Episode Transcript
Ixchell Reyes
The DIESOL podcast,

Brent Warner
Digital Integration in English as a Second or Other Language,

Ixchell Reyes
Episode 39 Reading.

Brent Warner
Welcome to DIESOL. This is Episode 39. We are your hosts. I am Brent Warner.

Ixchell Reyes
And I’m Ixchell Reyes. Hey, Brent.

Brent Warner
Ixchell, how are you?

Ixchell Reyes
I’m pretty good. It’s actually kind of a relaxing weekend. We’re recording this on a weekend. But we’ve been busy.

Brent Warner
We have been busy. Yeah. There’s been quite a bit going on we we saw each other fairly recently because of drinks with DIESOL. And we were also kind of keeping up together online through the conferences. So CUE ended TESOL ended. What do you get out of all those?

Ixchell Reyes
Well, man, that was a busy week, I was trying to manage sessions on TESOL. And then making sure that I got to the CUE sessions. But I actually got a lot from the people who were tweeting. Yeah, people were were using the hashtag #TESOL2021. And, you know, sometimes I expected a lot more activity because we’re digital, and a lot more people could be online. So we we met a couple of people that actually joined us for drinks with DIESOL. So that was cool. That was pretty cool.

Brent Warner
Yeah, there was a great thing from Anna M. Bartosik. I hope I’m saying that right Bartosik @ambartosik and she did a really cool kind of round up, I guess she does research on like PD and Twitter and those types of things with TESOL, specifically. And so she said she’s going to be doing a blog post about it. I’m still disappointed in general to see low engagement through TESOL. CUE is huge CUE everybody was, you know, I mean, it tech people in particular. So there was lots of lots of engagement going on there. But, but I hope to see more from TESOL in the future. Because there’s just there were great conversations going on inside of there. But nobody was bringing it out or not a lot of people were bringing it out.

Ixchell Reyes
Right. And I think one it will, for me, one of the most exciting parts about conferences is getting to meet others from other areas, because that’s how you make connections to how you learn about, you know, just new strategies, or you get to grow, you know, so so I think I counted maybe about 15 regular regulars who were tweeting. And maybe I don’t know, if TESOL wasn’t talking, playing up the hashtag as much I know that there were some issues with the tech setup. So yeah, all in all, maybe next year.

Brent Warner
Still good sessions, a lot to look out a lot to understand. And the nice thing about these sessions, too, is like we can’t necessarily get to everything, but they do keep them up recorded for a while. So that’s a good part about the online conferences is like, Hey, I didn’t get to see this one. But I’m gonna go back later and check it out. I know not everybody does that or doesn’t make the time for it. But just having the option to go, Well, I’m gonna go grab two more over the next week or something like that. That is a great feature that I hope somehow they’re able to figure out in the future to like record sessions and keep them available for people as well. Because sometimes that makes a big difference. And lets us see things that we wanted to we always have the miss out the fear of the FOMO thing. And so the tech is there, and now it can make it happen. So, Ixchell, let’s jump over today we’re talking about reading. Alright, so let’s make the jump and then we’ll share a little bit about it.

Okay, so we put out a poll, we said, What do people want to hear about this time around, and the result was reading for this time. And so somehow, we’ve made it this far without really talking in depth about reading. I mean, we can’t really talk about teaching without talking about reading, but we haven’t really done any kind of deep dive into reading and I don’t know about you Ixchell, but maybe one of the reasons for me that I didn’t really get to it is because it’s intimidating. And there’s so many different aspects of reading to talk about. There’s so many places to go with it and like, where do we go? Where do we start? Like, how do we even approach it in a way that like, anybody who knows about reading is going to listen to us and go, you need to talk about this. You need to talk about that, right? It’s like, well, we’re gonna do our best here, but there’s

Ixchell Reyes
no, you’re right reading. Talking about reading is is intimidating, especially when it plays such a large part in what our students are doing overall. All right, it just everything. We know that good readers become better writers and maybe better thinkers and more organized in what, what their? What the tasks that they’re doing so, so let’s tackle this intimidating subject.

Brent Warner
Yeah, it’s a it’s a big question, you know, read read, I think that’s kind of one of the things that I like to tell my students and, you know, we’ll we’ll get into this. But uh, one of the articles that I found is called the reading comprehension strategies of second language learners by Karen Acosta. And I liked this article, it’s, it’s, it’s a little bit lengthy, but it was actually about native English speakers studying Spanish as their second language. And then it was talking about their, the strategies that they use in order to improve their comprehension. So just want to break down a little bit of how it was structured. So they went and did outloud reading strategies with low Middle and High proficiency readers. And so they had different people talking about it at different levels. And then as they were reading, they would talk through their situations. But there are a few points in here, you saw that I thought were particularly interesting. One is that they said regardless of the proficiency level, the readers in the study use bilingual strategies when reading the text. And I think that’s a big deal. Because we always, you know, hear like, okay, we’re just going to do only English, right? You’re not going to do any of your language, but they’re saying, you can’t really stop people from pulling in their Elwen when they’re reading. And so recognizing that if we’re using clever strategies, or if we’re trying to think through it, and as students understand that, then that will be a help, and it will be a boon to their learning. And the next thing they said, was they talked about searching for cognates. And translating, were the two bilingual strategies that were most commonly used by readers in all three groups. So Ixchell you know, you had your time, kind of working through your language learning, I’ve had my time working through my language learning. Do you feel like that kind of matches with your experience?

Ixchell Reyes
Oh, absolutely. It’s like, I mean, of course, this might depend on your native what what your native language is, but it’s like having another set of tools that you can deconstruct text, or try to figure things out on your own. So why would you discount that? Right? Why would you tell students No, you can’t use it, use it as much as you can. Now, of course, we don’t want to create a crutch for students, and always having to, for example, use a translator. But I think it’s an invaluable tool.

Brent Warner
Yeah. And I think the interesting thing about the cognates, too, you know, that we always kind of say, well, like, oh, because Spanish and English are similar or have like romance origins, or whatever it is, right? That makes it easier to understand that language than it does coming from a totally different language like Chinese for example. Right. And there’s a there’s definitely some real truth to that, because, you know, I’m just thinking of my experience studying Japanese. They have the wasa Aygo words, which are the the, you know, the foreign loan words that come in. And so, you know, there’s a word like computer in Japanese, which is computer right, spoken in Japanese. And it’s like, I would rely on those words to help me get through like my communication. And I was like, Okay, this is a word, even though it’s written in a different script, at least I know that this is probably an English word, and it would kind of let my brain absorb it and sink into the language in a different way. So I thought that was an interesting thing to point out. So two parts in here that I this is a long article, there’s a lot of stuff going on. But two parts that I thought were interesting one is the vocabulary development. And they talked about vocab being aided by extensive reading in the L two, because extensive reading offers learners exposure to new and old vocabulary. And then they point out that the process is gradual and may only become evident after a certain level of lt proficiency is achieved. But this is the most important part. To me, it was part that I that stood out, it said. Consequently, for less proficient language learners, graded or simplified texts with controlled vocabulary may be preferable to support decoding, but they would offer fewer opportunities to learn new vocabulary. So I thought that was like an interesting kind of like, well, you’re going to take it on one side, you’re going to lose a little bit on the other side, or you’re gonna you’re going to get it a little more on the other side, but you’re so it’s like, there’s no such thing as really perfect here, right with the vocabulary acquisition and it’s hard to get that that right zone where it’s like I know enough and I’m also learning enough at the same time.

Ixchell Reyes
We see that and and you know, for many of us who have studied other languages, or just when we take a look at English to English language textbooks where the vocabulary is controlled in a roleplay, or in the introduction to a topic, but and then, you know, they’re trying to offer more chances to learn more authentic vocabulary by giving, like a real world example. But of course, that makes it harder because the structures are a little bit different. They’re not as controlled. So yeah, it’s it’s a tricky balance between the two.

Brent Warner
Yeah. And then another part that I thought was interesting in there, they talked about this idea of like having, quote, cultural and social elements that are tied that are related to the language being tied into the reading. And it says, that might be a limitation to reading comprehension, because values, experiences, beliefs and concepts can vary across languages and cultures. And I always worry about this with my students. It’s like, okay, is this is this cultural thing that I’m talking about? Something that they have background knowledge in, right? And it says, different studies suggests that lt readers may benefit from working with culturally familiar texts, because reading comprehension is enhanced in children and adult readers when they read culturally familiar content. And so it’s, again, it’s one of those things where it’s like, well, learning the culture is also a part of learning the language, right? And so it’s like, I wouldn’t just want to read, you know, like, I wouldn’t want to just read American fairy tales in Japanese. Because I know that story in English, right. And so it’s familiar to me. But at the same time, I also understand that familiarity helps me to grab it and to understand what’s going on. And so I don’t, I can spend less time trying to make sure that I understand what the the overall content is, and maybe dig more into those words.

Ixchell Reyes
Right? So that’s where we, we have to scaffold and we get the difficult task of deciding when do we remove that familiarity with the text? And when do we start introducing pieces that that have that are more authentic, that teach more vocabulary or more the target culture that students also have to understand? Yeah,

Brent Warner
yeah, it’s, it’s tricky. And, you know, it’s always like a struggle when we’re choosing texts, or when we’re trying to figure out like, what what, for example, what novel to read, or whatever that is, it can be can be a bit of a, a, it can do you in a bit when you’re trying to do the best for your students. So it’s something to be aware of, but let’s switch over to an article. So this is great, it’s worth looking at. But I found an article here Ixchell called reading comprehension strategies for English language learners. And that is, it’s on the ascd website. So I thought it was a good place to start with kind of understanding these ideas. So I’ll share this article, you’ll share the next one. And then this one kind of talked about building background knowledge, teaching vocabulary explicitly, and also checking comprehension frequently as some of the important main approaches to helping with English language learning and reading comprehension. So you saw when you looked at this article, did any of these stand out to you?

Ixchell Reyes
Yeah, absolutely. I think definitely, you know, anytime you’re asking students to read something, it should be adding to their background knowledge, right? And then I know that sometimes teachers will say, Well, I don’t want to teach vocabulary explicitly. I don’t want to spend all this time on vocabulary, but sometimes, especially because it might be new vocabulary. You want to cut down on the time were spending, translating, etc. But some of those words, you have to teach them explicitly as you’re, you’re building their background knowledge, because students will get that and then in addition, you’re giving them it’s like, you know, the bolded words and an article that are, you know, defined on the side. And, of course, checking comprehension frequently. I think we all well, I assume you do it, right. But it’s up to you know, after we read a paragraph or talk about something, or, or, you know, we take pauses, and we say, all right, what, you know, try to dig and see how much did they really understand? Yeah, and just pausing and doing that model’s behavior for them to also do it for themselves, because oftentimes, they just want to, I finished reading I’ve done what it’s like, but you’re asking yourself, you know, questions after each set of or after a paragraph?

Brent Warner
Yeah, absolutely. And I think that practice of kind of regularly pausing there Can, can help because students might not recognize it for themselves and do that process where it’s like, I just read something. I don’t know a single word that I read, right? I got through three pages. And I realized I didn’t keep any of it inside of my head. So let’s just take, we’ll do this briefly here. But I do want to just kind of talk on a couple of the suggestions that they had here. So stepping to the first one, building background knowledge. You know, I think we most of us understand this idea that you should be drawing on students existing knowledge, right. But there are some good techniques for doing this are the ways that they kind of share in here, doing things like the virtual tour. And so if we go back to our old textbooks, we always know that the textbooks have been built like this, right? Like, let’s talk about the first big picture. That’s kind of the conceptual idea. What words do you know around that big idea? What words do your classwork classmates know? Right, and then everybody can share about that big picture, whether it’s like a picture of a, you know, like a beekeeper taking care of their bees, or whether it’s a picture of a, you know, a new skyscraper being built or something like that, right, we’re looking at all these pictures, and people have their own way of being able to describe and pull what they do already know about it. So that’s one thing that people can do. And then building out these outlines, again, like you’ve mentioned before, some of those bolded words, some of these words on the side, that might be and we’ll talk about this and vocabulary in a minute. But like, some of these sections might be easy to understand if we kind of skim and scan first as we go through some of these. So there’s a whole section in here, but but I do want to talk about vocabulary. Ixchell, you mentioned too, it’s like this vocabulary thing is like some of us, I was in the past, pretty guilty of like, Oh, you guys can just figure out the vocabulary on your own right, you’ve got a dictionary, go look in a dictionary. But that is a, you know, not the best strategy. And so I kind of had to retrain myself and go, well hold on a second, let’s let me be more thoughtful about this. And so I like this idea of having these pictures, like a picture dictionary available for students. And again, it depends on different levels, and you know, what level of your students are working with. But I do think that a quick picture can really help. You know, especially if it’s an easily concrete idea, and like, Oh, yeah, that’s what it is, I can understand it. And then I can move forward. Are there any vocabulary strategies that you use when you’re sharing with your students?

Ixchell Reyes
Well, we don’t do nowadays, at least when we used to be face to face, I would, you know, the words that were in bold are the target word, sometimes even the definition wasn’t necessarily helpful for them. So it was just, again, on my smartboard, search on Google show an image and there it is, they understand it, I don’t need to go talk about it, I don’t need to go look it up in the dictionary, they understand it. So the whole concept of using an image is so much more powerful than looking it up.

Brent Warner
Right? Yeah. I also do one. And maybe I don’t think we’ll talk about this one later. But I do like a frayer model, the box, you know, and there’s that vocabulary learning. So the words in the middle, and the students can write a definition, they can include a GIF inside of there, like a gift that kind of animates and shows what that is. They can create their own sentence in one box. And then they can say, the parts of speech in another box. So so they can kind of build their own like vocabulary deck on slide on Google Slides with, with the words that they’re going to be interacting with. And I think that that’s a pretty good strategy that students can start to learn with and start to play around with as well. But let’s jump into the last part here briefly, checking comprehension frequently. Yes, he said, you know, we kind of normally asked like, do you guys understand, right? I’m a little guilty, too, of the Yes, no question. Does everybody understand? Does that make sense? Right. And so I’ve been trying to share that question. Keep it to the open ended, which is, what are your questions? What do you still need to know? What are like? How can you use this in your own sentence? right shift, shifting that around, right? And I think it’s very easy for me just to be like, Oh, I need to move on to the next part, right. Yeah. And so yes, no question allows me to kind of keep timing pretty easily, but with an open ended question, then you never know where and how far that conversations gonna move. But I think it’s worth diving into that as well. And really making sure that your students are comfortable and ready to use that language.

Ixchell Reyes
Right. So finally, so how does this all work in with with technology, I found an article written by Amanda Murphy and this was an edtech magazine. She had, again a very broad view on here. That article is six ways. technology helps educators tackle low literacy rates. And of course, we know that strategies that work with our non language learners are gonna work with our language learners, right? They’re all good strategies. But basically, these are probably things that we we know, you and I know, Brett, but technology does help to simplify the process of, of students items to read, because now you can, you can keep track of what they’re reading, how much they’re reading, and what level of something they’re reading. So you can track student progress more easily. And then, of course, you can engage students with the text in many different ways. So just as we do it in the classroom, we can do it with technology, there are, one of the things we’re going to talk about later is word clouds or websites that we can use to target specific reading levels. And then finally, we all know, of course, if we’re using some kind of collaborative platform, students can collaborate, and they co construct ideas. So that’s actually pretty powerful, because they’re connecting to each other connecting to the reading. And then it’s a more authentic way to interact with text. And I know you do a lot, especially by even having your students reach out to authors on Twitter. And then the author responds and what a connection that is students are not going to ever forget that. So that’s a more global view of how technology helps. And we’re going to cover that some of the tools and ideas in the next section.

Brent Warner
So he show we got a review. Now this is actually it was a while a little bit older, I didn’t know that this review was there, because it’s from Australia, it’s from the iTunes in Australia.

Ixchell Reyes
Find it anything.

Brent Warner
Yeah, it doesn’t show up on normal iTunes, you have to go in and change the code, the country code. So we went in and looked like as Oh, you can go see different countries. And so we did find one from Australia. Now. I think we’re, I guess I’m just gonna say, hey, we’ll send the pin to all the way to Australia. If, if you’re listening, this is from Alex, etc, etc. So five stars and just said, comprehensive and enjoyable discussions about edtech for ESL, yeah, I love it. So short and sweet and to the point. But I’m glad that we have some people listening. I mean, we knew that there are people listening, overseas, and all of those types of things. But Alex, thank you for leaving us review. It’s the only one in Australia right now. But we’re very happy for any, any international listeners. And so thanks so much. And if you reach out to us, we will send you a DIESOL pin. Um, we still have our Patreon stuff going we got to be a little bit better about being more active with that. But dollar tier, thank you $3 tier, we’ll send you out some stickers and swag mailers and that type of stuff. And then the $6 tier. All that plus the qualifiers which we have not been good about, Ixchell we need to be better about jumping in and sharing some some things. So, so sorry, to the people who have been on the $6 tier, we are working at it, we’re just, you know, life is hard, we’re trying to add these things and add more value as much as we can. But we will certainly make it worth a while as soon as we can get to that.

Ixchell Reyes
Alright, so ideas and activities. Brent, you’ve got a really cool, really cool one to share that’s connected to one of the articles.

Brent Warner
Yeah, so um, one of the things in the, in the brisa article, the reading comprehension strategies for English language learners, was basically it was just talking about putting in pictures and using picture dictionaries and those types of things. And, and we know, for example, in the Immersive Reader, you can click on words, and it’ll bring up a picture for students. But what I was thinking about is doing this thing, I don’t know if it’s kind of like, influenced from my young childhood books, and maybe from Edu protocols as well and those different things but like a picture paragraph, and basically, all this is is a pretty straightforward paragraph written with big text, double spaced, and then what you can do is directly after your target vocabulary, you can use something like giffy, the GIF website and you can insert photos after the array immediately after the keywords that you want to highlight. And so what I did, I wrote a short paragraph and it just says, this paragraph will help us understand how pictures can support our vocabulary learning if we insert pictures next to the words we want students to learn, they can quickly understand and it goes on a little bit from there, but after the word paragraph I put in an icon that looks like a paragraph. Afterward the word pictures I put in a gift that is a stack of like Polaroid type pictures. With support, it’s a guy like lifting, doing a heavy lift of weights. So supporting, lifting up with insert, there’s a GIF of a picture of, you know, putting a tape into a car deck or cassette tape into a good old cars, something like that. So basically, they’re just simple gifts or pictures that help you understand what that particular word means. And this is something you could provide to your students. So really easily because it’s built out inside of a Google Doc, you can share it out, you can prepare the text ahead of time, especially for like lower level learners who are just getting started. And then as the students start to get used to it, then what they can do is start building their own right, where you are just highlighting the words and you’re saying, Go find a picture that matches this meaning, and then they can show you their understanding of those words through pictures as well. So it’s simple, it’s pretty straightforward. But if you want to go look at it, it’s right there on on the page for the show notes here. So DIESOL.org slash 39. And you can go make a copy for yourself, and then you can use it maybe as an inspiration to build something out for your students.

Ixchell Reyes
Yeah, that’s, it’s pretty cool. I took a look at your sample. And it’s pretty cool. So I wanted to share something that’s kind of new for me, it’s it’s a Chrome extension, it’s called who’s reading, it’s w h, o three O’s. And so what that does is you installed the extension, and then you’ve got different, you pick an article. And you can actually assign it to your students. And it’ll track how much of that article they’ve read when they’ve read. It also comes with a specific, like, if you are working with a specific set of standards, and you’re targeting those standards, you can choose your state and see what standards, whatever text meets those standards. Yeah, and it’s got several questions that you can choose from, or you can add your own questions to whatever texts students are reading. Now, the basic free version is good enough for a teacher to try out. I think at the most you’re allowed 35 students per class. And I hope that a language learning classroom does not have that many students. But yeah, I know so. So that’s kind of a cool thing that I found. So that’s who’s reading. And that’s, again, to track their progress and see what they’re reading.

Brent Warner
Cool. So another one that I was thinking about, in reading some of these articles, they talked about the the classic activity of cutting your paper into strips, right and like, and then having students read and rearrange the order of the strips to get it in order, I’m sure we’ve all done that activity. That always takes me a long time, like getting it on paper, and then cutting into strips and putting it around the room. And like, you know, don’t get lost. And you know what all those types of things. And then I am always like, this is so nerdy, but like, I’m always worried about like, Are my scissor cuts so obvious that they can. So what I do is like, I’ll do like five or six at a time. And then I’ll mix them up so that the cuts on the bottom or with the cuts on the top at the end. And I know that’s too much, but I do it. So there’s a solution to do it on digitally, which is everything’s the same size and the perfect square, so it doesn’t matter. But one way that you could do this is with Poll Everywhere. There’s that ranking function, you Ixchell have you ever seen that where the students can like, move things up and down where they think that the top thing is, the bottom thing is that normally it’s supposed to be like voting like I vote for this is the most important, this is the next most important thing. But you could do that with like bits of text, right and have have it in in the poll Poll Everywhere. And then the students could move that up and down. And all of them could do and what you could do is you could display that on the board. And you could see the if the class decision all together, is coming into order or not coming into order. So you don’t even have to look at every one student’s choices. You could look at the whole decision. And then you could talk about that by displaying it either on zoom or if you’re back in the classroom, you can put it up on the board and you can look at like, Hey, what’s our overall ranking of these? And I thought that might be kind of a fun way to play with that same, that same idea, but kind of modernize it and make it a little bit of a an entire decision from everybody. And it does really promote that comprehension. Like why does this line move naturally into the next line and all of those types of things and then all you have to do is cut and paste right into Poll Everywhere. So that might be a good solution for that.

Ixchell Reyes
That’s pretty cool. I never thought of using it that way.

Brent Warner
Yeah, I – I didn’t either until I cuz I used it for a different activity. And I’m like, Oh, you could just you know, you don’t have to be ranking wants on there, right? You could be ranking like ideas. And, and conceptually, this is how people understand it. So it’s a it’s not the intended use, I don’t think but it’s certainly a way that you can use it.

Ixchell Reyes
So the next tool I’d like to share is something that I think many of us have heard while I’m assuming I hadn’t used it before. But this is breaking news, English. Yeah, I, I found that from through the TESOL. blog, of course. And it’s what I was surprised to learn even though it still looks like the kind of an old school type, not super fancy website, but it’s got articles, from recent news events, for example, recent, we’d saw that the Suez Canal was blocked recently. And so they had an article there that students could read. And they could read it in two different difficulty levels of reading. And then also you could they had comprehension questions, gap fills and your typical reading comprehension exercises already there. So now, of course, I wouldn’t send out a student to go use it, what I probably might do is take some of those ideas, and now spice them up a little bit. So the work is kind of done for you, the content is there, and you just got to transfer it to like a Google slide or a Kahoot quiz or something like that.

Brent Warner
Yeah. I used to use breaking news english all the time. Because, you know, it’s modern content. There’s tons of activities built into it. But yes, in the I mean, it’s great that it’s, I was surprised when you share this on my go. Breaking News. Like I haven’t used that for quite a while and still definitely updated. But But you’re right, the website itself doesn’t look like it’s been updated for, you know, the, it’s, it’s just a very old fashioned kind of web 1.0 style, layout, but good, good content, tons of stuff in there to work with. I also just wanted to add in Newsela, too, since we’re talking about news, breaking news, English is great news, Ella, we’ve talked about it quite a few times. You know, that’s the different levels of reading, and students can sign themselves up for their own free accounts on Newsela. So you know, that paid version, of course, all the extra goodies and things like that the the dashboard for the teachers, but if you’re just trying to get your students to read, I love Newsela, because of those tiered readings and being able to say, Hey, what’s the level that you’re comfortable with? read that and then challenge yourself to move up to the next level and push yourself. And so this is kind of responding to one of those issues, which is like, well, do I choose based on, you know, the the language that I have or the language that I want to have? And I like the idea that you can say, well, you can do both, right, you can start with what you know, really build that background knowledge on one reading of it, and then push yourself forward, one level up on any topic that you’re interested in.

Ixchell Reyes
Right, so another strategy that was mentioned in almost all of the articles that we shared earlier was word study and taking a look at words and relationships and the words that pop up commonly on a text. So I don’t think that Wordle is still working out there. I know that some of us have heard of Wardle, yeah. But I did find something called ordered out. And there are word clouds in there. Of course, if you do a basic search for create a word cloud, you’re probably going to find several but word it out, I believe was also in the in one of the articles. So you take a piece of text, you run it through their through their word, cloud, whatever it is. And and then you get to see what words pop up more often, maybe what verbs and then you can start talking have students talking about the relationship among those words?

Brent Warner
Yeah, and so it’s kind of a an easy entry into that, right, where it’s like, oh, here are the words that are going to be showing up quite a few times. And that helps students know where to focus a bit, too. So last one, for me is Ri sumur. That’s our e s o m, er. A lot of people have issues with this. Basically, what it does is it kind of simplifies the text. But I think to me, that’s like no different than really the Newsela except students can choose whatever text they want. So they can put in the URL or they can go cut and paste their information into it. And then it will simplify it using AI formulas or whatever it is that they do. And then there’s also like a whole, like a paraphrased version or a summarized version of it. And so again, I can see where there are certainly teachers that have issues with that and they go Wait a second, this is just going to students are just going to run their text through this in order to do a book Important say that they read it right. But, you know, if we step past that side of things, the cheating things side of things, and then we move into the learning side of things. This is a great tool that students can use in order to understand more complicated readings and simplify what they’re looking at. So that’s a resume. There are lots and lots of tools out there for reading. And like we said, we cannot possibly cover everything about reading, and even even all of the aspects, so many different aspects of it. But if you have areas of reading that you’re interested in, as you’re listening, and you’re saying, hey, this tool works, and this is something that needs to be explained more, please feel free to drop into the show notes and leave us a message because we would love to hear and kind of maybe use some of those ideas for a future deep dive. So that’s DIESOL.org slash three, nine.

Ixchell Reyes
All right, it is time for our fun finds. And today I have cosmetic fun, fine. I found peach and Lily vitamin C. It’s like an oil, it’s an oil. And it helps to get rid of sunspots. I know that you’re very worried about sunspots, Brent. But it’s actually they’re, they’re mostly women will probably be familiar with these oils. The problem is that most vitamin C oils are very, they make your skin irritated and dry up or it’s just it’s too harsh on the skin. But the peach and Lily version is very, very gentle. And it’s for sensitive skin. So that’s why I chose this and it’s kind of pricey. So

Brent Warner
Is Peach & Lily a brand or is it a…

Ixchell Reyes
Yeah, Peach & Lily is a brand.

Brent Warner
Okay, I know I always asked dumb questions about these things. But I’m assuming that you’re talking about this oil. It’s a topical, like you put it directly on your skin. It’s not something that you consume, right?

Ixchell Reyes
You – Yeah, you wash your face and you put it on as a moisturizer. And it’s very, it’s also not very greasy and it doesn’t sting. So it’s it’s a good to good deal.

Brent Warner
All right, Peach and Lily. Okay, so mine is a couple of YouTube channels are fairly popular so people might know them. But Jim browning and Mark Rober. And they’re kind of working together on a couple of episodes. Basically, what Jim browning does is he deals with call center scammers and so he kind of reverse engineers, the, you know, these like Indian call centers, or wherever these call centers are coming from trying to trick people out of their money. And then he tracks them down. And he actually he hacks into their computers and you can see them working. And while he’s talking to them, and they’re trying to convince them to give them money. And he’s a very dry kind of British guy. So it’s it’s it’s outstanding. But then what he did is he teamed up with Mark Rober and Mark Rober is, you know, he does all sorts of different science experiments or whatever, but he does. He does the glitter bombs, where people steal the packages from the front porch, and he seen these the show. So they I think they steal these packages, you know, the Amazon packages from the front porch. And then when they open it basically a glitter bomb explodes inside of their house or their car. But then then he has it sprays fart spray on them all over the place. And it has a video going all at the same time. So people are just like what is going on here, right? And then, but basically, they’re working together not like I think it’s just a couple episodes or series. But if you go and look up their work, there’s just some really fun and actually very informative episodes about like, how intense and how, thought out some of these scams are and then like kind of the pranks that they play in reverse on these people because they you know, some of these people are really taking advantage of people who need their money, of course, but it’s very clever. It’s it’s kind of satisfying in a certain way. Well, I mean, it’s really about getting these scans getting these guys back, right. It’s a little it’s a little bit of like digital justice I guess but which I am all about. But yeah, so anyways, that’s my fun finds Jim browning Mark Rober links in the show notes.

Ixchell Reyes
All right, well, we are now on caulipower. You can find us through our website DIESOL.org slash slash clubhouse or if you do a search for DIESOL on the app is d i e s o l, you’ll find us as well. It is currently only available on iOS devices but hopefully coming to Android soon. So we’re actually gonna have a conversation on on Monday. So check us out.

Brent Warner
Well, let’s talk about that for a second. Because so one I found out today, but if you use GitHub, there is a way so if you’re, if you’re more tech inclined, and if you have an Android, there is a way still to get in. not officially, but you can still do it. But you know, we thought it’d be kind of fun. We’re gonna try this out. I think Ixchell, can we commit to a month of trying this out at first so April, the month of April, we’ll, we’ll try the Mondays. Try the Monday. So 30 minutes short. So this was your fun, find. So you love the clubhouse. And I’ve been listening in I’ve been getting better at it. But but short 30 minute sessions just about sharing tech tools, it could be anything that to help your students, five, Pacific, eight, Eastern, right on Mondays, at least through April, we’ll we’ll try it for a few weeks. He shows like, Oh, I’m gonna have to cope with those times. But But the idea is that if we can get a handful of people in share some ideas, we can talk about it. And it’s it’s low stakes. So if you’re interested, please come check it out. And we would be happy to hear your voice there as well.

Ixchell Reyes
So thank you so much for listening to the show. You could win a one of a kind DIESOL pen by leaving us a review on Apple podcasts. And if you’re doing it any other way. Be sure to tag us on social media so we can get that pen out to you.

Brent Warner
Yes, for show notes and other episodes. Please check out DIESOL.org slash three nine or you can always listen to us on voiceEd Canada that’s voiced.ca. You can find us on Twitter. The show is at @DIESOLpod and I am at @BrentGWarner.

Ixchell Reyes
I’m Ixchell at i x y underscore P I X Y, that’s Ixy underscore Pixy.

In Hmong Thank you is Ua Tsaug, Ua Tsaug for tuning in to the DIESOL podcast. Thanks, everybody.

While reading is a huge topic with too many areas to give justice in just 40 minutes, Brent & Ixchell take a first swing at it here. A look at a little bit of research on L2 reading strategies, along with some articles that give some structural advice, and then some thoughts on how to integrate tech and reading. 

The Research

The Resources

The Picture Paragraph

Brent shared the idea of creating a “Picture Paragraph” where teachers can build visual supplements right into readings in Google Docs. As students become more comfortable with the idea, they can work to build their own:

An example of the Picture Paragraph

You can make your own copy of Brent’s sample Picture Paragraph below

Fun Finds

Join our Clubhouse

We’re on Clubhouse! To test the waters, we’re doing 30 minute rooms on Mondays at 5 pm. Share your tech tools and what’s working for you with your ELLs, or just listen in!

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