We’re delighted that four themed videos in the series “Teaching ESL to Adults: Classroom Approaches in Action” are now available to view online, in addition to our eight lessons. These four videos comprise our fourth DVD in the series. The topics are:
- Assessing Learning in the Adult ESL Classroom
- Tasks to Promote Critical Thinking and Learning Skills
- Effective Grouping Strategies in the Adult ESL Classroom
- Tasks to Develop Oral Skills: From Accuracy to Fluency
Like the first three DVDs, this fourth volume can be purchased either directly from the New American Horizons Foundation for $5.00 each plus shipping, or by credit card from Create Space for $6.00 each plus shipping.
We’re adding to the series of videos available for viewing online with two new additions. These will be followed by four more in coming months. These themed videos are drawn from the raw footage generated in filming the eight core videos, and they cover topics that cut across those lessons. Two themed videos are now on the website to view online:
- Assessing Learning in the Classroom, developed by MaryAnn Florez
- Tasks to Promote Critical Thinking and Learning Skills, developed by Betsy Parrish
We know that many people now are using the videos in our series for teacher and tutor training. We invite you to share any ways you have found effective in using them, and post them here as comments. If you have developed worksheets or outlines of training sessions, we’d welcome your putting them up so that others can benefit from them. Thanks in advance to all those who contribute to this blog.
We’re delighted that all eight of our videos in the series Teaching ESL to Adults: Classroom Approaches in Action are now online for you to view. The titles feature classes from the beginning literacy level through high-intermediate and advanced, and they cover a variety of subjects.
The videos are also now available for purchase as DVDs, either by sending an order form and check or money order to New American Horizons Foundation, or by using a credit card on CreateSpace, a subsidiary of Amazon.com.
Our videos will be featured at a workshop led by Betsy Parrish and MaryAnn Florez, the ESL consultants on the series, at the TESOL convention in New Orleans, on Saturday, March 19. We hope to see some of you at the convention!
The project team on the series of training videos, “Teaching ESL to Adults: Classroom Approaches in Action,” has been hard at work over the past year to film, edit, and produce six additional videos to complete the set of eight. In mid-March 2011, the full set of eight will be available for purchase on three DVDs. Each video is about 30 minutes, and will also be viewable online. The contents of the three volumes are:
Lesson Planning for Life Skills: Betsy Lindeman Wong of Alexandria, Virginia, guides beginning level learners through highly structured to open-ended activities showing the progression of a life-skills lesson in talking on the telephone.
Building Literacy with Adult Emergent Readers: Andrea Echelberger of Saint Paul, Minnesota, works with a Whole-Part-Whole approach to teaching literacy, using a learner-generated story of a shared experience and demonstrating activities to develop beginning literacy skills.
Growing Vocabulary with Beginning Learners: Karli Boothe of Arlington, Virginia, demonstrates a contextualized approach to introducing and reinforcing vocabulary within a lesson. She uses a variety of vocabulary development strategies and activities to promote learners’ interaction and active engagement as they master words and concepts.
Working with a Multi-level Class: Susan Watson of Prince William County, Virginia, offers techniques to deal with differing levels of language ability within one class, including use of grouping strategies, differentiated materials, and a small group project.
Developing Listening Skills with High-intermediate Learners: Jessica Jones of Saint Paul, Minnesota, leads her class through a lesson on the theme of cross-cultural experiences, including pre-listening activities, tasks learners complete while listening, and follow-up activities.
Teaching Grammar in Real-life Contexts: Suzanne McCurdy of Saint Paul, Minnesota, uses a contextualized approach to presenting and practicing grammar with her intermediate level learners, allowing them to recognize and use the simple past and present perfect tenses in the contexts of life histories and personal experiences.
Cultivating Writing Skills at the Intermediate Level: Sheryl Sherwin of Washington, D.C., guides learners through a series of activities that prepare them to complete a writing assignment. She utilizes a pre-writing survey assignment, group discussion, graphic organizers, and target text models to help learners take command of the process of writing.
Developing Reading Skills for Intermediate/Advanced Learners: George Schooley of Saint Paul, Minnesota, takes learners from pre-reading through follow-up tasks using a text about birth-order theory. He demonstrates how to make reading lessons highly interactive by connecting content to learners’ lives, using graphic organizers, and having both group and individual tasks.
We now have the capability to offer our DVD, Teaching ESL to Adults: Classroom Approaches in Action, Vol. 1, for purchase by credit card. You can order from CreateSpace, a subsidiary of Amazon.com. The cost is $6 per DVD plus a shipping charge, which varies by the speed of delivery selected. You can also purchase the DVD by check or purchase order, $5 plus $2 shipping per DVD, direct from the New American Horizons Foundation. For details on ordering, click here.
Last week Betsy Parrish and I were in Saint Paul, Minnesota, recording three videos in adult ESL classrooms across the city. While it will be several months before they all are fully edited and ready for viewing and ordering as DVDs, it was clear that the videos are going to do a wonderful job of conveying techniques and nuances of teaching ESL.
In George Schooley’s class at the Hubbs Center for Lifelong Learning (part of the Saint Paul Public Schools), intermediate to advanced learners from a variety of backgrounds were engaged in highly interactive activities around reading material on birth order theory–a topic that everyone can relate to.
At the Arlington Hills Learning Center, run by the Minnesota Literacy Council, Jessica Jones led a session on listening skills, in which intermediate level learners listened to and watched video clips of interviews with people about experiences they had living in different cultures. Pre-, during, and post-listening activities guaranteed that the learners fully engaged with the material and each other.
At Neighborhood House, a community-based organization, Suzanne McCurdy taught a contextualized grammar lesson to intermediate learners. She focused on the past and present perfect tenses in the context of conversing about life histories–Suzanne’s and a couple of celebrities’. One delightful image I have is of a traditionally-garbed Somali woman talking with a young Latino fellow, filling him in on her knowledge of Marc Anthony (singer/actor and husband of Jennifer Lopez)!
Besides the tremendous skill and heart of these teachers, what strikes me over and over is the ability of the learners to be recorded on video without seeming even to notice that the cameras are there. We were able to film them at their completely natural best, fully engaged in the lessons. I can attribute that to the learners’ willingness and enthusiasm for the project, but also to the skill of our video crew, who manage some pretty incredible shots while somehow seeming to be relatively “invisible.” Quite amazing. I can’t wait to see how the videos turn out with our editing.
Three more class recordings are scheduled for April in the Washington, D.C., area. Mary Ann Florez and I will be on the scene!
Back in August 2009, MaryAnn Florez, Betsy Parrish, and I came together to begin work on the Adult ESL Training Video Project. We came up with an outline for a series of videos to train ESL teachers. The videos would consist of two types: 8 Core Lesson Videos and 7 Themed Videos (derived from the raw footage we took in filming the 8 core lessons). This outline is tentative, not set in stone. The topics may shift a bit as our thinking develops through the course of producing the videos. And of course the topics we cover will depend in part on the expertise and availability of teachers and programs who are willing to participate. Below is the outline we came up with.
Core Lesson Videos
These videos will be complete lessons, each an average of 30 minutes total taken from 2 hours of classroom footage and a later interview with the teacher. As we put the list of topics and classes together, we’ll also be trying to represent a range of proficiency levels, from literacy level to high intermediate.
- Lesson planning: life skills theme (COMPLETED)
- Multi-level: teaching students at differing levels
- Low literacy: Employing top-down/bottom-up strategies; supporting print visually; drawing on learners’ prior skill and knowledge (COMPLETED)
- Reading: Using narrative texts; pre-, during, and post-reading tasks; developing reading skills (skimming, scanning, inferring meaning, reading for detail, etc.)
- Listening: Using authentic listening texts (e.g., interview or short video clip); pre-, during, and post-listening tasks; developing listening skills (gist, specific info, inferring meaning)
- Contextualized language lesson I: Grammar
- Contextualized language lesson II: Vocabulary, eg. jobs
- Writing for a purpose: Stages, process vs. product. (Could also use footage from other lessons)
Themed Videos/ Derived from core lessons
These videos will be drawn from the raw footage generated from the above classroom video sessions. Each themed video will contain footage from several of the core lessons, edited together after the core lesson videos are completed. This list is tentative, depending on what themes are best illustrated in the core lessons. We will tell the teachers of the core lessons what themes we want to illustrate, so they will keep them in mind as they construct their lessons.
- Developing oral skills, also pronunciation
- Activity types—accuracy-based to fluency-based
- Developing learning strategies
- Checking and assessing learning, giving feedback
- Classroom interactions: e.g., roles, grouping of learners for activities, minimizing teacher talk, giving directions
- Practicing higher order thinking/critical thinking: e.g., how to give tasks, how to ask questions, how to use graphic organizers, listening and note-taking, academic readiness/transitions to higher education
- Community building: e.g., ways to create an accepting environment, cultural sensitivity
We are excited to announce that the first two videos in our series, Teaching ESL to Adults: Classroom Approaches in Action, are ready to view online! Take a look and please give us your reactions by adding a comment to this blog entry.
Within a couple of weeks, we’ll have a DVD available for purchase. We are also working on providing an option to download the videos to your computer so that you can view them at full screen on your computer or burn your own DVD (provided you have DVD-burning software). We’ll let you know when both of these ways to obtain the videos are ready.
We expect to have two adult ESL training videos up on this website for your viewing by March 1, 2010. Each one runs about 30 minutes. Our two pilot videos in the series of eight are:
- Lesson Planning for Life Skills, with Betsy Lindeman Wong of Alexandria, Virginia, who guides beginning level learners through highly structured to open-ended activities, showing the progression of a life-skills lesson in talking on the telephone.
- Building Literacy with Adult Emergent Readers, with Andrea Echelberger of Saint Paul, Minnesota, who works with a Whole-Part-Whole approach to teaching literacy, using a learner-generated story of a shared experience and demonstrating activities to develop beginning literacy skills.
Soon we will also have DVDs available for purchase at the cost of the materials.