Lower levels of ESL - from a distance! How are you managing?
Submitted by Patsy Egan on March 31, 2020 - 7:54pm
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As we all work within the new normal, I'm curious what's happening in other states to continue to serve students at beginning levels of English and who may have emerging alphabetic print literacy skills. How are you connecting with students? What's working? What isn't? No doubt there is LOTS of creativity and wisdom out there!
I can share some concrete examples from Minnesota to get us started:
- Contact learners via 1-1 phone calls, spreading them out each week for the next couple of weeks as everyone gets adjusted.
- Increase the calls to utilizing Facetime and with 1 or 2 learners at a time. Maybe these groups could continue on a scheduled basis.
- Pose ahead of time, 3-4 questions that we could use for conversation practice while reaching out to the students.
- Insert YouTube links into texting for the students to go to for learning at their leisure.
- We talked about having a “Monday Pick-up” time, for example, where we could have assembled packets of work for them to do and do this on whatever schedule works.
- One teacher is in contact with one learner and texted her a picture of a wordless story asking her to write about it. The learner will take a picture of her writing, and they’ll go back and forth with this.
- Low tech: call your student and do a dictation, then with the help of a family member have them text/email you a picture of the dictation.
- WhatsApp is an app that many learners have on their phones; one teacher getting started using it with 1-to-1 work. She has also sent some work packets home with students, and has used USPS to get things to others.
This document from Lisa Gonzalves in Richmond, CA is a wonderful compilation for adult educators on how they might connect with their learners via mobile phones. Check it out!
What else? Eager to hear from other low-level ESL teachers and program managers about all their coronavirus-instructional-magic!
ATLAS Director, St. Paul MN