teaching techniques

the word like spelled out on wooden scrabble tiles

Teacher, we don’t want to play games! We want to learn English!

 

Sometimes it can be difficult for adult learners to see the value of games in the English classroom. It is common for people to have culturally influenced ideas around what learning in a classroom looks like, and adults can be frustrated when they are asked to participate in activities that don’t appear to support their educational goals. This is completely understandable! Adult learners have busy lives and want their time in class to be as productive as possible.

 

clipart figure speaking through an orange bullhorn

To learn more about the I-We-You method for giving directions, visit the Teacher Training Toolkit at http://mnliteracy.org/TrainingToolkit

a pile of multi-colored stopwatches

"Routines are the backbone of daily classroom life. They facilitate teaching and learning…. Routines don’t just make your life easier, they save valuable classroom time. And what’s most important, efficient routines make it easier for students to learn and achieve more."

Learning to Teach…not just for beginners by Linda Shalaway

 

Routines are a lifesaver to ESL teachers and learners of all levels. A good routine provides numerous benefits to teachers and learners, including:

ESL teacher watching adult learner review vocabulary

Encouraging very beginning level learners to speak English and participate in classes can be a challenge, but setting speaking routines and planning activities that allow for lots of interaction can give even the lowest level learners opportunities to build their speaking skills. The new video Adult ESL Literacy Level Instruction: Building Speaking Skills features a pre-beginning level adult ESL class moving through a high-energy level speaking lesson.

ABCs tracing sheet

Wondering how to get started with phonics instruction? The Orton-Gillingham Approach to phonics instruction is a multisensory method that incorporates listening, speaking, images, writing and movement into basic phonics instruction. This approach was originally developed to support dyslexic students improve their reading ability, but it has also proved to be successful with adult ESL learners who are learning to read and write for the first time as adults.

Logo for the Intercambio organization

Intercambio is a national organization based out of Boulder Colorado with a powerful vision: communities where all people communicate, connect, and succeed. Their mission is to improve immigrant lives through English education, and unite communities across cultures.  

To that end, they provide a wide variety of tools for adult ESL programs, including affordable textbooks and teaching resources, teacher training webinars, immigrant guides, and program support for new and existing programs.

We are always looking for better ways to teach technology to staff and students.

Teacher and adult ESL learner looking into a handheld mirror

The Minnesota Literacy Council has produced six new videos demonstrating how to teach pronunciation in the adult ESL classroom. Watch the videos to gain teaching techniques and discover activity ideas that can be integrated into regular ESL classes. All of the pronunciation videos can be found at http://mnliteracy.org/classroomvideos. Check out videos on other topics, including teaching the College and Career Readiness Standards, classroom activities, and working with literacy level learners.  

four puzzle pieces

Working in a small group has tremendous advantages for adult learners; it provides the opportunity to practice their language and skills in a low-pressure setting, makes it possible for them to learn from and teach one another, and builds community in the classroom. However, sometimes certain learners take on most of the responsibility for their group, while others are reluctant to contribute. Assigning roles within the group helps to promote equal participation, and distributes accountability.

Potential Roles:

Cover of the Shaping the Way We Teach resource book

Shaping the Way We Teach English: From Observation to Action

Shaping the Way We Teach English is a teacher-training course consisting of fourteen video-based modules with a supporting training manual and supplementary resources. Each modules is a ten to fifteen minute video segment with examples from classrooms and educators around the world. Each module also has corresponding readings and support materials that can be printed and copied.

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