Several of you have indicated interest in participating in the Learning Segments, beginning this month. You may access schedules, instructions, and registration forms at http://www.coloradoadulted.org/LES/LESResources.htm. Our next segment begins on Monday, January 7, and runs through the week, at your own time. There is no charge for the session. You have one week to complete the online assignments, which add up to about 3 hours unless you want to do more. Assignments for this segment consist of reading materials and discussing an activity in the group discussion forum in our online classroom system.
What You Don't Want
Goals in Contracts
Most people I know do not follow through on New Year resolutions. (I just Xerox mine from year to year.) Why would our students be any different? They would like to change their lives for the better, but they lack the belief that by following simple steps, their lives would significantly change. The goals we set with them get blurred and often become lost in the everyday struggle to survive. Goals don't send out monthly bills and reminders like those sent by landlords, hospitals, banks and utility companies.
On the other hand, most of us do follow through on contracts. We help create them, we study them, we sign them, and, sometimes, we negotiate their terms. A good contract specifies behavior and outcomes on a regular basis. We feel committed to our contracts, especially if we are reminded of its terms on a regular basis.
Questions from the Field
- I am struggling teaching a computer class to a group of beginners. I need to teach English as well as computer skills. I would love to have some ideas for basic and interesting projects that can be easily explained and completed in a reasonable amount of time. Can you lead me to some web-sites or books that could help me? Danielle
Following are a few links to computer lessons that can be adapted for use with students with limited English. In addition, I would suggest using computers to learn English, as follows:
1. Find a few games (There are many!) and assign each student a game. Then have students switch and teach each other the game they just played. Google "online games" and watch the long list appear of free games.
2. Take dialogs from different sites and have student type them out in Word, memorize them, and present them.
http://www.focusenglish.com/dialogues/eating/eatingindex.html is an example of the many dialogs online. Click on one and listen to the dialogs as you read. Google "English dialogs" and watch the lists appear.
3. Have students create booklets in Word about their families, communities, countries, anything. Laminate them and pass them around.
4. Place the beginning of a story in Google shared documents and have students add to the story.
5. Copy and paste cartoon images into Word and have students fill in the bubbles.
http://www.nationalgeographic.com/kids/ngo/cartoons/more.html - You can do this one right online. Lots of fun!!! Do a Google search on “free clipart.” Copy and paste or save as images. Place into a Word document. Use the drawing tools in Word or any MS application to add “think” and “talk” bubbles. Students enter the dialog. They have lots of fun doing that.
REFERENCES TO GOOD IDEAS AND RESOURCES
http://tech.worlded.org/docs/cesol/lessons.htm - Click through the ideas, articles and links to resources. Cool. Includes lesson ideas, using podcasting and blogging, and more.
http://www-tcall.tamu.edu/newsletr/dec98/dec98b.htm - Integrating Computer Skills into Low Level ESL, article from 1998, but has some goodies.
1. http://www.nwlincs.org/CompTech/toc.htm - for ABE but adaptable.
2. http://www.tefl.net/esl-articles/esl-computers.htm - check it out.
3. http://www.teacherweb.com/mn/mlc/computer - not on teaching computers but contains some entertaining ideas.
4. http://www.learning.com/easytech/tic_lessons.htm - very easy FLash lessons for kids, but I didn't think they were too childish, especially if you prep your students. Take a look.
5. http://www.caaelii.org/action_download_valid.htm#Lesson1 - Each lesson has a simple Power Point presentation along with a teacher plan. Even though these were written for older systems, you could easily adapt them to the newer ones, adding the changes in newer versions.
6. http://www.umuc.edu/distance/odell/ctla/basic_skills/ - a little wordy in the intro, but the lessons have lots of graphics.
7. http://www.umuc.edu/distance/odell/ctla/basic_skills/ - lots of interesting links to good ideas.
8. http://www.iel.spokane.edu/weblessons/computerlab/generalclasses.html - for you to get ideas. Too wordy for students.
9. http://www.themlc.org/compskills.html - links to resources that look very helpful.