This coming Thursday is the first day of our school year.
One of the many classes I will be teaching is for Beginning/Intermediate English Language Learners. I’ll begin the year (though we’ll get many new students as time progresses) primarily with high Beginners from last year.
I thought readers might find it useful to see a “fill-in-the-gap” essay they’ll be completing on the first day of school. It’s titled “My Summer Vacation.” You can download it here.
Here’s a writing prompt I plan to use with students after they read the two of them:
What are at least three reasons the authors of these two articles say why reading is good for you? To what extent do you agree or disagree with what the authors are saying? To support your opinion, be sure to include specific examples drawn from your own experience, your observations of others, or any of your readings.
What is the author saying about boredom? Do you agree with his view? To support your opinion, be sure to include specific examples drawn from your own experience, your observations of others, or any of your readings.
Here are some NY Times posts for ELLs where I’ve discussed writing compare/contrast essays:
Students separate run-on sentences in this interactive about International Dance Day, and use it as a model for creating their own. In addition, they can view a variety of dance videos and write a compare/contrast essay.
A fun writing lesson for English Language Learners is showing videos or images of animals and asking them to write down what they think they believe the animal might be thinking. I’ve written a number of posts related to these kinds of lessons and variations on it (having paintings or parts of the earth talk) and thought I’d bring them, and additional resources, all together in one “Best” list (feel free to contribute your own ideas!):
Nature Is Speaking is an amazing series of videos where celebrities give voice to parts of nature that are being threatened, including the ocean, coral reefs, etc. The could be good models for a more serious use of this instructional strategy.
There is a YouTube channel by Chris Cohen that he calls Animal Translations, where he puts his voice to animal thoughts. The accent is a bit thick, so it might be difficult for ELLs to hear everything, but they’d certainly get the idea. Then, students could create their own internal dialogue they could perform while the video was shown on a screen without sound.
I’m using the term “information literacy” here to describe assisting our students developing critical thinking skills to evaluate both web and content in other media forms. I’ve seen the term used to describe broader skills, too. Let me know if you think I’m off-based with my definition.
So, using that definition, here is a beginning Best list, and I hope readers will contribute more: