By Susan L. Schwartz
"Nexus" is a journal that strives to present a
broad range of perspectives about training teachers of English to speakers of
other languages. In this issue, I am pleased to present three articles that
describe programs that address the needs of teachers of learners who span the
full range of the field of TESOL—from kindergartners to adults. Also included
is a review of a book that should be of interest to everyone who in the field,
regardless of their particular professional context.
Teaching kindergartners requires very different skills and
strategies from teaching adolescents or adult learners. Carol Goldfus and
Michele Horowitz describe their college course in Tel Aviv, Israel, that trains
future kindergarten teachers to use authentic literature, in the form of
"big books," to develop literacy skills in young learners. They offer
techniques to use with the books and stress the role phonemic awareness plays
in teaching learners who have not yet fully acquired their first language.
All public school K – 12 teachers in Massachusetts, USA, who
have English Language Learners (ELLs) in their classrooms are encouraged to
take a series of four courses designed to help them better meet the needs of
their ELL students. Jane Sigillo and Susan L. Schwartz explain the need for
such courses and describe how they are being implemented in the Methuen School
The Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL), based in
Washington, D.C. in the USA, is a clearinghouse for information and materials
dealing with all levels of English language learning. Kirsten Schaetzel and
Lynda Terrill explain how The Center for Adult English Language Acquisition
(CAELA), which is part of CAL, supports teachers of adult ELLs. CAELA provides
an extensive number of resources on its website that can be freely accessed by
teacher trainers around the world and the authors provide descriptions and
examples of each type of resource available.
Andrew Finch reviews Handbook of Research in Second Language
Teaching and Learning, edited by Eli Hinkel. At 1144 pages, this book offers
something for everyone, as it includes articles by well-known authors on a wide
variety of topics related to second language learning and teaching. As Finch
writes of this book, "[W]e will gain an authentic picture of the state
(past, present, and prospective) of ELT research and teaching."
On a completely different note, I would like to inform
readers that next year's issue of the journal will be the last one that is
published. With the 2007 issue, "Nexus" will have been published for
ten years and after a decade, it is time for me to move on to other endeavors.
I would like to make it a special issue, and so I invite submissions of
articles that deal with how teacher training has evolved and changed between
1998 and 2007, or generally from the mid-1990s to the present. Articles that
address best practices for training teachers in elementary, secondary, higher
ed, and professional contexts are also solicited. Articles and reviews
concerning any aspect of teacher education that deals with these themes are
welcome. The submission deadline is April 30, 2007; please see the submission
guidelines for further information.
In the meantime, enjoy the journal.