News and Updates

I am happy to announce the publication of a short reader book for middle and high school ESL beginners titled “Blake’s Secret.” It is a book designed for classroom teachers and students with pre-reading activities, during reading discussion and comprehension questions, and post-reading activities. It is molded with close reading strategies in mind and has space at the top and bottom of each page for annotations. In the trials, even mainstream students (ranging from 4th to 8th grade) with low literacy skills found this story very engaging. The text complexity is as follows:

Word count: 1700, Grade level: 6.3, Flesch-Kincaid level: 4.3, Gunning-Fog score: 7

There are other scores available, but for clarification, it is meant for readers where six grade level reading is appropriate. Each page has chunked reading passages with relevant vocabulary words, phrases and idiomatic expressions intended to create worthwhile, real-life discussions about issues prevalent in American culture, especially with regard to popularity and stigmas that threaten one’s sense of worth. The reviews from the trials are still coming in and most of the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, as students have expressed great interest in the characters, the elements of the story, and are already asking for the sequel.

For a copy of your own, please click here or go to amazon.com and search “Blake’s Secret” by JV Torres. Please submit your feedback and questions to iwanttolearnenglish3@gmail.com.

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@TESOL Int’l 2017, presenting to a full house (Standing room only).

My presentation on phonemic awareness and teaching phonics to adults at TESOL International’s 2017 Convention in Seattle, WA was well received by a packed room of people from all over the world. The session was recorded and will be made available online soon by a third party contracted by TESOL International. When that becomes available, I will post the link so others who could not make the session can access it. Also, the power point and rubric used for that session can be downloaded using the links below. Thanks to everyone who attended.

TESOL INTL 2017 TORRES

IWTLE Rubric

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Through some contacts I have with the AFT, the Huffington Post expressed interest in publishing my views on DACA based on a speech I gave in DC back in January. It is likely I will contribute more in the weeks to come. You can view the opinion piece here. Please share. Thanks!

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At Baltimore City Community College, their publication “BCCC Daily News” published a story on me and my textbook in spring 2016. Even though I saw the write-up, I didn’t actually have a copy of it until now. So I am posting it here for anyone interested in reading what BCCC had to say about the textbook and me.

bced-esl-adjunct-instructor-publishes-book-daily-news-bf-final-accept_5-2-16

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On January 14, 2017, I was asked to speak at the #HereToStay rally to mobilize an effort to protect immigrants and other minority groups from the threatening political climate of the incoming presidential administration. I am sharing my short speech in an effort to bring awareness of a movement to dismantle DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and the deportation of millions of immigrants in the United States.

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I presented at the Maryland TESOL Conference on November 12th, 2016 at Howard Community College. The Session titled “Phonemic Awareness and Literacy: Teaching Phonics to Adults” was an enormous success and it was standing room only in the room. Many instructors and others requested the power point presentation. For all those interested and could not attend the conference, feel free to download the power point and email any questions you may have.Thank you for your interest!

mdtesol_2016_Adult_Phonics

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A short video on how to get the IWTLE audio tracks on your smartphone or tablet is now online. Please check out the video.

 

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The term “teacherpreneur” has been circulating as of late, and one Patrice Palmer has been at the center of it. Patrice has taken an interest in “I Want To Learn English” and interviewed me for her teacherpreneur series. Click on here to read about this project and find out a little more about teacherpreneurs.