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ESL Adult Ed.
Old 06-28-2009, 07:58 PM
 
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I will soon be starting to teach ESL for Adults. Any ideas on a fun lesson for the first night? Also, any advice from those who have taught Adult ESL before?

THANKS!


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Old 08-03-2009, 12:02 PM
 
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Sorry, I don't have anything helpful for you. I just wondered if you would mind telling me how you became involved in teaching adults. I've considered doing this before, but I'm not sure how to go about it. Thanks!
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First Night Ideas
Old 08-05-2009, 05:28 AM
 
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The first night is always rough. In our program, students have not bee pre-registered nor tested, but are pulled one at a time to the back of the room to be enrolled and tested by the intake specialist. So you have no ideas how many students you'll have, what their levels will be, and somebody is always missing some part of the lesson.

My whole goal the first night of class is to make everybody feel welcomed and comfortable to the degree that they want to return. So I do speak a little bit of Spanish when giving directions, etc. so that the newcomers don't feel lost or overwhelmed. Ham it up, make them laugh, etc.

A lot of teachers like to do those "getting to know you" scavenger hunt mixer activities (Find somebody who plays a music instrument, somebody who has children, etc...) But I don't like to do that on the first night with a low or mixed group because I think it's too intimidating for newcomers, and those with little or no English just hang back and don't participate at all.

First, as students come in, I give everybody a cheap 3-prong pocket folder with several pieces of paper already clipped in and a stiff paper "name tent" (folded piece of cardstock) with markers to write their name in nice big letters that I'll be able to see. This helps me tremendously as I get to know the names of the students. (stick-on name tags just don't work for me - old eyes). I didn't do it last year, but I think that this year I may try picking up the name tents, have a student mix them up, and test myself to put them in the right place with students saying simply "yes" or "no" and then picking them up again to have students put them in fron of the correct people as an activity for teaching I am, he is, she is... .

Another good first class activity is to bring in a wide variety of large pictures of things that students are obviously going to like or not like and some that could go either way depending on personal preference - last year I used pizza, enchiladas, a cool car, a snake, snow, the beach, broccoli, popular Latino singers of various styles of music, etc. We started putting the pictures on one side of the board and word labels on the other. Students were given the opportunity to volunteer one at a time to come up and a label to a picture he or she knew, and we all practiced the name of of the item. We worked through that process with frequent review until all pics were labelled and the students seemed to know the name of the items pretty well. After that, using some gestures and a T-chart on the board w/ happy face picture to represent "I like" and a Mr. Yuk face to represent "I don't like," I rub my tummy, say "I like pizza" and I put it under the smiley picture. Then I say, "I don't like snakes!" acted all freaked out, and put that picture under the Mr. Yuk. Then I ask students "Do you like pizza?" etc. Once they get it, I have them take turns coming up and moving pictures to the "like" or "don't like" column and saying the appropriate sentence. You could also have the class vote on which items they like or don't like, maybe make a simple bar graph, etc.

To practice greetings and introducing oneself, first we preview a practice conversation. I always try to provide a handout with the different speakers' parts printed in alternating colors or write the conversation on the board with different colors. We do it all together, then I have them do it w/ the person sitting next to them. Then we stand up in two lines facing each other. The students complete the conversational exchange w/ the person across from him/her, then one line remains where they are while the other line moves along, the bumped off person walking behind the line to stand across from the person at the other end left w/out a partner. People in the moving line always initiate the conversation. Then the conversation is repeated w/ the new partners, the moving line moves along, and we do this over and over until we've gone through the whole line once. Then we switch sides - the moving line becomes that stationary line, and the line that stayed in place the first time through now initiates the conversation and does the moving.

These are just a couple of ideas. I'd also love to hear anybody else's suggestions for first class activities.
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How I got involved
Old 08-19-2009, 09:50 PM
 
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I was contacted by a teacher friend who has been volunteering in a local church-sponsored adult ESL program, and wanted me to join in. I'm not yet ESL certified, but have been interested for some time. I imagine if you ask around, there will be some church or community group doing something like this near you. It's volunteer, but we all know that volunteer work adds experience, confidence, and a plus on your resume. Who knows....
Anyway, good luck. My friends who have done this say it's a really wonderful experience.
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Thanks!
Old 08-30-2009, 01:31 PM
 
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Thanks for the suggestions! We've been in class for about a month now and I am enjoying teaching. The students are motivated to be there and truly interested in learning!


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Good for You
Old 11-01-2017, 05:19 PM
 
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I am on the same path you were when you wrote this note. About a month in and I am still assessing readiness. Did you end up with a skill assessment? I am just doing differentiated writing language arts tasks. We have four teachers working at different sights. The one thing in common is the Oxford Picture Dictionary 3rd Edition. If you contact them they will send you a complimentary sample to review. It has online lesson planning and full color pages in the student handbook. It comes in Arabic,Chinese,French,Spanish and Vietnamese as well as Monolingual English. I just started part time in Oct, 2017 as a returning retired
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