LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT
Dear Secondary Schools Interest Section Leaders and Members,
I would like to extend a warm welcome as the 2017–2018 president of TESOL International Association. Thank you, Sarah Elia, for inviting me to contribute to this newsletter. As a former K–12 educator and someone who is currently a K–12 teacher educator and researcher, I appreciate the challenges and rewards of teaching English to secondary students.
Attendees in discussion at the TESOL convention
I hope you enjoyed TESOL in Seattle! I have included three pictures from the convention that reflect (1) the rich discussions among TESOLers no matter where you were, (2) the long tradition of leadership in our association, and, of course, (3) my taking on the formal role as president for this coming year.
Group photo of TESOL presidents honoring Executive Director Dr. Rosa Aronson (center)
On the program, I counted 19 SSIS-sponsored presentations. The sessions on language in the content areas and working with mainstream teachers particularly stood out for me. One of my areas of research has focused on why teaching English language learners is more than “just good teaching.” As secondary English language professionals, you are often finding yourself at the crux of this issue: of simultaneously identifying our language expertise and knowing how to effectively communicate that expertise to different stakeholders, whether they be colleagues, administrators, parents, or policymakers.
President de Jong giving her first speech as TESOL president
Another area I am passionate about is that of finding ways to support our English learners’ bilingual abilities as they learn English as an additional language. Perhaps this links back to my own growing up in the Netherlands where becoming multilingual was expected, and I took three foreign languages in secondary school! I have firsthand seen the difference when we affirm our students’ linguistic and cultural identities, especially for adolescent newcomers who bring such diverse experiential and educational backgrounds to our classroom. I hope SSIS will contribute to our knowledge and expertise base regarding how we can accomplish this goal while attending to standards and meeting curricular expectations.
Thank you for all you do for your students and also for your leadership and engagement in TESOL International Association. I look forward to following your discussions and planned activities throughout this year and hope to see you in Chicago for TESOL 2018!
With warm regards,
President, TESOL International Association (2017–2018)
LETTER FROM THE SSIS LEADERSHIP
Greetings Secondary Schools Interest Section!
The 2017 TESOL International Convention & English Language Expo has ended and we have begun planning for the 2018 convention in Chicago.
Our team is looking forward to introducing new activities and opportunities. For example, we wish to connect the TESOL SSIS with our state affiliates to cosponsor webinars, conferences, and meetings.
We will continue sharing information, thoughts, and ideas through our TESOL Secondary School Digests, the TESOL Lounge Digests, and our wonderful SSIS newsletter, Secondary Accents. We also are active on Facebook. Please like our page and feel free to share photos and information about your regional events with us. We will help you spread the word! Our chair-elect and member-at-large elections are coming up very soon, so you will be meeting even more team members who are definite resources in the fields of secondary and English language learner (ELL) education.
In addition, we are very lucky to have the opportunity to partner with two other interest sections for next year’s convention. Although the topics and focus are still under construction, we are planning a panel discussion with the Elementary Education Interest Section (EEIS) revolving around the topic of the response to intervention and ELLs. A second panel discussion is being planned with the Second Language Writing Interest Section (SLWIS). We are looking for a topic that may involve different aspects in secondary writing for ELLs who are newcomers, students with limited or interrupted formal education, and/or long-term ELLs. As mentioned, these topics are still under review and possible changes will be taking place, but we are looking for individuals who may be interested in volunteering and helping out with the panel.
That said, do not forget to submit your own proposal to next year’s convention. It is important that the field of secondary education is well represented. Our secondary ELLs need a voice out there, and that is where each of you comes in. The proposal due date for the 2018 TESOL convention is 1 June 2017.
Some of you may have heard about the knowledge-based member communities (KBMCs) proposal at the convention. This involves the development of a proposal that spells our interest section’s mission and vision. Each interest section will be developing its own proposal and will be asking the membership to chime in with suggestions. The membership will vote on whether it supports the developed proposal. You will be receiving more information on this in the near future, either through another newsletter or the Secondary School Digest (or both). So keep an eye out for updates.
Finally, we have a request for you, our SSIS members. We would like you to share with us your achievements, activities, and functions. Let us know what your affiliate group is doing. If possible, let us know the time and place, so that if other members are available, they may visit and join your activities. If we can help, let us know—because we are a resource for you and every member. The more interconnected we are, the more we have to offer our teachers, administrators, staff members, and most important, our students. So, in other words, don’t be strangers.
We hope you enjoy this issue of Secondary Accents. This issue is primarily a result of the many connections that we made at the TESOL convention in Seattle. We are proud to have contributions from around the world: Nepal, Tanzania, Colombia, Korea, Japan, Thailand, Puerto Rico, Egypt, and the United States. We also received many photo submissions to brighten our pages. Our next issue will be in September, so please consider writing for us!
Thanks for your time. We hope to hear from you.
SSIS Chair 2017
Sarah E. Elia
Newsletter Editor 2017
REPORT FROM THE SSIS: 2017 TESOL CONVENTION IN SEATTLE
Secondary Schools Interest Section (SSIS) volunteers were active at the TESOL convention in Seattle this year. Highlights included panels, the annual SSIS meeting, and the SSIS booth in the Exhibit Hall.
Drs. Maria G. Dove and Andrea Honigsfeld (Molloy
College) facilitated a row-by-row turn-and-talk activity during their
session entitled “Collaborative Conversations, Difficult Dialogues” on
the topic of coteaching for English learners.
Photo credit: Andrea Honigsfeld
SSIS collaborated on two panels for the TESOL 2017 convention.
Subgroups Within Subgroups: ELLs With Specialized Needs and Backgrounds
Presenters addressed varied perspectives on specialized student populations. Topics included broad considerations and theoretical approaches to teaching students with limited or interrupted formal schooling, specific classroom-based strategies for newcomer students’ access to texts, implementation of RTI for secondary ELLs, and the specialized needs of long-term ELLs.
Helaine W. Marshall, Long Island University, Hudson (Students
with Limited or Interrupted Formal Education: Creating Fertile Spaces
Tim Blackburn, Education Northwest (Engineering Access for Newcomers: Text Engineering to Amplify Student Understanding of Content, Language, and Literacy)
Marybelle Marrero-Colon, Center for Applied Linguistics (Distinguishing Between Language and Special Needs: Using Response to Intervention With Secondary ELLs)
Joanna Duggan and Sarah C. K. Moore, Center for Applied Linguistics (Supporting the Needs of Long-Term ELLs)
Helaine W. Marshall of Long Island University, New York
Photo credit: Sarah Elia
Drs. Maria G. Dove and Andrea Honigsfeld (Molloy
College) shared their research on the CR-ITI program impact during a
session entitled “Gauging the Effect of TESOL Expertise on Learner
Outcomes,” chaired by Andrea Hellman (Missouri State University) and
Donald Freeman (University of Michigan)
Photo credit: Andrea Honigsfeld
Speech, Pronunciation, and Listening Among ELLs in Secondary Settings
This panel discussed issues associated with secondary ELLs' oral language production, especially pronunciation. Presenters addressed the following: pronunciation and early grammar learning needs of secondary ELLs, professional development on strategies for incorporating pronunciation into everyday teaching, and language transference among native Spanish-speaking secondary ELLs.
Tamara Jones, Howard Community College
Karen Taylor, English Language Training Solutions
Moderator: Joanna Duggan, Center for Applied Linguistics
Heather Parris (ESBOCES) and Lisa Estrada (Hicksville
Public Schools) present on technology tools to support ELLs with Andrea
Honigsfeld (Molloy College)
Photo credit: Andrea Honigsfeld
Annual SSIS Meeting
SSIS held its annual interest section meeting. Nine members were in attendance. Special thanks to Kathleen Johns, Kathy Lobe, Joanna Duggan, Kristine Tennyson, Brenda Custodio, Nancy Yi-Cline, Marybelle Marrero-Colon, Sarah Elia, and Dr. Deborah Short for joining us and participating in a great discussion. Next year’s panels for TESOL 2018 were discussed, as well as Secondary Accents, the need for additional volunteers, the reorganization of interest sections in TESOL, and ideas and thoughts for the SSIS going forward.
CAL at TESOL: Tatyana Vdovina, Professional
Development Specialist from the Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL) and
Marybelle Marrero-Colon, SSIS Chair, decide to share some great Seattle
coffee as they prepare for their presentations.
Photo credit: Marybelle Marrero-Colon
SSIS leaders manned a booth in the Exhibit Hall for a few hours during the convention. About 20 visitors stopped by for handouts and to learn more about our interest section. We even got a few new volunteers!
Marybelle Marrero-Colon at the SSIS booth
Photo credit: Sarah Elia
Photos of the convention and other updates are on our SSIS Facebook page. Have you liked our page yet? Please join us and share!
Finally, thanks again to all who participated in the TESOL convention this year! Special thanks to the TESOL staff and the many volunteers, presenters, and attendees. Without you, we wouldn’t have had such a great time!
Sarah Elia (left), SSIS Newsletter Editor, and Beth
Clark-Gareca (right), both of the State University of New York at New
Photo credit: Sarah Elia
SHADOWING AND VIDEO VOICEOVERS FOR IMPROVING EFL STUDENTS' ORAL SKILLS
In this article, I reflect on two techniques I used with my
English as a Foreign Language students to develop their listening and
speaking skills: shadowing and video voiceovers, which were inspired by
two sessions I attended at the 2017 annual TESOL convention.
The first session was “A Computer-Mediated Shadowing Activity and ESL Speaking Development”, in which the presenters: Masakazu Mishima and Lixia Cheng, described their experience of using shadowing with Japanese adult students to develop their fluency. According to Tamai (1997), shadowing is a listening task in which learners track and then vocalize a heard speech clearly while attentively listening to the oral input. Shiki et al. (2010) distinguish shadowing from repeating. In repeating, learners listen to a model conversation sentence by sentence with a pause to enable them to repeat what they have just heard. However, when shadowing an input, learners vocalize and mimic the sentences while still listening. Repeating takes more time because learners wait to vocalize until the sentence has ended.
Tamai (1997) also notes that shadowing improves learners' listening comprehension because it activates bottom-up processing, which allows information to be passed on for macro-level analysis, and consequently top-down processing is activated. Then, echoic memory is activated to retain heard speech more accurately. I used this technique with intermediate students to improve their listening and fluency. I started by assessing their listening as well as speaking skills using a pre-test. The material to be shadowed can be an audio file or book; audio material like a podcast or radio; or audio-visuals such as videos, television shows, movies, or any authentic recorded input. I chose some videos from Randall’s Video Snapshots that met my students’ interests, namely; “Good Neighbors,” “Identity Theft,” “Fighting a Cold,” and “Sports and Recreation.”
First, I asked my students to listen and then answer some comprehension questions. To facilitate shadowing and overcome the difficulty and sometimes the frustration of shadowing a text without seeing it, it is helpful to provide students with scaffolds. Providing shadowers with a transcript of a video recording or subtitles to ease the emulation of the text can be beneficial (Manseur, 2015). My students started shadowing transcripts and once they became accustomed to the material, they practiced shadowing without the transcripts. Moreover, I advised students to use a dictionary to check the meaning of unknown words to expand their vocabulary stock. I followed Kurata’s (2007) steps for shadowing:
Full shadowing: The students watch the video and listen to the input then repeat it verbatim as soon as it is heard. In my class, students read the transcript with highlighted target prosodic features of the input: the sound, intonation, and stress patterns. They did this once in class and continued at home at their own pace. To help students apply the features correctly, I gave them some notes and rules for each feature prior to listening.
Slash shadowing: The input said with pauses to allow the students more time to recognize the words and focus on meaning.
Silent shadowing: This is done in the students’ heads.
Part shadowing: Also known as echoing, in part shadowing students focus on shadowing certain prosodic features in the input and just shadow these features. The mental load in part shadowing is much lighter than in full shadowing.
Part shadowing + comment: This type of shadowing resembles part shadowing but the students add their own opinions and explanations. In this phase of shadowing, the students shadow part of the input and comment on this part.
Part shadowing+ question: In this type of shadowing, in addition to emulating part of the speech, students ask a question related to the content, which requires full comprehension of the heard input. Students can use different kinds of questions related to the input.
For me, the last two types of shadowing were integrated into one step in which students completed an oral activity related to the video, such as discussions, debates, or role-plays. Then, they answered some reflective questions on each shadowing experience. Students recorded their shadowing after practicing several times and submitted the recordings via Edmodo. I listened to the audio recordings and sent students feedback to be considered next time. When assessing students’ performance after few weeks, it is noteworthy that students’ fluency and use of suprasegmentals improved, and the number of times they took to listen and submit a final audio recording decreased from 20 times to 4 or 5. Students’ confidence when speaking also increased pointedly.
The second technique, video voiceovers, I learned about by attending a teaching tip entitled “Video Voiceovers for Fun, Helpful Pronunciation Practice,” by Lynn Henrichsen. Video voiceovers are effective in developing students’ accuracy and fluency, overcoming the boredom of repetitive activities, and enhancing their motivation in pronunciation classes. This technique can be used to help students use authentic materials in an entertaining way. Students perceive video voiceovers as motivating, entertaining, and beneficial. Like shadowing, students in video voiceovers need a lot of time to practice and produce; for this reason, students should rehearse and prepare at home.
I used this technique with my students in the Access Microscholarship Program (students aged 14_18 years old) to improve their pronunciation and fluency. I went through the following steps (Henrichsen, 2015):
Choose a clip: Provide students with a list of video samples from TV programs, commercials, cartoons, or films and ask them to work in pairs or small groups to choose segments that appeal to their interests. With advanced levels, students can also choose a short video clip of their own. For my students, I chose short segments (3_4 minutes) from cartoons like The Lion King, Tangled, Toy Story, Kung Fu Panda, and Mulan.
Students prepare: After downloading scripts of the videos, students prepare either in class or at home by synchronizing the speech of the characters with a focus on segmentals and suprasegmentals features. It is helpful to provide students with the rules of these features before rehearsals.
Students present: When delivering their presentations, students mute the videos and speak aloud with appropriate body language. Other pairs/teams watch and rate the performance against a rubric to vote for the best video voiceovers.
After evaluating students’ use of segmentals and suprasegmentals features, I noticed development in these features. Moreover, students’ body language (gestures, facial expressions and tone of voice) improved, particularly shy students. Students were excited and thrilled to deliver their presentations.
Challenges and Concluding Thoughts
In practicing shadowing or video voiceovers, students might face some challenges. First, students should have the necessary technology (computers/tablets and Internet access) and be able to use it. The classroom should also have the necessary equipment to display the videos while presenting. Second, students might find it difficult in their initial trials to keep up with the speed of the native speakers or imitate suprasegmentals and other difficult words. A lot of practice can overcome this problem. Third, these techniques are best used with students who are, at minimum, at an intermediate level of listening and speaking.
In conclusion, shadowing and video voiceovers are two useful and motivating techniques that are worth trying to improve intermediate students’ listening as well as speaking skills.
Henrichsen, L. (2015). Video voiceovers for helpful, enjoyable pronunciation practice. In J. Levis, R. Mohammed, M. Qian & Z. Zhou (Eds), Proceedings of the 6th Pronunciation in Second Language Learning and Teaching Conference (pp. 270_276). Ames, IA: Iowa State University.
Kurata, K. (2007). A basic research on cognitive mechanism of shadowing. Bulletin of the Graduate School of Education, Hiroshima University, 56(2), 259_265.
Manseur, R. (2015). Exploring the role of shadowing in the development of EFL learners' speaking skills (Unpublished master’s thesis). Faculty of Letters and Foreign Languages, Algeria.
Shiki, O., Mori, Y., Kadota, S., & Yoshida, S. (2010). Exploring differences between shadowing and repeating practices: An analysis of reproduction rate and types of reproduced words. Annual Review of English Language Education in Japan, 21, 81_90.
Tamai, K. (1997). The effectiveness of shadowing and listening process. Current English Studies, 36, 105_116.
Amira Ali is a lecturer in the English Department at Sadat Academy for Management Sciences in Egypt and a certified teacher trainer for the British Council, NileTESOL and RELO, and the Professional Academy for Teachers in Egypt. She is a holder of PhD in TEFL. Her interests include teaching writing and reading and integrating technology in EFL contexts.
Hello! My name is Kate Dana. I am a technology enthusiast with a passion for international education. I have been living and teaching abroad since 2012. People often ask how I have managed to create such a vibrant life for myself. While there have been a few challenges among the many celebrations, I am grateful every day to live in an amazing country, doing work that I enjoy, while also being able to travel and write.
I received my TEFL certificate in 2012 from the International Teacher Training Organization in Guadalajara, México. In 2013, I taught at an English language center in Tlaquepaque, México, then moved on to teach secondary-level Informática at the British American School in Puerto Vallarta, México. While my experience living in these picturesque cities was inspiring and colorful, I also learned about foreign teaching regulations such as work visas and hiring contracts. At the end of the school year, I searched for new opportunities to continue teaching in Latin America.
I discovered WorldTeach, a nongovernmental organization founded by a group of Harvard University students, and was accepted into the Colombia 2014 program. I was placed in Barranquilla as a year-long volunteer, teaching primary-level English at a public school. During my volunteer year, I met President Juan Manuel Santos and 2012–2015 Barranquilla Mayor Elsa Noguera, both of whom are focused intently on making Colombia a bilingual nation by 2020.
Early morning in Playa Blanca, Isla Barú, 2016
I grew enamored with the beauty and diversity in Colombia—its gorgeous terrain, rich culture, and profound history—as well as its incredible people, who are seemingly always happy. Even WIN/Gallup International Association’s annual global end-of-the-year poll agrees that Colombians are the happiest in the world, having won the title two years in a row.
With travel being relatively easy and affordable, I explored Colombia at every opportunity possible when not teaching. I visited small villages on the coast, as well as larger cities like Medellin. I became hooked on the vibrant dances, delicious food, and diverse lifestyles throughout Colombia, chronicling these inspirations on my blog and website, http://www.katedana.com. In between teaching and traveling in 2014, I searched for work in order to ensure my annual volunteer commitment was fulfilled.
Horseback riding in Guatapé, Antioquia, 2015
As my volunteer year was ending, I was recommended for a position as a secondary-level English teacher with with Aspaen Gimnasio Cartagena de Indias in Bolivár, Colombia. I graciously accepted the offer and stayed with the school for 2 years (2015–2016), advancing to become the area director for information communications and technology, while also teaching English literature and creative writing. In January 2017, personal matters took me back to the United States, where I remained for 3 months, teaching English for Spanish speakers independently in Charleston, South Carolina.
In April 2017, I returned to Cartagena de Indias, Colombia, to offer private English classes as I searched for my next job opportunity on the coast. I recently relocated to Barranquilla, the city where my Colombian journey began, to teach Business English and continue to develop my experience and expertise in International Education.
Hello, my name is Samantha Cosentino, and I work at Fujikoshi Technical High School as a part of the JET Program in Toyama, Japan. Fujikoshi is a private school overseen by the Nachi Company that focuses on preparing students to work in the manufacturing industry. There is also a group of students within the school that are interested in engineering and build very impressive robots! As an assistant language teacher, my job is to make learning English as enjoyable as possible and provide students with ample speaking opportunities. My animated students broke my expectations of what I thought a Japanese classroom would be like. A great majority of my peers in the program have an issue with silence, while I have had the opposite challenge!
There are only about 9 females in a school of around 420 students. Almost all of those students are interested in sports and bursting at the seams with incredible energy. Due to the specific nature of my students, I try to utilize their kinetic talents through competitive and active games. My goal is to get them out of their seats and to view English as a pleasant pursuit they could continue! Although I was surprised at first, I have come to look forward to seeing their smiling faces and excited greetings every day.
Nyuzen Flower Road in Toyama Prefecture
I have been a part of primary, secondary, and tertiary education in Thailand for nearly a decade. In the early days of my tenure, I worked with a remarkable university professor who would regularly tell her English majors that “English is your profession.” One day, I asked her to explain the point of this statement.
She said that the majority of Thai learners, English majors included, seem to view learning English as simply another subject, or even sometimes as a burden. She continued, saying that, on the contrary, English must be considered as a tool that can be used to open up greater opportunities for the learners. So now, in every English class, my English major learners hear me say, “English is your profession.”
Thai learners, particularly at the tertiary level, have been exposed to many years of English being forced upon them. I have found that learning English is daunting to most Thai learners because they associate learning how to communicate in English with only learning English grammar. No wonder there is some apprehension to learn English.
So when the learners sit in my classes, the first thing we have to overcome is their negative attitude toward English. My classrooms tend to be safe spaces filled with open discussion, without condemnation of the learner for any grammar mistakes or errors made in English. My learners quickly realize that learning English should be enjoyable, not a burden.
You see, Thai learners have other English classes and other teachers who focus on English grammar, so why should I add to their misery? I want my learners to have a comfortable learning environment where they can come to appreciate English. Often other professors remark that every time they pass by my room, there is always laughter coming from the learners. Then they ask me, jokingly, if I am teaching English...
Several learners came to me recently at the end of term and said that at the beginning of the term they hated learning English, but now they love learning English. You see my fellow educators; learners must view "English as their profession," and not "English as a burden.”
My name is Jennifer Alicea-Castillo, and I was born and raised in Ponce, Puerto Rico. I learned English in the public school system of my island, and I am very proud of this. None of my immediate relatives is bilingual nor have I lived in an English-speaking environment or outside my Spanish-speaking country.
I had my first teaching opportunity at 16 years old. I was working in a tutoring program helping ESL students in junior high school improve their skills. That experience helped me to discover that I was born to be a teacher. I have been teaching for the last 20 years. I have worked in private schools and in the public system of Puerto Rico. Also, I have been an undergraduate and graduate professor and research mentor at different universities.
I have a bachelor’s degree in secondary education with a major in English and a master’s in education in teaching English to students of other languages (TESOL). I obtained a doctoral degree in education, curriculum, and teaching from the Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico in 2008. In 2012, I finished a postdoctoral degree with the University of Jaén, Spain in teaching English as a foreign language. Right now, I am an associate professor and the director of the Planning and Institutional Research Office at the University of Puerto Rico, Ponce Campus. There, I am the liaison with Middle States on Higher Education agency, and I oversee the institutional accreditation.
Jennifer teaching in Nicaragua.
I really enjoy teaching ESL, but my favorite class is Oral Communication. I like to see how students improve their skills, how they deal with language-related insecurities, and how at the end of the semester, they are convinced that they have what it takes to speak English and be understood. I had the opportunity to travel to the United States, specifically to Washington, DC, and Los Angeles, as part of a course called Study and Travel. This course aims to help ESL students enhance their oral communication skills in real-life scenarios. These were rewarding experiences for me and for my students.
English has been an important part of my life. It has opened many doors for me. I have been part of PRTESOL since I was an undergraduate student. I have served as vice president (2009) and president of the Southern PRTESOL Chapter (2010). Then, I became the public higher education representative for 2 years (2014, 2015) and PRTESOL vice president (2016). Right now, I am the PRTESOL president. This is a big responsibility, but I am enjoying this journey to the maximum.
I had had the honor of presenting at the Nicaragua TESOL and at the Dominican Republic TESOL annual conventions, as well as in many conferences and workshops at different PRTESOL activities, private and public schools, and universities. I have participated three times at the Faculty Resource Network program at New York University, where I had the chance to learn new strategies, activities, and methods to expand my teaching repertoire.
In retrospect, I can definitely say that the English language has changed my life. I am who I am today, professionally speaking, thanks to this language. I cannot imagine myself in any other profession.
Jennifer with one of her groups in Puerto Rico.
DIPAK PRASAD MISHRA
I am Dipak Prasad Mishra, and I am from Kathmandu, Nepal. I am an English teacher. I teach English to graduate-level students. In Nepal, English is taken as a second language. People generally speak their own language at home because Nepal is a multicultural and multiethnic country. English is spoken in schools and some offices as well. In Nepal, the English language is an obligatory subject from nursery to graduate level.
So far, to develop English language teaching, different sorts of seminars, conferences, and trainings are conducted by native and nonnative scholars. They facilitate and provide ideas to the English language teaching practitioners. While teaching English, they contextualise the content on the basis of culture, environment, and so on. In addition, they teach English in terms of their proficiency. As we know that the entire globe is leaning towards English, so Nepalese students, common people, and other professionals also are interested in English. So, I can say English is a hot market in Nepal.
Everyone loves to speak English and feels great about him- or herself when they can speak well. Likewise, teachers use multimedia to foster English language in the country. In Nepal, teachers practice different techniques in the language classroom. To put it in a nutshell, teachers facilitate learner autonomy in the classroom.
Dipak with his colleagues and students at Eureka High School
My name is Yevgeniya Abayeva. I am a certified teacher in New York City. For the past 2 years, I’ve been working as an English teacher in South Korea. I’ve worked with a wide variety of Korean English learners.
In my first year, I was eased into being an English teacher by the fact that my students were experienced English speakers. They came from families that have lived abroad. As a result, I was more of a general education teacher than an English teacher, in an immersion program. Teaching those students was a treat. They were bright, well behaved, and pleasantly competitive with each other. Aside from following the curriculum, I had the freedom to do many activities with them. We went on cloud-watching adventures, solved riddles, and created LEGO structures. This freedom allowed my students to grow naturally as English speakers, rather than having to focus repetitively on grammar constructs and meaningless, brain-dead lessons.
Students working on a collaborative activity
In my second year, I moved to a smaller rural city. There, the English students were at a beginner level. The curriculum focused on basic conversational English, with a push toward grammar. The lessons were a bit dry and overly repetitive. As a result, students weren’t very motivated to learn English, and they saw it as a very theoretical concept.
I'm hoping that with these two experiences, I can be a better teacher in New York City. We have many immigrant students in the city, so I want to be a teacher who is both aware of my students’ difficulties and at the same time creates meaningful experiences for them in which they can learn and grow.
JUMANNE BAKARI TUNGU
Hello ladies and gentlemen, I am from Tanzania, Africa. I teach English as a foreign language at Capri Point Secondary School in Mwanza City. Before this, I taught English in Manyara region at Singe High School (a private school) from 2007–2008. Thereafter, I joined St. Augustine University, which is located in Mwanza City along Lake Victoria northwest of Tanzania.
In my university studies, I pursued a bachelor's in history and linguistics. After I accomplished my bachelor’s studies in 2011, I was employed in 2012 at the government middle high school in Mwanza City, where I now teach English and history.
In addition, I work as Tanzania English Language Teachers Association (TELTA) regional coordinator. TELTA does the following:
Promote the learning and use of the English language in our schools and enable teachers to highlight areas of strength/weakness in their classroom teachings and to meet stated goals of the curriculum and/or develop the knowledge/skills needed for high-stakes exams in their context.
Bring English language teachers together to share ideas, knowledge, and experience on new approaches to teaching; promote an appropriate approach in the choice of English language teaching materials used in secondary schools; give other teachers a forum where they can share ideas and explain how decisions are made about which materials are used in their classrooms, and describe any problems that they experience when participating in the decision-making process and/or when using the materials that have been chosen.
Create room for teachers to discuss and adopt a more positive approach to teaching that employs negotiation, interpretation, and expression for the creative, unpredictable, and purposeful use of English language in communication.
Expose teachers to the diverse and most recent pedagogical trends in English language teaching and enable teachers to discuss and ultimately devise methods of giving learners appropriate tasks to transact rather than items to learn so as to promote the natural language learning process.
Enable students to perform well in their examinations and develop English language speaking behaviour in our schools, because English is neither our native nor second language.
We also offer in-service trainings to teachers. These trainings are freely facilitated by both local and external facilitators six times a year. Some examples of trainings are: classroom management, assessment tools, how to teach the four skills, content-based approach, and teaching strategies.
TELTA Tanzania is also a member of TESOL, AFRICA TESOL, and IATEFL. All these efforts are greatly supported by RELO Tanzania.
ABOUT THIS COMMUNITY
Chair: Marybelle Marrero-Colon, Center for Applied Linguistics, Washington, DC, USA
Past Chair: Sarah Catherine K. Moore, Center for Applied Linguistics, Washington, DC, USA
Community Manager: Joanna Duggan, Center for Applied Linguistics, Washington, DC, USA
CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS
Secondary Accents welcomes articles that apply to classroom situations and that focus on instructional strategies, teaching tips, activities, website/tool/book reviews, student interviews, and innovative programs or classrooms. Authors are encouraged to use hyperlinks. Please consider submitting today!
- have the title in ALL CAPS.
- list an author byline which includes the author’s name with hyperlinked email, affiliation, city, country
- include an author headshot.
- include a 2-3 sentence (or less) teaser for the Newsletter Homepage.
- be no longer than 1,750 words (includes bylines, teasers, main text, tables, and author bios).
- contain no more than five citations.
- include a 2- to 3-sentence author biography at the end of the article.
- follow the style guidelines in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th Edition (APA style).
- be in MS Word (.doc, .docx) or rich text (.rtf) format.
All figures, graphs, and other images should be sent in separate jpg files. If the author includes a headshot, it must be:
- a head and shoulder shot
- a jpg
- width = 120px, height = 160px
- clear, clean, professional, appropriate to the article
Please direct submissions and questions to newsletter editor Sarah E. Elia.
The deadline for submissions to Secondary Accents for the September 2017 edition is 15 August 2017.