Tipping is a part of American culture. Most of us know to leave a tip for hair stylists, waiters, massage therapists, pizza delivery people, and valet parking? But, what about other services, such as movers, hotel housekeepers, and take out food? What’s the standard? Who should we tip? Along with vocabulary and grammar in a lesson on tipping, you’ll also be sharing in American culture with your students. Take a look below for lesson plans and resources.
Today’s post focuses on schools, parents, and parent/teacher conferences. The resources in this post address the following topics:
Types of schools in the USA
Places in the community (including transportation around town)
Wake County Public Schools Parent Academy
VOA Special English on youtube.com This video gives an overview of the types of schools in the United States. It’s in a “read along” format, with each word highlighted so students get both the audio and visual of the word.
Many Things.com This site includes a drop down list of activities to use with the vocabulary list. You can practice these as a group or individually in a computer lab or with the i-pads.
Parents and Their Children: Parent Teacher Conferences Students always seem to want information about how to have a successful parent/teacher conference! Here are a few resources to consider, which you can modify for NC.
Parent Toolkit. A comprehensive toolkit for any parent. An ESL teacher could use the information from the toolkit to help prep students for the conference, all the while working on new vocabulary and grammar, not to mention American culture. This document is rich with resources and possibilities. The material is presented by grade level, and includes checklists and questions to ask the teacher. It’s produced by Education Nation and NBC. http://www.parenttoolkit.com/?objectid=CDD7B950-20A0-11E3-8EC10050569A5318
Color in Colorado. Relevant and informative. A complete lesson plan on parent-teacher conferences is included.
Wake County Public Schools Parent Academy. Although this isn’t a place in the community, per se, it’s full of info that our students are interested in. There are workshops “to provide families with strategies that have a positive effect on the education of children”. Information on the site is in both English and Spanish. Super informative! http://www.wcpss.net/parent-academy
In the next few weeks we are going to have some coordinated posts with the Civics and Culture blog! You will get two posts; one will be for students, and the other for the teachers. When teaching your lessons about places around town, prepositions of place, or just strictly “community places” vocabulary, make sure to also check out the Civics and Culture blog. You’ll find practice materials for your students on that site!
Today’s post is about government buildings in Raleigh. Use the links on this site to help plan your lessons. You can also direct students to the Civics and Culture page for additional practice. There are follow-up questions on the site that your students can do as homework if desired. Here’s the link to the Civics and Culture page: http://eslblogs.waketech.edu/esl-civics/
Government Buildings in Raleigh:
City/town hall-offices for government officials
Municipal Building-similar to city/town hall, with many offices and different gov. departments
Courthouse-where legal issues are managed, such as criminal and civil trials, marriage, divorce
Capitol Building-the governor’s office is located here.
Legislative Building-where NC laws are discussed and processed
Electronic communication is the default mode of communication for many, however “snail mail” is still widely used for lots of things. There are a variety of resources available for both students and teachers. Here are a few of them you can use in the classroom, or with lesson planning.
Additionally, Youtube has some videos that model typical post office conversations.
For a student focused lesson on mailing a letter and using the post office, please go to Beth’s Civics and Community blog and read her “How to Send Mail” post! It’s super informative and has lots of good practice on it!
If you are searching for lesson plans you might want to visit the ESL Virtual Library of Lesson Plans. It’s a collection of plans and learning activities created by teachers at North Carolina community colleges.
North Carolina Curriculum Guide (includes lesson plans and activities)
In My Own Words (students’ stories about coming to live in the United States)
Links to Literature (student activities to link literature to American history and civics)
Participatory Learning in ESL
Living in America (addresses civics and culture)
Salud Latina (health lesson plans)
Technology (lesson plans focused on civics/incorporating technology)
The House I Live In (civics, housing, and the American Dream)
Can I use these materials in my class? Yes, of course! That’s exactly what the site is for! Use the materials for lesson planning and classroom activites. There are worksheets, activities, lesson plans, videos, audio collections, and games.
Who created this content? Most of the lesson plans were created by instructors at North Carolina community colleges. Each lesson plan includes the creator’s name/community college.
What is best about this site? It’s full of lesson plans and activities. Once you choose a topic you’ll find multiple levels of information. You just have to start looking around! It’s very easy to navigate.
What levels are the lessons intended for? The majority of the lessons are appropriate for beginner and intermediate level students. As with most lessons, you can simplify or expand the lesson to accommodate the students in your class.
What is challenging about the site? As a user, I want to know the credentials of the authors, and also the sources and reasons behind a post. At times it’s not clear to me the purpose of a post, or the source of the information. But, that wouldn’t stop me from using the site! It has tons of information!! Take a look!
There are some good resources on the web to assist us and our students with this quest. Of course, if you have a homogenous class of students who are all parents, you could dedicate some significant class time to this topic. However, that’s not usually the case, so having these resources for home use, small group study, or reinforcement of introductory lessons, could be helpful. In this post we have:
Tips for Parents
Preparing for a parent/teacher conference, including a lesson plan
A listening activity about parent/teacher conferences
Vocabulary used in parent/teacher conferences
Suggestions from WCPSS on successful conferences
A video showing a short parent/teacher conference (good for lower level classes-very simple)
A link to We are New York, an English language learning video series that students can access from home. This on is not specifically about PT conferences, but is a good message about the importance of education, and how to advocate for your children and be an involved parent.
ESL students are just as interested in news and current events as everyone else! As ESL instructors we can provide them an environment to access and understand this information using English. Multiple websites provide news for English language learners, and some even provide it in levels, from beginning to advanced. Here are a few, with some key points about each one. What sites do you use? Please let me know, in the REPLY section, and I’ll post it here! Thanks!
ITESLJ.ORG ITESLJ is not a news source per se, but it is a clearinghouse of information of all types.This first link includes information about different ways to use news and current events in the ESL classroom. It includes a sample lesson plan, and references the VOA website as its source. http://iteslj.org/Techniques/Banville-News/
Breaking News English. One of the more well known sites, it has extensive topics and lesson plans. It offers a “mini-lesson” as well as very inclusive, in depth lessons. Provides information as docs, mp3s, and PDFs. http://www.breakingnewsenglish.com/
VOA News. International news, sorted by topic or level. Provides audio, video in addition to news articles. There is an “English in your Language” section too. Additionally, the audio is slower paced for easier listening. http://learningenglish.voanews.com/
News in Levels. This site has common interest stories as well as more serious news. It is organized according to topic and level. There are transcripts for the videos. Easy site to use. http://www.newsinlevels.com/
The Times in Plain English. This site uses the NY Times as a reference for their information. It is not affiliated with the Times. It’s similar in appearance to the Times though, albeit much simpler and accessible articles. http://www.thetimesinplainenglish.com/wp/
CNN. On www.youtube.com, CNN has a weekly student news video. Students can watch the video multiple times. When ready, they can follow the link, on the youtube page, for some vocabulary practice! This is a great resource for the higher level students! So, here is this week’s video, along with the link for practice! Click this link for the vocabulary http://freeeltresources.blogspot.com/
These next two sites are a little more Eurocentric, but there might be some lessons you could use if modified for American English. Or maybe just get inspired by something you see?!?