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Keeping Students Engaged During Breaks

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday break. As we return to our classrooms and prepare for a longer holiday break, I wanted to open a discussion about keeping students engaged during these extended periods. It's often difficult to hold on to students when we have familiar schedules, but when these routines are disrupted, we run the risk of loosing students. Have you experienced similar issues with student retention? If so, how do you address these concerns? Share your tips and ideas so we can be proactive and keep our learners active during the longer winter break.

Kathy Tracey


finnmiller's picture

Hi Kathy and all, With the upcoming winter break I, too, have been thinking about this. I definitely hope the beginning English learners in my class will keep learning English while we are on break. Toward that goal, during class we have been exploring websites that learners can use on their phones and/or computers.  I will also provide materials for them to take home for reading and writing practice. They will be encouraged to turn in their writing homework when classes resume in January. There are a variety of other things students can do to stay engaged in learning English, e.g., watch TV, engage in conversations with friends and neighbors, read the newspaper, listen to music or news on the radio, etc., etc.

I want to expand on my current practice of having students set a weekly goal to keep learning outside of class. We use a goal setting form to first record a learning goal and then revisit whether students have met that goal each week. Since they are already accustomed to this routine, I'm hoping they will continue during the break.

I'd love to hear more ideas for how teachers are encouraging students to keep learning.

Cheers, Susan Finn Miller

Moderator, Teaching & Learning and English Language Acquisition

Kathy_Tracey's picture

Hi all, 

In my classroom, students are provided packets of material. (I know, very old school,) However, having work that needs to be completed during a specific time frame that the student can complete independenlty keeps them focused and connected to their educational goal. In today's technology driven world, we can schedule emails, scheudule texts, use software to send out scheduled messasges keeping students connected to a routine is also beneficial.

I think the goal setting is critical, and I would suggest incorporating this form of 'homework' be a part of the goals.