Tools & Tips


The OPD 3rd edition (The Oxford Picture Dictionary) has arrived and with it, six sets of Open Educational Resources (aka Free!) that I can post here.  I hope you find them very useful. 


The CCR Skills Builder Handbook- This is a collection of strategies and tips for integrating College and Career Readiness Skills into Beginning and Low-Intermediate level English language instruction

Academic Vocabulary & OPD - This resource includes a chart that provides one or more academic words (from the AWL sublists one or two) for each of the 168 essential, high-frequency, workplace and academic topics in the OPD. Definitions and collocations are provided along with strategies for teaching academic words.

Graphic Organizers & OPD - This resource has a collection of graphic organizer templates, tips for using them and a table with suggestions for ways to use one or more graphic organizers with each of the topics in the OPD. (Topics that are universally taught in beginning and intermediate English langauge classes.)

Problem Solving & OPD - This collection of problem scenarios has problem solving worksheet templates and outlines the problem solving technique.

Teamwork & OPD - This resource provides sample team tasks and templates for team tasks as well as checklists, a role chart, and a teamwork rubric to help you and your learners manage teamwork tasks effectively.

Do-Say Charts & OPD - This collection of Do-Say charts provides the behavior and language associated with 18 soft skills, including managing time, making suggestions, and demonstrating a willingness to learn. Step-by-step instruction in using the Do-Say charts is include.

An Occupational Index to the OPD - This list of all the occupations depicted in the OPD (not only those with a word list entry) may be useful when working on career exploration.


In an effort to reduce the amount of paper used for handouts that may or may not have a life outside the workshop, I have been using Wiki spaces to collect materials and presentations associated with my most frequent workshop topics. The link to each of these is listed below. 

Communicate Cooperate Cope:  (Cooperative Learning in the Adult English Language Classroom)
Paving the Way: Infusing Career Awareness and Workplace Readiness in English Language Instruction
Mastering the Magic and Madness of Multilevel Instruction
Also, my colleagues Lori Howard and Sylvia Ramirez and I have a Wiki Space on TDQs (Text Dependent Questions)


Spinner for "Numbered Heads Together"  Wheel Decide (free)


This wheel with "spinner" sound effects creates a little suspense during activities where you want to call on a group or individual and helps create random selections of roles and responsibilities in a team.
E.g. Let's see...who will be the reporter for the group. (SPIN) Ah--okay #1s you're the reporter.

OR Let's see, what will the #3's do? (SPIN-comes up researcher) Okay! #3's you will be the team researcher!

...and you can change the colors, which is a feature that I typically obsess over.



TOPIC:   Formative Assessment, Feedback, Polling


The humble exit ticket packs a powerful punch. Learners write their lesson "take away," question, or comment on a sticky note (aka PostItTM) and put it on a classroom door or wall as they leave for break or at the end of class. After a week of workshops in Florida, I am taking away very specific information about  what participants in my workshops want to use in their own classrooms. This is much more useful to me than evaluation comments of "Loved the activities" or "Lots of good ideas" (which I still greatly appreciate!) An esteemed colleague of mine, Dave Coleman, uses a poster board divided into questions, comments, and concerns. This asks learners/participants to categorize their exit tickets, and shows the instructor/facilitator (at a glance) whether there are more questions than concerns, more concerns than comments, etc.

Learners can complete exit tickets that;

1) name a classmate who contributed to their learning

2) list the words from the lesson that they recall

3) complete the sentence: I can ______now.

4) complete the sentence: I want to learn more about__________.

5) indicate their interest in various roles, topics, tasks or projects.

TIP: LINK to Paired Reading Presentation Materials

TOPIC:        Strategic Reading, Cross Cultural Awareness
CONTEXT:   Secondary, Adult, Community College, IEP - Low Intermediate to Advanced *

  These are the materials from Lori Howard's and my CATESOL session on the Paired Reading technique.

  Click on the links below to download the materials from the session.

   Paired Reading Presentation 

   Paired Reading Handout and list of resources

   Short version of handout

   Reading A

   Reading B


   For additional paired readings and more in-depth materials see the Wiki at

*NOTE:  Beginners can participate in paired reading lessons, but the materials need to be level appropriate. The wiki link above offers some Beginning Level materials for paired reading, however the workshop materials above were geared towards intermediate learners.

TIP: LINK to Devens, MA CCRS Workshop Materials

TOPIC:         CCRS and Beginning Level ESOL [ Shifting and Lifting: Implementing CCR Standards in the Beginning Adult ESL Class/

                 Getting to the heart of the CCR Standards and Beginning Level ESOL]


TIP: LINK to 2014 CCAE State Session Materials for

Rigor & Reason from the Beginning:

Applying College and Career Readiness Standards to Beginning-Level ESL Instruction

TOPIC:        College and Career Readiness Standards, Task-Based Learning, Beginning Level ESOL
CONTEXT:   Adult, Community College


TIP: LINK to TESOL 2014 Vocabulary Session

Higher-Level Vocabulary Learning Strategies for Lower-Level Learners

TOPIC:        Vocabulary, Beginning Level ESOL
CONTEXT:   Secondary, Adult, Community College 

Higher-level vocabulary learning strategies for Lower-level learners


TOOL: Answer Cards

TOPIC:        Any
CONTEXT:   K-12, Adult, Multilevel Class, Beginners


Questions are one of our most important instructional tools. Whether we're asking questions to ascertain our learners' prior knowledge, check their comprehension of new content, or deepen their connection with the ideas in the lesson -- the questions we ask play a very important role in helping our learners achieve the lesson objective.  Sometimes, in a multilevel class--the more proficient or more verbal learners can dominate a question and answer session. By the same token, less proficient or less-confident learners may not be willing to risk a response. Answer cards to the rescue! By giving learners one or more sets of answer cards (see illustration at right) all learners can respond to your initial questions with less trepidation, and it is easier to manage the dominator(s) in the group.


Watch the 5-minute presentation below to see how answer cards can be used to build community, assess prior knowledge and needs, check learners’ comprehension and engage all learners.

AnswerCardsPres from Jayme Adelson-Goldstein on Vimeo.


TIP: LINKS to 2013 ACE of Florida sessions

The three sets of links below provide the presentations (ppts) and handouts (pdfs) for my three sessions at ACE of Florida's 2013 Conference: Changing Lives Through Adult Education.

Five Fun Ways to Focus on Form In the Multilevel Class

TOPIC:        Contextualized Grammar
CONTEXT:   Secondary, Adult, Community College, IEP - Low Beginning to Low Intermediate

5 Fun Ways to Focus on Form PowerPoint(TM)Link

5 Fun Ways to Focus on Form Handout Link

Rigor and Reason in the Adult ESOL Classroom

TOPIC:       Integration of College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards into ESOL instruction
CONTEXT:  Adult, Community College, IEP - Low Beginning to Advanced

RIgor and Reasoning in the Adult ESOL Class Powerpoint(TM) Presentation Link

RIgor and Reasoning in the Adult ESOL Class Link to Handout


Moving in the Write Direction

TOPIC:       Writing Process, Integrating CCR Writing Standards into ESOL instruction
CONTEXT:  Adult, Community College, IEP - Low Beginning to Advanced
Moving in the Write Direction PowerPoint (TM) Presentation Link
Moving in the Write Direction Handout LInk
TIP: LINK to SLIDE SHOW: Using a Picture Dictionary to Support Multilevel Instruction

TOPIC:        Multilevel Instruction, Picture Dictionary
CONTEXT:   Secondary, Adult, Community College, IEP - Low Beginning to Low Intermediate


TIP: LINK to TESOL 2013 Real Solutions to Virtual Challenges Presentation Materials

TOPIC:        Challenges and solutions for online education,  Blended Learning
CONTEXT:   Online Teacher Education

These are the materials from Radmila Popovic's and my TESOL session "Real Solutions to Virtual Challenges in Online Teacher Education. Click on the links below to download the materials from the session.

Real Solutions to Virtual Challenges PowerPoint (TM) presentation slides

• Real Solutions to Virtual Challenges Handout 





TIP: Using Picture Dictionaries for LEA activities


TOPIC:        Any
CONTEXT:   K-12, Adult, Multilevel Class, Beginners

Click here for this month's Oh! P.D.! offering.

Each Oh! P.D.! provides

- some theory in a nutshell;

- step-by-step instructions;

- a demo;

- and an application task for an ESOL instructional technique or teaching strategy that works well with the visuals in the Oxford Picture Dictionary program (or any other visual resource.) 

Can you spare 10-minutes for some self-directed professional development? I thought you could.


LINK: The Learning English Video Project


TOPIC:        Learner Goals, Cross Cultural Awareness

CONTEXT:   Adult, IEP, Intermediate, Multilevel Class english-video/ This set of seven videos showing English language learners in different countries is a real find! Each video can be played with or without subtitles and with or without a transcript. There are online vocabulary exercises (high-intermediate to advanced, B2-C3) and a terrific set of downloadable materials that can be easily adapted to use in beginning-high , B1 classes). Videos run between 13 and 18 minutes and can be “chunked” based on the different questions asked of the students. The videos are shot in seven countries: the U.K., Brazil, Spain, the U.S., China, Romania, and Morocco. Imagine the cross-cultural conversations and Venn Diagrams