taking it to the streets and the workplace and everywhere else n.
Skip this Video
Loading SlideShow in 5 Seconds..
Taking It to the “Streets” (and the Workplace, and Everywhere Else) PowerPoint Presentation
Download Presentation
Taking It to the “Streets” (and the Workplace, and Everywhere Else)

Loading in 2 Seconds...

play fullscreen
1 / 21

Taking It to the “Streets” (and the Workplace, and Everywhere Else) - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

  • Uploaded on

Taking It to the “Streets” (and the Workplace, and Everywhere Else). Tutoring English as a Second Language With Adult Learners. The Pragmatics of Adult Learning.

I am the owner, or an agent authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of the copyrighted work described.
Download Presentation

Taking It to the “Streets” (and the Workplace, and Everywhere Else)

An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Presentation Transcript
taking it to the streets and the workplace and everywhere else

Taking It to the “Streets” (and the Workplace, and Everywhere Else)

Tutoring English as a Second Language With Adult Learners

the pragmatics of adult learning
The Pragmatics of Adult Learning
  • As most of us discover, once childhood passes, so does much of the beauty of learning for pure enjoyment at our own leisurely pace. Chances are that an adult student enrolled in the ESL program at a two- or four-year college has a very immediate goal in mind: Learning English well enough to communicate effectively in the workforce and function independently within an English-speaking community. It is important for colleges and adult learning centers to determine the goals of their student population, and to provide students with the tools to acquire the oral, aural, reading and writing skills to navigate successfully in an English-speaking community.
some problems in tutoring adult esl learners
Some Problems in Tutoring Adult ESL Learners
  • Adult students in particular rely on “translating” what they hear, read, or write to or from their native language, which results in “unique” English in the form of a “fusion” language (such as Spanglish).
  • Adult students tend to have practical reasons for wanting to acquire English literacy skills, which frequently leads to attempts to learn quickly rather than efficiently.
some problems in tutoring adult esl learners cont d
Some Problems in Tutoring Adult ESL Learners, cont’d
  • Fear of “making mistakes” tends to inhibit new language learners from speaking in front of more advanced or native speakers.
  • “Immersion” programs offered at some colleges (Yale, for instance) designed for international students are impractical for working-class adult immigrants, who cannot simply stop working for two-, three-, or six-month ESL intensive immersion programs.
some problems in tutoring adult esl learners cont d1
Some Problems in Tutoring Adult ESL Learners, cont’d
  • Because of family and work obligations, adult ESL learners often have less time for study and direct application of the language in social situations.
  • The “practical” solution to learning ESL quickly often involves the adult learner relying on their children, often as young as eight, to “fix” the grammar in their writing or to explain in their native language what the reading means.
some problems in tutoring adult esl learners cont d2
Some Problems in Tutoring Adult ESL Learners, cont’d
  • Often, topics for ESL learners don’t vary much, at least at beginning and intermediate levels. This limits vocabulary growth, and is a bit patronizing for students who not infrequently have college degrees from their native countries.
  • Education levels vary significantly for many adult ESL learners, especially at open enrollment community colleges. It is challenging to conduct small group tutoring when three students have Bachelor’s degrees or higher from their native countries, two graduated high school, one completed 7th grade, and another 3rd grade.
some problems in tutoring adult esl learners cont d3
Some Problems in Tutoring Adult ESL Learners, cont’d
  • English rarely is spoken or read at home, and the student’s friends often are from the same country, and thus, have the same native language, leaving little opportunity to “practice” speaking English.
  • Grammar taught in exercises doesn’t necessarily mean the student is able to apply the rules to writing and editing….
traditional order of language acquisition
Traditional Order of Language Acquisition
  • Oral
  • Aural
  • Reading
  • Writing/Grammar
    • Consistently building and applying skills in one area helps the student to retain skills in the other areas as well.
esl learning centers
ESL Learning Centers

A good learning center does more than provide grammar exercises for the students. It is interactive, with students actively participating and applying what they are learning. While student need and college budget factor into what an ESL Learning Center can offer, certain materials should be a given:

esl learning center essentials
ESL Learning Center Essentials
  • A file of grammar and editing exercises.
  • English-language reading materials (preferably that the students can keep, such as magazines, newspapers and the like).
  • Access to computer websites tailored for ESL students.
  • Most importantly, tutors, who can provide immediate feedback on student writing and help students to identify and correct their errors.
esl learning center possibilities
ESL Learning Center Possibilities
  • Small, informal discussion groups to give students the opportunity to practice speaking skills in a non-threatening environment.
  • A literary magazine or newspaper that is largely run by ESL students, giving them a chance to showcase their writing abilities.
  • Adequate training on word-processing software and internet usage.
esl learner websites
ESL Learner Websites

The following websites contain grammar explanations and quizzes, and in some cases, helpful articles for tutoring ESL. I’m particularly fond of anything from Purdue University’s Online Writing Center, but the other sites are good resources as well. And best of all, they are free….

esl online resources
ESL Online Resources
  • http://www.esl-grammar.com/
  • http://esl.about.com/od/englishgrammar/English_Grammar_Help_Rules_Worksheets_Games_Quizzes_Exercises.htm
  • http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/611/01/
  • http://www.englishmedialab.com/index.html
  • http://www.esl-lounge.com/student/grammar-exercises.php
creating a supportive learning environment
Creating a Supportive Learning Environment

The principles mentioned here apply to non-ESL learning environments as well, but certain principles are particularly important for adult ESL learners to help ensure their success in the program and in genuinely acquiring mastery of their new language.

create opportunities for practice
Create Opportunities for Practice

Memorizing grammar rules is lovely, but most native English speakers didn’t learn to speak and write properly simply by referring constantly to a series of memorized material. When possible, forming small-scale discussion groups on current events that require additional reading, maybe brief written summaries, and most importantly, an opportunity to speak and debate a concept, will help to reinforce ideas more than grammar drills alone.

seek to change habits
Seek to Change Habits

Not infrequently, college students read only what is required for coursework, and sometimes not even that. With ESL students, getting into the “habit” of reading and speaking English as much as possible is extremely important. Find out what interests the student. If it’s gossip, sports, fashion or cars, English language newspapers and magazines can cater to these interests. Non-academic reading still provides students with exposure to the language, vocabulary, and sentence construction, and will help students to build their skills.

help to wean students from translating
Help to Wean Students from Translating

The more as educators we can encourage upper level ESL students to avoid “translating” from their native language, which often results in inaccuracies, the more confidence they will gain in using their newly acquired language. To be truly bilingual is to be able to use two languages with near-equal ease, and that skill should be respected.

listen to what students need provide opportunities for them to discuss problems
Listen to What Students Need/Provide Opportunities for Them to Discuss Problems

Even midrange students tend to know what would help them to learn more effectively. Let them share (whether through surveys or discussion) what they think would help them to learn more effectively. Also, very frequently, students experience frustrations or problems that might interfere with learning. You can refer them to a counselor, but sometimes they need to share their burden immediately. If at all possible, listen to their problem and make suggestions or referrals.

learn some new words yourself
Learn Some New Words Yourself

I’ve learned to say “very good” and “thank you” in more languages I can count, mostly through tutoring ESL and other non-native speakers of English. Students get a kick out of teaching others a phrase or two in their native language. More importantly, oftentimes I stumble with the pronunciation, laugh about it, and try again. The students then realize that mispronouncing a word isn’t that big a deal, and it’s natural for any learner of a new language to struggle with those issues.

esl tutoring provides learning opportunities for all parties
ESL Tutoring Provides Learning Opportunities for All Parties

ESL tutoring provides the unique opportunity for us to not only teach what we know, but to learn some aspects of various non-U.S. and non-English-speaking cultures worldwide. Teaching English grammar to non-native speakers also forces us to think of ways to explain concepts that we sometimes assume are a given to all languages. In some ways, this is education at its finest.

  • What strategies have worked particularly well or not worked for you when tutoring ESL students?
  • What advice would you give to someone just beginning in the field of ESL education/tutoring?
  • What advice would you give a new English language learner to acquire the language most efficiently?
  • Should colleges offer “international” college-level writing courses for ESL students, or should college-level writing be a course with a mixture of both native and non-native speakers?