Volume 44 Number 1

Higher Ed SIG: Student Perceptions of Weaknesses in Mainstream STEM Classes

Jennifer Rockafellow, Higher Ed SIG Chair

During the fall 2015 semester Heather Torrie, Continuing Lecturer, and Jennifer Rockafellow, Assistant Director, both from the English Language Program at Purdue University Calumet, conducted an anonymous survey of 131 graduate and undergraduate ELP alumni to gauge their attitudes about perceived difficulties in mainstream STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) classes. 


Teaching Tip: Cognates are Everywhere! Introducing Cognates to Language Learners

Valerie Butrón & Margaret McGregor 

Cognates are everywhere! A cognate is a word in one language that shares a similar look, refers to the same thing, and shares the same source as a word in a different language (Montelongo, Hernandez, & Herter, 2014). Many educators may be aware that cognate awareness can propel Spanish-speaking language learners’ reading comprehension in English. 


Call for Submissions—New Ways in Teaching Creative Writing for the ELL Community

Seeking contributors with exciting and effective lesson plan ideas for using creative writing in the English language classroom. Submission Deadline: June 15, 2016 


Note Taking For ELLs

Clare Alsharif 

According to Boyle (2011), note-taking skills are important because better note takers have more notes and, as a result, perform better on tests. Taking notes is the most common method of summarizing and learning information from a lecture or text, which makes it an important skill for transitioning from high school to college.


Sentence Writing with Classroom Cooperation

Cameron S. Nitta

Young ESL learners can often find practicing grammar challenging and boring. Therefore, activities that inspire originality can excite students to tackle new grammar from their lessons. This activity was designed to review grammar points while providing students opportunities to share their creativity with their classmates.


A Theoretical Framework of Language Learning in Light of Learner Autonomy

Aaron Chao 

How does one learn a language? This is a question that continues to serve as a key question for teachers and curriculum developers. More so than ever, it has also become a key question for students to wrestle with necessitated by increased expectations for learners to be more aware of and take a more active part in the learning process.


Review of Writing in Foreign Language Contexts: Learning, Teaching, and Research

Reviewed by Eric Perkowski ​

This book offers a critical review and analysis of the field of foreign language (FL) writing. Manchón states that it “pursues one basic aim:  to reflect critically on where we are now and where we need to go next in our exploration of foreign language writing at the levels of theory, research and pedagogy” (p. 20). 


Review: Tea with BVP, An Online Talk Show for Language Teachers

Reviewed by Allison Lewis

Bill VanPatten, Professor of Spanish and Second Language Studies at Michigan State University, hosts a weekly online program on the topic of second language acquisition. The self-proclaimed “diva of SLA,” VanPatten aims to educate teachers about principles of second language acquisition and how research findings can be applied in the classroom.


Review of Engaging Students in Academic Literacies: Genre-based Pedagogy for K-5 Classrooms

Reviewed by Cameron S. Nitta 

In the United States of America, Common Core State Standards (CCSS) detail school requirements that include writing instruction that spans a variety of genres and applies to several disciplines. Brisk provides detailed information for educators to plan and execute genre-based English writing education for students in grades K-5 in the text Engaging Students in Academic Literacies.


Discovering the Host Culture Through The Ethno Project

Patrick T. Randolph

In the summer of 2008, I read a comment on a student’s course evaluation from a speaking-skills class that haunted me for years to come. “We spoke about many topics. I learned a lot. But, I will return to my country knowing nothing about this city or about the state.

ITBE Link - Spring 2016 - Volume 44 Number 1