Your English Language Learning Network
English Online Teacher Newsletter
November 2013


Dear EAL Professionals,



A warm hello to everyone in the EAL/ESL community across the country. Many of us at English Online have been travelling East and West over the past few weeks - we have been lucky enough to meet so many brilliant, passionate people both for the first time and for the first time face-to-face. Now seems like a great time to say Thank You to everyone that participates in the national community, and to everyone that chooses to build that community with us:Thank You!
We have one note to pass along about our National Online Conference - the Call for Presentations is now closed. We appreciate everyone who submitted a presentation proposals. Look for the schedule to be released sometime in December.

Many people we've talked to are excited about the technology training and support that we are offering for presenters and attendees. Many people were also excited about the Free Registration for our conference, as well. Explore the conference page link below, and contact us for more details.
Upcoming Events
  • English Online Teaching w Technology Webinar
    • VoiceThread for Digital Conversations (Two Sessions - November 15, 7:00pm CDT; November 16, 10:00am CDT) Learn about the powerful communication tool VoiceThread and how it can be used in language learning contexts. Click here to learn more.
  • Education Week Webinar
    • A Curriculum-First Approach to Technology and the Web. (November 18, 1:00pm EST) Learn from Michael Casey about an curriculum-implementation strategy to prepare students for academics and life-long, self-directed learning as both global and digital citizens. Click here to learn more.
  • Tutela Webinar
    • Collaborating in the Creating of CLB Rubrics (November 18, 6:00pm CDT) Rita Zuba Prokopetz collaborates with other instructors who are also creating their own rubrics for a variety of CLB 7 tasks. Click here to learn more.
  • English Online Webinar
    • Engagement in Online Language Learning Environments (November 30, 10:00am CDT) Maria Glass and Liz Romero present on developing an interactive and fun online activity for ESL. Faith Marcel will talk also talk about inspiring teachers and learners with Twitter. Click here to learn more.
Digital Tools


The Resource Page for our previous month's professional development webinar is now up, and it is full of information about using digital tools in EAL/ESL contexts. Much of the information is presented in small doses, which makes it easy to digest. Even with small steps, it is a great idea to familiarize yourself with modern educational technology.


Technology Reminders


Use Tech Sensibly - it is easy to get infatuated with current technology. Often we need to ask how the use of any technology enhances the class for the better. Sometimes the best technology to use is pen and paper.


Meet Students' on their Terms - Do your students primarily use Facebook? Mobile Devices? How about email, or texting? Communicating with students in ways already familiar to them can reduce miscommunication and technical problems that may frustrate their learning.
Establish an Online Presence - for yourself or for your class. Students will benefit if there is a 'home base' that they can rely on to absorb class language and vocabulary. Blogs work great for this.
Stay Simple - clean, less decorative design for tech use will be less distracting for students as they work and think in their second language.
Stay Patient - jargon, skills, and infrastructure are always changing, and different students have different technology abilities - there are many ways to get frustrated when it comes to tech use in the ESL classroom. Have the more knowledgeable students help less experienced, and have them to show you a few things, too.  



Resources and Information


No educator has time to learn how to use all the digital tools out there. However, learning about tech concepts and tech vocabulary can help. Here are a few readable resources that can provide tech insight on a general scale:


The term Web 2.0 gets thrown around a lot, but what does Web 2.0 mean, exactly?  


The Digital Divide is a worthwhile concept to understand, especially in ESL and Immigrant contexts.


Nowadays, people talk about Digital Natives and Digital Nomads - which are you more like?


Even basic skills, such as reading, are being dramatically changed by modern technology: Reading Engagement.


Digital Literacy has become something to think about and familiarize yourself with. 

Have a Great Week!


English Online Team 



Have questions, suggestions or comments?  

Contact Glen at

Digital Tools
Here are a few quick, easy and minimal registration tools to help with digital communication.
  • Clunic for reading, writing and conversation
  • Storybird for reading, writing and digital storymaking
See our webinar Resource Page for more details and for Nathan's videos







Relevant Resources on








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