Esl Lesson Plans For Kids

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Frequently Asked Questions

  1. QUESTION:
    Where can I get some great ESL lesson plans?
    I have been looking online via google and I only find sites that give you either adult lesson plans or games for kids. I am mostly looking for ESL lesson plans for kids. Like, ones with objectives and step by step instructions.

    Any recommendations?

    • ANSWER:
      go to amazon.com

  2. QUESTION:
    What would be a good ESL intermediate lesson plan for a 1 or 2 student ESL classroom?
    Unfortunately, I cannot find lesson plans for one or two student classrooms for ESL instruction. It is going to be used in a middle school classroom. I need about 20-25 minutes worth of activities to use during the class period.

    Also, I'm looking for a low intermediate lesson plan that is designed for a one or two student classroom for an elementary classroom, which will be used for about 25-30 minutes.

    Thank you for your help. I really need it!
    These lesson plans will be primarily used for reading or writing activities.

    • ANSWER:
      Yeah, I can give you lots: you can do several things with parts of speech, you just have to modify it for the students' levels. Sorting activities are a good ESL activity, especially if you can pair a picture with the words that are used. For example, teach them the concept that nouns are persons, places, and things. Then have them sort word/picture cards into those three categories. You're teaching the concept of what a noun is but also teaching them basic vocabulary (persons: man, woman, baby, child, boy, girl; places: school, restaurant, store, beach; things: book, pencil, desk, television, clock, milk, bread, etc.). Then you can have them look through magazines to find pictures of persons, places, and things and make a nouns book - something they can refer back to when reviewing basic vocabulary words. I also like to do something similar to this with adjectives - teach them that adjectives tell what color, how many, what kind, and which one. Colors and numbers are very basic, so these kids should have learned those by now. What kind can be done easily with basic words - fat, thin, flat, round, tall, short, etc. And which one, well those are just the demonstrative adjectives - this, that, these, and those. Have them sort easy familiar words into those categories. I like to do a stand-up activity with the demonstrative adjectives - one student stand close to me (this student) and another one far away (that student), then several students close to me (these students) and several far away (those students). How about pronouns - match subject to object pronouns (I and me, they and them, we and us, etc.). Just remember that card stock and a good printer are your friends.

      Then there's some reading topics - I like to do sequence with animal life cycles - it's easy to draw pictures of the egg, the caterpillar, the cacoon, and the butterfly. This incorporates a little science, too. But also, add ordinal numbers (first, second, third) and other ordering words (next, then, finally). Point out that these are "clue words" when looking for sequence in passages. You can also teach them that timelines and recipes are in sequence.

      Or how about fact and opinion. Teach them the concept including pointing out the idea that opinions sometimes have the words "I think," "I believe," and "I feel" as part of the statement (or they can be assumed). Have several statements written or printed on sentence strips and have them sort the statements into the two categories.

      Need more ideas? Or do you have a specific concept you want to cover but don't have a good idea, just email me - I'm sure I have something up my sleeve.

      Oh, that brings up another one. Teach them about idioms. There are lots of websights that have idioms. Have some literal drawings of several idioms. Talk to the students about what they literally mean and what they figuratively mean. Discuss how all langauges have these and that they may find reading passages with lots of idioms difficult so they need to become familiar with some of them. Then have another set of literal drawings and have them match the drawings to the saying. You might want to have them discuss some idioms from their home langauge (you may have to look some of these up prior to class - I have a long list of Spanish idioms). Then you may want to have them select an idiom (from their home language or from English) and have them illustrate it.

      Seriously, email me if you need more help.

  3. QUESTION:
    Can anybody please help me with developing a good esl lesson plan?
    I'm new at teaching and I'll be tackling Korean students (most probably middle school kids). I have to develop a good lesson plan involving mainly conversations but I am a bit lost. I need help setting up a good lesson plan which I will have to present to the new school in which I'll be working soon.

    • ANSWER:
      Oy; the scope of the question is a little beyond the space and time here, but I can give you some tips.

      Essentially, you need to break the lessons into both themes and grammatical functions. I would recommend creating a series of modular lessons that follow the following structure:

      Step 1: Introduce a simple conversation (that covers what it introduced in the section)
      Step 2: Vocabulary, broken into nouns, verbs, adjectives, phrases, etc.
      Step 3: Integrated conversation: have a simple conversation about a module subject, and have three or four different words that could be used in the sentence. Go around the room and have two classmates perform the conversation, using different words for each group.
      Step 4: Have a photo, ask specific questions about the photo that require students to fill in the blanks from the module
      Step 5: Have students write a short paragraph about themselves, tying in the subject material being used.

      This modularization can contain simple themes like:

      Greetings
      School
      At the park
      Going to the movies
      Sports
      Seasons
      Pets

      Most importantly, write a learning objective (a statement of what students should be able to do after completing the lesson) for each and every module.

      Best of luck!

  4. QUESTION:
    How do I become a good teacher?
    I had my first ESL lesson with kids aged 6 yesterday, and thought I'd planned it well, and it was going to be pretty easy.

    WRONG. It was a DISASTER! The kids didn't listen to me, no matter how much I shouted and they soon got bored, even though I had lots of activities.

    I've never been a teacher before, and was wondering is anyone has any ideas or tips on how to control the kids/make a good lesson?

    • ANSWER:
      I'm afraid I misread that "they all smell" line. Kids do get bored easily, that's just their way. It would only really be a disaster if a kid got into trouble or you hit someone or something like that. Otherwise it's a learning curve, for you as well as for the kids.

  5. QUESTION:
    What would be the best method to teach ESL to 5-6 year old groups?
    Any specific methodologies you know? How would I go to implement into lesson plans?

    • ANSWER:
      You don't explicitly teach kids that age. You approach language the way they learned their first language- through interaction and play. Play games, sing songs, use picture books where they can tell what's going on from the pictures. Stop and point out the things in the pictures. If you use, for example, the Biskit the dog books, you can point out one word (like "bath" in Biskit Takes a Bath), and the second time, point to the word and have a kid say it. Let them act the stories out. Practice basic social routines with them- "Hello. How are you today?" "I'd like" "May I have". Use lots of realia- real objects, toys, dolls, etc.

  6. QUESTION:
    I need help forming ESL lesson plans?
    I am taking a class to learn how to teach English as a foreign language but have had no practice in making lesson plans. My kid is in the tenth grade and from Bahrain. I was thinking of doing something that teaches her English slang or connecting words. It's an hour lesson, any suggestions?

    • ANSWER:
      I took a similar class 6 years ago, with italians though. I understand what you're going through. Is your kid ready for an entire lesson on slang? If she is your possibilities are endless. If she's not it'll be a disaster. I usually try to work 1 or 2 expressions in every lesson (and repeat them!) so it's a little more manageable. Check out: www.cambridgeofpescara.com/resources. I've gathered a bunch of helpful esl sites there that may be helpful.

  7. QUESTION:
    How to teach Kindergarten children?
    I've accepted a job teaching ESL to kindergarten children in Turkey, and I start next week.

    I've not practical experience, I only have a TEFL and although I like kids I'm quite scared as I've never done this before.

    Does anyone have any tips or ideas for me being a first time KG teacher?
    How hard is it REALLY?

    Also, the teaching hours are 30 hours per week, so how many hours should I be planning?

    • ANSWER:
      Oh boy you're in for some fun!

      Well this is a fun activity http://eslcarissa.blogspot.mx/2012/10/5-little-pumpkins-family-version.html you can do with them to review family members AND it is seasonal. If you aren't allowed to do Halloween change it to fall and adjust some of the words "witches in the air--> Leaves in the air" There are more crafts you can do with it (finger puppets), have them clue tongue depressers on a paper (as a gate) and then the pumpkins above them. etc.

      Body parts http://eslcarissa.blogspot.mx/2012/06/oh-no-poor-joe-body-parts-game.html

      Clothes http://eslcarissa.blogspot.mx/2011/12/head-shoulders-knees-and-toeswith.html

      Animals http://eslcarissa.blogspot.mx/2012/07/sweet-little-bunny-with-fly-upon-its.html

      Jobs http://eslcarissa.blogspot.mx/2011/03/occupations.html

      Simple classroom behaviour (stand up sit down, etc. http://eslcarissa.blogspot.com/2012/10/this-or-that-these-or-those.html)

      Invaluable game for ANY vocab http://eslcarissa.blogspot.com/2012/09/flyswatter.html

      Are you only teaching one set of students? How many? It will be a lot of planning until you get a hang of it but usually you can reuse lessons.

      Get a routine set right away (hello song, name song, emotion song, weather song, change the weather on the board, what day is it, story time, activity snack time, etc.)

      It is challenging, but they are lovable so its worth it :)

  8. QUESTION:
    How to challenge high-level students in high school English class?

    • ANSWER:
      If these students are higher level, they should probably be placed in an Honors or AP course.

      I would probably need more information as to what exactly you are teaching in order to determine how to challenge the students.
      I'll take a persuasive essay as an example.
      There are enrichment activities that can provide a challenge for persuasive essays. Have the student determine a 'hot topic' that is normally seen at the high school (let's just say the school providing condoms and birth control literature via Planned Parenthood) and present a persuasive essay that covers both points of views. Both for and against the issue. Then the student can create some kind of multi-media power point presentation or slide show to back up his/her points. Then finally present their OWN view and opinion. That student should be encouraged to research in order to provide accurate data and statistics, and previous articles on the topic. The student can perform his/her own mini-poll of the student body to include in their persuasive essay. Letters to the editor can be written to express points of views. Students can practice speech and debate, and go against each other in a friendly forum debate. The challenge possibilities are endless. It's a matter of making sure all kids are being exposed to the topic: persuasive essay. You'll have to modify for SpEd & ESL kids, as well as these high achievers to make sure the lessons are challenging and MEANINGFUL!

      Good luck!

  9. QUESTION:
    Teachers, how do you consult and collaborate in schools?
    What are ways you consult and collaborate in the school setting? Any tips or ideas?

    • ANSWER:
      I work at an intermediate school (5th and 6th grades). Our student body is divided into "teams" with three teachers per team - a math teacher, science/social studies teacher, and a language arts/reading teacher. Each grade has 5 teams. Because the three teachers on a team work with the same students (60-90 students that rotate among them), they meet regularly to discuss the students on their team, upcoming school events, etc. Typically they meet formally at least once per week, during a conference period, but they also meet informally a lot more than that - between classes, have lunch together, stay after school together to work on a team project, etc. Also, the subject area teachers meet weekly, so, for example, all the 5th grade math teachers meet formally once a week to discuss issues pertaining to their subject area, like developing the lesson plan for next week, issues they've been having teaching a topic, resource swapping, etc. Our school also has academic clubs, so a kid can join the 5th grade science club (for example) and all the 5th grade science teachers would sponsor the club, taking turns with duties/responsibilities, so some collaboration must routinely take place with that. The staff meets as a group, typically twice a month, depending on the need. These are usually reserved for big changes, like a change in administrative staff, a campus-wide procedural change (duty shedule), or training. The principal also sends out a campus-wide email each Monday morning that has anything we really need to know for the week and a list of important dates (field trips, testing days, etc.). We also have a campus testing coordinator who meets with all the teachers regularly to train them with testing procedures, developing benchmark tests, and so on. Then you have teachers in specific areas that must coordinate often with other teachers, like the teacher that runs the content mastery lab, the gifted and talented teacher, the person who runs the ARDs, the ESL teacher, special education, and so forth. Most is done either face-to-face or via email, just depending on what the need is. Seriously, I spend almost as much time in meetings each day as I do teaching students. Hope this helps.

  10. QUESTION:
    ESL lessons for 6-12 year old beginner learners?
    Hi all.

    Im currently teaching English in a Thai school and am having a few issues with lesson ideas for my younger kids. The school is a boarding school for what the Thai's deem to be "problem children". Many of them are orphans of the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami, some of them are genuine hard cases who were involved in the drug trade in Phuket and other spots in the south of Thailand, others have medical conditions which in England would be seen as sufficient to warrant inclusion in a special school.

    Before being assigned my school I was informed that I would be teaching Matthayom only, that is, 13-18 year olds, so all my planning has revolved around teenagers. However, I am now teaching from Prathom 1 (infants) through to Matthayom 6 (18 year olds) and am coping well with the older kids but struggling to find time to plan for my younger learners.

    The level of English is very low, I spent a lesson explaining the importance of the word "because" to my older kids, as well as the function of "why", "how", "who", "where", "when" and "what" which the school seems to have overlooked during their grammar lessons. Having observed my Thai co-workers delivering lessons, I think that I have identified the problem, the kids sit in silent rows while the teacher writes grammatically correct sentences on the board not checking comprehension as he/she goes along.

    As such the students workbooks are a shining example of correct grammar structure, but ask most of the kids to put it into practice, and you are met with a vacant stare and a flat refusal to talk. This is my first time teaching and I'm determined my kids will be able to structure at least a few sentences by the time my agency shifts me to a new school in March.

    My question for any ESL teachers on here is this, has anyone else worked in a similar environment before, if so, how did you cope, and also, if anyone has any ideas or lesson plans that they wouldn't mind sharing for the 6-12 year olds, I would be most appreciative. Please note that my role is to enhance the kids spoken English, with an emphasis on general conversation, I am not responsible for teaching them grammar or writing.

    Thanks in advance

    Danny

    • ANSWER:
      Yeah, teaching kids can be a lot of fun. From what you said their other teacher sounds pretty boring. Kids need to have fun when they learn. They want to be active, to create, make things and play. So learn a few basics and then find ways of integrating games, activities and maybe songs into your lessons.

      I have mostly taught children in that age range.

  11. QUESTION:
    Do you have a favorite website source for ESL (English as a Second Language) teaching ideas?
    My friend (not a teacher by trade) is teaching an ESL class in Korea. Does anyone who teaches ESL have any advice or specific websites (please include URL if possible!) that she could read today to help her feel more prepared to start her class tomorrow? Here are a few facts:

    * This is not bilingual education - it's an immersion class, and she does not speak Korean.
    * She will be handed the curriculum tomorrow morning before the class starts, but does not have it in hand to prepare from ahead of time.
    * Until she starts, she won't even know how much English the kids already know.
    * Students will be upper-elementary/early middle school age.

    Icebreakers & other first-day activities are especially helpful, but would love to see any suggestions for any creative and fun stuff.

    She'll be great once she gets started, but she's nervous about what to do on the first day and how to fill the time after introductions.

    Thanks in advance for your ideas!

    • ANSWER:
      Here's some info that might be helpful
      http://www.eslcafe.com/
      The First ESL web site and one of the best.
      http://www.webenglishteacher.com/esl.html
      AWESOME SITE
      http://darkwing.uoregon.edu/~leslieob/pizzaz.html
      Has good teaching suggestions
      http://iteslj.org/links/TESL/Lessons/
      Good lesson plans
      The first day is always pretty scary...Good luck!

  12. QUESTION:
    Autism and Parents who home school?
    I am a home school teacher and found out my daughter is Autism. I will not place her in public school due to the fact that some kids can be harsh. I am a liscened home school teacher so I need info on where I can get workbooks for her so I can teach her.

    • ANSWER:
      Not all of these websites have workbooks, many have free worksheets, free software, and other materials that may be helpful to you.

      School Express http://www.schoolexpress.com/
      600+ Free Thematic Units & eWorkbooks you can download, 11,000+ Free Worksheets, & more.

      Learning Helper: http://www.learninghelper.com
      Learning Helper is a comprehensive computer teaching system for children (students) with learning difficulties such as autism. The main features of Learning Helper include: discrete-trial methodology; text/voice/picture/video based instructions and teaching materials; database supported management system; fully customisable lesson setup; automatic progress monitoring and reporting; and a comprehensive reward system.

      SEN Teacher
      Provides cost-free teaching & learning resources for students with special needs and learning disabilities.

      1. The Printables Page http://www.senteacher.org/main/print.php
      A selection of printable worksheets, handouts, and teaching aids; most of which can be customised to suit a range of learners. 48 different categories, each with a variety of different printables.

      2. The Files Page http://www.senteacher.org/Files/
      Free educational software which has proven useful to teachers and parents of special needs students. Includes: math, english, computers, art, and science. Only software which is fully free for use in schools and at home is listed, no shareware or demo software is included. Click the links on this webpage to see screengrabs, to download the software, or for further information.

      Autism Hand in Hand http://www.autismhandinhand.com/index.htm
      A special education resource designed for parents, behavior interventionists, teachers, support workers, and other people involved in the lives of children with autism.
      Instructional Programs include various activities for fine motor skills; gross motor skills; & receptive object identification.
      Interactive Play & Playdate Activities includes ideas for activities that will help with turn taking; fine motor skills; counting skills; following directions; following simple instructions; generalizations of receptive instructions; listening; verbal communication; generalization of descriptive adjectives; gross motor skills; generalizations of categories; verbal communication; peer interaction; attention and cooperation; cognitive memory recall; writing; & generalization of expressive labels.
      Songs in Motion includes fingerplay songs which are great for development of cognitive, language, memory, and fine motor skills. Songs can be used as a way to teach receptive and imitation skills or as reinforcement.
      Program Materials includes various flashcards and stories.

      Speech Games http://www.bonduel.k12.wi.us/Teacher_pages/Elem/Speech/games.htmlFor download they have articulation cards; articulation bingo; gameboards; and language games.

      MES-English http://www.mes-english.com/
      free projects & lesson plans, flashcards, worksheets, handouts, phonic cards; ESL games; an international project exchange library; printable certificates, stickers, activities.

      HiYah Software http://www.hiyah.net/software
      Free Software for children who want to use the computer but can't yet use a mouse. This educational software is made for children 18 months to 4 years of age (or higher for children struggling with language delays due to autism or other causes). The programs are completely free and easily installed / uninstalled. The download versions are made to run on Microsoft Windows compatible operating systems. The Play Online version works on Macs or PCs. They have colors, shapes, numbers, nouns, verbs, opposites, preprimary words, primary words, 1st-2nd-3rd grade words, counting machine, adding machine, number rows, upcoming holidays, classic stories, nursery rhymes and songs, going places, occupations and transportation, emotions, nature (mammals, domestic animals, insects, reptiles, birds) & printable flash cards.

      Do To Learn http://www.dotolearn.com/sitemap/index.htm
      Free Parent & Teacher Materials: picture cards; print activities; homework helpers, and other useful materials. Free computer-based instruction: Time Sequence Game; Coloring Pages; How Many?; Feelings Game; Facial Expressions; Balloon Mania (colors); Synonyms and Antonyms; Math Mahjong; What Color?; Create A Room (nouns); What's Different?; Street Safety Songs; Fire Safety Song; & Mall Safety Song . They also have materials you can purchase from laminated picture cards to educational software.

  13. QUESTION:
    Where can you find a typical lesson plan for first grade on describing persons, places, and things?

    • ANSWER:
      I'm a little confused - are they describing nouns? Is the lesson on adjectives? Or are they identifying nouns and categorizing them as persons, places, or things?

      If the lesson is for nouns and categorizing them into the three categories, make a nouns booklet. Give your kids some old magazines and have them cut out pictues. You could either have them only cut pictures out of people one day, then places the next day, then things the next day. Or you could have them cut out a bunch of pictures then sort them into the three categories. Either would work. Then have them make a booklet out of construction paper and glue the pictures for each category on separate pages. Be sure to label the pages for each category. I do this activity with 5th grade ESL students and extend the lesson by having them name the different persons, places, and things.

      If the activity is about adjectives, focus on the four function of adjectives (actually, you might only want to focus on the three more obvious ones for 1st graders) - what color, how many, what kind, and which one (this is the category I would skip with 1st graders). Focus on colors and how things have colors - yellow sun, blue sky, black cat, brown hat, red truck, etc. Then focus on how many things there are - four people, three dogs, one sun, etc. Then you can easily use opposites for what kind - fat pig and skinny dog, tall man and short child, etc.

      Good luck!

  14. QUESTION:
    How to teach ESL students Geological Eras?
    I am a teacher's assistance and next week i am going to be teaching for the first time. the class i teach is gr.9 ESL geography and i need an activity or plan to get them interested(hook) so i need sum ideas. greatly appreciated :)
    REMEMBER: Geological Eras

    • ANSWER:
      cybersleuth-kids.com/sleuth/Science/Geology/Geological_Eras/
      Here's a website you might try. You can also go to Google and type in.....lesson plans for teaching geological eras.... and several excellent sites will come up. Good luck

  15. QUESTION:
    What is a good way to teach ESL to a four-year-old?

    • ANSWER:
      Preschool and Kindergarten Links

      http://www.hubbardscupboard.org/pre-kindergarten.html

      http://www.hubbardscupboard.org/kindergarten.html

      http://www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/dinosaurs/

      http://www.edhelper.com/ReadingComprehension.htm

      http://www.preschoolexpress.com/index.shtml

      http://www.preschoolexpress.com/alphabet_station03/a_activities.shtml

      http://www.preschoolexpress.com/alphabet_station.shtml

      http://www.atozteacherstuff.com/Themes/Alphabet/

      http://www.websterschools.org/classrooms/state_library/A_to_Z.html

      http://www.kids.scintro.com/

      http://www.perpetualpreschool.com/preschoolsongs.html

      http://www.preschoolrainbow.org/preschool-summer.htm

      Pre-School Themes & Activities

      Welcome to Pre-School Themes & Activities...there are lots of wonderful crafts & activities, story ideas to read aloud, songs/fingerplays/nursery rhymes, and recipe ideas! Click on a theme category or one of our great activity ideas below.....and have fun!! Pages are updated regularly - so check back soon for more great ideas!

      http://members.tripod.com/ccb_themes/

      http://www.canteach.ca/elementary/recipe.html

      Sites with themes

      http://www.cln.org/themes_index.html

      http://edtech.kennesaw.edu/web/k-2.htm

      http://edtech.kennesaw.edu/web/3-5.htm

      http://www.teachers.ash.org.au/denise/Themes.htm

      http://www.stemnet.nf.ca/CITE/themes.html

      http://www.occ.act.edu.au/home/itpd/webquests/matrix.htm

      _____________________________________________

      Curriculum, Lesson Plans, Colouring Links & Fun Stuff.

      http://www.lessonplanspage.com/index.html

      http://www.crayola.com/educators/lessons/index.cfm

      http://www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/dinosaurs/

      http://www.rhymes.org.uk/

      http://www.didyouknow.org/animals/animals.htm

      http://www.allpopularsites.com/cartoons.htm

      http://www.coloring-page.com/

      http://www.coloring.ws/

      http://www.funbrain.com/index.html

      http://www.letsreadclyde.com/

      http://www.picadome.fcps.net/lab/currl/

      http://www.starfall.com

      http://www.pbskids.org

      http://edtech.kennesaw.edu/web/3-5.htm

      http://www.schoolexpress.com/

      http://gamequarium.com/

      http://jambav.com/

      http://www.fisher-price.com/us/

      http://www.allpopularsites.com/kids.htm

      LESSON PLANS

      http://www.teachernet.gov.uk/teachingandlearning/resourcematerials/Resources/

      http://go.hrw.com/ndNSAPI.nd/gohrw_rls1/pKeywordResults?sr9+rubrics

      http://www.lessonplanz.com/

      http://www.sitesforteachers.com/

      http://www.4teachers.org/

      http://www.lessonplanet.com/

      http://www.lessonplanspage.com/

      http://www.teachingideas.co.uk/

      http://www.canteach.ca/

      http://www.lessonplanspage.com/index.html

      http://www.lessonplanspage.com/WriteLessonPlan.htm

      Good luck for the future.

      Kevin, Liverpool, England.

  16. QUESTION:
    how can i develope a "bullet proof" plan,as a new comer,who is immigrating to edmonton, alberta?
    i m planning to arrive between july and august, first i want to rent and look for a job in the human resources area, my wife s profession is nurse and i have two kid of 4 and 2 years each.i would like to know wich asociations i can contact to guide me as a new commer to edmonton.

    • ANSWER:
      well first question is.. where are you coming from? you have to this your wife may be a nurse but she has to have qualifications for Canada to be a nurse here. for work, you can go to www.working.com (Edmonton site) or http://www.jobbank.gc.ca/ and select EDMONTON. with housing, it all depends to you want a house/apartment, best is to do a search on google.ca or yahoo.ca and search for housing+Edmonton it will give you allot of references. when you land in Canada FIRST this is get a SOCIAL INSURANCE NUMBER (SIN Card) this will allow you to work here, then get your Alberta Health Care (medical) is you want to take English lessons there is Norquest college for ESL .

      So much, so much to say and do.. i hope this helps somewhat

  17. QUESTION:
    Aeon Interview ...What is the best 5 minutes lesson to teach?
    I am trying to think of a fun and interesting lesson that will be engaging for students in an Aeon ESL interview. I was thinking of doing one these: weather; animals - male, female, baby; prepositions of place - in, on, above, between etc.

    Which would make the best lesson for 5 mins? Any other suggestions?

    • ANSWER:
      I worked for Aeon for 20 months. They have set lesson plans and will train you in their own teaching techniques. I think the biggest thing they are interested in is someone who is energetic and will make the classes fun and exciting for the students. Speak loudly and confidently. My trainer was the most hyper person I ever met in my life!! A simple theme would be good, such as weather or animals as you said above. Choose your favorite as it will make you more enthusiastic. Are you doing a kids lesson? If so, make sure you put in a fast paced game.

  18. QUESTION:
    I'm thinking about teaching English overseas, does anyone have any advice?
    If you've taught, or know some1 close to you who has taught overseas, tell me what i should expect.

    • ANSWER:
      first of all, make sure you are working through an established organization. also, know that kids in a foreign country are the same as kids at home. all kids everywhere think school sux, so have a solid lesson plan. otherwise, its a great opportunity and loads of fun.
      also check Dave's ESL Cafe
      http://www.eslcafe.com/

  19. QUESTION:
    Help! I am starting work tomorrow teaching ESL in high school?
    I have been given no brief of what the students know, what ages I am going to be teaching and what I am suspected to teach? Does anyone have a simple lesson plan that will last approximately fifty minutes on any subject? I am currently looking at getting the ask each other simple questions, to assess what they know and getting them to write a resume, but I am worried this will be done in thirty seconds and leave me stuck for the rest of the lesson!!!!

    • ANSWER:
      Honestly, if they are in an ESL class in high school, they are most likely VERY low. Those that can understand and communicate in verbal English may still be in there due to their writing. You will want to make sure you give a diagnostic in both reading and writing.

      In my school, the ESL class is challenging behavior wise. There are some gang issues (I teach MS at a school that doesn't have many gang issues, but the ones we do have are predominantly our two Hispanic gangs.) Even if you don't have that problem, you are dealing with kids that may feel like they are outsiders or stupid. Due to the language barrier, they may not perform well in other classes and might be low achieving, apathetic students. Just like any class, you will want to make very clear the rules and expectations. Since there is a good chance they will have behavioral problems, you will have to make sure you are super strict. (And really, be strict with any class anyway!)

      I'm not sure if the resume will work. If your school is like mine, the kids are all levels. A freshman will not have had a job yet. Maybe think of a personal narrative instead? They can do prewriting for it and begin drafting. You could also create getting to know you questions: What are your goals for the year? Who are your family members? What is your favorite hobby?

      One thing to keep in mind is that many ESL kids are still in ESl because they have a hard time with English since they have a hard time in their native language. Usually a child who is very good at their native language, doesn't stay in ESL very long because that area of their brain is well developed. But, if the child did not grow up reading in their native language and is below grade level in their native tongue, they will have a harder time picking up a second language. Our ESL class is filled with kids that are illiterate in their language. Think of how hard it would be for someone in America, who does not have a basic understanding of English, to try and learn another language. This is why something diagnostic is so important. Use a diagnostic from below grade level to see where they are at.

      Good luck! You ESL teachers have a tough job and we other teachers couldn t do it without you!

  20. QUESTION:
    China ESL Lesson plan for Kindergarten?
    I am teaching Kindergarteners in China, which in this country is not elementary or primary school, it consists of younger students. My students are four years old, and today was an absolute disaster. Yesterday I met with some of the teachers who gave me a schedule with words and sentences that needed to be done for each week. Well I came in today, tried to teach it, and most students really could not repeat what I was saying. The teacher complained that I needed to do more fun and active things like running around the class, singing songs, etc. So I sang a song with them and the kids couldnt sing along. I lead an activity walking around the class and students couldn't follow along. I had them repeat sentences while clapping and stopping and they could not do that. This is a disaster, I left the school wanting to cry, pack my bags and leave. But I cannot do that, I am here with my wife who is Chinese to be near her family, and it seems finding a new job would be way too hard.

    I have seen people on other threads try and play moral police, but take note, I can, and have taught primary school, in the United States and South Korea. I did not want to teach kindergarteners, the school knew my experience, then booked me as a kindergarten teacher anyway. I accepted the job several months ago, arrived in china about two weeks ago, and they just told me that I would be teaching Kindergarten yesterday. If I could see some full lesson plans already made for kindergarteners in china I think that would help a lot. Thanks for your time, and God Bless you all!

    • ANSWER:
      I have no lesson plans for Chinese toddlers learning ESL but I can recommend some resources that you can order.

      Story S-T-R-E-T-C-H-E-R-S is available from Amazon for various age/grade levels. It includes activities for games, snacks, math, science, vocabulary, etc. using favorite story books. A good way to immerse young children in English.

  21. QUESTION:
    Teaching esl to a 8 year old? Need fun ideas?
    I am looking for ideas to teach an 8 year old . It is one on one using Moving into English text. I find that he is getting bored.

    • ANSWER:
      I'm not sure how much time you have, or what sort of constraints [are you a private tutor?]

      One way you can keep an 8-year-old occupied in learning a second language - graphic novels. They are sometimes called manga. I would suggest a good kid story, like Naruto. You can grab a copy at Barnes & Noble, okay it with his parents, and present it to him one page at a time [to keep him eager for the next page and the next lesson with you].

      Have him work on translating each page from English into his native language. This will require him to put some effort into the lesson, and as he goes through the dictionary he will discover not only the words he is searching for, but others. You will be there to answer his questions, and to explain concepts of the English language as he moves along.

      It takes critical thinking on your part to structure sessions like this that incorporate the key points and concepts in the "Moving into English" text, but I am sure you are more than capable.

      From his translation exercises, he can build his own vocabulary list, and add it to the one you already use.

      He will become familiar with spelling patterns.

      He will learn second-hand the patterns of English speech. This is something you should emphasize through your lesson plan.

      He will learn to speak clearly and enunciate through reading his own translations.

      You can check for understanding immediately, and if he does not understand - he will be sure to ask you because he doesn't want to miss part of the story.

      He will thoroughly enjoy the story!

      Hope this works, it's a bit time consuming, but that's my style as a one-on-one private teacher.

  22. QUESTION:
    esl teacher? what do you do?
    are you like a real teacher with classes and kids. make lesson plans,etc. but focused more on conversation skills.
    b/c i was told that most of programs that allow you teach overseas really just hire you as teacher assistant. i am interested in esl but i am not clear as to what i would really be doing.
    thank. i am interested in doing this as a means to travel to other countries. but i have no teaching skills and i would not want to sign up for something that i would not be able to do. any websites that might give me a better idea of what i would be doing?
    ok so what if i only want to do this so i can go overseas. i don't want to be teacher so where would i fit in this. i don't mind being an assistant.

    • ANSWER:
      If you are overseas, you are an EFL (English as a Foreign Language) teacher, not an ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher.

      I currently teach ESL at an American high school, and I am a "real" teacher. I write lesson plans, have my own classes, etc.

      I also have taught a university class in Asia. There, I was also a "real" teacher.

      If you are thinking about going overseas, the type of job you have will depend on your education. I have my MA in TESOL from a good university, so I can be a "real" college instructor. If you have a Bachelor's in a random subject or no degree at all, you are much more like to be an assistant. It depends a lot on where you are teaching - would it be a public school, a university, or a private English institute?

  23. QUESTION:
    When was the last time you felt overwhelmed in a situation?
    Why did you feel overwhelmed? Was it a good or bad feeling?

    • ANSWER:
      My job as a high school ESL teacher keeps me overwhelmed on a daily basis. Paperwork, phone calls to parents, helping kids with their work, planning lessons, making photocopies, dealing with other teachers who don't make the required accommodations for my students, etc.

  24. QUESTION:
    i want to become a teacher for kids.which i want to study?i love teaching.backhome i was a voluteer teacher.?
    now i'm studying esl.i thing i want to do ged.after that i want to associate degree?how much money i want it?and how many years i want to study????????teaching easy to get in??????i love under 10 years old kids.i want to teach them.

    • ANSWER:
      How to Become a Teacher

      Good teachers love helping children and young adults develop intellectually and emotionally, despite diverse challenges. In teacher training, you'll learn to meet these challenges, and by actually working with children, you'll be able to decide whether the job is right for you.

      Step 1 Find work with children in the age group that most interests you: Teach swimming lessons, coach a sports team, be a camp counselor. If you're in college, volunteer in a classroom on a regular basis and document this experience.

      Step 2 Investigate teacher-credential or certification programs at the college or university you plan to attend. Decide whether you prefer elementary education (one possible major) or secondary school teaching, for which you major in the subject you plan to teach.

      Step 3 Seek employment as a teacher's aide or a substitute teacher if you are already in the workforce and have completed some college. If you already have a college degree, you might be eligible to obtain your credential while teaching full-time in an area with teacher shortages.

      Step 4 Expect credential requirements to include numerous standardized tests and mandatory classroom experience prior to a full year of student teaching, in addition to your degree in education or in your teaching subject. Teacher training programs often add a fifth year to college.

      Step 5 Familiarize yourself with the services of your campus or school of education career center. They offer job search counseling and will connect you to school districts with openings.

      Step 6 Join a professional association in your teaching specialty, such as the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) or the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA).

      http://www.ehow.com/how_3591_become-teacher.html?ref=fuel&utm_source=yahoo&utm_medium=ssp&utm_campaign=yssp_art

  25. QUESTION:
    Any ESL experiences in SOUTH KOREA?
    What are some schools that YOU have taught in South Korea and where?
    What was your experience like?
    How did the school treat you?
    Any recommendations for a future ESL teacher traveling to S.K.?

    • ANSWER:
      recommendations? do as much homework on the school, area and anything of interest as possible. what may be a good situation for one person doesnt really equate to much for another. just make sure u can contact the person u are replacing or can contact previous or current teacehrs at that school. also, go online, post questions on here and especially on dave's esl cafe (www.eslcafe.com), facebook a city (many times they already have facebook groups for foriegners) ,and check the galbijim web page...real good info on whats happening in almost any city in korea (http://wiki.galbijim.com/Main_Page)

      my jobs:
      -kids college,daejeon. very busy kindergarten hagwon (work hrs 930-710), lesson planned for all classes, low pay for the hours (2 million won) but was always paid on time. got along w/ everyone on the job but the boss was a RUTHLESS woman. all my co-workers were american and we had korean helpers. at the time, only 3 foriegn teachers out of about 25 completed their contracts...the rest were either fired or quit.

      it was a good experience for me but i ended up getting screwed out of about 0 on my way out...and that was after extending my contract for about a week b/c my replacement couldnt make it on time,

      -2nd job. jung chul academy, suncheon

      i worked at 2 different academies owned by 1 woman. one location, the inmates (elementary students) pretty much ran the asylum. u didnt get any support from the korean co-workers since they either didnt care about u or were too busy since they were severely overworked.

      the other location was a bit better...students didnt run as free as the other center. got along well w/ my 2 foreign co-workers as well as the korean teachers. but i dont know if it was the atmosphere or they were told not to talk to us, but i didnt find them to be very genuine. but they were very 'kind' when they needed something.

      pay was a little bit more and we didnt lesson plan...we were just given what to do by the korean homeroom teacher. we saw each class (had about 4-6 different classes a day) once a week.

      sometimes i was paid late (a week or two at most) but sometimes my boss didnt pay for my apt on time as well...which forced the apt manager to turn off my water (usually lasts a day).

      -current job

      ggs english center, gwangju

      better pay (2.4 million + 10 hrs overtime a month) for the hrs (910a-440p)
      co workers are great...pretty genuine people who actually value your opinion. a normal day is pretty busy. u dont really have much time to lesson plan except on ur lunch hr or on ur own time. they have 'open class' where parents watch ur class as well as getting filmed while teaching a class once every couple months.

      good job but very busy.

      still have about 8 months left.

  26. QUESTION:
    Any ideas for teaching a group of extremely high energy 6th grade boys English?
    I am an ESL teacher overseas and I will soon have a group of 10 or 11 6th grade boys that probably all have ADHD and/or learning disabilities and currently know little to no English. I had them last year mixed with kids who did not have difficulty paying attention or other learning disabilities, and I have decided to seperate them this next year to try a more effective approach for both groups. I need some extremely high energy (or extremely interesting and calming) lesson plans that can be done with very little space (I have a very small room and the weather doesn't always cooperate for outdoors activities), and little to no extra materials besides paper, pencils, a black board, etc... I really need to go over the basics with them again (numbers, colors, alphabet, etc...) and any other subjects you can think of for beginning ESL students. I don't really have a curriculum to follow. Also, any ideas you have on classroom management with these boys would also be welcome.
    Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that I only have them for 50 minutes a week and usually the kids are between 5-10 minutes late (this is true for all the kids for every class - its just the culture) so its really difficult to teach them much of real substance in such a short amount of time especially when I spend half the time trying to keep them in their seats or at least on task...
    Hmm... first of all let me reiterate that I am teaching 6th grade boys (not 4-6 year olds) and I have them for 40-50 minutes once a week... so your lesson plan example for 4-6 year olds that would take over 2 hours didn't really help me at all. And the blocks of 15-20 minutes for activities you suggested is highly unrealistic as all my boys pretty much have attention spans of about 5-10 minutes and again I only have them for 40-50 min to begin with. Its not a good idea to copy and paste answers that you have previously given that are irrelavent in this situation
    Also, I am not diagnosing them with anything. I said that they all probably do. There is no way to get them tested for ADHD or LDs where I am at because these tests and the professionals who are qualified to administer them simply don't exist here. The kids here have been "isolated" since the 1st grade because they're split into rich, middle, and poor classes from the start and and any kids that show signs of mental disabilities, ADHD, LDs, etc... or who just simply don't appear "smart" are put in these "poor" classes. They are then stuck in these classes with the same kids till 8th grade. The problem with this class is that i have 1/2 that are paying attention and learning English well, and I have half that can't stay in their seats for more than 5 minutes. I am splitting them so I can try and find ways to teach each 1/2 more effectively according to their needs. And 90% of their other teachers are white women and I have 16 other classes w/o problems so it is not a cultural issue.
    I'm well aware that I'm going to be alternating activity levels and activities if they can't concentrate on anything for more than 5-10 minutes at a time. Believe it or not I have been trained for this and know what I'm doing. I asked for ideas of lessons that I can do with energetic 6th grade boys. I'm not expecting an entire years worth of lesson plans but something relavent would be nice. And no I am not simply seperating them on suspected LDs and/or ADHD, I am seperating them based on their level of English proficiency and learning styles (these boys are very much kinesthetic learners), which IS what a GOOD teacher does. I was hoping for ideas from people who have worked with kids with these disabilities (again I CANT get them tested so I have to go with what I "suspect") and this age group in order to further modify my teaching methods to help them learn English better than they did with the other kids who know english better, are much calmer, and are more visual and verbal.
    I'm not in the US! I'm in a culture where they split these kids based on income levels! Classes are split routinely in the States based on level of ability (A.K.A. advanced vs. normal classes) I'm not trying to diagnose these kids with anything. It isn't even an option! I just want someone who has experience working with extremely hyper-active 6th grade boys with learning disabilities (many of them can't read or write in their own language includ. siblings of younger kids that are able to) to give me some ideas for English lessons for them. I didn't ask for a lecture on learning disabilities in ELLs because once again it is irrelavent! I can't have them tested anyway! Please, if you don't have any suggestions for lessons for extremely energetic 6th grade boys that have obvious learning delays then please quit writing here and go back to your nice little job in the States where everything is nice and clear cut and you have all the resources in the world to test and help kids. Good Bye.

    • ANSWER:
      I would use their energy and keep them up and moving. Some brief ideas:
      1. Use the room as a game of hide and seek. Give them a number, for example, and tell them they need to find the number after it, or the number they would have if they added 3.
      2. Give each student a card with a word, like little. They need to find a student with another word that is related (synonym, antonym, homonym, etc).
      3. Gallery walks and response. Hang pictures along the walls with paper underneath that they have to respond to.
      4. When you get them writing, you could post their writing on the wall and have the kids respond to it with post-it notes.
      5. Music. Can you teach them songs with body movements?
      6. Make your own jigsaw puzzles...maybe even using text like a poem or song that they know. Make it a big floor puzzle and have them work together to solve.

      I don't teach elementary kids...those are just some ideas off the top of my head. I don't really know any "calming" lesson plans...my kids call those boring. :)

  27. QUESTION:
    Where can I find worksheets on Demontrative Pronouns???
    can u help me??? plss......

    • ANSWER:
      We have included find worksheets Demonstrative Pronouns results - Show only find worksheets Demontrative Pronouns
      WEB RESULTSWorksheets for Young ESL Learners
      Basic worksheets for K7 ... Section 9: Demonstrative Pronouns: This, That, ... you will find worksheets that cover the basic demonstrative pronouns: this, that, ...
      bogglesworldesl.com/kids_worksheets/index2.htm - 20k - Cached
      Grammar: Parts of Speech: Pronouns | eThemes | eMINTS
      ... types of pronouns, including personal, possessive, demonstrative, and more. ... Print out these sample worksheets that allow students to practice using pronouns. ...
      www.emints.org/ethemes/resources/S00000240.shtml - 17k - Cached
      pronouns worksheets
      Here you can find worksheets, lesson-plans, flash-cards, articles and activities for pronouns ... Review sports, verb to be ,simple present, demonstrative pronouns ...
      eslprintables.com/buscador/buscar.asp?...&contents=pronouns&orderby= - 48k - Cached
      Grammar : Parts of Speech
      Printable worksheets for grammar and parts of speech, verbs, ... Subjective, possessive, objective, demonstrative and interrogative pronouns. Word Search: Verbs ...
      www.abcteach.com/directory/basics/grammar/parts_of_speech - 41k - Cached
      demonstratives worksheets
      Here you can find worksheets, lesson-plans, flash-cards, articles and activities for demonstratives ... DEMONSTRATIVE PRONOUNS ...
      eslprintables.com/buscador/buscar.asp?eje=30&page=2&...&orderby= - 40k - Cached
      English Grammar Guide : THE PRONOUNS : How to use PRONOUNS in the ...
      ... mistakes occur in the use of the pronouns. Let you and I go should be Let ... pronoun and cannot be used adjectively like the demonstrative adjective pronoun. ...
      www.lousywriter.com/grammar_mistakes_pronouns.php - 59k - Cached
      Demonsrative Pronouns Pps - ESL Worksheets - Free grammar worksheets ...
      Hi, I'm a teacher of English from Turkey. A PPS on demonstrative pronouns. Hope you enjoy it. Belma ... My Account My Worksheets Extras Search View today's ...
      eslhq.com/.../worksheets/esl-worksheets/demonsrative-pronouns-pps-2950 - 55k - Cached
      Kinds of Pronouns - Grade 5 - English Language - kwizNET Math/Science ...
      Grade appropriate lessons, quizzes & printable worksheets. ... Find the demonstrative pronoun in the above sentence. that. hand. me ...
      www.kwiznet.com/p/takeQuiz.php?ChapterID=2325&CurriculumID=16 - 15k - Cached
      it s a n d P i e c e s(PDF)
      demonstrative pronouns in your description, but be careful not to overuse ... Demonstrative Pronouns (as always, the worksheets are at the end of this file) ...
      www.northstarhomeschool.com/images/his_lessons/English.pdf - 67k - View as html
      Anishnaabemowin Lesson 6
      Introduction to Ojibwe Demonstrative Pronouns ... so you do not need to download it unless you did not get it: Demonstrative Forms. Other Worksheets ...
      imp.lss.wisc.edu/~jrvalent/.../Lessons/lesson006/lesson006intro.html - 5k - Cached

  28. QUESTION:
    Should I quit my job?
    I'm a tutor and I absolutely love my job. I've been creating comprehensive lesson plans, buying my own visual aids and supplies, and bonding with my students. I've seen them improve so much. On Friday I was told that what I was doing wasn't the aim of the program, and that I'm not supposed to teach m kids (1st graders) anything along the lines of reading, writing or spelling... I'm just suppose to foster critical thinking I guess. They just want me to 'get the kids talking about ideas, putting them into words.' I am supposed to make them write in their journals and ESL workbooks (English is there second language but they're all quite fluent) but I am not allowed to correct them or give them constructive criticism. I'm not allowed to tell them if they're doing stuff wrong, basically. I'm just supposed to stand there like a drone and nod mindlessly.

    I feel like I'd be making my kids regress as they've improved so much and are now spelling some words with ease, using their resources to figure out how to spell things, and sounding out words... before we started they would just guess what something said when they saw it, but now they actually sound things out. They've been doing great but apparently it's all wrong. I am opposed to this style of teaching, I don't want to be a yes-man. I realize I'm not a teacher, but tutors are supposed to help you improve, not only encourage effort without providing a helping hand. I plan on majoring in English Education and while this was certainly a learning experience, I don't feel I'd be comfortable going along with this. My kids are always asking me if they spelled things right, how to spell things, if they're doing they're worksheets correctly... what am I supposed to say to them, no, sorry, I can't tell you how to spell that word? I don't know what to do.

    • ANSWER:
      Hi. I am a high school student who is looking into the career field of teaching/tutoring. I feel that every teacher/tutor does not teach with the same method because every student doesn't understand. The aim of their program needs to be slightly adjusted. I feel that as long as that child is learning and picking up on the work, there should be no problem. Your job is to enhance areas that need it. You should not quit. If you quit your job your quitting on the kids.

  29. QUESTION:
    Any ideas for teaching ESL from scratch?
    I am currently tutoring 2 chinese students here in Taiwan. They are both 7 years old and neither one of them speaks a lick of English. I have had 3 tutoring sessions with one of the kids and he has accomplished the following feats:

    -Can count to 30 in English
    -Can say/sing the entire alphabet and recognize each letter individually, even when not in sequence with other numbers
    -Knows some vocabulary words from flashcards: Apple, Orange, Watch, Lion, Elephant, Tiger, Sun, Cat, and a slew of other non-related words that I got from a flashcard box.

    My two biggest issues are that a) he doesn't understand a word I am saying other than to attempt to say the name of whatever I am pointing at. and b) continually tries to speak to me in Chinese and will even say the chinese name of something I point to if he doesn't know the English word.

    (e.g. The Chinese word for "dog" is "G u" and every time i point at a dog he says "G u" instead of dog. When i tell him to point at the dog or ask which one is the dog, he gets it right. But when i ask him to tell me what something is, pointing at the dog, he says "G u".)

    This is becoming frustrating and as someone who takes pride in their work, I want to see results out of this kid. He is very bright and the last thing I want is for his parents to think that I am just trying to take their money and not actually teach, because that it NOT true at all.

    So if anyone has experience in teaching ESL from scratch, please loan me some hints or lesson plans that you used to get the English ball rolling.

    • ANSWER:
      I think you need to be patient with them. Just keep using picture books with simple vocabulary words, and repeat and reinforce. Try reading very simple storybooks to them, and ask questions as you go. Like, 'Can you see the lion? Where is the monkey?' ..etc.. Also try some simple nursery rhymes or songs for them to sing. Just take you time, and try to make the classes fun for them.

  30. QUESTION:
    Just started teaching, already despising it...feeling miserable, advice?
    So I just became a middle school/elementary school ESL teacher in a suburban town in New York (im a male btw). The pay and benefits are nice and it's actually a leave replacement position for the whole year, which could become a tenure track if this teacher doesn't return. I haven't started working with the elementary school kids, but I have 3 periods with the middle school kids...even though the classes are small, they are absolutely the worst. Don't get me wrong, not all of them make bad choices, but some of them either can't keep their mouths shut or are reluctant to do their work. I try to explain to them how I'm here to help them out and that I'm trying my best to make things interesting, but they don't want to be there. I really wish I could just say "tough ****." I understand they're middle school kids and they act crazy at that age...but sometimes I wonder if it's really me doing a bad job, or if it's the kids. People say my lessons are creative, and I always put effort into them. On the other hand, I'm generally "too nice", and I've already had to step out of my comfort zone making parent phone calls and such.

    Most of the staff appears to be nice and helpful, but all I really want to do is complain, yet I haven't. I keep saying to myself "is this what I want to do for the next 25-30 years of my life?" I student taught high school and wasn't a big fan of the students I worked with. I guess I may like elementary school. I don't know, I'm going through a lot of emotions right now, my parents think I need to speak to someone because they've been saying I haven't been looking/acting too healthy. Maybe it's because I'm starting in the working world and it's a total shock to me, I don't know. I feel like sometimes I'd rather be in an office and not have to think about preparing for anything outside of the building; while it's the total opposite in the education world. Why should I spent countless hours trying my best to help people when I get zero appreciation for it? I know I really needed to vent here. I guess I should be lucky I have the job, but what would I do otherwise I wonder.

    I love to get into the movie industry, but that's not easy at all. Maybe I could try working for like a textbook company or something that provides lesson plan ideas? People say I have quite a talent for lesson plans; it's just actual teaching/management I need to work on. Sorry if I keep rambling on and on, thanks a lot for listening.

    • ANSWER:
      Hi:

      I can sympathize. I just started student teaching this semester in a middle school (7th grade math). So I know how middle school kids are. They really are at that age where they are stuck in the middle and are realizing things about themselves that they haven't had to deal with yet. I am assuming that ESL is some type of English learning program (where I live it is called ELL). If that is the case, then you are also dealing with that, along with the middle school age. The truth is...that doesn't just put extra pressure on you, but on them as well. How ambitious would you be if you were working with a new teacher, your in middle school, and you are trying to learn English. It is difficult for them too.

      I am not criticizing your feelings; they are natural. You spend all that time in college and then you get your first job and you freak out--you pray you didn't waste your time and money in college (I feel that way every day). Try to think about why you went into the profession in the first place. Besides, it is your first year. Things will get better. You need to just find your niche with the kids.

      You sound like a nice guy; you dread being the tough teacher. Here is the truth, though, they are going to eat you alive if you don't be tough. The first day that I taught a lesson in one of my cooperating teacher's classes, the kids ran all over me. I had no control over them or the class. It was chaos. The next day, I decided (and I told them so) that if they were talking, I wouldn't be. This ran out the class time and they did not have time to work on homework (they look forward to that at the end of the lesson). On the following Monday, I told them that I would not tolerate disruptive behavior anymore. That they would award me the same respect that they give their other teachers, and so on. After that, they have been fabulous (it is not perfect, but much better). I did have to call a couple of parents to get the point across, but it sure made it easier after that. I also had to give out a couple of detentions for not completing homework and disruptive behavior. You have to take charge.

      I hope this helps and I wish you the best of luck. B:)

  31. QUESTION:
    How to teach noisy and disruptive kids?
    I've just started as a ESL teacher to 20 rowdy 6 year olds. I'm trying to create a lesson plan for this week, but not sure where to start.

    Last week I did school objects and emotions. I have them for about 2 hours per day, 5 days a week. How long should i stay on one topic? Should i do this topic for a week or month?

    We have a course book, which we kinda have to follow, even though it's crap.
    Which topic should i do next? They are beginner.

    Also, i thought the best structure for my classes would be PPP (presentation-book, song, video, flashcards-practice-worksheet/drawing and colouring-production-games)-does this sound ok?

    • ANSWER:
      You need serious structure. FOCUS FOCUS FOCUS. I worked with these kind of kids and structure is important. I agree with your process. Pictures relating to the words is the way to do it, but you have to have a way of measuring their comprehension. That's the key

  32. QUESTION:
    how do you deal with teenager esl students who are rowdy, rude and wont listen?

    • ANSWER:
      Go to class one day with a big duffel/sports bag. Put anything in the bag - old newspapers, soft toys, you name it. Right at the top of the bag, put something that you think might interest your students - depending on their age and sex it might be a newly released CD, or a favorite sports magazine, or the latest in hand held PS2's. Make sure the bag is zipped closed. As you enter the classroom put the bag somewhere very obvious (but within easy reach of yourself).
      Start your class in the normal way, and somewhere within the first 5 minutes mention to them that you have a bag of goodies you want to use for today's class. But you first have to deal with some grammar/vocab/etc. Handle the class like you normally would. Maybe remind them that you have to finish the work to get to the bag with stuff. Make sure your face gets all excited when you mention the bag - they might start to wonder what is in the bag. Try to ignore the rowdy ones and concentrate on the well behaved ones. If the class gets very rowdy, just touch the bag, or maybe just take a sideways glance at it. Make sure your kids see this.
      Now, if the class didn't behave like you would have wanted them to behave, end the class (when time is up) with a sentence like, "Oh, I'm so sorry we didn't have time to look at what's in the bag. Act like they're not in class with you, open the bag, take out the noce goody at the top (zip up again and don't let them see what's at the bottom of the bag), and start paging through the magazine/take out your diskman and listen to the CD (making sure they see the cover)/ or do whatever you want to with the goodie.
      DON'T say anything to them after that. Just shrug your shoulders if they have any comments.
      Now, say they were good, you could use that article in your class just before time's up.
      For the next lesson they have with you, again bring your bag. This time make sure you have something they are really keen about, and that you have a plan on how to incorporate it in your classroom. Follow the same procedure as the first lesson. (If you used a CD the first time, maybe come to class listening to it over your diskman, or play it on the classroom CD player until they start to arrive for class.) Again, if they're not good - no bag.
      Keep this up for at least 4/5 lessons. Sometime during these 4/5 lessons, tell them that they didn't have time to work with the bag's contents, so that means they will have to do extra homework - the reason for this is that the contents of the bag would have helped them to understand something better/practice a grammar concept/practice some vocabs. But because they didn't get to the bag, they have to do extra homework to make up for the lack of practice.
      Try it. I used it on a few classes at different schools, with different age groups, and in all instances, it worked by the 3rd lesson.
      To keep them on their toes afterwards, why don't you plan for some type of fun activity once every 4/5 lessons. Maybe help them to learn their favorite song's words. Let them bring their own CD's to class and have a listen to the CD day - be sure to have them rate each other's CD's and say why they like it/don't like it (all in good English, of course).
      Try not to involve the director or another teacher, if possible. This will show them that you can't handle them and they will feel totally in control Even if some are punished by the director, they will become martyrs, and you will be able to get less out of them. Always try to handle the problems without losing your cool. They like seeing teachers squirm - it is a natural drug for them!
      Good luck, and if you try it, let me know how it worked.

  33. QUESTION:
    Why is this school consistently asking me to come and sub, yet doesn't offer me the money?
    I taught a kid, in the second grade, how to read in one day. Matter of fact, make it 2 hours, she couldn't eve speak English. I explained an quadratic equation to a high school class, I even organized an entire school districts lunch schedule. Why won't they hire me? Better yet, why won't they SHOW ME THE MONEY!!!!!!!!! I deserve to make 80k a year starting out as a teacher. I put together lesson plans, that can teach astro physics to all kids. This school, practically begs me to sub but I need to see the money. Why?
    To MamaB, I'm typing on an iPad, I don't want to use all the keyboard functions for the answers community.

    • ANSWER:
      It all depends on your endorsements (or if you know someone influential). Get endorsed in ESL/Bilingual, Math, and Science and it'll increase your odds of getting hired in a lot of places. It's tough out there, I have 9 endorsements and I'm bilingual and I struggle. However, I have never been without a full time teaching job. Get those 3 endorsements and I think you should do good. Good luck.

  34. QUESTION:
    Will immigrate to Canada - Vancouver?
    My family will land first on Aug-Sep'08 because I want to enroll school at its new term. I will join another 6 months. Need service apartment and will buy landed house later. Plan to live in Burnaby. How is the city ? What's the rent cost, safety and school quality ? We are from Indonesia and I need school that really treat my children well so that they can catch up with the lessons quickly. I just join. Thanks.

    • ANSWER:
      Burnaby is one of the nicer areas of the Lower Mainland (the Vancouver area). Unfortunately, rent is high, compared to the rest of the province. The schools are good, fairly multicultural. All the schools also have ESL classes (english as a sencond language), that your kids may find helpful. Safety is pretty good during the day, but at night its safer to stay indoors or be with a group.
      I live in British Columbia, but not in the Vancouver area. I don't like big city life, and enjoy my quiet small town life.

  35. QUESTION:
    I need a lesson plan quick? esl- any subject hopefully something fun...?

    • ANSWER:
      u r so lucky. my moms an esl teacher 2 lol. im lookin at her plan rite now. it sez:

      *put the kids in groups. pick a random letter from the alphabet and make the groups work together to find a person, place, and thing that starts with that letter.

      *play simon says but use commands like "touch your nose" or "go to the door". use commands that make the kids use whatever vocab they have of the english language.

  36. QUESTION:
    lesson plans?
    for those who have given me the best advice,as do you have ateacheing degree to its creepy to think that you are a teacher.For your information the kids i am teaching are ESL students who happen to live in Taiwan and the textbooks prescribed to them are all about USA. And for those who have sent me the websites and positive replies i thank you.

    • ANSWER:
      What is your question?

  37. QUESTION:
    Elementary School Teachers PLEASE ANSWER!?
    I want to be an Elementary School Teacher! I love kids and this is my dream job. I have graduated High School and plan to be attending a community college. Can you please explain to me the actual steps in college I will have to take. I have heard to major in Liberal Sudies. IM SO CONFUSED. Please explain the steps, courses, degrees needed. Is there longer amount of years to attend for different degrees?

    Thanks so much

    • ANSWER:
      are you in for a long ride

      yes, to teach elem you have to have a at least a bachelor's degree in liberal studies, you'll have to dedicate about 5 years (it's rare to find any major that takes less than 5 years now), you have to take so many classes, a whole lot of them like linguistics are only offered once a semester by one teacher who only takes a certain amount of students, with a very long waiting list. You also have to enroll yourself into a teaching program at the school you plan to go to, at least the year before you finish your general education requirements.

      You also have to get a multiple subject credential by completing the following;

      depending on where you live, like in Cali, you have to take the CBEST (which is basically your general ed. test), the CSET (which is the teaching exam which covers all subjects from K-12), the RICA (test taken to see if you can teach Language Arts to any grade), and now you have to take a BCLAD exam on top of everything else. I think the BCLAD is for ESL requirements. On top of all this, you have to complete a year of student teaching. Usually the first semester you're placed in either a lower grade level (K-2) or higher grade level class (3-5, or 6 for those districts which still hold 6th grade as an elem. grade). In the 1st semester you work with the master teacher, your university supervisor, and another student teacher who is also completing their 1st student teaching semester. You'll usually have to at least teach math and Language Arts each day, and alternate lessons with your partner. Your university supervisor will also give you lessons to teach in which they will come to the class, observe, and grade you. Usually this is about an 8 week requirement and you're only there half a day.
      The 2nd semester you're on your own with the master teacher in the classroom, again with surprise and scheduled visits from your university supervisor. You teach all lessons, and you're there all day long, but again it's an 8 week requirement. You'll be expected to cover/help with parent meetings, grades, filling out cumes, everything the teacher does.
      Also depending on your master teacher, you'll have to prepare lesson plans for each lesson you'll teach.
      You'll also have to prepare a portfolio showcasing lessons you taught, and samples of students' work in your portfolio.

      You'll also have to complete well over 100 hours of in-class, in-school observations prior to commencing your student teaching experience. All those hours are culminations of several classes you'll take and their requirements.

      Remember, like any field of study, you get what you put into it. If you're hard working and dedicated, you will eventually finish the program. It's tough, and it was specially tough for me because I'm a guy, and you would only see like one or two other guys in any class, but the kids, teachers, and parents love me.

      Most people look down upon elem teachers because they think it's so easy to teach, they are so completely WRONG. Elementary is the hardest of all grades because you have to know and be able to teach ALL subjects. You will be a counselor, psychologist, mentor, parent figure to these kids. In fact, speaking from experience, 1st grade is the hardest to teach because you're laying the foundation for a child's overall learning experience well into their college years. On top of it, you have to take the most amount of classes and exams when compared to any other teaching field. I myself taught middle school english, trust me, it's a hell of a lot easier to teach the same lesson 5 or 6 times a day.

      Hopefully, and if you choose this major, by the time you graduate, all the troubles with budget cuts will have finally been resolved. As of now, teachers nationwide are being laid off because school districts simply aren't getting enough funding, and even if they're able to afford to keep the teachers in the classroom, they're still cutting back on a whole lot of classroom materials.

      It's an extremely tough road, the pay is alright, but not that great, for all the schooling and prep we teachers have to overcome just to teach in a classroom, we should be getting paid well over 0k a year. You're day starts way before 8:00am, and well after 3:00pm, although most school districts follow the Open Court system of teaching, you still have to prepare lessons, get materials together, correct papers, attend faculty meetings, attend pta meetings, attend parent meetings, etc etc etc.

      Please, think about it, it's not all about loving kids, trust me, that'll wear off really quickly. Especially with George Bush's 'no child left behind' law, you'll teach physically impaired students, emotionally disturbed students, and mentally challenged students, students who can't even speak english, and you'll have to modify all the lessons to meet their needs.

  38. QUESTION:
    Pre-service teacher here asking for a few opinions about a lesson I'm planning, please!?
    I am tutoring five children in an after school program, two fourth graders, two third graders, and a first grader who I'm not super worried about; he's just there because his cousins are both there. One kid is an intermediate ESL student, the others are either advanced or proficient. They are all Puerto Rican and speak Spanish as a first language, but that's not really important here. We have been working on story mapping with them, but I want to take it to another level. I am planning to have them use a chart to take notes about what each main character in the book "Hey, Little Ant" says, does, and thinks as well as support from the story for what they are writing. After they do that, I want to have them debate the open-ended conclusion of the story, whether or not the kid should squish the ant that has been pleading for its life. I will divide them into team Kids and team Ants and I have a fill-in sheet for them to write out position statement to get them started, and I have short and clear directions for how the debate is to be conducted. There will be at least three other pre-service teachers in the classroom to help the students work on this. Is it too much? I feel very strongly about this lesson and the social justice implications it has, but I don't want to do something that will go over the kids' heads. Any feedback would be great; thank you all so much!
    *a position statement. I should take my own advice and read things before I publish them!
    stormibays-thank you so much for the critique! Yes, everything has to align with standards; this is for my methods course and my professor will be observing. We are supposed to be teaching story mapping, and so my content goal will be for the students to be able to identify and support the actions and motives of the two main characters, with the debate being an extending activity and the social justice piece of the lesson. They have received instruction in story mapping from their classroom teachers since first grade, but they are specifically being prepared for the listening portion of the English Language Arts test, which I already hate having to do with them. I may modify the debate to a discussion moderated by me and the other pre-service teachers; I am going to speak with my methods professor before I finalize my lesson; he is in close contact with the regular classroom teacher. Thank you again for the help!

    • ANSWER:
      I think that this might be a bit much to askf or ESL students. I teach higher functioning 2nd and 3rd graders and well I think it is a bit all over the place There are strong parts but you are expecting alot without teaching it well and providing strong examples and modeling therefore the children will be lost.

      . I guess my question is what is your ultimate goal?

      Ask yourself...what do I want the kids to do? If it is a literacy assignment pulling evidence from the text for specific examples that is a a skill you need to teach and teach it well rather than introduce it once then expect them to do it.

      If it is the social justice aspect of bullying you want to address, then encourage them to have more of the peer discussion and make connections to their own lives rather than make them debate it which adds a different layer.

      You have good ideas but I think a debate format is something you teach if you are working on persuasive essays. Is this debate format even developmentally appropriate or standards alligned? You are focusing too much on the product of this rather than the thinking processes and the actual kid learning and work that needs to happen.

  39. QUESTION:
    Do you know ay websites that will let me watch T.E.F.L videos for free,?
    Or even download the inclass videos

    • ANSWER:
      Have you tried any of the following sites?

      #
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      Learn English free online or teach English as a second or foreign language (ESL or EFL or ESOL). Learn to speak English. Learn to teach English (TEFL or TESL or TESOL). ... Lessons, games, videos and more to help you learn English ...
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  40. QUESTION:
    ESL using "Welcome to my life"?
    So...I have to do a lesson about "complaining". Last week we went through complaining at a restaurant. I wat to do something funner -- so I was thinking about using "Welcome To My Life" by simple plan, for dealing with complaints about life...(Mainly I just want to do something more interesting -- I have a 4 classes of 40 17 year old boys in a technical highschool who don't really want to learn english)

    Any tips or ideas you can give me about using the song? Or do you think it's a terrible idea??

    thanks in advance

    • ANSWER:
      You don't mention a language objective, so I am going to assume you just want them to practice speaking.

      We used to do complaining and then advice (like dear abby style).

      With 17 year old boys, bring up relationships. Complaining about not having a girlfriend, complaining about a girlfriends leaving their hair everywhere, complaining about their parents having too many rules, complaining about teachers giving too much homework etc.

      Skim through 9gag (my students LOVE 9gag!) Complain about a name: http://9gag.com/gag/4041789 or http://9gag.com/gag/4269137

      Have them play two truths and a lie. They have to say three complaints. Two are true and one is a lie. The students have to guess which one is the lie.

      Show them random pictures and see what they think the person is complaining about http://www.vitamin-ha.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/1327872408_being_in_the_friend_zone_23.jpg (Maybe he's complaining about being in the friend zone, maybe she's com paining about the color etc.)

      Or, show them pictures of famous people or clips from movies (Harry's complaining about his scar hurting... Ron's complaining about his missing rat, Snape's complaining no one loves him, etc.

      I LOVE using music so I am all for The Simple Plan... they enunciate, but tend to sing pretty quickly, so you may want to find a version with lyrics (and use youtube). The other problem I see is he's a bit vague. So you can't really do that much with the song.

      Ask them questions and try to get them to be creative:
      Why do you think he's complaining? What is he complaining about? What do you think his life is like? Would you complain if you had his life? What about?

      If you are willing to consider a different Simple Plan song try "I am just a kid" very whiny and complainy about just being a kid (which most 17 year olds can relate to)

  41. QUESTION:
    Critique my lesson for a read aloud of Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters? (practicum student here!)?
    The lesson is for 3rd and 4th grade ESL students in New York State. Thanks for taking the time to give advice to a practicum student!

    I plan to activate prior knowledge by asking if anyone knows what a folk tale is (kids will answer y/n) then explaining if they need it. I will then ask who knows Cinderella and ask them to explain the story a bit. I will then explain that the story is like Cinderella, but this story is an African folk tale instead of one from Europe. I will also tell the students that they will be creating their own folk tale as a group after the story. The students will be asked key questions to clarify unfailiar words and solidify key plot elements throughout the read aloud. Students will take turns making up one or two sentences of their own folk tale that I will then write on a large piece of paper and copy for students to keep.

    I know that's kind of vague, but I didn't want to write out the full plan here. Any and all suggestions are welcome! Thanks!
    Cheena- thanks for the tips! My kids are all Spanish-speaking first or second generation Puerto Ricans, and I only have one hour to do the lesson because it's part of a tutoring program through one of my block courses. I might try your idea about their own folk tales by telling them to talk to their families the week before I teach my lesson, though. Thanks!

    • ANSWER:
      You totally don't have to take my advice, but I had a thought for you:

      How many days do you have on the lesson? Since you teach ESL, and some kids wont know who Cinderella is, have them go home the night before and ask their parents about folk tales from their respective cultures. Have the kids draw their story out or write the story down (whichever they are most comfortable with-- differentiating) and have them share with someone the next day. Then explain that you're reading another story from another culture.

      I was born in Oakland, CA, but I'm Filipino, and I always grew up thinking that folk tales were stories passed on from generation to generation to teach a lesson about the culture. I never thought of Disney movies as folk tales. Just a thought. Good luck!

  42. QUESTION:
    Lots of questions about teaching 3rd grade-?
    I'm sorry this is so long. I will be teaching 3rd grade this year after teaching kindergarten and pre-k for 9 years. I think I have some good ideas, but not sure, as I have never taught this grade before and I am looking for honest answers and ideas, as with the little ones, things are a little different

    Reading Workshop- is it just basically independent reading while you do literature circle? I was thinking Literature Circle w/teacher, and groups doing independent reading, book report or some kind of response, book talk with a peer

    Writing Workshop- having different areas of the room where kids who are at different stages can go and edit, revise, publish. Example: at the publishing area have construction paper, art supplies, for their story covers, and revising area having colored pencils for their corrections. Or is this too "young" for them. In other words, should they be doing all of this at their desk or is it ok to have these centers? And how long do you spend on reading and writing (I know each school and district will be different, but I am looking for some ideas)

    I want to do journals (separate from writing workshop) but when should I incorporate these (I want to look at them, but they will not to be graded) and should they be used everyday? and how often should I collect them?

    Do you assign jobs/have a job chart?
    what do you do to encourage responsibility example: when they lose a pencil and have to borrow yours..
    Do you use some kind of behavior incentive? or only when it becomes necessary?
    Does your school do test prep and how do you add this onto the day?
    How do you start your day, I was thinking Problem of the Day or Journal writing...I'm so used to Morning Meeting/Circle Time with the little ones...what do you do with third grade?

    How do you organize their things. Again, my mind is still with the 4 and 5 year olds, where they do not have desks and I kept all their materials (notebooks, pencils, scissors, etc.) in baskets in different areas of the room. Is there any instnce where you do this for your third graders..for example, math notebooks...please I have no idea. Thanks!

    • ANSWER:
      Depending on where you are, the morning is a rush to take attendance, send the report to the office, take money for lunch or count out lunch tickets, check in homework, and in some cases, either go to PE or library, or have special teachers come in to pull out children, that there is hardly time to think. If some of the children are bussed in, then sometimes they come in late. Before school starts, there will be an orientation. There you will be told of the school's policies. That is what you follow as you will have observations, even from day one. As there is inclusion, in your class might be children with LD, BD, MED, or in need of ESL. Throughout the day, these are either pulled out, or an aide sits with the child depending on the IEP. Messages come in from the intercom which tell you that little Johnny is not to get on the bus, but to meet his mother at the office at the end of the day. Now, these children are strangers to you. The organization of little learning centers is very nice, if they are used to it. But if it is the first time, don't let them run the show. Remember, those pesky things called lesson plans, and those other things that are State learning goals, and All Children Achieve or whatever the government requires. Well, that means teaching to the goals in order. So, you will need a copy of the goals. As far as the USA is concerned, you don't operate in a void. You must have subgoals which lead to mastery of the goals for the subjects for which you are responsible. In addition, they check your grade book, and your marks of the homework. Yes, they will have homework each night to be signed by their parents plus they must do 20 minutes of individual reading also signed by the parent who is to read to them. They don't always read at that age, especially the boys, some of whom can't yet coordinate their fingers enough to write. So, as far as starting the first day, the principal will tell you what to say. Then, you watch while everything falls apart as stragglers come in, and during the first week, others are just returning from vacations. Usually, either the school has given the local Office Depot a list of required supplies, or you provide the list for their parents to purchase. Don't spend your hard earned money helping them. It ends up being a huge chunk of your salary just getting the room decorated. Hopefully the school has a professional dye cutting machine, so you can decorate cheaply. So, before you can go off in all directions, you will have to get the children back into a routine and also to evaluate where they are. don't put out scissors for safety reasons. That is all done by the art teacher. There might be a computer for which to make a schedule. Usually, they go to computer lab. Generally, the first day is shorter. If it won't, I would have work sheets. There I said it. You can't have them wandering around the room aimlessly while you figure this and that out, and you can't be sure that a mentor assigned to your or the principal won't come into the class to check on what is happening at any given moment. That includes listening in on the intercom. So, if you are in an area with many resources and a new, air conditioned building, it will be very nice. If it is an urban area, keep it very simple with minimum movement and solid discipline plus much praise for good behavior and a quiet voice. Always keep moving around the room, to watch what is happening. If you look up your state, you might find the state goals for third grade. That is what you teach. As soon as possible, connect with another third grade teacher to see her systems. It is easier to have name tags ready than to struggle to remember who is who, and a seating chart with their names on the desk, so they can find a desk right away, as you will need that attendance report very quickly, day one. As far as a job chart, wait on that. Do all the jobs yourself. Very soon, you will see who is Suzy the paper passer and Bill the garbage basket passer.

  43. QUESTION:
    What do you think about the tenure law?
    Teacher's get to keep their jobs, basically no matter what. Teacher's aren't getting fired when they need to. I'm in high school and some of the teachers I have are ridiculous. I may have one good teacher for the year! And what, they get the same pay as the one's that refuse to teach! I don't think that is fair to the good teachers AT ALL. I don't understand why they don't get rid of the tenure law COMPLETELY for all teachers under college level. It is a real shitty situation for the kids that end up with those teachers. You know how far behind a terrible teacher can put a child? Not only that, but to me I think it is unfair to the good teachers, and frankly disgraceful. Good teachers will have NO INITIATIVE to continue being good on the same salary! Why can't they just make tenure an option or something? The teachers that chose it get, whatever, 50000 a year and teachers that chose, hey I don't need the tenure act, I have skill and actually deserve my job, should make, in my opinion, triple digits! I have a lot to say on the matter and I was just wondering your opinions... open for teachers, students, parents, anyone!

    • ANSWER:
      I'm sorry that you seem to feel that you have an ineffective administration. It is totally wrong to say that teachers can't be fired, not matter what. As a past teachers union president, I am telling you straight that you are wrong there. In my state, teachers can be fired for incompetence, intolerance, immorality, cruelty, and persistent negligence. A non-tenured teacher can be fired after one formal observation. A tenured teacher must have two consecutive. After the first, a plan of improvement must be into place. While I was president, I had to directly participate in the process of actions against teachers. In those cases, the teachers chose to resign rather than face formal charges that could result in loss of license.

      In order to pursue charges of incompetence, such as you describe, the burden of proof lies with the administration. They must compile a record of observations, follow-up meetings, examples or poor lesson plans, anecdotal records showing failure to attend meetings to discuss improvement, or failure to implement directed improvements.

      Without tenure, teachers could be instantly fired as they are in business or other work areas. Can you imagine the chaos and disruption in a child's education if several of that year's teachers were suddenly fired without notice and others popped into place without orientation? The protection of tenure gives us the safety of teaching students who are low ability and have problems. Sometimes people want to attack the teacher's low test scores but a check of the roster shows many low ability or ESL students who don't speak English but whose test scores still count.

      I am a highly, self-motivated person, not motivated by money but my professional challenges.

  44. QUESTION:
    Does anybody have any advice for ESL kindergarten activities?
    I am a relatively experienced English teacher in China. However, I am about to start teaching kindergarten for the first time and I don't know what I am doing!!

    I am particuarly worried about the fact that I don't know what level of English I can expect from that age group, and I don't really know what children that age enjoy. I have spent next to no time with young kids.

    My students will be about 4/5 years old and will have been having regular English lessons since they were 2.

    Thanks in advance!

    • ANSWER:
      OK... my answer is a little different from Claudia's.

      Plan your program - go in knowing what activities you want to put out (spend some time at the kindergarten assessing what resources they currently have - eg what Lego, crayons, puzzles etc do they have?). As a general indication for a group of 25 children I had today - Indoors - roller painting, easle painting, puzzles, home corner, collage table, drawing table, book corner, block corner, a table with a game for 2 - 4 on it, 2 x areas with fine motor construction activities such as Lego & Mobilo and playdough. Outdoors we had bikes, blocks, water bucket painting, cubby play area & ball play area.

      Expect A LOT from them - they have been doing English for 2 - 3 years, they are keen to learn. Your high expectations means you will extend and push them to reach for those higher levels of knowledge. Attention spans vary (as with adults LOL) but at this age you can hope for a minimum of 10 minutes engaged in any given activity (if it is something they are really interest in you might get 30 mins!).

      I always start my program with a short 10 minute mat time - this includes 2 x songs - music is a great way to draw kids attention and marks the "start" of the session - these are often simple songs that they know - in your case this might be songs such as Twinkle Twinkle in English - it is a tune they will recognise!

      Have plenty of open ended activities such as paper and crayons, paints, playdough etc. With drawing activities ask them to tell you what the picture is about & write it for them in English. Construction paper to make what they want with, glue, scissors.

      Divide your time evenly - allow for indoor & outdoor play time and break these up with snack times (forget cookies & kool-aid unless you want them bouncing off the walls all afternoon). ... Oh & last, but by no means least... listen to what they are talking about... this is a great tip for you in terms of what to put out for the next session - if they are talking about Dinosaurs follow this interest by putting out some plastic dinosaurs with your playdough etc etc ~ Good Luck :)

  45. QUESTION:
    On having confrontations with a co-volunteer with Downs Syndrome?
    I work a full-time job, a part time job, am applying to various programs....and in my spare time I volunteer to watch kids for an ESL program at a local church (I'm not religious, but they needed a volunteer). The person who is helping me watch the kids has Downs Syndrome---she's a very sweet girl & very good with kids. The problem is, she's EXTREMELY controlling; it's gotten out of hand, and is becoming VERY frustrating for me! I know that I am not a patient person by nature, and would appreciate others' input on whether I am over-reacting, as well.

    I can't tell the kids to do anything without her contradicting me in front of them (and no one who works with kids appreciates having to bicker in front of them...)--and she becomes quite angry if things don't go her way. For example--I told the kids we were going outside (the church has a playground). We had several active kids, in addition to a baby that screams her head off, but gets happier when she's outside, and it's one of the last few weeks when the weather is good enough to do this. The words were barely out of my mouth, when she (loudly) told me that we *couldn't* go outside. There was a screaming baby in my arms, and kids clamoring at the door to get out--I pointed this out, and she became very angry, stomping out, slamming the door, and leaving me with a screaming baby and a bunch of kids to line up & get out. She wanted to play w/ the kids outside--I had no problem with that. I held the baby, and she played on the swings. I said that a little girl needed pushed on the swings (the kid was crying...I wasn't trying to be order her around or anything), and she became extremely angry and stormy, again. The kids noticed that she was becoming pouty. Now, I have an e-mail in my inbox, saying that we now have a 'schedule'--including 45 mins of lessons & songs. ????? First of all---I am not religious, and I happen to think indoctrinating kids that young is sick! Second--I signed on to watch kids play for 2 hours, not direct toddlers through a rigid schedule w/ 45 mins of lessons & songs...I know that this makes me sound like a control-freak, but I lead a very stress-filled life. It does make a difference to me whether I spend 2 hours watching kids play or 2 hours directing kids through lessons & songs that I happen to think is sick.

    I don't mean to be a pain---I just want some tips on negotiating & discussing this with her so that we can come up with a plan we mutually agree on. Also-- I realize that this sounds like I am making all the descisions, but I typically don't. I usually let her call all/most of the shots, unless I really need to make a descision. I just want to be able to discuss a matter with my co-volunteer (who, technically, should answer to me) without her becoming extremely angry and storming off. Am I a bigot for assuming that some of this behavior is DS-related? Am I a terrible person for making a problem out of this?
    Is there any way I could come off as less belittling to her? I've done my best to treat her as an equal.

    • ANSWER:
      She probably feels like you are trying to belittle her because of her DS. It isn't that she doesn't want to compromise with you but she wants you to see that she is capable of doing things despite the DS. She will never get over it so the best thing to do would be volunteer at a different church. Good Luck

  46. QUESTION:
    I just started teaching, and I'm not too happy, feeling like a failure, advice?
    Just started teaching for the first time ever, is it common to feel like a failure and want to quit at first?
    I'm a middle/elementary school ESL teacher at a suburban school. My classes aren't huge and I haven't started elementary yet, but my middle school kids are a bit obnoxious, yet I'm not letting my guard down. Since there have only been 2 days this past week, I've gone a little easy with the workload, but they didn't seem to want to do anything, so I'm working out on what would be best to get through to them.

    I also find the whole paperwork/meetings, the prep work for lessons, and constant e-mailing overwhelming; not to mention I feel like I do everything wrong. I'm also very stuck with what I want to teach since I have no set curriculum. A lot of people keep telling me things well get better as the days goes by, but I'm not sure about that. People have been helping me a lot, too...but it's like information overload... I get feelings that I'm not destined to have this job and keep saying to myself "is this really what I want to be doing for the rest of my life?!", but I also wonder what I'd be doing otherwise. I guess I'm also a bit concerned with impressing the administration...

    Have any teachers felt this way at the beginning? Everything is spinning and I couldn't get much sleep the past two nights...I feel like I'm ready to break down already ;(

    • ANSWER:
      What you describe is very common - almost universal, I think - for first year teachers. From a curriculum perspective, EVERYTHING is brand new and it takes so much work to stay on top of it. Not having a set curriculum must make this even harder. Classroom management is also a new challenge - even in your student teaching, you hopefully reaped the benefits of your supervising teacher's good management. Now you have to set it up on your own.

      A few suggestions:

      1) Relax! You don't have to impress your administrators, colleagues, parents, or students right now. Nor do you have to decide today if you want to do this as a career. The school year just started. Don't think about the long term quite so much right now; think about this week and this day. You may feel very differently in June.

      2) Lower your expectations from a curriculum standpoint. If you don't teach the most fabulous lessons known to man this year, it's OK. You need to get through the year. Next year when you are re-teaching some of the same material, it will be much, much easier. The kids will be OK.

      3) Manage your classroom through action, not through emotion. If you find yourself becoming frustrated or angry with students' behavior, that's a signal that you needed to take action slightly earlier. It's not too late. Develop a discipline plan where you can give kids a warning and then follow through with consequences. And then, don't be afraid to DO it. (You WILL have to). At the beginning of the year, kids want to find out where the limits are. Be sure to set yours at a point that is well ahead of your frustration level.

      4) Give yourself permission to not always know the answer. This is true from both a curriculum and a discipline perspective. You can tell a student "I don't know the answer to your question. Let me look it up and tell you tommorow." OR "Would you be willing to research that for us and report back to the class tomorrow?" You can also tell a misbehaving student, "There are going to be some consequences for your actions. I need to think about what those will be. I'll let you know tomorrow." This gives you time to think and consult with others and has the added benefit of letting the student worry overnight.

      5) Have a few easy, low or zero prep lessons ready. Some ideas for ELL: * have students write, and then give a little mini-lesson (on vocabulary, on punctuation, on using past tense, on writing compound sentences, etc. - something you can talk on with no prep) and then ask kids to go back and apply that ONE technique to their writing. Students don't write enough in my opinion, so giving them a chance to practice is a good idea. You do not have to grade all these writing assignments, BTW - have them edit their own and edit partners', then maybe turn in their best 1 assignment out of 5 to you for feedback. * read aloud from a novel. A very good and under-used activity in secondary school. * read silently (allow kids to bring a snack to munch on while they eat, and this will become a favorite lesson) * play Scattergories or another vocabulary-building game - let kids play in teams or individually and give candy to the winner(s) * Find a few English grammar practice websites and take the kids to the computer lab for some (fun) drill and practice. I'm sure your colleagues may have other ideas. Develop a small repetoire of these lessons and pull them out when you're feeling overwhelmed or simply need a breather for a day.

      Hang in there. What you're experiencing is normal, and you may very well feel differently in June.

  47. QUESTION:
    Should I take this teaching job?
    Teachers, please give your advice. I have been offered a part-time teaching job at a private school. It's 5 hours per day (4 hours teaching, 1 hour planning). The subject is English/Language Arts. Here's the thing: each hour is a different grade level.

    A teacher friend of mine says that planning for four different grade levels is too much work (within one hour) and advises against it. I don't know though...
    I accept that as a teacher you have to plan a bit on your own time. But...I still want it to be within reason. What do you think?? Should I take this job?

    Other information: Small class sizes. It's a private school, and some classes are as little as 6 kids. Others are about 8 kids. I like that because classroom management will be a bit easier and grading is only 8 kids per class...but...I don't know!

    Tell me what you think.

    Also, (if you get to this point): Would you rather teach ESL to adults or English/Language Arts to kids? I ask because I also have an Adult ESL offer that I am considering. But I am attracted to the private school (kids) as well...
    Thanks for the responses so far. The reason I'm able to work part-time is that I have another part-time teaching gig already (so I'm creating a full-time schedule by having two part-time jobs).

    The principal agreed to let me come observe. I initially declined the offer, and that's when she said "Why don't you come observe." I said okay.

    The ESL job pays more, but I'm thinking I would enjoy teaching kids a little more than teaching adults. I totally don't know. In any case, I already know that I plan to try to negotiate higher pay with the private school, If during my observation I think I might be able to hack it.

    • ANSWER:
      All things considered, but barring that you did not state the wage for each job, I think that the ESL might be easier. They must have all the workbooks or the lesson plan all set up for you or close to it for that.

      The 4 classes at the Private School is a bit of a stressor as I guarantee that it will be FULL TIME on your part. Maybe they want to see if you are a serious teacher and have an understanding of what is required when you need 4 lesson plans and one hour for preparation.

      Taking your papers home is a given in teaching. It is a low-paying job unless you are full-time and you've been there for years. Burn out is really bad within the first five years -- You can see why...

  48. QUESTION:
    Can you help me with my homework?
    Hi,
    I am to conduct a teacher interview with a special needs teacher. Please, only if you feel like it, answer the questions below:

    o Interview Questions

    Background Information & Teaching Techniques

    1. What degree do you possess? Are you highly qualified in any content area?

    2. What are the ages and ability ranges of the students you teach?

    3. Which exceptionality do you teach? What subjects do you teach?

    4. What teaching techniques do you use with these students? How do you select the kind of interventions used?

    5. What do you believe is an important factor in how you teach these students? Why did you decide to teach students with exceptional needs? What is the most rewarding part of your job?

    Collaboration and Inclusion

    6. To what extent do the students parents get involved? How do you communicate and encourage parent involvement?

    7. To what extent do you work with general education teachers to plan educational programs for students who are exceptional? What style of collaboration do you use with the general education teachers?

    8. To what extent do students with disabilities receive educational experiences in the general education classrooms in your school? How do you feel about students with disabilities being taught in general education classrooms?

    9. To what extent do you think general and special education teachers should share the responsibility for meeting the special learning needs of students with disabilities? How do you feel about general education teachers accepting responsibility for teaching all students?

    10. How often do you work with other teachers to address the special learning needs of students who are not in special education (e.g. Student Assistance Team, CARE Team, Building Base Support Team)?

    11. If you could change one thing about education, what would that be?

    Thank you for any help you can provide!
    Thank you so much teach08!!!!!!

    • ANSWER:
      1) I hold an elementary education degree, but I work with regular and special education students. I am qualified to teach all subjects, but I want to go back to school to be more qualified to teach reading.

      2) My students are in 2nd grade, so about 7-8 years old. They range from a preschool ability to a 4th grade ability.

      3) I am qualified to teach all subjects, but for now I only teach reading and math.

      4) I use many different techniques with the students. I figure out what is best for them, whether it be an auditory, visual, kinesthetic, or all of the above lesson. I demonstrate how to do something in at least 2 different ways, usually more, to hopefully reach all of the student's preferred way of learning. I select my interventions based on my student's needs.

      5) I believe that realizing the importance of my job really effects how I teach and why I teach. My profession is so important, teachers seem to be so underappreciated- but without us- no doctors, lawyers, or anything would be available...it all starts with the basics that we taught in elementary school! The most rewarding part of my job is watching a student understand something new, the look on their face is priceless.

      6) I work in a city school right now, and very limited parents are involved with their students. I send home monthly newsletters and contact parents as needed, but they rarely come to scheduled meetings or contact me on their own. In the rural school I was in for a short time, parents were involved much more...parent volunteers, parent notes, parent responses to letters...it was wonderful!

      7) Every week I meet with other teachers in the building and collaborate with them. We talk about what is working, what isnt, and what we could improve on next year in the curriculum.

      8) Our ESL and special education students are fully immersed in the regular education classrooms. The most that they get is an hour every other day with a teacher specified for their needs. I dont agree with disabled students being fully immersed in regular ed classrooms, I do not think it is in their best interest. My one students has improved greatly just from 1 hr/daily special ed. services as opposed to no services, imagine what he would be like if he were serviced daily for half the day! It would be an immeasureable difference. It is hard for a student on a preschool level in a 2nd grade classroom to learn anything, it is too hard for him. He needs a classroom tailored to his needs more often, if not all the time.

      9) I think that special education teachers should be responsible for the IEP and materials for the special education student more than 75% of the time. The regular education teacher has at least 20 more kids to teach, and for the regular ed teacher to tailor to the 1 or 2 special ed students is not only hard, but unfair. There are 20 other students that are near/on grade level that could be learning their material and they need all of the teacher's attention. I think that it is unfair for general edu. teachers to have special ed. students in their classrooms. It is not leaving the special ed students out of "regular" education but just having them have a tailored education perfect for them in a classroom filled with students like them..instead of being teased by "regular" ed students.

      10) I meet with special ed and regular ed teachers on a weekly basis and we email probably every other day

      11) I would not include special ed students in regular ed classrooms 100% of the time. I think that they should be in a special ed classroom for at LEAST 50% of each day, so that they can benefit from lessons taught at their level and speed.

      Hope this helps!

  49. QUESTION:
    I already took 3 yrs of Spanish at my high school and I want to go to Harvard. What should i do?
    I've taken the highest Spanish course offered at my high school (AP Spanish Literature). Freshman year I took 1 semester of Spanish 2, then skipped to Spanish 3H for 2nd semester, Sophomore year i took Spanish 4H, and then junior year I took AP Spanish Literature (skipping AP Spanish Language). I know that most colleges want 4 years of a foreign language (I would imagine Harvard more than the rest). What should I do? Should I take another course at a local community college, teach an ESL class, etc? Any ideas? Thanks!

    • ANSWER:
      Harvard would like to see 4 years of one foreign language taken in high school, even though technically levels 1 - 4 cover that (with 1 taken in middle school), it's not really what they want. Take AP Spanish Language, and get a 5 on the AP test.

      My son takes French and he will end up in AP French Language (just changed to AP French Language and Culture, so who knows what will be on the new AP test, ugh) for his junior year, and CollegeBoard doesn't have AP French Literature anymore. Grrrrr. I'm hoping his teacher will decide to continue to teach French Literature as an Honors class so he can take it as a senior. If not, we'll have to figure something out. His options are an Independent Study project, but he'd like to do something else and you really need a classroom of kids speaking French to stay up on it, taking a class at college but timing will be difficult to arrange (even if he takes it in the summer, he'll still need something during his senior year to stay fresh for college French courses), lessons at a national French organization in our area (not the same but would be fine if he's taken all the classes at his school), or maybe something like an internship at the French embassy, which wouldn't be the same thing, but would give some brownie points.

      So you have it easy, take AP Spanish Language. One really doesn't start to be proficient in a foreign language until about the AP or similar level. It's a huge mistake to not take AP Spanish Language and Harvard would look at it the same way, makes no sense. At my son's private school (very high Ivy matriculation), they take the AP Spanish classes in either order, depending on what fits their schedule. There is also a more advanced Spanish Conversation class for after AP Spanish Language, and a Service Learning in Spanish class, like community service, does your school have anything of the sort if you can't take AP Language? Or maybe take the appropriate level at a community college, but often it's not really considered as rigorous as a properly taught AP class. See if you can cover the curriculum for the AP Spanish Language test and take it, and get a 5.

      Do your extracurriculars and community service have Depth and Focus in your Passion? The Ivies want Experts. They want a well-rounded student body, not well-rounded students. Even if you don't know what you want to do when you grow up (which is normal), they want to know what you're going to do with their top education, so it's best to have a plan (doesn't mean you have to keep to it). When they ask, have an answer. Have you done something to stand out among your classmates, and among other top students in your area? State or National level awards? Did you get a 2200+ on your SAT (25% of Harvard admits score over 2350 on the SAT)? The competition is amazing, and extremely tough, especially for Harvard. 85% of applicants are qualified, but only 6% are admitted.

      My dh participates in the admissions process of his Ivy alma mater, and we have a son who is an Ivy likely, but probably not interested, too cold, so I understand how it works.

      Good luck!

  50. QUESTION:
    Question about learning Thai?
    I plan on teaching in Thailand when I get older, so first question is for any Thai people or people that teach in Thailand or any country really..
    How well do I need to know the language? I know there are some offers where you don't need to know any of the local language meaning there would probably be another teacher who translates which is a waste really, but that's my opinion. I am learning Thai anyways and so I am just going to learn as much as I can but if I can't speak it very fluently would I still be able to get that job?

    Next question is confusing but I will try to explain it..
    So just say I know English and Thai (English being my first language) and someone says something in Thai, will my brain translate it into English or will it automatically know what they are saying? And also they construct their sentences differently, for example beach in Thailand is "hat" (not prounced like English hat) and say I stay at a place called Karon. In English I would say Karon beach, but in Thai it would be Hat Karon. Will it be very hard to adjust to this because I find it will be hard to translate full sentences with this. especially since most of the Thai translator books and guides give you translated sentences rather than individual words. Will it become hard for me to construct my own sentences because of this? If anyone is bilingual here please try to answer this and give any tips?

    After a while of basic learning of Thai (through books, CDs, and computer programs) my parents have promised me face to face lessons. I'm very keen for that since I would think it would be great for me to be able to ask questions and actually converse with someone. Anyone had language lessons before? How much of the language should I know before I start? Or would it be easier to get the lessons strait away ?

    Thanks for reading and (hopefully) answering 😀

    • ANSWER:
      + How well do I need to know the language? - There are some places that prefer someone who ONLY speaks English, so they can teach monolingually and have the kids learn through submersion. However, to me that concept seems to be slowly fading a little, as more people realize that having someone be able to explain a complex theory in the child's native language can help them get a better grasp of the concept, as well as help the teacher connect with the kids more. I've taught ESL in the US and Thailand and am going to move to Korea soon and plan on teaching there, and I know in both the US and Korea they prefer someone bilingual, and in Thailand, I felt like I was able to connect with and better communicate with my Thai students than my English-only-speaking coworkers because I can speak Thai. I also have a friend that taught in China who couldn't speak Chinese, and she said it made her feel disconnected, cause she really couldn't communicate with her students or go out with coworkers outside of the classroom, as they wouldn't speak English. So, basically, in a nutshell, no, you don't really NEED to be bilingual, especially if you find a school that prefers monolingual education, but it'll help set you apart from all the other candidates and help you fit in.

      Besides, why would you really want to live for an extended period of time in a country where you couldn't speak the language? Especially in Thailand, where venders will rip you off if you come off as a stupid foreigner, and where, unless you stick to the touristy areas or city where there's people who have studied English abroad or use it a lot for the tourists, a lot of Thais don't have a firm grasp of English. For a tourist, I think you would be able to navigate Thailand without learning the language, but if you plan to LIVE there or spend extended period of time there? Put forth the effort to at least learn some basic conversational phrases.

      + will my brain translate it into English or will it automatically know what they are saying? - How fluent do you want to be? That's one of the ways I personally use measure fluency; do you need to translate it to yourself, or do you just understand it right away? The more you use a language, the more you'll get used to hearing and speaking it, and the faster things will come to you.

      + Will it be very hard to adjust to this because I find it will be hard to translate full sentences with this - All it is is putting the adjective AFTER the noun it describes, like Spanish, rather than before, like in English. It's really not that complicated. Other than that, Thai is pretty much a subject-verb-object language, like English, so sentence structure shouldn't be too hard. It would be much less confusing for you than trying to learn a subject-object-verb language like Japanese, Korean, Mongolian, or Turkish. It also has no conjugation or gendered words, so you never have to worry about changing a verb to fit tense or adjective to fit the gender of the word or anything like that.

      What might give you the most trouble is going to be the TONES. Thai is a tonal language, meaning the pitch of your voice when you speak a word determines the meaning. The word "Glai" in Thai means BOTH "near" AND "far," depending on the tone you say it in, so you can see how important it's going to be to be able to distinguish and pronounce the tones. There's 5 of them - low, mid, high, rising, and falling.

      + I would think it would be great for me to be able to ask questions and actually converse with someone. - YES, yes it would. I think it's always better to start your language learning from a teacher, that way you can learn the basic grammar and have someone there to correct your pronunciation and grammar mistakes, and so you can practice hearing a fluent speaker speaking and having conversations. To be honest, I'd rather have a student who doesn't know anything about the language I'm teaching him than have a student who taught himself wrongly from a poorly written book and has grammar and pronunciation mistakes ingrained in his head that will be hard to overwrite. If your parents are willing to pay for (and you can find!) a face-to-face Thai class in your area, go for it! At least for the beginning, and after you learn the basics, you can start studying more on your own without the fear of learning things completely wrong or having unanswered questions~

      Hope that helped a little.. ^^;


esl lesson plans for kids

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