Thursday, July 20, 2017

Citizenship Classes for Immigrants

This fall, we are offering two Saturday citizenship classes, one in Escondido and one for San Marcos. Registration for these noncredit, tuition-free classes is open now. Please help spread the word!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

An Interesting Article

I found an interesting article on Aeon that is kind of philosophical. It is entitled "Before you can be with others, first learn to be alone." The graduate student author equates the ability to be alone with the ability to think. She implies that netizens today associate with each and everyone online at the cost of their thinking abilities. You can read the whole article here

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Distributing KYR Red Cards

All people in the United States, regardless of their immigration status, have certain constitutional rights. The San Francisco-based Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) distributes these Know Your Rights (KYR) red cards that folks can carry in their wallets.
I have asked and received a sizeable stock of these cards. So if you are interested in sharing these card with your students, please ask me.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Developing Reading and Writing Skills Concurrently

Today, on the CATESOL-CC Google Groups discussion site, someone responded to a colleague's request to share how to do extensive reading in an integrated skills class. The respondent said,

"I like to dedicate the first 15-20 minutes of my integrated classes (writing/grammar/reading...grammar/reading/wring) to reading, which is essentially reviewing or reading the material for the first time for an upcoming quiz.

It helps the serious students to review, the so-so ones to catch up, and the slackers to actually read.

My quizzes for the advanced intermediate level (blue Azar, Reader's Digest, Time) take one of several forms: 1. comprehension Qs (a. general--summary b. specific Q c. opinion) 2 targeted grammar: passive voice, for example, using the reading 3. sentence completion: The author states...

For the two levels below Freshman Comp, I have comprehension questions like 1. above or a summary.

I strongly believe that frequent in-class writing based on a reading helps students to develop their writing and grammar skills, as well as improve their reading comprehension."

Indeed, reading provides ample opportunity for our students to interact with the author, to summarize and paraphrase, to acquire vocabulary, to learn grammar and usage, and to develop both reading and writing skills concurrently. 

Last semester, I experimented with a project quite successfully. I took my level 4 class to the college library for each student to check out one book from either the ESL readers collection or the youth literature section. They were instructed to pick out a book that both interested them and was not too difficult or too easy for them in vocabulary. They were then to try to finish reading their book and write a book report using a couple templates I provided them. For a few of the book reports written by my students of varying proficiency levels, click here, here, here, here, and here. We were able to showcase several book reports during our ESL Recognition Night event on the last day of the semester. 

In the fall semester, our ESL Tutoring Center will receive another set of Townsend readers. You class is welcome to check out these books as well.