(Reviewed Fall 2009)
Reviewer: Jerry Gagnon
Recommendation: Recommended, with reservations
Roger’s Tesol Page is “dedicated to English language teachers worldwide...who use the Internet when teaching,” according to the site’s homepage. Webmaster, Dr. Roger Thompson, Professor of Linguistics at the University of Florida, Gainesville, has created a handy online resource that combines chat rooms, steaming audio materials, and help lines, along with sections on jobs, teaching resources, online journals, distance education, and advice on creating homepages and learning sites. His personalized page, “Roger’s Place,” provides a glimpse into “Dr. T’s” home life – a congenial touch - while a complete resume lists his considerable qualifications in the field of TESOL and linguistics. Qualifications include his educational background at the University of Texas (Ph.D.) and Brigham Young University (M.A., B.A.), as well as experience teaching overseas in the Philippines. Additional pages provide listings of workshops and conferences in the Florida area, and information on the University’s English programs. This section was updated in June, 2009. I found no copyright notice.
My first encounter with the site was accidental. I found it while searching for articles on lesson plans, which led me to both the Internet TESL Journal and Roger’s Tesol Page. I was immediately struck by the organization of the site, which is very user-friendly, and the informal tone of the language. Other visits confirmed that the site is, indeed, most useful to teachers who are seeking to connect with CALL, especially busy teachers who appreciate imaginative and sound lesson plans that are readily available to print out. Among the interesting available links for teachers are the Tower of English, a guide to the Internet that indexes lesson topics by theme, and the Web Page for the Canadian Association of Second Language Teachers, which provides some interesting teacher materials geared to English and French teachers, although others will find some of the materials here useful, too. For instance there are MP3, video, and podcast language programs, as well as articles. Those with a French/English perspective may be interested in a recent article that discusses language-themed cartoons and how they can be applied to a language lesson.
I recommend this site with some reservations, the caveats being that it hasn’t been updated in over six months (Dr. T is on academic leave from 2009 – 2010), and that some of the job opportunities may require “caution”, per the posted advisory. (Prospective teachers may want to study some of the literature available on overseas teaching, which is conveniently listed in the jobs section.) In general, however, the expertise of the Webmaster and the connection the University of Florida make this site an especially credible resource.
Subject Headings: ESL teachers, CALL