Ezra Vasquez

The personal blog of an applied linguist, writer, & educator

Category: Education

  • Learner Self-Evaluated Videoing (LSEV)

    Learner Self-Evaluated Videoing (LSEV)

    Recently, video has played a larger role in my communication classes as a result of an increase in focus on students’ interactive competence. In part, this stems from educational technology such as Flip, which has made it easier to incorporate short, focused video feedback in a communication class. Therefore, I was delighted when Kim Alejandro […]

  • The Ramifications of Post-Modernism in Music

    The Ramifications of Post-Modernism in Music

    On April 26th, linguist John McWhorter took issue with the 12-tone approach to music and the damage it wrought on modern art music in The New York Times: He alluded to the political undercurrent of atonal classical music, pointing out the comments of Pierre Boulez and the historical fascist response to 12-tone and atonal music. […]

  • Where to Start with Classical Music

    Where to Start with Classical Music

    Someone on the r/ClassicalMusic subreddit asked where someone who lacks a background in music should start if she wants to get into classical music. As someone with a degree in music, I’ve always deemed the music appreciation curricula taught in college electives misguided. The courses I’ve seen teach appreciation as music history lite. However, the […]

  • Mapping the musical mind: the link between musical and language processing — Music Education Works

    I’ve posted before on the link between linguistic syntax, music, and the research opportunities music could afford a conversation of syntactic acquisition. This article from Music Education Works discusses research out of Japan on the link between music and language. Researchers in Japan have found a specific link between musical processing and areas of the […]

  • Three Tips to Become a Better Communicator

    Developing substantive content in EAP communication classes presents unique challenges. Elementary English classes can fall back on rudimentary features of language, but advanced English-language students and native English speakers need something several orders of magnitude higher if they want to grow and improve as communicators. So, I stay vigilant for new approaches that can work […]

  • Is Parenting Futile?

    If you want to vet someone’s commitment to empirical evidence, the topic of parenting will rile people like little else. More specifically, the argument that parenting has limited influence over the character of children — a proposition that possesses a unique potential to offend people to the left and right of the political divide (which […]

  • MEXTESOL 2019: Santiago de Querétaro, Estado de Querétaro, México

    MEXTESOL 2019: Santiago de Querétaro, Estado de Querétaro, México

    MEXTESOL marked my last conference of the 2019 calendar year. Somehow I pulled off three presentations of various mediums in the middle of the fall semester. I chose practical topics this time around–a demonstration on various styles of written corrective feedback, a poster session on computer assisted language teaching (CAPT) with MS Class Notebooks, and […]

  • The language carrot …

    The language carrot …

    “I don’t speak,” Bijaz said. “I operate a machine called language. It creaks and groans, but is mine own.” “Dune Messiah” (1969) by Frank Herbert Today, the BBC published an article on what it means to be fluent in a language. Fluency might be the unicorn sighting of the second language universe–that thing everyone carries […]

  • The trouble with books …

    The trouble with books …

    The next time your students ask if they can rely on books for their research, you can tell them this: Book publishers don’t normally fact-check books. They’ll run sensitive material by lawyers, but otherwise it’s on authors to make sure their work is accurate. Generally, this works out fine. Sometimes, it does not. When books […]

  • Shift the onus to them

    Shift the onus to them

    This is a great article on classroom management: Why shouldn’t students feel entitled? You’ve relieved them of responsibility. Think about it. You assess by legislative fiat, document attendance, lord over technology, interact with students 24-7 via email or text, keep students on track via Blackboard or Canvas, treat students as customers, are blamed for grade […]