Consistency and Creativity in ESL

Hi everyone, my name is Melissa. I am a middle school ESL teacher in New York. I have a my bachelors in Elementary Education and my Masters in ESL. I teach students from all over the world: Mexico, Dominican Republic, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Ecuador, Benin, Guinea and more. The school that I teach in is in a tough neighborhood and my students are faced everyday with the pressures of fitting in. So that is a little about me and my wonderful students.

What makes my job so great is that my students are so eager to learn. They come to the US for one specific reason ... a better life. They are reminded by their parents daily why they are here in the US. For this reason, they come to school with a thirst for knowledge and it is our responsibility to capture and quench that thirst. To keep your students engaged you need Consistency and Creativity!

Consistency is key! Take a good look at your schedule with your students whether you have your students for a 45 minute period or a 90 minute period there needs to be consistency in the structure of the class. Start the class with an agenda and warm up. Have students copy the agenda and do the warm up (4-6 minutes). This will allow them to get settled and ready for class. At the end of the period have a Share Out time (3-4minutes), where a few students can share what they have learned in the class.

Creativity ... make it fun! Don't be afraid to laugh and have fun with your class. Think about your class and where they are in their lives and plan appropriate lessons for them. For example, on Fridays I take one period and watch a movie with my students (the last two weeks we have been watching "Game Plan"). I stop the movie every 10-15 minutes and ask "what just happened" or "what do you think will happen next". These questions allow students to retell and make predictions; two necessary skills to becoming a good reader.

So when you are planning for your next class ask yourself "how can I add Consistency and Creativity to my class". Have a great week !


Nafis said...

Hi melissa,
happy your blog's birthday and Congrajulations!
I am studying English and I want to give TOEFL exam.Your blog will be very useful for me.
Thanks a lot

Melissa said...

Thanks for the comment. I hope my blog will be able to help you more. Good luck in studying English!