Career Advancement - Smartphone/WhatsApp ESL study groups
Submitted by Paul Rogers on July 10, 2019 - 7:39am
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Hello everybody: In beginning and intermediate ESL classes for adults there are many people who have been small business owners or who have advanced degrees in their native countries. In either case these students usually are particularly interested in learning English for their careers. Often – out of necessity - they find work in low-paying jobs such as factory work.
At the same time there are also many people in various low-paying jobs who would like to advance “up the ladder”, but need to aquire a certain level of English.
With the use of a Smartphone coupled with WhatsApp study groups and Facebook, these adults can be provided with a means to study English either as a supplement to their “regular” classes or as a resource for independent “self-study” or distance learning.
First, there are many websites that provide free English instruction for a wide variety of jobs or professions. All that is necessary to do is to format the information so that it is available via the smartphone.
Job or license requirements are available online, and, if it is necessary to take an exam, sample questions are available.
A few examples of how some of my students use the Smartphone with WhatsApp:
1. A year ago a student was working as a gardener on Oprah Winfrey’s estate in Montecito. He wanted to learn Engish vocabulary and phrases to be able to start his own landscape business. He told me that he listened to my video lessons while he was mowing Oprah’s lawn!
2. A woman who had been an elementary school teacher in Mexico needed to pass an exam to be a teacher’s assistant. She was cleaning houses at the time, and so she studied the English for housecleaning, focusing on the verb tenses and pronunciation, and practiced with the owner.
3. A woman from Brazil is a nurse, and is learning Spanish and English with an emphasis on medical terrminology so she can work in elder-care.
4. A Mexican English teacher who lives in Cancun is studying English with me to learn more about teaching private students in the hotel, restaurant and tourist business. I told her that once she has some success I will fly down to visit!!!
5. A woman who works in a hotel as a dishwasher is studying English with the goal of becoming a supervisor in the kitchen.
6. Plus there are people who have degrees in psychology, law, engineering, etc., and a lot of very good cooks who can study to be chefs! I know from first-hand experience!
I read somewhere that the Smartphone is now more popular than a laptop. I believe that it is an invaluable tool for ESL instruction. WhatsApp is a free App and it is very easy to create a group.