CATESOL Accepts My Presentation on Practices for a More Democratic ESL Classroom!

Do you want to create a more student-centered, democratic ESL classroom? How do you tailor assignments to individual students? What websites and resources do you incorporate in your classes to help students improve their speaking and listening skills? Finally, are you an English teacher working in California interested in these topics?

If so, my CATESOL workshop titled “Techniques and Practices for a More Democratic ESL Classroom” should appeal to you. The 50-minute presentation/workshop will include a dozen flexible, reproducible worksheets to create more student-centered lessons. I will emphasize a few familiar themes, including the need to create classroom rituals that allow students to share their interests and experiences. From my perspective, a democratic classroom is one where everyone feels comfortable speaking and listening – and has the power to choose their assignments and content. Let’s help our students become autotelic (self-directed) learners!

Model lessons will include using YouTube to teach stress patterns and job interview skills, choosing radio segments for listening comprehension, and teaching students to become “reporters” on their personal interests. The hands-on teacher’s workshop will also allow participants to exchange their most successful, student-centered lessons. I will also include feedback on how student reactions from my university students and EFL students in Vietnam using Compelling Conversations. (Asia Pacific University of Vietnam has adopted Compelling Conversations as a core textbook for their new Practical and Academic English Language program for university and graduate students needing more English.)

Naturally, I’m quite psyched since this will be my first state CATESOL presentation. The 2009 CATESOL conference will be in the Pasadena Convention Center, April 16-19 with the theme “Whole Learner, Whole Teacher.” Visit for more information. My section, #15686, is on Friday, 11:00-11:45 A.M. in Rm. 207 of the Pasadena Convention Center. If you are attending, please consider dropping by. It will be worth your time!

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