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Topics - Imogenius

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Research Paper / Souce-Based Writing / Research Paper Status Report
« on: November 01, 2009, 09:41:42 AM »
Here is a document started by my supervisor, LuAnn Sorenson, and highly modified by me, that I will be using this week to prod my students into doing their research for their paper.  Some of them are having a hard time narrowing down their topic and are using that as an excuse not to do research.  I keep telling them that narrowing the topic comes after having read several articles and understanding which ones you want to use and which you don't, but of course some don't believe me. 

So I'll report back to see how well this goes.  I hope students will submit it, especially since I'm giving them the whole week to finish it.  Hopefully most of them will submit it.   :angryred2

Pedagogy Issues / Powerpoint for Visual Analysis Activity
« on: October 30, 2009, 01:15:29 PM »
This activity went really well in my class, "Academic Reading and Writing 600" which is the highest level at the Intensive English Institute on the campus of the University of Illinois.  I started with a quickwrite (freewrite) on the questions in the first slide (10mins individual writing) and my students came up with many creative stories behind the painting.  Then we went through each slide and we talked about the different analysis an art critic would give of the painting versus the analysis a historian might give.  Finally, I had them read a wikipedia entry on the painting and talk about how that added to their analysis of the painting and what the artist was trying to convey.  I think it illustrated well how people can use their background and knowledge as frameworks for visual analysis.  We then transitioned to textual analysis in the next class session.

PS: The powerpoint was developed by my supervisor, LuAnn Sorenson, who is the leader of the advanced reading and writing sections at the Intensive English Institute.   I modified it slightly based on the progress of my class to that point (e.g. I took out the section on APA citations because we had finished that already).

Pedagogy Issues / Idea for Lesson on Analysis Essays
« on: October 25, 2009, 09:17:13 PM »
So, I'm writing an analysis for a class I took last semester, EIL 511: Task-based Language Teaching.  I'm analyizing the curriculum I taught this summer (in Italy to elementary school students) using a task-based framework.  Specifically I'm analyzing the different activities the students accomplished based on 5 principles of task-based language learning.

At the same time, I'm teaching a course at the Intensive English Institute on Academic Reading and Writing.  Our next unit is on writing Analysis Papers.  I am going to present my paper to my students tomorrow as an example of how analysis can be used in a graduate program.  I will heavily caution that it is an unfinished work and not a pattern to be copied for their papers.

My question is, would it be beneficial to my students if they were to offer me peer feedback on my essay?  This would take place after we've covered the material in the unit on writing Analysis Papers, of course.  I know it would benefit me, not only in my paper, but also in giving me an opportunity to see how well they are doing in giving constructive peer feedback.

Does this cross any ethical boundaries, if I'm asking my students to review a paper I'm going to submit for the MATESL Program?  I sense that there could be some ethical issues here, so I wanted to get some feedback before I begin to think about this.

Thanks for your help guys!
Imy :)

A 30-sec google search didn't yield anything comparable to this for listening and speaking resources.  Such a forum for listening and speaking classes would be a gold mine! 

If there isn't such a forum, could creating such a forum be an independent project for a student in the University of Illinois MATESL Program? (Masters in Teaching English as a Second Language). 

Could a student with no ability in html coding create such a forum? 

Imy ;)

A great resource for narrowing research topics is the University of Illinois Library's Subject Guides:

Scroll down to "Resources for"

Click on "Undergraduates", then click on "Subject Guides"

A list comes up of common research topics. You can click on one, e.g. "Arab-Israeli Conflict" and see a page with tabs of the different kinds of information the library has on this topic.  My students found this very helpful!

Feedback--Peer Review / Rubrics Used for Feedback, Peer and Teacher
« on: October 15, 2009, 10:53:05 AM »
These are rubrics I've used for Peer and Teacher feedback on 1) an argument paragraph, 2) a summary paragraph.  The first rubric was developed by LuAnn Sorenson, my supervisor, and I modified it slightly.  The second one I developed based on materials used to teach the skill of writing article summaries.

I find rubrics really help peer feedback sessions because students have to answer specific questions about their peers' writing.  Most of these rubrics are modifications of a list of good characteristics of an assignment that students were asked to submit, so they were taught these before they had to write.  

Peer Feedback rubrics are now posted for editing thesis statements, a first draft of an argument synthesis, and an analysis paper.

Hope these are helpful!
Imy :)

Student Bingo - Each square is something a student could have done, such as "traveled to another country," "ridden a bicycle", "seen the new Transformers movie" etc.  Students have to fill in their blocks with names of students who have done each thing.  First student to fill it all out wins.

This is Your Life - based on a really old game show, each student writes a bio paragraph.  The teacher collects these paragraphs and reads each one individually.  The rest of the class has to guess who it is.  When they finally guess correctly, the teacher can say, "<<name of student>>" this is your life!

Getting to Know You Activities / Imaginary Toss Game
« on: October 13, 2009, 09:45:59 AM »
I LOVED this game when I learned it this summer:

Students are in a circle.  Leader passes an imaginary ball to one person, they pass it to another person, and so on until the ball comes back to the leader.  Ask students if they remember who threw to them and who they threw to.  They must always receive the imaginary ball from the the person who threw it to them originally, and throw it to the same person they threw it to originally.

Once everyone can keep the order going, the teacher adds other types of things to pass around the circle, for example:

A giant bomb!
a tiny feather
a red rose
green slime
a long carrot

This is good for descriptive vocabulary and students can act out how they catch or throw these crazy things.

Getting to Know You Activities / "Do You Love Your Neighbor"
« on: October 13, 2009, 09:38:44 AM »
I've played this game with countless groups:

One person doesn't have a chair and is standing in the middle of a circle of students seated in chairs.  The person goes up to a student in a chair and asks,

"<<name of student in chair>>, do you love your neighbor?"

The student has two choices.  They can answer:

1) "Yes, especially those with <<description of certain physical characteristic>>"
     Then everyone with that physical characteristic gets up and has to find a new chair.  The person who was standing tries to find a seat.  The last person left standing has to start again.

2) "No." And the two people on either side of the student in the chair have to switch seats while the person standing up (who asked the question) has to try and get one of their seats.

Feedback--Teacher / Ulugbek Nurmukhamedov's Articles
« on: September 24, 2009, 10:22:19 AM »
I just read these two articles for a component meeting at the Intensive English Institute.  I found them really helpful.  Unfortunately, I deleted the pdfs before I saw this discussion forum, so I only have the citations:

Nurmukhamedov, Ulugbek. "Teacher Feeback on Writing: Considering the Options." Writing and Pedagogy.  University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  2009.

Nurmukhamedov, Ulugbek and Soo Hyon Kim. "Would you perhaps consider.: Hedged Comments in ESL Writing." ELT Journal Advance Access published 8-28-09

Harry Potter Lessons! / Adjectives and Descriptive Forms in Harry Potter
« on: September 10, 2009, 10:10:03 AM »
 :bluestar Our idea is to create a cloze activity that takes some adjectives out of the first two pages of HP the Sorcerer's Stone, and replace them with blanks to illustrate how description is important in a piece of writing.  Changing the adjectives can change the meaning.

 :bluestar Also, taking a look at how actions can be an alternative to adjectives:
e.g. Mrs. Dursley "had nearly twice the usual amount of neck, which came in very useful as she spent so much of her time craning over garden fences, spying on the neighbors." 
       This is a long, but creative way of saying Mrs. Dursley was a gossip.

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