BA Podcast 002 – EmpoweringELLs with Tan Huynh

Welcome to Episode 2 of the Boosting Achievement, ESL Podcast!  This week, it is my honor to host my first guest, Tan Huynh. You can listen to the show right here: BA Podcast 002

Tan Huynh’s resource center is amazing! Check it out here:

You’ll be blown away by his articles. He not only shares great ideas about teaching ELLs, he shares his experiences with students and his infographics model how we should all be teaching. 

In the podcast, Tan and I battle who is interviewing whom! But we love it because you get a peek into how people on opposite sides of the globe can collaborate to produce a book, a virtual conference or a podcast like this.  Tan is teaching EAL (English as an additional language) in Laos. 

Some of the links we mention are below:

“Twitter is a river of ideas.” – Derek Rhodenizer

Using Tech with ELLs training contact Kathy Ballenger of Seidlitz Education

Tan brings up “Roving Paragraph Frames” (great post here on it here by Kirsten Foti)

We talk about how the Roving Paragraph Frames strategy…

  • scaffolds with frames
  • supports writing in all content areas
  • honors the ELL & their voice
  • allows them to use social & academic language
  • Supports all language levels and everyone is writing & reflecting

Maybe use this strategy after teaching with Kahoot! Here is a Blind Kahoot on Mitosis  by Stephanie Castle. That Kahoot is a great example of how to teach with Kahoot vs. just reviewing with it!  More on Kahoot for ESL here. 

We mention Alan November  Stephen Krashen & Larry Ferlazzo


#ELs_CAN (Thanks, Carlota Holder for the great hashtag!)

5 Keys for Using Tech with ELLs:

We give a shout out for the online book study group:  #ELLchat_BkClub (founded by Tan & Dr. Katie Toppel)

ELL Frontiers is a great book on Tech for ELLs

No More Low Expectations By Julie NoraJana Echevarria is our current #Ellchat_BkClub book.

#OnEdMentors – Teacher Mentors & Teacher Candidates Listen to VoicEdRadio every Thursday Night.

Tan & I put on an online free conference. The VirtuEL free Online Conference:

Blog Post of the Week!

For  continued learning, this week I tweeted this:

Tan also wanted you to know about another post by Jennifer:

When We All Teach Text Structures, Everyone Wins

The New Kahoot App – You’ve been Challenged!

It’s here!  The Kahoot mobile app is now available to everyone and it is THE BOMB!

Just download the new app (just like any other app) and start challenging your students to your Kahoots for homework, during class or any time of day. They can even challenge each other and find other content games to play.

I want to go on the record of saying that I LOVE the app  for English Learners. I had to do NOTHING extra. You guys know that I am all about practical.  What is more practical than doing nothing extra? You just have the kiddos download the app and you select “Challenge” and the Kahoot you would use in class is now able to be played by your students on their own.  On the go!


To try it out, just download the app yourself and then go to your Kahoot dashboard. Select “Challege” when you would normally launch a game. You’ll select the timeframe for it to be completed and then you’ll get a PIN to give to students. I would suggest that you pretend you are a student and plug it into your new app.  That’s it. You’ll see that your Kahoot has been chunked into 3 question challenges.  It’s shockingly easy to use.

Here is the link so you can read more about this on Kahoot’s site.   In typical Kahoot awesomeness, they have created a Kahoot to learn more about the app.  That would be fun to play with your faculty and you’ll walk away a hero!

I have lots of other Kahoot resources if you teach ELLs.  I’m reprinting some of that information below.   But there is a reason that this platform is used in almost every country in the world. It’s great for all learners.

Thanks for playing!

Happy Kahoot’ing!!



Why did I include two pages of Kahoot in my Boosting Achievement book?  Read on.  I should have included more! I have had so many more experiences with the platform!

I have had many roles in my career as an educator but I can honestly say that being a Kahoot Ambassador, is a true highlight.

Kahoot is engaging. There is no doubt about that.  Last year, there were only 6 countries in the world that did not play a Kahoot.  If it is that popular, we owe it to our learners to capitalize on student engagement.  Here are just a few of the uses and benefits I have discovered. You’ll find examples of all of these in different blogposts on this site:

  • Accelerates Academic Language Acquisition with Visuals and Opportunities to Spiral Vocabulary
  • Accelerates Basic Second Language Acquisition with Opportunities to Practice and Internalize Language Structures
  • Supports Authentic Language Production about Content
  • Promotes Higher Order Thinking by Allowing Students to Create Content Assessments
  • Provides Templates/Scaffolds so That ANY Student is Able to Create Assessments
  • Helps us Easily Break Down Classroom Walls to Play Connected Kahoots with Others
  • Facilitates Global Collaboration Among Students in Creating Quizzes
  • Facilitates Global Collaboration Among Educators
  • Provides a Practical Way for Educators to be Culturally Responsive in our Teaching.
  • and so much more!

I have many blog posts with examples of the above if you search in the menu tabs, but where can you start? I start on the first day of school with a Teacher #SelfieKahoot.

After that, I pass out the planning templates that are provided by Kahoot. Each student tells one thing about themselves and the positive classroom culture begins to take shape.

But don’t stop there, once your students create assessments about themselves, they are ready to make assessments about your content.

We used the planning templates to outline a research project, to have students create reviews for state assessments, to quiz other classes.. the content and language possibilities are endless.  When students create assessments, they are working at the highest cognitive levels. And with Kahoot, they want to!

My area of specialization is Non-English Speakers with Minimal Education.  With the help of Kahoot, I am able to capitalize on engagement and help students propel their language and learning. But what I am doing works for ALL kids. Check out this blog post on how to use Kahoot for ESL/Non-English speakers. It comes with a 30 min video you could use for PD. You’ll see that the teaching strategies would be helpful to most learners as we all need visuals and opportunities to practice the academic language.

You might also be interested in this blog post on how to create a Holidays Traditions Kahoot (any time of year) that will easily break down the walls of your classroom and facilitate global thinking.

By exploring the menu tab,  you’ll find many more posts on how the tool is helping me propel the learning of ESL and non-ESL students alike.  And it can help teachers learn as well!  We want awesome learning too!  My strong recommendation is that administrators and specialists use Kahoot in faculty meetings and during PD sessions.  You are modeling a classroom tool and your participants will be engaged!

Do you know about JUMBLE? It is a great Kahoot offering that will have your students ordering/sequencing things like words, events, dates.  This post from my talk at SXSW  has better explanation and a link to a practice Jumble I made. So many content areas can use this feature and it is great for ESL!

AND THE BIG NEWS right now is that Kahoot is about to launched a mobile app this month!  Teachers at ISTE were thrilled to see the demo because it will allow us to easily push challenges out to our students for homework or at any time.

So please do look around the site for more examples. Or reach out to me at or on Twitter at @MsSalvaC. I am happy to shoot you a link with examples of the uses I’ve mentioned aboove.

Lastly, I would refer you to the Kahoot Blog.  You’ll find three articles there that I have written about how to  use the platform with ESL students in different, high-impact ways.  Those articles can be found here.

If you have not used Kahoot, just start quizzing with it.  Then you’ll see how easy it is! All these ideas will start making a lot more sense and you can reach out to me or the Kahoot K!rew for support.  They have never failed me.

Hope this is helpful.

Happy Kahooting!


BA Podcast 001 – Challenging Our Beliefs

Hello ESL Family!

I’m incredibly honored to join the amazing folks at VoicEdRadio!  I will be hosting a new podcast for ESL professionals.  Introducing  “Boosting Achievement. The ESL Podcast”

Listen Here!

Here is what you will hear in Episode #1

Welcome to the Boosting Achievement ESL Podcast. I’m your host, Carol Salva from Houston, Texas.  In this podcast, I’ll be chronicling my journey of learning as I attempt to discover the best ways to support language learners… and the teachers who teach them.  

My credentials

What’s my philosophy on ESL?  First, I realize that “English as a Second Language” is outdated so I will use EAL (English as an Added Language) but this term is still what will help us reach more teachers in searches, especially new teachers who are looking for support.

My philosophy for helping students acquire English is to figure out and focus on the strategies that give you the biggest bang for your buck.  I like to imagine the Pareto Principal applies to teaching. We probably get 80% of our gains by 20% of our effort.  We will be looking for those most impactful strategies!

Philosophy on Podcasting- get out there & investigate + reflect.

Alan November & BLC Conference

What a typical show will be like.  Modeling my frequency after podcaster: Derek Rhodenizer


BOOSTING ACHIEVEMENT, THE ESL PODCAST will be a mix of my solo ramblings, guests (consultants, teachers & students).

Big Idea for This Week: Challenging Our Beliefs

Especially during Back to School Season.  Don’t lower your expectations just because so many students are struggling to understand you right now.  Collaborate with like-minded professionals.

Misstep this week:  I should have allowed even more student talk. I shouldn’t talk so much just because most of the class is not fluent in English.  Beginning of the year requires even more turn & talk so students have a chance to process.

One big win! Turning the Social Contract into a Kahoot for language practice. Then getting up and switching partners several times to practice the speaking like this.


Also Great this Week:

Special THANKS to Rola Tibishini at All Saints Catholic High School students for the amazing padlet you created for us!  See it here:


Highlight Tweet!  Big thanks to Kirsten Foti, M.Ed from Dallas/Ft. Worth for this great post:

I think that is quite enough for Episode 1.

Thank you for listening/reading!

Stay awesome,


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