Purpose: Learners tend to sit with others who speak the same first language, share the same race or ethnicity, or are the same age or gender. While there are certain advantages to allowing adult students to choose their places (open seating), less desirable results can be: students speak to each other in their native languages, disrupting class, students speak less English and pay less attention, relying on translations from neighbors, students don’t get to know each other well across cultures and language groups.
ABE teachers often ask me if there is a particular textbook or curriculum that I can recommend for teaching basic computer skills to low-literate and/or non-native English speaking adults. While I'm not normally in the habit of pushing one publisher's content over another, here is one book that at least makes the attempt to serve this need - and there are very few that do, so it's probably worth taking a look.
Everyone loves vocabulary and it is a very important part of language learning, but it is easy to get carried away and teach too many new words in one lesson or confuse students with spontaneous explanations. Read on to learn more about best practices for teaching vocabulary.
Most of us can only sit for a limited period of time before our capacity to learn decreases. Plan at least one activity in every lesson where learners get out of their seats. All students will return to their seats more alert and energized. Here are two examples of activities that require little or no preparation.
Barbara Strauch posits that our brains become more distracted as we age (surely we can all attest to this!) and asks if this aging brain can still benefit from education. The answer is a resounding yes as she argues that scientists have found that brain development continues into middle age and that adult brains can find big picture solutions better than younger brains.
To reinforce phonics (and vocabulary), keep cumulative lists of words your students have learned. Use a flip chart, or create lists on a word wall, with a separate page or column for each beginning letter. Review them frequently with students.
Video Ant is a free flash-based tool for annotating videos with markers set on a timeline matched to text comments. The comments appear in a panel next to the video, and the viewer can jump to different portions of the video by clicking on the text comments.