ELL-U Clubs Project
English Language Learner University (ELL-U) is a free, innovative and interactive national professional development network for practitioners who teach English as a second language to adults. Using the university as a metaphor, the ELL-U website provides teachers with access to high quality professional development activities such as online courses, face-to-face and online study circles and access to experts in the field through discussions and office hours. In November 2011, a new addition to the ELL-U sit were the ELL-U Clubs. Learner Web provided support for sustained professional development through Learning Plans for teachers in the ELL-U Clubs.
ELL-U Clubs are virtual spaces within ELL-U where members form a community around a shared area of interest to facilitate professional learning and development. Clubs promote collegial collaboration, support sustained professional development, and enhance professional networking. Club members participate in book groups, share in virtual field trips, and discuss shared concerns, among other activities. The first club launched was the Vocabulary Club for practitioners interested in learning more about teaching vocabulary to adult English language learners.
In addition to focused social networking opportunities with others in the field, ELL-U Clubs include access to Learning Plans in which members can work individually through a variety of learning activities to learn more about the club topic. The Vocabulary Club Learning Plan, included readings, videos, teaching suggestions to try and reflections on one’s own practice among other activities.