I’m usually not one to enjoy snow, but I didn’t have any place to go, so let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.
When I first started getting into teaching ESL, the amount of acronyms was overwhelming! I knew ESL stood for English as a second language, but I wondered what TESOL, ELL, and EFL stood for. As with any profession, there are abbreviations or words that only make sense to people in that field. So I’d like to provide a few explanations of acronyms for those of you who are as confused as I was when I first started in ESL.
- ELL- English language learner; Anyone learning English is referred to as an ELL.
- EFL or TEFL- (Teaching) English as a foreign language; Although ESL and EFL are often used interchangeably, they are, in fact, different. EFL is teaching or learning English in an environment where English is not spoken by the majority. So, teaching English in the US or the UK would be ESL. Teaching English in China or Costa Rica would be EFL. This is similar to learning French in high school as an American student.
- TESOL or ESOL – (Teaching) English to speakers of other languages; This refers to teaching English to anyone whose native language is not English
- TESOL, Inc.- An international, professional organization of TESOL teachers.
- TOEFL- Test of English as a foreign language; This is a common test worldwide to gauge English ability. Most universities require a TOEFL score for admittance if English is not the student’s first language. TOEFL iBT is the TOEFL internet-based test
- IEP- Intensive English program; This type of program is solely English classes focused on helping ELLs master the English language. Most IEPs are found in university settings.
- CALL- Computer assisted language learning; Language learning done through special software on the computer or online
- SLA- Second language acquisition; the process of learning a second language
- L1- first language; Example- Spanish is the L1 of someone from Colombia.
- L2- second language; Example- English is the L2 of someone from Colombia learning English.
- NNS- non-native speaker; anyone who does not speak a certain language as their first language
- ESP- English for specific purposes; this is English for certain jobs, such as English for medical professionals, English for tourism, ETC.
Hopefully these were helpful to you. I’ll try and post another set in the near future! Share on your social media site if you think you have friends that would find this useful! Thanks for reading.
Shades of gray wherever I go
The more I find out, the less that I know
Black and white is how it should be
But shades of gray are the colors I see
There’s an island in the middle of the Ohio River called Blennerhassett Island. The Blennerhassett family used to live in a mansion there, and now visitors can tour the old buildings and walk around the island. Today’s weather was predicted to be beautiful, so my friend Zach and I hopped on the boat that takes you to the island!
Happy first day of fall!
I took this photo on my phone, while driving (don’t tell my mom!), with no filters or edits. Enjoy!
I usually don’t pay attention to things like the Miss America Pageant. In fact, I usually avoid them. However, the pageant last night has really caught some attention because of the winner. Nina Davuluri, Miss New York, is an Indian American, as in, her family is from India. She was born in New York, but her parents came to the US from India in the 80′s. She’s the first Indian American to win Miss America, and many American people were not ok with this apparently. Twitter exploded with rants and raves about a Muslim winning Miss America, one Tweeter even going as far as calling Nina a terrorist. Tweeters whined about how a “person like this” shouldn’t be winning so soon after 9/11. And most tweeters just sounded ignorant- making 7-11 jokes, calling her Egyptian, and saying “This is America.” (Read all the tweets here.)
Do people forget that America was founded on immigration? Are most of the people upset about this Native Americans? My guess is no. My guess is their families came from another country too; it just may have been more generations ago. Why is it ok to be an immigrant if you’re white but not ok if you’re any other color? Why did so many people say that Theresa Vail, Miss Kansas, should have won? Just because she is blonde and likes to hunt instead of enjoying Bollywood dancing? Is Miss Kansas more American than Miss New York? I wasn’t aware that skin color and interests made a person American.
In school, we were always taught that America is a melting pot, people from different countries and cultures came together in the US and became one country and one people. However, I believe more in the salad bowl theory, which says many people come to the US and become Americans, yet they can still retain things from their home countries and home cultures. We are lettuce, and tomatoes, and cheese. We are in the salad bowl together, but we remain as separate items at the same time. That is what allows people to be Indian American, or Mexican American, or Italian American, or whatever they may be. That is what makes American great; we aren’t homogeneous. We eat Mexican food for lunch, then we have Chinese food for dinner. We share and learn from each other’s backgrounds or cultures.
I don’t know. She looks American to me.
September 8th is International Literacy Day, and the month of September is International Literacy Month. Nearly 1/5 of adults in the world don’t know how to read or write. That’s about 775 million people that don’t posses these basic skills that are essential in being successful in today’s world. Sub-Saharan Africa and south and west Asia have the worst literacy rates- 50% of the people in these areas can not read or write. Literacy affects one’s income, health, and even relationships. UNESCO says that “literacy skills are fundamental to informed decision-making, personal empowerment, active and passive participation in local and global social community.” Illiteracy can help breed hate, violence, and ignorance. Literacy can help reduce poverty and lead to further learning. Have you ever thought of literacy as a right? The 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights highlighted the right to education.
While we typically think of the United States as a well-educated nation, in actuality, about 14 % of the population is illiterate. The proceeding infographic says that 160 million people in rich countries struggle with literacy.
What are some causes of illiteracy? Fees for schooling prevent many from being literate. The need to work instead of attending school is an issue for many. Families and communities not seeing education as important can decrease literacy. Additionally, poverty is a huge factor in illiteracy. When you are worrying about having clothes to wear and food to eat, you aren’t as concerned about learning to read.
Why are more women than men illiterate? 2/3 of the illiterate are women. The cause for this is that women are not encouraged, as men are, to be educated in many parts of the world. In some countries, they are even discouraged. The education of women is often discouraged, because if women are educated, they may become a threat. Educated women may not stick to the traditional roles for women in their country. Let’s get rid of this discrepancy!
What can we do to help solve the world’s literacy problem? The biggest thing that can be done is simply this: literacy and education must be promoted. It must be promoted by governments, by communities, and by families. All of these entities must stress the importance of being able to read and write. Do what you can this month to promote literacy.
I teach a first year experience course, and at the end of the course, the students write a paper giving advice to next year’s freshmen. As college freshmen begin to move on campus and start the next phase of their lives, I’d like to share some of this (hilarious) advice.
- “Do not fall in love with the first guy or girl that you meet. That was harder than I thought!”
- “In high school, freshmen get picked on all the time and are thought of as the scum of the earth. However, in college, I have found that the only difference between a senior and a freshman guy is facial hair.”
- “…through a lot of hard work, blood, sweat, actual tears, racism, stares, breaking down, doubt, a car crash, and one concussion later, I have learned to persevere.”
- “You can get a job at the school, like making sure people don’t steal stuff from the library.”
- “The good drink machines are on the second floor. It has all the good drinks and always works.”
- “I still remember the look on my face when my parents left, and I was lost. Now I look back with a smile on my face, because now I have no fears.”
- “…sometimes it was interesting, and I liked it, but other times it was boring and I fell asleep.”
-”Most kids are used to being spoon-fed their whole life, and they really do not know how hard it is to be on their own.”
-”You never think you would miss beating up on your little brother every day until you can’t anymore.”
-”When you’re sitting in bed debating on whether or not to go to class, get up and just go,”
-” I thought if I could go here and become a better wrestler, get big muscles, and possibly a girlfriend in the process, then why not?”
-”It’s nice to have a little brotherly brotherhood.”
-”After extensive private lessons in American Sign Language, I now know how to sign bacon.”
-”Being away from home is hard. Especially 2,355 miles away.”
-”College is a wonderful place full of wonderment, surprises, and candy around every corner. Ok, I lied about that last part.”
You just can’t make this stuff up!
I was sitting around chatting with some friends when somehow we started talking about Australia and its government. I said something about the Queen and everyone was like, “Huh?!” I mentioned that the Queen of England is also the Queen of Australia technically. She’s also the Queen of Canada, New Zealand, and on and on. No one believed me. Why do I know these random facts anyway? Haha. So here is some info on how the Queen is the queen of everywhere!
The Queen is currently sovereign over 15 commonwealths. The Commonwealth has existed for more than 60 years and is made up of 54 independent countries, which used to be under British rule. In 1949, India became the first country to become independent, yet want to stay tied to the Commonwealth group. The London Declaration declared King George the VI as the King of these countries, and then Queen Elizabeth the II after King George’s death. Some other countries that are a part of the Commonwealth are South Africa, Belize, Pakistan, Singapore, Ghana, Bangladesh, and so many more.
So while there are 54 independent countries, there are still 15 that are controlled by royalty. What does that mean exactly? Just like England, Canada has a prime minister instead of a president. Have you ever wondered why? Well, now you know. Countries with royalty usually have a King or Queen who is just a figure-head, while the prime minister is the one with the political power.
The same is true for the 15 Commonwealth realms in addition to the UK-Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Jamaica, Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Papua New Guinea, St Christopher and Nevis, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Tuvalu, Barbados, Grenada, Solomon Islands, St Lucia and The Bahamas.
I’m obsessed with quotes. I have books of quotes. I put quotes as my Facebook status. I Google quotes according to how I feel. So, tonight I want to share a few quotes I’ve found about letting go, moving on, and moving forward. We all have something in our lives that we need to let go of or move on from. So, let’s make a concerted effort to do so!
“You will find that it is necessary to let things go; simply for the reason that they are heavy. So let them go, let go of them. I tie no weights to my ankles.”
― C. JoyBell C.
“Even though you may want to move forward in your life, you may have one foot on the brakes. In order to be free, we must learn how to let go. Release the hurt. Release the fear. Refuse to entertain your old pain. The energy it takes to hang onto the past is holding you back from a new life. What is it you would let go of today?”
― Mary Manin Morrissey
You’ve gotta know when it’s time to turn the page.”
― Tori Amos
“Sometimes the hardest part isn’t letting go but rather learning to start over.”
― Nicole Sobon
“You can’t look back – you just have to put the past behind you, and find something better in your future.”
― Jodi Picoult
“Moving on is easy. It’s staying moved on that’s trickier.”
― Katerina Stoykova Klemer
“Never believe that an hour you remember is a better hour because it is dead. Passed years seem safe ones, vanquished ones, while the future lives in a cloud, formidable from a distance.”
― Beryl Markham
“She took a step and didn’t want to take any more, but she did.”
― Markus Zusak
“It is only through labor and painful effort, by grim energy and resolute courage, that we move on to better things.”