teaching tools

Logo for the Intercambio organization

Intercambio is a national organization based out of Boulder Colorado with a powerful vision: communities where all people communicate, connect, and succeed. Their mission is to improve immigrant lives through English education, and unite communities across cultures.  

To that end, they provide a wide variety of tools for adult ESL programs, including affordable textbooks and teaching resources, teacher training webinars, immigrant guides, and program support for new and existing programs.

Small group pull-outs and one-to-one tutoring can make a world of difference for ESL learners, but preparing the activities and materials for these tutoring sessions can be time-consuming for teachers and volunteers. The new ESL Pull-Out Kits are designed to make preparation for tutoring sessions easier by providing volunteers with complete activity instructions and materials for small-group and one-on-one instruction. The kits also provide structured support for volunteers which helps to develop their confidence, build independence and strengthen their teaching skills.

careers

Many adult students are interested in learning more about potential career paths.  Navigating a Future Pathway is one of the categories in the Transitions Integration Framework.  The following resources help students explore their potential interests. For suggestions on how to use these in a lesson, please see the ACES resource library, download the webinar handouts, and scroll to the last few pages of the handout.

Cancer risk website
This is an interesting, free (and largely ad-free) interactive online tool that's accessible to adult learners with high intermediate reading skills. It allows users to self-assess their risk for 5 major diseases (cancer, diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, and stroke) that can be affected by prevention measures like a healthy diet and exercise.
If you instruct online or in a computer lab, screen capture/screencast videos can be a powerful tool in your teaching toolbox. Instead of making long, detailed step-by-step instructions for computer tasks (which it seems like no one reads past step 3 anyway), you can show and tell with videos of on-screen actions. Here are three free tools to try.
Video Ant is a free flash-based tool for annotating videos with markers set on a timeline matched to text comments. The comments appear in a panel next to the video, and the viewer can jump to different portions of the video by clicking on the text comments.
I use this handy-dandy little website every once in a while, and it's nice to see that an old stand-by gets more useful with time by adding new applications and goodies.
English for Work video screenshot
The English for Work Interactive Video Series, created by former MLC - Arlington Hills Learning Center teacher Bethany Gustafson, was designed to give students the vocabulary and language to succeed at work they were already doing in the hopes this would help prepare them for supervisory positions.
The new "visual thesaurus" online tools that are springing up on the Internet represent word relationships in a sort of web, showing the connections that are close as a knot of tightly grouped words, the loose connections sort of drifting away on a tether, the antonyms in an opposing color, and so on. By displaying information visually, they tell us something about words and the relationships among them that I don't think I can quite get from my old thesaurus.
These little tools have been around for quite a while. They're free and easy to use.

   

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