“Coming to America” was the lesson topic, and the students of English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) wrote and posed questions to one another about their experiences. However, this was no ordinary ESOL class. The nine students and their teachers had gathered at Holyoke Community College’s Ludlow Area Adult Learning Center on Friday, November 9, 2018, to be stars. Part of an effort to capture instructional best practices in ESOL, they spent a full day being videoed as they went through this and many other lessons, with a camera lens sometimes just inches away.
The lessons were geared to demonstrate how teachers should communicate with their students, not only by speaking slowly and clearly, but also by using vocabulary and language structures geared to the students’ level, providing visuals, gestures, and other supports, regularly checking for comprehension, and having the students do most of the talking. Equally emphasized was the importance of correcting errors judiciously, and to do so via different methods and at different times—including giving the students opportunities to self-correct.
The resulting videos will be available on the SABES website as well as in SABES ESOL PD courses. Courses are open to any adult education teacher; however, priority is given to teachers from Massachusetts-funded programs. See the ESOL C&I PD center page, the SABES course calendar, or contact Dori McCormack for more information about SABES ESOL PD at dmccormack@QCC.mass.edu.
To enroll in free English for Speakers of Other Languages at Ludlow Area Adult Learning Center, please call the school at 413-583-0320.
Videographer Alexandra (Ali) Pinschmidt with ESOL students Hadis (Hoda) Hosseinpour, Qiong Ying Li, and Heba Mikhaeil
Videographer Alexandra (Ali) Pinschmidt filming ESOL teacher Diane Worth, with ESOL students Ramón de los Santos and Latifah Saibou looking on.