Briefly describe a plan to teach one of the three concepts listed in this week's reading, to ESL students at a specific level, who are high-context learners and who share two major goals among them: eventual job certification and interacting with service professionals in their communities. Select a concept, define your students' level, and describe what activities you might implement to help them acquire the language skills they want.
Concept – Sentence writing, Beginners
Objective – Students will be able to combine familiar words to form logical sentences and then into greeting contexts.
Teacher set up – Before students arrive, teacher posts on the wall in different parts of the room, six scrambled sentences dealing with meeting a business person. One scrambled sentence per paper. Teacher pairs students by high and low proficiencies, mid and low, or mid and high, but not two low students. Typically there are 12 students in the class.
In class – Directions: Students will work in pairs to compose a conversation about meeting someone. On the wall are six pieces of paper. Each paper has words separated by “/” in a non-sense order. Your task is to read the words, remember them and tell your partner what is posted. You may go to and from the wall to your partner as often as needed to have all the words written. When those words are written, together you are to place them in a logical order to form a familiar sentence, a statement or a question. Write the sentence in the correct order. Each group will start at a different location.
Students repeat sections of the directions back to teacher.
Roles are switched each time so that each student is reading three sets of scrambled words and writing three sets of scrambled words and sentences. Each pair of students receives six pieces of paper on which to record the sentence. A sheet of paper could be cut in sixths. Paired students decide who will be the first recorder and who will be the first reader. There is no time limit nor is there a limit on how many times a student moves from the desk to read and re-read the scrambled sentences aloud to his/her partner. Each pair starts at a different location to reduce crowding at one place. This activity should be later in the class period to get students not only moving around, but practicing speaking, listening, reading and writing and collaborating. When all students have completed the task, the unscrambled sentences are compared as a class. I debated with myself whether or not to use capital letters for the first word of the sentence or challenge students to remember to capitalize it.
After students have unscrambled the words into sentences they are asked to put the sentences in a logical order. Next students receive one piece of paper and a glue stick. The conversation is placed in order. Students practice it aloud adding an ending.
- . / meet / nice / you / to
- ? / name / what / your / is
- ? / I / may / in / come /
- . / is / Leroy Lenin / name / my
- ? / you / this / how / morning / are
- . / in / and / a seat / yes, / have / come
- May I come in?
- Yes, come in and have a seat.
- What is your name?
- My name is Leroy Lenin.
- Nice to meet you.
- How are you this morning?
Follow up activity – What are ways to continue the conversation?
The topic that I chose was Problem-Solving for Advanced ESL students. For it to be learner-centered, it's important that the lesson relates to the students, is active and student-led, and allows students to make choices and reflect on their learning. To begin, I'd introduce an icebreaker that gets students moving around and taking with each other.
Birthday Line Up: Students must line up in order of birthdays (month and date). To do so, they can communicate with each other using English words and phrases that they know, such as: months of the year, numbers, etc.
After students have completed the activity, I'd ask them to reflect on how they worked through the situation, encouraging them to use words and phrases they know:
- We worked together
- We worked as a team
- We communicated with each other
- We helped each other
Vocabulary Lesson: Next I would introduce the phrase "problem-solving." Who has heard of this term before? What does it mean? I would have the class work together to create a vocabulary list of words that relate to problem-solving. Examples could include:
Solution, Communication, Listening, Teamwork, Thinking, Cooperation, Conflict, Resolution
Practical Application: When do we need to problem-solve? Write this question on the whiteboard and have students volunteer to come up to the board and write down their ideas.
As a group, have them select 2-3 of the ideas on the board to use as discussion topics. Break the class into smaller groups and assign a topic to each group. Topics could include:
Each small group will be given a simple scenario for their topic. As a group they must discuss how they would problem-solve in that situation. The group will then decide how they want to present their problem/solution with the rest of the class. They can be as creative as they want to be in how they share the information. It could be a speech, a skit, a drawing, diagram, etc.
Wrap-up: Ask students what they learned about problem-solving. How is it important to their personal goals? Have them respond with a journal entry, encouraging them to write a paragraph response. Allow students to volunteer to read what they wrote.