Sunday, April 10, 2011

ESL Tara Teacher Style

Over the past few weeks I've been trying to take it up a notch at school. I've taken some of the best ESL ideas I've heard and brought them to my own classroom. Its gone pretty well so far...

Michelle loves to do power points to go along with what the kids are reading in school so I thought I would give it a whirl. I did one of the Empire State building to go along with this boring and difficult text about the historical building. It went great! The kids were "ooohing" and "ahhing" at all the pictures. The girls especially loved the pictures of all of the couples getting married on the observation deck on Valentines Day. 

My friend Lauren gave me the great idea of playing songs and writing some of the lyrics on the board and have the kids fill in the missing words. She was using old blues songs because they were slow and easy for the kids. Well, I took it to the next level and used Backstreet Boys and Britney Spears. I did it with my 8th form class first and they begged me for Lady Ga Ga and Michael Jackson. So we did some 'Billie Jean' and 'Love Game.' Ok ok some of the lyrics are a little racey, but those kids were gaining listening skills and loving English class! 

Recently, Melissa's parents came to visit and they brought a little care package from my family for me. My mom is still thinking like a Girl Scout leader after all these years, and she included two bags of Valentines Day heart candy so I could do some project with my students. I gave each of my 11th formers 10 heart candies and they had to make up a story using the words written on the candies. One of my students wrote this fabulous story about how Georgi said "I love you" to Eka and she "Text me" all about it. Then they "hold hands" while having their "first kiss." 

Some of the simplest games I've come up with are from my own childhood. I love doing "Two Truths, and One Lie" and "Never have I ever...." Another classic is Mad Libs. When I was home for my sister Lauren's wedding back in November I bought some Mad Libs games. I did it with my 11th formers recently and they loved it. It was great for them to work on the names of the different forms of speech like 'noun,' 'adjective,' 'verb' ect. And at the end of the game we had a funny story to read! 

Its been a great challenge finding my place in the classroom, teaching ESL, and working in a developing country. However, I've found if I mix a little of my teaching style with some classic English language learning the kids are bound to learn a lot and have fun while doing it! 

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