Even though there is technology available, computers are seldom used in ESL settings (Williams and Williams 2000, p. 98). Since constant exposure to English creates the best environment for students to learn the language, the teacher must be aware of different techniques to make this possible and to provide more sensitivity in issue facing the ESL instruction (Williams and Williams 2000, p. 98). English must not be limited to classroom instruction but should be integrated in other subject areas where English can be used (Williams and Williams 2000, p. 98).
Studies have shown that an integrated approach of reading and writing with the computer has been more effective than traditional modes of instruction of lecture-type approaches (Williams and Williams 2000, p. 98). The students find interest in having such variety in instruction and improve on their logic and organizational skills of constructing sentences, one of their greatest weaknesses in learning the language (Williams and Williams 2000, p. 98). Reading Preparation is the most effective way to ensure the students can comprehend any reading assigned (Drucker 2002, p.22).
According to Drucker (2002), “Comprehensible input is spoken or written language that is delivered at a level the child can understand. ” However, it is also important for the teacher to provide challenges that is a bit higher than the students’ current abilities (Drucker 2002, p. 22). Choral reading was seen to be a means of providing such comprehensible input for the students. Students can recite a poem, a short text together as well as be provided with gestures and motions that would enable them to understand what are reading more efficiently (Drucker 2002, pp.22+).
Repetitions of the reading selection give them the chance to recycle the language they have learned (Drucker 2002, pp. 22+). Contextual clues are also given through the motions and gestures taught by the teachers in reading the selection (Drucker 2002, pp. 22+). However, considering the individualize approach for ESL programs, it is important to note that teachers can only apply such technique for students who are in kindergarten to sixth grade (Drucker 2002, pp. 22+).
If the students are much older or more mature, there are reading selections that can be provided and analyzed. For example, the teacher can provide a more sophisticated text like an article to be discussed in class like American Art in Delaware: Henry Francis du Pont (1880-1969) was an heir to Delaware’s DuPont Company fortune. He was one of the first serious collectors of American decorative art objects –furniture, textiles, paintings, and other objects made in the United States between 1640 and 1840.
American furniture and household objects had been considered inferior to those from Europe. But du Pont helped develop a new appreciation for American decorative arts. He created a legendary showplace for these objects on his family’s estate just outside of Wilmington, Delaware. In 1951 it was opened to the public as the Henry Francis du Pont Winterthur (pronounced winter-tour) Museum. Du Pont assembled objects from his collection into 175 “period rooms,” each with examples of American antiques and decorative arts that followed a certain theme or period in early American history.
For example, the du Pont Dining Room has furniture dating from the late 18th and early 19th centuries. And, because this was the time when the United States became a new nation, there is a patriotic theme in the room. Another example is the Chinese Parlor, which has furnishings that reflect Americans’ fascination with Asian culture during the 18th century. In these period rooms du Pont believed he could tell the story of the early United States through furniture and other decorative arts (America’s Library 2007).
In the case of the article, American Art in Delaware, a warm-up question may be “You have probably heard of the DuPont Company, which was founded by a family of the same name. But do you know about the museum that one of the family members began (ESLgold. com 2007)? ” There are also vocabulary words that can be taken out of the article that the students can learn in class, either through homework activity or drills within the classroom time. Words that can be taken out of this article are: “antique, assemble, century, decorative, estate, fortune, heir, inferior, patriotic, textile” (ESLgold.com 2007).
The teachers can provide pre-reading questions that can enhance the interest of the students. Such questions can be, “What types of things do you like to collect or if you had some valuable artwork, what would do with it (ESLgold. com 2007)? ” When the group is finished reading the text, silently or aloud, there are post-reading questions that are very important to determine the student’s comprehension. It can be in forms of true or false, or multiple choice questions. The important thing is to gauge the capability of the students.
A set of post-reading questions may be in the form of the following; True or False: “Henry Francis du Pont’s art collection is displayed in a museum in Delaware; Americans were interested in Asian culture in the 18th Century; Mr. du Pont assembled his collection according to size” (ESLgold. com 2007). It can also in form of multiple choice questions like, “Which of the following is not an example of decorative art? ” and they can choose from textiles, furniture, legendary and painting (ESLgold. com 2007). ” Empowering the Students
According to interviews with ESL teachers of Korean students, they are very sensitive when it comes to corrections. They perform best when corrections come in gentle suggestions. Most of the time, teachers need to balance out the positive and the negative feedbacks to make sure the level of confidence of the students are still preserved. A way to go about this is presenting it in manner like, “you did well in your subject-verb agreement today, you should just work on the past tenses of the verbs and then you are sure to master it in no time.
” It is also best to provide feedback in manners like, “maybe you should say it this way” or “this might be a better way of saying that. ” It is also important to remember that Korean students are very academically inclined. There is no need to worry about their commitment to learning the language however the teachers must be aware and sensitive that it is a difficult task and must provide for the necessary opportunities for them to develop the language in forms of informal conversations, reading activities, games and with the lesson proper itself (Slavit et al.2002, pp. 116+).
America’s Library (2007). American art in Delaware. Retrieved on October 15, 2007, from http://www. americaslibrary. gov/cgi-bin/page. cgi/es/de/dupont_1. Ersoz, A. (2000). Six Games for the EFL/ESL Classroom. The Internet TESL Journal, (6)6. ESLgold. com (2007). ESL grammar. Retrieved on October 15, 2007, from http://www. eslgold. com/grammar/sentence_elements. html.