The Work of Dr. Marguerite Ann Snow

One of the top scholars in the area of content-based language teaching (CBLT) is Dr. Marguerite Ann Snow.

For decades, Dr. Snow has published on how to better integrate language and content in the classroom.

As such integration is one of the major struggles for CBLT teachers, especially in foreign contexts, I thought it would be helpful to post a little about Dr. Snow’s work and discuss a few takeaways for my CBLT readers.

Continue reading “The Work of Dr. Marguerite Ann Snow”

Research Spotlight- Cross-cultural transition: International teachers’ experience of ‘culture shock’

My first night in Taiwan was awful. (The details are irrelevant)

But let’s just say culture shock hit me hard, and it took about 4-6 months before I settled in and “adjusted”.

I use quotation marks purposely on “adjusted” because I wonder if any of us really adjust.

Is culture shock just about the food, language, etc.? Or is there more to it?

And what about international teachers? Is their culture shock experience unique?

Donna Roskell attempted to answer those questions with her study Cross-cultural transition: International teachers’ experience of ‘culture shock’.

Continue reading “Research Spotlight- Cross-cultural transition: International teachers’ experience of ‘culture shock’”

Research Spotlight- Effective teacher talk: A threshold concept in TESOL

Teachers talk in the classroom every day.

Seems like such an obvious statement, so much so that it wouldn’t be worth writing about.

But an important question arises from this well-known fact: when teachers talk, is their talk always effective?

Barbara Skinner has concerns that the answer is ‘no’ and that teacher preparation programs should put more focus on what is known as “teacher talk” and how to make it more effective. Continue reading “Research Spotlight- Effective teacher talk: A threshold concept in TESOL”

Research Spotlight- The effectiveness of drama as an instructional approach for the development of second language fluency, comprehensibility, and accentedness

It is that time of year at my school- English performance.

Walking around the building, you will definitely hear the grumbles of teachers lamenting why we engage in such a “time-wasting” and stressful activity.

“C’mon! We aren’t drama teachers!”

While one cannot dispute the stressful nature of a yearly performance in front of parents, colleagues, and administrators, research by Galante and Thomson (2017) challenges the notion that our drama performance is a time-waster and also raises questions about our roles as (English) teachers. Continue reading “Research Spotlight- The effectiveness of drama as an instructional approach for the development of second language fluency, comprehensibility, and accentedness”

Research Spotlight- Ways to promote the classroom participation of international students by understanding the silence of Japanese university students

Anyone who has taught EFL in an Asian classroom has likely experienced moments of dead silence in the room.

You ask a question and…nothing.

While the common assumption is that silence is a culture issue, many researchers have presented arguments that factors other than culture are the stronger influence.

One such study that questions the relationship of culture and silence is Ways to Promote the Classroom Participation of International Students by Understanding the Silence of Japanese University Students by By Soonhyang Kim, University of North Florida, (USA); Burcu Ates, Sam Houston State University, (USA); Yurimi Grigsby, Concordia University Chicago, (USA); Stefani Kraker, Queens College, City University of New York, (USA); Timothy A. Micek, Ohio Dominican University, (USA). Continue reading “Research Spotlight- Ways to promote the classroom participation of international students by understanding the silence of Japanese university students”