Sunday, July 5, 2009

List of ESL classes I've taught

I had to do this for a job application. I thought it was interesting and informative-- a little more detailed than my resume about what kind of professional work I've done. OK, well, it was interesting and informative for ME, anyway, to have to write it out like this. Of course, the resume lists the tutoring job and the TA job and the test-question-writing job, but my main Chosen Profession at the moment is being a classroom teacher, so here is the list (just in case you wanted to know):

All courses were taught at Brigham Young University’s English Language Center.

TTTC (TESOL Teacher Training Class, also called student teaching)—community-based, team-taught English class. After four weeks teaching one class, teachers were switched so that they could have experience teaching at two different levels. The students remained in the classes in which they had been assigned; it was just the teachers who changed. During the first half, I taught BICS (Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills), or “survival English” (e.g. how to do job interviews; how to write checks; how to make reservations). For the second half, I was assigned to the highest-proficiency-level class and we focused more on CALP (Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency); in particular, on developing writing skills and cultural understanding of more academic subjects, such as American History and Economics.

After student teaching, I was invited to teach at the ELC proper, where there were five levels. Level 1 was the very lowest level, though it was rare for us to get any true beginners; level 5 was the highest level, in which courses paralleled University courses and were taught in a specially supported ESL environment. Students sometimes left for University studies straight from Level 4; other students decided to study at level 5 before going on to University. Each of these courses ran for 13 weeks.

Grammar 4—Students learned skills from the text Grammar Dimensions 3, by Stephen H. Thewlis and supervised by Diane Larson Freeman. At this level, many students mostly know the rules, but need help remembering to apply them consistently. Because of this, after a skill had been introduced or reviewed, we spent a lot of class time practicing in pairs or small groups and discussing student-generated questions.

Reading 4— Class time was divided evenly between working on intensive and extensive reading skills. For intensive reading skills, we relied largely on Neil Anderson’s ACTIVE Skills for Reading. For extensive reading, we read the campus newspaper during class time, then discussed it; and we read, then discussed novels written mainly for children or young adults. These novels were: Amos Fortune Free Man, by Elizabeth Yates; The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, by C.S. Lewis; Walk Two Moons, by Sharon Creech; The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho; and one book which the students got to choose themselves from a list of acceptable alternatives.

Grammar 1— Taught skills from Focus on Grammar, by Irene E. Schoenberg. Because of the limited vocabulary of these students, as well as their newness to the city we lived in, I linked our lessons as much as possible to what was immediately relevant to their lives. For instance, in teaching and testing about place prepositions and giving directions, I used a map of the city we were in. When we needed to learn about count and non-count nouns, I brought in many pictures of individual food items, and the next week when we were learning about asking for things, I used the same pictures.

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