Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Make the Most of Your Field Trips

As a teacher at an International School, many of my students are English Language Learners. Even my native English speakers are living in a non-English speaking country. Due to my unique teaching position, I have had some readers ask for tips on teaching English Language Learners. Here is this week’s Tuesday TESOL Teaching Tip:

ELL Teaching Tip of the Week: Use Guidance Sheets During Field Trips and Videos

Field Trips and video experiences give English Language Use checklists to help ESL students get more from field trips.Learners (ESL students) a chance to practice real life listening skills, and experience English in a very hands on way.  However, the rate of speech in a video and the rate of speech used by a tour guide are much faster than the rate of speech of a teacher, especially an ESL Teacher who knows to slow down when she (or he) speaks.  Additionally, during field trips students are moving, walking and distracted by other things to see.  This combination of a lack of attention and increased rate of speech means that many ESL students don’t get everything they can from these wonderful learning experiences.  So, how can we help them out?  Here are some tips:

1.  Prep them before you go.  Before you head out to the bus, make sure that you go over what students will see, reducing some of their distractibility level from the start.  In addition, go over the key vocabulary words that students will need in order to understand a tour guide.

Use checklists to help ESL students get more from field trips.







2.  Give students something to physically do during a field trip.  Create a specific notes sheet or use a general graphic organizer to help students remember to stay focused on listening.

Use checklists to help ESL students get more from field trips.During my class’ recent trip to a furniture manufacturing factory, we filled out this form as we looked for (and listened for) the key vocabulary terms we had been studying during our unit.  Feel free to grab this sheet free from my Teachers Pay Teachers store if you are headed to a factory field triimagep any time soon.

3.  Debrief after the field trip.  Take time after the field trip to let student discuss what they have seen.  Listen to what they have to say and help them fill in any vocabulary that has slipped by them.

Using these three simple tips can increase the amount of understanding your English Language Learners get from field trips and videos.

Successful Strategies for English Language Learners by Heidi Raki of Raki's Rad ResourcesDo you enjoy the weekly TESOL Teaching Tips? Would you like to view an hour long presentation on this topic? I recently presented on Strategies for Teaching English Language Learners at the Everything’s Intermediate Expo. Now you can grab the presentation for just $3.95 from Teacher’s Notebook.

Find more TESOL Teaching Tips here, and come back every Tuesday for a new tip!