In my book on teaching English Language Learners, I’ve written about the weekly homework I typically have my ELL students complete. Among other things, it usually includes their choosing words to add to their personal dictionary, completing a simple sheet demonstrating their use of reading strategies in a book of their choice, and writing a short journal sharing at least two good things that happened in their lives that week and one not-so-good thing (along with what they could have done to make it better). Students then share it each week in partners where they also use some academic language, and then some students share with the entire class.
It works well.
Rob Haines has recently written a guest post in Scott Thornbury’s blog sharing some useful guidelines for ELL homework, and he also links to another related article on the British Council website.
I’m adding this post to The Best Resources For Learning About Homework Issues.
Any particular criteria people follow in determining hours spent doing homework each week?
Great point that we should focus on reflectiveness – that’s powerful stuff – getting students to see their learning through time and feel successful. Still, if there is one thing that puts me into Alfie Kohn’s camp it is regarding the compulsory nature of homework. Shouldn’t ever be. For many reasons too long to elaborate here.
What I find missing though, in all the talk about homework is how technology is such a powerful tool for homework. (missing on Rob Haine’s post for sure). Technology is excellent for motivating students and giving self-directed homework. Also, for tracking homework and repeating/recycling what was done in the classroom. I’ll have to blog about this – something that I think many teachers are missing, imho.
Good point. Of course, one major issue many of us face is that our students’s families can’t afford a computer or online Internet access.
I want to thank you for including my guest post among the many valuable resources you share and create.
David, I look forward to your blog about technology and homework. As I’ve said elsewhere, my aim with the guest post was to set out a few practical tips for teachers to apply to their own contexts. It will be interesting to read what you come up with. As Larry mentions, socio-economic issues are often a prohibitive factor.
Thank you both for visiting Scott’s blog and for all you do to help learners and teachers alike.
Just posted a link to this on the TeachingEnglish facebook page if you’d like to check for comments.