant who has been working in the field of language and language development for over 12 years. She has worked in the US and abroad as a language teacher and learning expert in the field of language acquisition. Ms. Davila has done extensive research on performance assessment, communicative based instructional strategies, and learning theory, with presentations, workshops, and articles around each topic. She is currently working with Pearson ELT as the Learning Expert in Higher Education for global English language products. Ms. Davila continues to contribute to the field through her website, which contains presentations, free lesson plans, and free worksheets for teachers, which can be found at www.saradavila.com.