Building an Effective ESL Curriculum

2012.1.esl-worldA curriculum is a vital part of ESL classes. It provides a focus for the class and sets goals for the students throughout their study.A curriculum also gives the student a guide and idea to what they will learn and how they have progressed when the course is over.

A typical ESL curriculum centers around students developing four basic skills: speaking, listening, reading, and writing. The goal of teaching ESL is to help second-language learners become competent at communicating in English with native speakers. That doesn’t necessarily mean fluent, but proficient enough to act in an English-speaking environment (such as in the United States, Canada, or the UK) with little to no trouble.

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Effective Strategies for Teaching Reading

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Reading is a BIG component of teaching any language – first or second. Reading, especially in a foreign language, can be quite difficult for learners. I have been working on earning my TESOL certificate through the American TESOL Institute (ATI). One of the modules I had to complete was about teaching reading.

Reading can be especially difficult since not every student reads at the same level. Some are able to read at higher levels than their peers, and others may struggle.

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How to Write an Essay for ESL Students (and Teachers)

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This month, my academy will hold an essay competition for our students. We will provide a variety of topics for our students to choose from. Each class, grades one to five, will write an essay or paragraph according to their abilities and appropriate level (with the teacher’s instruction). So, that brings to mind the question… Continue reading

Five Things Teachers Can Do to Improve Learning For ELLs For the New Year

I came across this excellent page on Colorin Colorado’s website. Colorin Colorado is an ELL website based in the United States, and they work with ELL students and families. They have plenty of tips and resources for teachers and parents! I’d like to share these tips with you!

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Ho! Ho! Ho! It’s Almost Christmas! – Five Fun Holiday Activities for ESL Students!

Christmas Fireplace

Doesn’t that look cozy? The warm fireplace, decorated tree and living room, the colors and lights… just makes you want to curl up in that rocking chair with a good book and a glass of wine, while listening to Bing Crosby, right?

Christmas is just a couple of weeks away. That means planning for vacation trips, buying gifts, visiting relatives, and a little break from school (much-needed for both students and teachers). Christmas also is a great holiday in which you can teach about virtues of kindness and hope, Christmas music, winter sports and activities, and favorite toys and other things. You can also spend time making crafts and decorating your classroom!

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Teaching ESL to Adult Learners

credit goes to ESL- Centro Guadalupano

credit goes to ESL- Centro Guadalupano

Have you ever taught ESL to adults?

I have. For the past two years, I have taught a short-term English conversation class to Korean adults at the Andong City Library; the class lasted for 15 weeks in the spring and again in the fall. It has been a positive experience for me as I have been able to learn new skills and try different strategies. Teaching ESL to adult learners comes with its own issues, but also has some advantages that don’t come with teaching children. Continue reading

Ten Common Mistakes ESL Teachers Make in the Classroom (And How to Fix Them)

Nobody is perfect. That’s the truth. It’s the same for doctors, lawyers, parents, students, and teachers. Nobody likes making mistakes. Big or small, mistakes can kill self-esteem, loom over our heads like some grim reaper created out of our own idiocy. In a classroom, teachers often make mistakes early on in their careers; veteran teachers make mistakes, too.

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Building Phonological Awareness in Kindergarten ESL Students

Teaching young learners is like taking care of a plant – it takes dedication, patience, and daily care. You need to water plants daily, give adequate sunlight and air flow. Then it will grow into a beautiful flower, or leafy plant.

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In the same way, teaching young learners takes lots of preparation, daily instruction and practice, and a whole lot of love and patience. Helping children develop social, personal, and language skills is all part of a teacher’s job.

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Google Images – Shepherdkids.com

In developing language skills, building phonological awareness is one of the building blocks of development. I recently came across a fantastic article focused on this topic, and I’d like to share part of it with you. Continue reading