Fostering Community in Diverse Adult ESL Classrooms Community in Diverse Adult ESL Classrooms ... Fostering Community in Diverse Adult ESL Classrooms ... guide learners to articulate their goals,

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  • Fostering Community in Diverse Adult ESL

    ClassroomsRachel FabianHope Hardin

    Maria HodappDr. Cheri Pierson

  • ______________?


  • Whats your favorite fruit?


  • _____________?

    5:40 am

  • What time did you get up today?

    5:40 am

  • _______________?

    Winchester, Kentucky

  • Where were you born?

    Winchester, Kentucky

  • __________________?



    and Portuguese

  • What languages do you speak?



    and Portuguese

  • Fostering Community in Diverse Adult ESL

    ClassroomsRachel FabianHope Hardin

    Maria HodappDr. Cheri Pierson

  • Todays Topics1. Who are our students?

    2. Why is community important?

    3. What activities can we use to foster community?

    4. What works in your class?

  • What do we know about students before the class

    begins?Brainstorm together

  • Things we might know... native language age immigration status time spent in the U.S. scores on entrance


    home country marital status children

    new or continuing student

    home address email use level of education

    attained in home country

    work and hours of work per week

  • demographic information

    (what we see on the

    registration card)

  • What do we NOT know about students?

    Brainstorm together

  • What cultural knowledge will be

    helpful in building this community?

  • Background Cultural Knowledge (CQ)Some Continuums to Consider...

    high/low context


    power distance


    generational differences



    gender roles

  • Offering an Opinion

    High Context Low Context

    *slide courtesy of Dr. Moreau, INTR


  • Handling Problems

    High Context Low Context

    *slide courtesy of Dr. Moreau, INTR 561

  • IndividualisticCollectivistic

    Self Concept

    Intimate Social and Cultural Environment

    SelfSelf SelfSelf

    *slide courtesy of Dr. Moreau, INTR 561

  • Classroom

    *slide courtesy of Dr. Moreau, INTR 561

  • The Teacher: Power Distance

    *slide courtesy of Dr. Moreau, INTR 561

  • What is a community?

  • What is a Community of Learning?

    One which is together; in which there is a strong we feeling; and which students are happy to belong to...members commitment to the group and each other. (Dornyei, 2001, p. 43)

    Cohesive learning community - one in which they feel comfortable interacting among themselves and with their teacher - takes time to achieve. (Senior, 2006)

    A group of people with shared goals, needs, and concerns. (Farrell and Richards, 2011, p.126)

  • Why is fostering community important?

  • Why is fostering community important?

    Leads to increased proficiency Beneficial for teachers Motivation




  • Aspects of Motivation


  • Factors Influencing Classroom Community



    (adapted from Farrell and Richards, 2011)

  • Challenges in fostering communities -Standards

    Standards should guide curricula; they should not dictate everything that happens in the classroom. The teachers job is to guide learners to articulate their goals, and then look for overlaps among those goals and program or state outcome and standards by which learners will be assessed.

    (adapted from Parrish, 2004, p.293)

  • Challenges in fostering communities -Multilevel Classes

    Students in multilevel classes need to feel that their needs are being addressed, and individual learning plans are essential. However, one way to bridge the gap between learners diverse needs is to identify and negotiate shared goals, which results in more realistic expectations for the whole group.

    (adapted from Parrish, 2004, p. 192)

  • Challenges in fostering communities -Student Persistence

    Where did all my students go? Ive often asked myself that, wondering why a class that had 18 or 20 students at its highest point has dwindled, by late in the term, to 12 people coming regularly . . . or 8 . . . or 6. Is it me, I wonder? The class? The school? Short answer: none of the above. I did a little research and quickly found that student persistence... is an issue for adult education programs everywhere...Help students set goals and develop self-efficacy.

    (adapted from an article, Student Persistence in Adult ESL: The Continuing Challenge)

  • How do we address these challenges?

    Incorporate Student Goals:

    Find out student goals through surveys, questionnaires, interview

    Show students the correlation between their goals and curriculum

    Have students share their goals with each other

    Collective celebration when goals are met or progress achieved toward them

    Show students at the beginning of the course the awards they could achieve at the end. (Perfect Attendance, Completion of Level 2, etc.)

    Sign-in sheet for attendance, make calls when students are absent

  • Pictorial Student Goal Assessments

  • Student Goal Checklists

  • Student Goal Checklists

  • Classroom Techniques to Foster Community

    Teacher Habits

    Community-Building Activities within Required Curriculum

    General Mixers and Conversation Starters

  • Teacher Habits - Names

    Learn them quickly and correctly Sign-in daily Nametag activities: group greetings, spelling,

    groupings, calling on students, new seats, absences.

  • Teacher Habits - Names

  • Teacher Habits - Affirm PastAsk students to teach you how to greet in their language

    Learn about their work life before the USA

    Google Map of student home countries

  • Teacher Habits - Affirm Goals

  • Teacher Habits - Affirming

    Phone each student before the first day After a few classes, ask what activities they


    Bonus English chart Require lots of student-provided examples

    (correct graciously)

  • Teacher Habits - Affirming

    Use students to generate examples.

  • Its snowing and the roads are terrible!


    (-) Dont




    (+) Why dont you?

  • Teacher Habits - Treats Surprise with coffee

    Peppermints to share in the evening class

    Holiday treat (candy hearts for imperatives)

    Student birthdays

    Dollar Store prizes (school supplies)


  • Teacher Habits - YOU

    Use your life as class material.

  • Teacher Habits - YOU

    Humor and anecdotes

    Participate in the mixers and surveys.

    Be the first brave volunteer for charades or pictionary.

  • Curriculum-Friendly Ideas

    Writing about personal experiences

    focused on verb tense, sequence words, frequency words

    Writing about goals and future careers.

    want to, need to, I will, sequencing words

    Share writing with each other and summarize partners work.

    Interview and write a paragraph about another student. Create a class


    Make or bring food, describe process

    imperatives, ordinal numbers, sequencing

    Share writing at a culture night.

  • Michiganby Maria Hodapp

    Michigan is a very beautiful state. There are many lakes; some are big and others are small. The lake in the photo is Lake Michigan. It is very big. In the summer I like to visit Lake Michigan and see the bright blue water. The sand is warm and the water is refreshing. I also like to visit Lake Michigan in the winter. It is very cold, but it is still beautiful.

  • Curriculum-Friendly Ideas

  • Polanczyk, PolandBy Irena

    My country is Poland. My favorite city is Polanczyk. I spent every holiday there. I loved being there. There are beautiful green forests, nice neighborhoods, beautiful scenery and big lakes. On the lake is a little island. In summer it is beautiful and in winter it is nice, too. I would like to go there this year.

  • Curriculum-Friendly Ideas: Light-Hearted

    Sticky Spelling (Vocabulary)

    Charades (Present Continuous)

    Ending Slap (singular to plural nouns, or s possessive endings)

    Pictionary (Students each contribute 1 or 2 secret words)

    Flyswatter (photos to vocab, present to past, finish the sentence)

    Scattergories-Style Brainstorm - Class split into 4 teams, and have 1

    minute to write down as many vocab words on that topic. Teams read

    off answers, only get a point for each answer not written by another

    group. Health unit example:

    Round 1: body parts

    Round 2: health problems

    Round 3: products (aspirin, crutches, etc.)

  • dishes

  • Open Mixers - Getting to Know You...

    Speed Dating Student-Developed Survey Memory Circles Roll the Dice or

    Beach Ball Toss

    Whats in your bag? Toilet Paper Activity

    Be My Guest! Native country travel advice

    Advice for living in the U.S. Advice for being in your

    class: write a letter to the

    next group.

  • Open Mixers - Camaraderie Facebook Page

    Mini Field Trip to Library (or transit, restaurant, grocery store)

    Meet in cafeteria or student lounge occasionally

    Class Craigslist (auto repair, salon...)

    Micro-Mentoring: Take note

    students of who have big

    events coming up. Ask who

    else has gone through the

    experience already. Share


    (Parking ticket, citizenship exam,

    court date, drivers license test,

    talking to landlord)

  • Open Mixers - Camaraderie

    My Three Words


    Goals Collage

    Its worth the class time that

    you lose.

  • Open Mixers - Groupings

    Student-made: Teach them how to form groups

    (Hi, do you have a partner? Can I work with you? Lets talk.)

    Group with photos

    Pick nametags at random.

    Deck of cards: Students find someone from the same suit, number, odd/even,

    black/red, etc.

    Youre wonderful, Youre marvelous

    Like-Ability or Mixed Ability

    App: Team Shake

    Synonym Rolls and Antonym Partners

    Paint Chips

  • What works for you? Names

    Activities Tied to Curriculum

    Goal-Setting and Celebrating


    Class Atmosphere

  • Q & A

    For additional handout with links and descriptions, ask us!


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