We’re publishing a full integrated-skills unit of lesson plans and worksheets in time for the International Day for Persons with Disabilities on Dec 3.
In addition to a reservoir of go-to activities, teachers need a robust plan for their curriculum. We will publish full units designed to promote language skills as well as critical thinking, in our Sustainability Series.
When students are exposed to reading and listening materials that build on their existing knowledge, and layer that with interesting and challenging new ideas, they can grow their language skills to meet their academic or business goals. An integrated skills curriculum simulates other kinds of learning in allowing students various modes to access the content and express their ideas about it.
Something for everyone in the SDGs.
The United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals for 2030 is an ideal place to start for engaging content for an international class. All students, whether from developing or developed countries, can find ways to relate to and apply the principles. Sustainability stretches far beyond ‘going green,’ into questions related to sustainable economic systems, sustainable urban growth, sustainable food and energy security, education and access to 21st century resources, gender equality and reducing other inequities – whatever your students are interested in pursuing, the U.N. likely has a project on it.
From receptive skills to productive skills
These units include a listening and reading selection, generally at the high intermediate or above level. There are vocabulary activities, task-based preview and summative activities, and activities for both main idea and finding details. Critical thinking activities for each selection also build to a cummulative unit project. The corresponding lesson plans provide suggestions for warm-up activities, eliciting, effective brainstorming and pair work, and assessment options.
The units also provide opportunities to practice academic and business skills such as paraphrasing, summarizing, presenting, or pitching ideas. The authentic content is at a high-intermediate to advanced level, so these units are ideal for students preparing for university classes or looking for a challenge beyond the ESL textbook.
I have taught topics related to Global Citizenship and the SDGs to students of all levels, however! To adapt the material to your class’s needs, please contact me.
Living with Disabilities
Today’s unit is being released for the U.N. International Day for Persons with Disabilities. The reading includes an article from the Citiscope Project and Sue Austin’s TedTalk about new perspectives the experience of using a wheelchair. While attention to disabilities is often focused on the challenges and restrictions people can face (and these are not to be taken lightly) I have chosen two selections that highlight solutions and positive outcomes.
When teaching adult ESL learners, the instructor often risks becoming the storehouse for the content knowledge as well as the language knowledge, particularly if the teacher has picked a content area that he or she knows well and is passionate about. But your students have a wide range of life experiences, personal connections, and areas of interest that will enrich the classroom. Give them plenty of opportunities to bring their own stories and ideas to the table, as well. As it happens, two of my most enjoyable students in language classes had severe visual impairments. They taught me and their classmates so much about their experiences and perspectives.
Note: While most of my materials are free for educational use, not all of the sources used for content have open licenses. Please do not publish any of these materials without checking for copyright restrictions.