Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Tip From Nick from FluentU's Blog

 Nick writes:

"How to remember anything (it’s unnatural).

You know when those pesky words just won’t stick?  Well, I’ve got a crude hack to help you remember.

If you’re really struggling, write out the word with your weak hand a few times. So if you’re right handed, write using your left hand.

The extra focus (and messy result) should do the trick." 

Monday, September 27, 2021

Helpful Hint for Job Hunting

Get a temporary, throw-away email address to use for your job hunt.  (This helpful advice was given to me after-the-fact by a fellow member of the Bridge.edu job board.)

Why? Because you will be innundated by a horde of job "suggestions" from commercial job boards, none of which are remotely relevant to your search.  The emails proliferate almost faster than you can unsubscribe.

I suspect the one commercial job board I updated was the initial culprit, selling my records (old and new) to others.  However from the wording of some of these "offers", I believe that some of them originate with my LinkedIn records, which I had thought were relatively safe.

The problem is orders of multitude greater than it was a dozen years ago when I last looked for a job.

In some ways the internet and social media are great tools but in other ways, not so much.

Friday, September 24, 2021

Fridays at Five Teacher's Meeting Online

Today I went to the Color Vowel® online teacher's meeting which is held the 2nd & 4th Friday of each month at 4PM EST (3PM Denver time).  

The group shared lots of good ideas.  When we split into 3 breakout rooms, I saw that the Zoom software handles breakouts (and returns) very smoothly.  Of course I was just a guest, not the host, so did not see exactly how it was done.

Big news!  Colorvowel.com is organizing a common space online where teachers can upload their graphics, worksheets and other classroom materials to be viewed, commented on, downloaded and shared.  The space will be hosted on canvas.ifrastructure.com where colorvowel.com already has an account, offering their courses.  This common space should work better than just posting announcements and links in the Facebook Color Vowel Community.  

It's not clear whether or not a Google Doc or a Google Sheet can be uploaded to this space.  I don't see how an HTML page could possibly work.  I may just have to save all my entries as PDFs.  Since the Blue Canoe browser app works with Google Sheets I'm hoping to maintain them in that form.

Although there are many good color vowel YouTube videos aimed at teachers, there are almost no related classroom resources posted on the various teachers' exchanges.  Hopefully this new space will fill that gap.

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Back to School

In June I wrote about the VOA's free, online English courses and materials, appropriate for adult ESL learners on several levels.  It's at https://learningenglish.voanews.com.

Now I've discovered free online beginner and intermediate ESL courses offered by the Sacramento County Office of Education.  They also offer a course to help prepare for citizenship. Students can study on their own or with the help of a teacher.  In addition they offer a "Skills for the Nursing Assistant" course. Learn more at their their "USA Learns" site at https://www.usalearns.org.

In addition, check out the MOOCs offered by the US Dept. of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.  (MOOC stands for Massive Open Online Course.) I haven't studied these in depth, but they appear to be aimed at advanced learners and perhaps students on an upper-intermediate level.  See their variety of current and upcoming offerings at https://www.openenglishprograms.org/MOOC.

Sunday, September 12, 2021

I Want To Be Dr. Seuss When I Grow Up

I would love to find a list of the most difficult and most often used words for teaching English as a Second Language. Not finding a definitive compendium online, I started my own which as of this date has 800 words.  Of course many are similar, for example different forms of a verb. These come from various ESL teachers' lists via online articles or videos.  Although I've been teaching adults, I also added  additional words from "Cat in the Hat" and the rest of the vocabulary in the national 1st grade vocabulary list.  

Since I mainly use my word list to enhance my color-vowel poems and chants, it is online sorted by Color Vowel® plus schwa.  (Once the Google Sheet file is downloaded or copied into Excel, of course it can be re-sorted alphabetically.)

Here's the link: Most Difficult and Most Often Used

I also have a growing list of most important business terms; however, that one is such a mess I'm not publishing it, yet.

I try to incorporate as many as possible of these important words into my All Around My Mouth poems.

Of course it's no surprise that the poems tend to also have words that rhyme with the ones on the list  If you are interested in rhymes, here's a link to words that rhyme with the color vowels. This is the link to the Color Vowel Chant.  I kept all the worksheet's rhyming words just for future reference.