Keeping students engaged

The beginning of the school year has come and gone.  By now, teachers and students alike are mired in the day to day work of learning.  The newness of the school year with its sparkling school supplies and fresh haircuts has worn off.  But that doesn’t mean the fun and enjoyment in school have to end!  In fact, as we trudge through October and November on our way to the December break, it is more important than ever to keep the spark of learning alive in our classrooms.

For us in the United States, this time of year lends itself especially well to the study of traditions and holidays.  For newcomers in your classroom it is the perfect time to teach the traditions, culture and history of American holidays, but also to combine that with your students’ own traditions and holidays.  Use this as a time for the whole school to learn about the similarities and differences between our culture and our students’.  For example, maybe your students from Mexico could create a display in the hallway that shows some of the symbols, artifacts and images that go along with The Day of the Dead.  Along with this display could be copies of a brochure that they made together to explain the holiday.  This display could even be placed in the school entrance so that community members and parents could enjoy and learn from it.

How do you keep ESL students engaged and excited to learn in this fall season?  Share your great ideas with us here, and enjoy the season ahead!

 

About Heidi Casper

Heidi Casper
Heidi Casper has been teaching in the ESL field for about 15 years. She’s had the privilege of teaching all ages of language learners, from kindergarten to seniors in high school. She speaks Spanish, which has been invaluable in building relationships with Spanish-speaking families between home and school. That skill also provided her with the opportunity to spend a short time teaching at a private school in Mexico, as well as to present at an early childhood conference in Costa Rica. What she loves about this field is the opportunity to meet so many fascinating students and families from around the world. She’s certain that she’s learned more from her students over the years than she could have possibly taught them. She is currently working on a master’s degree in ESL and looks forward to sharing her thoughts and experiences with others in the field.
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  3. Suzanne says:

    As a higher ed teacher, I try to keep students motivated by placing as much of the responsibility for learning in their hands. I use a Moodle web page for much of the class including: homework assignments and submission, synchronous labs and class news. I would like to think instead of the students being passive observers, this forum gives them more opportunity to call the learning their own.

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