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Topics - mhenehan

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1
Reading a whole book for adult learners of English
       A classmate presented a lesson plan for adults on The Giver, having remarked that Harry Potter is not the best choice for adults.  There is nothing wrong with Harry Potter, but for adult learners, it is a luxury.  Young people may have a “need” for familiarity with that level of shared culture, but adults do not.  My first thought on assigning “extensive” reading for adult immigrants was that it is asking a lot because they are so busy and the needs for basic practical skills are so urgent.  The least demanding thing I could think of was extremely short stories, like those of James Thurber, which can be as short as two paragraphs.  Then I read a post about getting young kids through a “whole” novel by doing it very gradually and with a great deal of support.  Some might have thought it impossible, but the teacher said that the students were very gratified by their accomplishment.  Another post here suggested a handful of books for adults, one of which is Tuesdays with Morrie.  This book is feasible candidate for adults to get the satisfaction of reading a whole book. 
Morrie has ALS, and he will die.  Books about dying are not depressing or scary – rather, a reader who is healthy knows that he will likely need to deal with a friend who is dying.  So, it is appropriate enough. 
Some of the ways to support and “teach” with this book are:
Pre-reading:
1)  Genre analysis:  This book is valuable because it is written in simple language on an adult topic.  The book can be introduced in those terms to the students.  Show them this quote from a different book by the same author:
“As mankind grew obsessed with its hours, the sorrow of lost time became a permanent hole in the human heart. People fretted over missed chances, over inefficient days; they worried constantly about how long they would live, because counting life’s moments had led, inevitably, to counting them down. Soon, in every nation and in every language, time became the most precious commodity.”
 ―
Mitch Albom, The Time Keeper
https://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/19426990-the-time-keeper
This has only two sentences and many long words.  Then show them this, which they will see is just as long, but much more readable.  There are five sentences, and they include repetition that aids fluency.
“there are a few rules I know to be true about love and marriage: If you don't respect the other person, you're gonna have a lot of trouble. If you don't know how to compromise, you're gonna have a lot of trouble. If you can't talk openly about what goes on between you, you're gonna have a lot of trouble. And if you don't have a common set of values in life, you're gonna have a lot of trouble. Your values must be alike.' - Morrie Schwartz”
 ―
Mitch Albom, Tuesdays with Morrie
https://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/1995335-tuesdays-with-morrie
Why is Tuesdays with Morrie easy to read?  Because it is personal; it is as if he were sitting there and talking to you. 
2)  Who are these people?  Look up Mitch Albom together.  Who is he and how did he come to write this story?  Who is Morrie Schwartz?  His quote above is very simple, yet he was an important scholar.
During reading: 
Stop when something is unknown.  Are there places mentioned that are unfamiliar?  Look them up.  This can actually provide a break from some of the intense aspects of the book.
Post-reading:
1)  Why is this book read so widely? 
2)  Is it culture bound?  What does “universal” mean?  Can we talk about certain aspects of life being relevant to all human beings? 

2
Beginning Readers / Reading for literate true beginners
« on: May 05, 2017, 03:17:22 PM »
Reading as reinforcement for learning parts of speech
I recently presented a lesson plan to my grad class and then implemented it with a small class of true beginners.  It was on prepositions.  They were able to handle the prepositions, but it was hard to put them in full sentences.  I hadn’t grasped how hard it was to combine those two separate tasks.  After “learning” the prepositions from the book, we did an Easter egg hunt.  It took way longer than I’d thought, but it worked.  Each clue said to go to the next location, which was a place with a locative preposition.  (Look in the sink, under the table, etc.)  What I know, though, is that they will not have retained it for the next class.  So, I have made a new “activity” by revising the clues slightly and pasting them together into a “short story” for them to review everything without having to do anything new except three words:  lost, find, pick up.  They will be looking at the same locations, so the amount of new information will be minimal, and we will walk around the classroom in similar fashion.  I think that spatial learning and movement are helpful.  There are three versions of the story, as there are a “zero” beginner, beginners, and an advanced beginner/intermediate.
[/size]        Marie lost her pen.  Is it on the table?  No, it is not on the table.  Is it next to the clock-radio?  No, it is not next to the clock-radio.  Her pencil is next to the clock radio.  Is it on the microwave?  No, it is not on the microwave.  She lost the pen.  Where is the pen?  Is it on the white board?  No, the marker is on the white board.  Marie likes her pen.  She wants to find that pen.  Is it in the shower?  No, it is not in the shower.  Her book is in the shower!  Is it in the sink?  No, the pen is not in the sink.  Water is bad for a pen!   Is the pen under the trash can?  No, but there is a handout under the trash can.  Put the handout in the trash can.  Is the pen behind the white board?  No, the pen is not there, but Lidiany’s clue is there.  Is the pen below the white board?  No, but the eraser is.  Pick up the eraser.  Is the pen between the books?  No, but the spaghetti is between the books.  That is silly.  Reading as reinforcement for learning parts of speech[/font] [/size]I recently presented a lesson plan to my class and then implemented with a small class of true beginners.  It was on prepositions.  They were able to handle the prepositions, but it was hard to put them in full sentences.  I hadn’t grasped that that was two separate tasks.  After “learning” the prepositions from the book, we did an Easter egg hunt.  It took way longer than I’d thought, but it worked.  Ech clue said to go to the next location, which was a place with a locative preposition.  (Look in the sink, under the table, etc.)  What I know, though, is that they will not have retained it for the next class.  So, I have made a new “activity” by revising the clues slightly and pasting them together into a “short story” for them to review everything without having to do anything new except three words:  lost, find, pick up.  They will be looking at the same locations, so the amount of new information will be minimal, and we will walk around the classroom in similar fashion.  I think that spatial learning and movement are helpful.  There are three versions of the story, as there are a “zero” beginner, beginners, and an advanced beginner/intermediate. Marie lost her pen.  Is it on the table?  No, it is not on the table.  Is it next to the clock-radio?  No, it is not next to the clock-radio.  Her pencil is next to the clock radio.  Is it on the microwave?  No, it is not on the microwave.  She lost the pen.  Where is the pen?  Is it on the white board?  No, the marker is on the white board.  Marie likes her pen.  She wants to find that pen.  Is it in the shower?  No, it is not in the shower.  Her book is in the shower!  Is it in the sink?  No, the pen is not in the sink.  Water is bad for a pen!   Is the pen under the trash can?  No, but there is a handout under the trash can.  Put the handout in the trash can.  Is the pen behind the white board?  No, the pen is not there, but Lidiany’s clue is there.  Is the pen below the white board?  No, but the eraser is.  Pick up the eraser.  Is the pen between the books?  No, but the spaghetti is between the books.  That is silly.  Marie lost her pen.  Is it [/font][/size]on[/size] the table?  No, it is not [/size]on[/size] the table.  Is it [/size]next to[/size] the clock-radio?  No, it is not [/size]next to[/size] the clock-radio.  Her pencil is [/size]next to[/size] the clock radio.  Is it [/size]on[/size] the microwave?  No, it is not [/size]on[/size] the microwave.  She lost the pen.  Is it [/size]in[/size] the shower?  No, it is not [/size]in[/size] the shower.  Her book is [/size]in[/size] the shower!  Is it [/size]in[/size] the sink?  No, the pen is not [/size]in[/size] the sink.  Water is bad for a pen!   Is the pen [/size]under[/size] the trash can?  No, but there is a handout [/size]under[/size] the trash can.  Put the handout [/size]in[/size] the trash can.  Is the pen [/size]behind[/size] the white board?  No, the pen is not there.[/size]  [/size]Is the pen [/size]between[/size] the books?  No, but the spaghetti is [/size]between[/size] the books.  Is the pen [/size]in front of[/size] the cabinet?  No, the markers are [/size]in front of[/size] the cabinet.  Put the markers away.  Is Marie’s pen [/size]above [/size]our heads?  Yes it is.  Look for the pen.

 [/size]          Marie lost her pen.  Is it on the table?  No, it is not on the table.  Is it on the microwave?  No, it is not on the microwave.  Is it in the shower?  No, it is not in the shower.  Her book is in the shower!  Is the pen under the trash can?  No, but there is a handout under the trash can.  Put the handout in the trash can.  Is the pen behind the white board?  No, the pen is not there.  Is Marie’s pen above our heads?  Yes it is.  Look for the pen. 
[/font][/size]        I will find out in about 45 minutes whether this will work![/font]

3
Language Issues / Writing Anxiety
« on: May 05, 2017, 02:50:51 PM »
Learning about writing from writers
Background:  Dana Ferris visited our class at the University of Illinois, and she spoke about the fact that when academics submit articles that are peer reviewed, they need to submit with their revisions a response as to why they did or did not do what the reviewers said.  This was in the context of explaining to both students and prospective teachers that this is nerve-wracking and anxiety-producing even for seasoned professionals working in their own language.  This makes me think that the more ways we can make writing less stressful the better, and that language learners can learn about this process from other writers. 
Topic:  Dealing with Anxiety in Second Language Learning:  There is plenty of research on language learner anxiety, but much of it is aimed at informing teachers about it and about how to deal with it.  Elaine Horwitz suggested shifting more to the perspective of the student and devised questionnaires that elicit information from the student.  I am suggesting something more metacognitive in that students learn about anxiety the same way teachers do, by reading research about it. 
Level:  This is aimed at college students and graduate students who are enrolled in regular substantive courses and taking an ESL course such as English for Academic Purposes. 
Unit:  Addressing learner anxiety when writing could be a two- or three-day unit.  Treating the same topic for other skills could be additional units, or could be folded into other topics and tasks.
The general goal is to gain insights and develop strategies regarding language learner anxiety. The goal for this unit would be for the student to learn about language learner anxiety from sources outside themselves and their teachers and apply something about another’s writing that will help him with some of the stress and anxiety he experiences while writing English. 
The objective or product is a piece of writing about writing.  The student will show in a short essay what he has learned about another person’s writing anxiety and how it can apply to himself. 
Lesson plan:  Day One
The objective is to successfully contact and interview a faculty member, to elicit from that person some information or insights into the emotional component of writing, and find ways to apply those insights to oneself.
Presentation:  The teacher talks about anxiety in general and how it affects everyone.  Language learner anxiety is more specific and more threatening (which Horwitz and many others explain), but writing anxiety is also significant, even in the L1.  We do not have the phrase “writer’s block” for nothing.
 (In class, homework, whatever the teacher decides)  Students read about language learner anxiety, for instance an article or excerpt of Elaine Horwitz’s work.
Horwitz, E. (2001). Language anxiety and achievement. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 21, 112-126.
Horwitz, E.K., Michael Horwitz, and Joann Cope (1986) Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety. The Modern Language Journal 70 ii.  Table 1 p. 129 in this article lists questions students are asked in order to measure anxiety, which measures the student perspective (which Horwitz stresses), but the target audience of the research is teachers.  By reading the research themselves, they learn how constructs are measured, they look at the problem from the outside rather than from the point of view of their own anxiety, and of course they engage in some theoretical thinking.
Instructions:
1)  Think about how you feel about writing.  How do you feel when you receive an assignment, when you start writing, when you proofread what you wrote?  All writers, even professionals working in their own first languages have some stress over writing. 
2)  Choose one of your professors, but not your advisor or someone you already know well.  If you have a prof for whom English is a second language, that might be good for insights.  However, native English speakers will also be able to talk to you about stress in writing, even if at a different level.  Google the person, or look up the person’s university profile to find out just a little about her research.  Ask him or her if you can come to office hours to ask some questions about his own experience in learning how to write academic material.  This should be separate from other discussions about your assignments in the class.  It is probably a little annoying for profs to have a stranger come to their office on an interview assignment for another class, but meeting with one’s own professors is easier than many students think.  Two little known facts: a) Students do not take enough advantage of office hours, and your prof may be more available than you thought.  b) Telling a prof that you would like to know more about her research and writing is pretty likely to be a door opener.  Tell the professor that your ESL instructor suggested this as a way of learning more about how academics deal with stress or anxiety in the writing process.  Ask about what it is like to write up your own research and submit it for publication.  Is it anxiety-producing?  What are the most useful processes or strategies for overcoming that?
3)  After the interview write up what the person actually said first.  Then think about how it might apply to yourself.  Of course, it is easier for a native speaker, but some of the emotions experienced are the same.
Day Two
Discuss and compare notes with other students.
Day Three
Essay due on what he has learned about another person’s writing anxiety and how it can apply to himself. 

4
Intensive Reading / Hearing to Read
« on: March 27, 2017, 07:43:42 PM »
I like the idea of integrating skills.  I haven’t taught, so this is totally untested.  Feedback always welcome.
Hearing to Read 
In oral traditions, story-tellers are excellent at verbal delivery and memory.  My experience with traditional foreign language learning is that my reading can advance, but my memory (if it’s hard work and only a single reading) and speaking production remain weak.  I particularly do not like cold reading aloud.  Just for fun, this is designed with no reading aloud at all. 
Level:  advanced beginner/early intermediate
This would be intensive, not extensive reading.  The input should be “+1” or more, because a lot of time will be spent on one short piece, so it should be challenging.
Material:  An article with both factual and emotional content, for example this National Geographic article about cheetahs.  It tugs at sympathy for the dying cheetahs, introduces geography with lists of countries, has statistics on numbers, the role of humans, and spurs to political action. 
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/12/cheetahs-extinction-endangered-africa-iucn-animals-science/
Prepare a text-only handout including only a picture of a cheetah. 
In the last third of a given class period:
·       Display or hand out a picture only (no text yet) of a cheetah and make sure the students know what it is.
·       Tell students in advance that this lesson will be about hearing my reading as spoken language, then reading, and then producing an oral summary.
·       Teacher reads a piece aloud and students close their eyes and listen with no other instruction
·       Teacher reads it again and students take notes on not what is going on, but rather whether what is going on is pleasant, sad, informative, provocative.  In other words they are picking up on emotions and attitudes rather than substance.
Homework: 
·       Hand out print article
·       Students are told to read the piece themselves without a dictionary and try to hear it in their head expressed as they perceived it to be when the teacher read it, even if the full meaning is not yet clear. 
·       Next, they should check unfamiliar vocabulary in order to complete understanding of the meaning. 
·       Then they should read it aloud to themselves.   
·       Tell students that the next day in class that they will not be looking at the text again.  They will have to write a summary from memory, and then in pairs they can share info and check accuracy
·       Then they will need to do a short oral summary (depending on the size of the class – otherwise, four students could prepare a four-sentence summary and deliver it in series)
Telling them ahead of time will boost their motivation to pay close attention to the reading at home.
Next day:
·       Proceed as described above
·       Have students discuss in groups what they observed about different types of reading – alone and silent, skimming, reading out loud, listening and then reading, summarizing, etc.  [/size]
·
       Tell students that in two weeks you will ask them in class what they remember from the article.

5
The woman who runs the ESL classes at the grad housing at the University of Illinois gave me a bunch of paper copies of a news source geared to ESL.[/size]  [/size]It is called News for You.[/size]  [/size]It is also on line:
[/size]www.newsforyouonline.com
“News for You is a weekly publication for adult learners that uses current events and human interest stories to engage learners' interest while building skills in reading, comprehension, vocabulary, and more.
Unfortunately, it is not free.  It’s a hundred bucks for a semester.  But there is a two-week free trial.  Also, maybe your place of work would consider getting an institutional subscription if possible.  The woman who gave me her old issues probably subscribed for one year and used the stuff for multiple years, but it gets out of date fast.
It has audio of the articles, vocabulary help, and interactive quizzes and even puzzles for students.[/font][/size]  [/size]This type of resource can free the teacher up to design more creative or challenging materials that she is more interested in than the routine comprehension issues.[/size]
[/size] It also provides what amounts to a mini teacher’s manual, a couple of lesson plans, tips, and materials and handouts.[/font][/size]  [/size]Not only does it save a lot of time, it gives the teacher a springboard from which to develop other materials to use and reinforce the same content.[/size]  [/size]For intensive reading, all of the bells and whistles can be used and the students will get in-depth understanding of one article.[/size]  [/size]Alternatively, one could use a quick read of one article as a basis for finding other articles and types of publications on the same topic.[/size]  [/size]This reinforces, increases expertise, and it gets faster and easier for the student, which would be more on the extensive reading side.[/size] 

6
Beginning Readers / Picture Books for True Beginners
« on: March 23, 2017, 10:45:23 PM »
I recently stepped into a situation of forming a true beginner class at graduate housing at the University of Illinois.  There are volunteers who do conversation classes for spouses of internationals, but some have their own parents with them, some taking care of grandkids.  These folks, especially Chinese who were kids during the Cultural Revolution, have no English, or started a little in anticipation of their sojourn here, and they have great spunk.  I fell into this without preparation with just a Chinese-English picture dictionary, and of course google translate to communicate.  I thought little about reading, as they need vocab and some survival pronunciation just to get something at a store or restaurant. 
Then I got the idea of getting a few chunky kids’ books with just one word per page at the dollar store.  We did those few words and then I gave them to the ladies and told them that now they could read a book in English to their grandkids!  Foreign language is so hard, I’m always trying to think of things to help them feel good about their own abilities, as rudimentary as they are.   
A post by Michelle below referenced an article by Hashim
Fatimah Hashim[/size], ([/size]nd) [/size]Enabling a Reader Through Picture Books: A Case Study, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.  Fatimah Hashim[/size] can be contacted at: Dept of Language Education, Faculty of Education, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, MALAYSIA; e-mail [/size]<hfatie@fp.um.edu.my>
[/size]http://www.eslweb.org/resources/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=297.0;attach=209
on enabling a low-proficiency 13-year-old using picture books that are simple, even repetitive.[/font][/size]  [/size]Some of her principles apply to my grandmas:[/size]  [/size]they feel they are not good.[/size]  [/size]Making the input minus 1 instead of plus 1 builds confidence, motivation, and satisfaction, and reduces fear and anxiety. [/size] [/size]Interaction between teacher and student is key.[/size]  [/size]For my grandmas, interaction between them and the little ones is not only interactive, but the students are in the teacher role.[/size]  [/size]This overcomes any objection that it is treating adults in juvenile fashion.[/size]
[/size]I would be even more “nurturing” than Hashim.[/size]  [/size]She stresses the girl’s self-correction and sounding out of words, and she privileges independence.[/size]  [/size]Independence is certainly a goal, but think about how long we depended on our parents for language learning.[/size]  [/size]Also, I don’t like guesses at low level proficiency.[/size]  [/size]You don’t have to guess so much in your L1.[/size]  [/size]Plus, my grandmas cannot self-correct at all.[/size]  [/size]Maybe it would be coddling and not aimed at independence, but why not, in the beginning at least, read to the student first, and then she reads on her own.[/size]  [/size]The author noted that the parents did not speak English at home and certainly did not read to the girl in English.[/size]  [/size]That is a deficiency that it would be legitimate to remediate.[/size]  [/size]Reading to a student not only provides the pronunciation and sound, it also includes some of the caring that parents show their children.[/size]  [/size]We can’t put them on our laps and put them to bed, but my grandmas can do this with their grandkids.[/size]  [/size]This builds positive affect for the language.
[/size]Marie Henehan

7
Persuasive Paper / Writing a Normative Paper
« on: March 15, 2017, 01:54:01 PM »
I'm a poli sci prof switching to teaching ESL.  I have taught social science writing to L1 college students and am thinking that I can adapt this to high-level ESL students.  I have never taught ESL though!  So I do not know if this would be feasible.  I know it would be helpful for succeeding in my poli sci courses!  I would love to get feedback.  This is not exactly persuasive or argumentative; normative is a little different. 
The Normative Paper
Curricular goal:
Learning how to do research papers and avoiding plagiarism by learning how to attribute facts, theories, and opinions to authors.
Level, rationale, and goals:
This lesson is conceived for a program for English language learners who are working on preparing to go to college (pre-college ESL).  This is the kind of writing that a college freshman would be expected to produce on his own.  The newspaper sources are usually written at a high school diploma level.  The commentary magazine sources are aimed at a college-educated audience.  English learners would have the basic capability to do the work entailed, but would not know how to go about it without significant specific guidance.  Thus, the goal is for students to learn how to communicate in writing an opinion on a substantive issue that is sufficiently backed up by outside sources to persuade a reader.
What follows should take at least one week, and then the remaining assignments at the end over the following week or two, while class moves on to other topics.   
Objectives:
·       [/font]gain facility in reading an opinion/editorial (op-ed) piece in a newspaper and identify key arguments/positions;
·       [/font]learn how to search for specific types of sources, in this case, opinion pieces in commentary magazines aimed at a college-educated audience;
·       [/font]formulate a normative argument that is based on one’s opinion, supported by empirical evidence and arguments found in outside sources, and culminates in a prescriptive recommendation.
Materials:
·       [/font]Either one op/ed piece for the whole class, or one for each group of four students.   
·       [/font]An op/ed piece that the student will read - from a newspaper, whether campus, local, regional, or national on a topic related to public policy, such as the environment, education, foreign policy, relations between or among certain nations, terrorism, oil, energy policy, welfare, health policy, religion, immigration, law enforcement, race relations, states’ rights, civil rights, taxation, regulation of corporations, etc.  The same one for all would be boring, and a different one for each student would be unmanageable.  The teacher could provide five different op/ed pieces, one for each group of four students:  i.e. four copies each of five different op/ed pieces.  One sample is attached here:  an opinion piece from 2011 on President Obama’s decision to intervene in Libya.  [Note: for college or pre-college students.  I would not do such topics with refugees or even immigrants.  Potentially too painful or divisive.]
·       [/font]Attached is one op/ed article and citations for two possible commentary articles.
·       [/font]Documentary video sources
·       [/font]Prepared ahead of time:  results of sample searches one topics other than the five assigned that students will use as models for their own searches.
DAY 1
Pre-reading: Vocabulary
·       [/font]Definition:  A normative paper presents a substantive description of the facts and problems relevant to a particular issue (for example, a public policy issue), presents different arguments from outside sources and evaluates them, takes a position and argues for it, and makes a recommendation for action (e.g. policy change).
·       [/font]Presentation in class on technical terms:  Normative, empirical, prescriptive, evidence, argument, opinion, recommendation, substantive issue, persuasion
·       [/font]Students are responsible for looking up substantive terms in their op-/ed pieces on their own, but in class if possible.
During reading:
·       [/font]What is the topic?  What is the point of view of the author, as indicated in the title, first sentence, and last sentence?  What is the affiliation of the author?
·       [/font]Students read the op/ed piece individually
Post-reading:
·       [/font]Back in the group:  What are the key words or concepts in the op/ed piece that will be used when you search for other articles?
·       [/font]In their groups, students compare ideas on which one or two points in their piece seem most convincing.
Presentation:  How to do precise and narrow library searches for articles on particular subjects in specified publications.  [Presumably with on-line school, public, or university library]
Homework:  One half of the members of each group read one article from The American Conservative, The National Interest, or The National Review.  The other half read one article from The Nation, The New Republic, or The Progressive.
DAY 2 
The same groups discuss how well the author’s claims in the op-ed piece hold up against the article they read (which could be up to four different articles), and share with each other how their sources challenge the author (they should be different!).
Teacher presentation and discussion:  Why is there a pattern of agreement and disagreement among the articles?
This would be a good time to sit back and watch something from documentaries on the four or five topics, such as clips from An Inconvenient Truth, etc.
Homework:  Everyone reads an article from the other group of magazines.
DAY 3
·       [/font]The same groups discuss how well the author’s claims in the op-ed piece hold up against the second article they have read.
·       [/font]Individuals write out four well composed sentences, each making one point or argument.
·       [/font]In pairs, they read each other’s and give feedback.
Remaining assignments and activities:  full references, draft of body, draft with conclusion, then introduction, then imaginative title, self-review, reading aloud to oneself, peer review, fermentation (sitting in teachers’ drawer for a week and then revised), teacher feedback, revision, etc.
The same assignment can be ratcheted up for use in an EAP class for current college students by raising the level from an op/ed piece to a public policy piece in one of the magazines cited above, and moving from using opinion magazines for the paper to using academic articles and publications read by policy makers.  The level can be lowered by using an op/ed piece and two letters to the editor over the following days.  There is no “research,” but there is still attribution. 

8
Extensive Reading / Extensive Reading - love and the brain
« on: February 12, 2017, 01:45:49 PM »
For me, reading is work; I don't read for enjoyment.  So this would be hard for me to "teach."  So I asked my daughter how she became a bookworm.  This is L1, but insightful. In first grade, the teacher read The Hobbit to them, and the kids sketched.  She says she still thinks about it now! (25 yrs later)  It's multi-modal (hence heightened memory), non-stressful (no grades on the sketches!), and the teacher reading is like parents and shows caring.  So I asked (pedantically), where's the learning?  (yes, I know) and she said "I think it's learning to love it. That's the learning."  Isn't that great?  My own perspective is a query about how to integrate the love that parents express while reading aloud to their kids into ESL for adult immigrants.  We want to get learners to love the language.  How can I show that I love them in a way that nurtures their learning?  Yes, caring and encouragement, etc., but is there neuroscience/psycholinguistic research on _love_ and learning?

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