IPA Pronunciation Websites – Free Audio

Learning Materials for EFL 537 Presentation

This is an overview of the Lesson Plan and associated links from the presentation titled; “Using Technology to Teach Reading and Writing to ELL / SPED Students.”

LESSON PLAN – Part 2 – Writing

  • Interactive vocabulary review with word blocks and video .   


  • Review Frosty story and take Quiz

Frostylyrics and video: http://www.links2love.com/christmas_songs_frosty_snowman.htm

Frosty Quiz:                                                    http://www.proprofs.com/quiz-school/quizview.php?title=snowman-quiz

  •  Discussion of graphic organizers for students to use in writing


  • Group write – Students work in small groups to write continuation of Frosty story on Google Docs. Each group will contribute at least one paragraph.  Students will utilize Text-to-Speech program to read story.

Example of group writing on Google Docs:  http://docs.google.com/Doc?docid=dfxv7z5z_18f8g6zdg8&hl=en

Jing on how to use Text-to-Voice software: http://efl537.com/blog/text-voice-jing-gabi  

  •  Class sharing
  •  Homework – Using Google Docs at home, students will write individual continuation stories with all students contributing one sentence at a time.

Teaching Reading and Writing to Students with Learning Disabilities – An EFL 537 Presentation

This is a PowerPoint presentation of a project completed for EFL 537 – Computer Assisted Language learning. The presentation involves using multi-sensory tools and techniques to teach a multi-session reading and writing lesson about Frosty the Snowman to ELL / SPED elementary level students.

EFL 537 Content Production Plan Presentation

As part of the CALL course I’m currently enrolled in, we create a presentation in which we develop a computer based learning lesson and teach teachers (our classmates) how to teach it to their students. One of my peers and I have teamed up to work on our presentation of teaching reading and writing to ELL students with Learning Disabilities.  I was having a difficult time finding information on this topic developed for ELL / SPED students, so decided to focus on the SPED part and then modify it as needed to meet the needs of the ELL students.  Following is the outline for my part of the project:

Gabi’s Content Production Plan Outline
Jean and I are working on this CPP together and plan to present an intructional unity on using technology to teach reading and writing to students with learning disability. We will begin be providing a brief overview of reading and writing process. The instructional unit will include a short PowerPoint presentation posted on Slideshare and examples of teaching technology using Jing, Audicity and other online resources. The class will participate in the practice demonstrations that will be used for intermediate ESL special Ed students.

Resources for Review
• Teaching Expressive Writing to Students with Learning Disabilities
   By: Gersten Russell, Scott Baker, and Lana Edwards (1999)

• Using Assistive Technology to Support Writing
   By: Center for Implementing Technology in Education (2006)

• Assistive Technology Tools: Writing; Find out how to select assistive technology tools that                       address your child’s specific writing difficulties.
  By Kristin Stanberry and Marshall Raskind, Ph.D.

Related Resources

Misunderstood Minds – Writing —  This is an interesting site that is based on a special PBS series.  The writing section is split into 3 parts.  The first is Basics.  This section discusses what the steps in learning to write are and gives activities for the reader to try that actually simulate what it feels like to have a disability in a particular area.  The second section is Difficulties, or what can affect writing skills.  The third section is Responses, which talks about strategies that are helpful for writers with disabilites in certain areas.


Teaching Expressive Writing to Students with Learning Disabilities – This article provides clear, easy to understand steps in teaching students how to organize their ideas and write them down.



Computer based EFL Materials

Teaching Environment: web based learning in the classroom

Target Learners: Intermediate ESL Special ED students – upper elementary level

Learning Objectives: SWBAT read the story individually by using the web.
SWBAT write a short story related to the reading.

Lesson Overview: A one hour webcast lesson involving vocabulary, reading aloud, and writing.
Step-By-Step Procedures:

Part 2: Writing Portion of Lesson:
1. Students will review vocabulary from Reading section of lesson utilizing a Hot Potatoes (or other similar quiz constructor) quiz.
2. Students will use letter blocks to spell out each vocabulary word one at a time and then check with model video.
3. Students will read and listen to a model of a story prediction based on the video from the reading section of the lesson using a Text-to-Voice program.
4. Students will write a story prediction based on the video, listen to it using the Text-to-Voice program and then record themselves reading their own story using Audacity.

Assessment: SWB assessed based on their Audacity read aloud.
SWB assessed based on their writing sample.

EFL537 Mid-term Quiz

EFL537 Mid-term quiz. This is a Slideshare we had to embed into our blog.

Resource Review – ELL / SPED Teaching Strategies

During my research for my first Resource Review for my CALL class, I found the website for the “National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition and Language Instruction Educational Programs.”  http://www.ncela.gwu.edu/  This is an interesting website in that it provides a number of different resources related to English Language earners such as statistics, research, policies and practices and several other sections. 
Under “Selected Resources” for Students with Learning Disabilities, there were a few articles related to ELLs and Special Education, however the most recent was from 2004.  This was the one I chose to review for this assignment. “Educator Perceptions of Instructional Strategies for Standards-based Education

of English Language Learners with Disabilities”  (http://cehd.umn.edu/nceo/OnlinePubs/ELLsDisRpt7.pdf)  looks at Instructional Strategies that are preferred by Educators, how often those strategies are used and with what population.  The study was conducted by a group of researchers/ staff at the National Center on Educational Outcomes in 2004. 

The authors cited a 2003 report by Zehler, et. al.  showing that nationwide, “schools in 2001-2002 estimated that the number of students with limited English skills as well as disabilities was approximately 357,325. This statistic indicates the estimated percentage of these students to be around 9.2 percent of all students with limited English proficiency.”  This number is probably under-represented because of the lack of appropriate assessment tools for these students.  

The study participants were comprised of 42 Minnesota teachers; 40.5% ESL, 35% General Ed and 23% SPED.  It was interesting that of this group of teachers, with the highest percentage being ESL teachers, it was reported that the majority of their students were ELL students with disabilities.

The authors surveyed the participants to find out their preferred strategies for teaching Reading, Math and Science, compared the teacher preferences to research based strategies and then looked at what strategies were actually used in the classroom.  Some interesting findings were revealed here.  Although the teachers ranked hands-on, tactile and experience based learning high on their preferred strategies lists, these strategies were at the bottom, if listed at all, on the list of strategies actually used in teaching.  Computer based learning did not make it onto the lists at all.

The authors make the following conclusion; “It may be that future strategy research using experimental methods will not only help teachers choose the best strategies to fit the population of students in their classrooms, but also to fine tune the implementation of strategies that will work best for students with limited English proficiency, disabilities, or both.”  This is the “meat” of my teaching philosophy.  We, as teachers, need to think outside the box when looking into strategies to best meet the needs of our changing student population.  From this report, it seems teachers sometimes have forward thinking ideas, but seem to fall back on the “old standards.”  Given the state of our education system and the lack of attention the ELL / SPED population is receiving, it would appear that the “old standards” no longer meet the needs of many students.  There is progressive research on new strategies for working with ELL and SPED students out there.  Sometimes, it is just a matter of being creative and putting a little more energy into planning.  My hope is that new teachers who are learning these techniques will infuse the school system with them as they begin their teaching careers.  We all need to work together to cut open the box and expand our horizons.

ESL /SPED Educators Society

Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to brave the Lost World of ESL/SPED education and find the secret members of the underground grassroots ESL /SPED Educators Society.

I’m a Master’s level student working toward my 3rd, or 4th (or maybe 5th) career direction.  This time focusing on ESL education with an emphasis on Special Education, one of my life-long passions.


I know there are others like me in the underground ESL / SPED Society but where you are I have no clue.  I have found  links to sites on how to evaluate and assess ESL students for SPED, links on how to teach ESL / SPED students, links to resources to use in teaching…

Few of these links actually point me toward the new, out-of-the-box ideas and techniques I’m aching to find.  I would  love to find other like-minded, alternative education loving, ESL / SPED Education Society members to brainstorm, chat and share ideas with.

I keep hearing from professors and peers that ESL / SPED is an up and coming field.  I’ve seen programs on-line at colleges around the country.  We need to make our voices heard, become advocates for the ESL / SPED community and create a NEW way to address the needs of this population.

Accept the challenge!   ESL / SPED Educators Unite!