Growing in Numbers

Slowly, but surely, the number of students in the ESL classes is growing. At one point we had seven students! I’m never sure which students will show up each class because it has never been consistent. We had a new student show up last Tuesday. I tutored him as well as another student. I found it challenging because the two students were at different levels of understanding and speaking English. For each class I always try to include worksheets for both basic and intermediate levels, but I was having a hard time because I am used to working with students who are a little more advanced than this new student. I am really glad he came to the ESL class because it forced me to think of new ways to explain things.

The topic of the class was using the telephone. The new student did a fantastic job at reading through a sample emergency call in English. However, he was simply repeating the words. He was having a hard time knowing how to use the phrases in real life situations. I felt bad because I felt as though I wasn’t doing a good job explaining how the terms and sentences should be used. I was afraid that the new student wouldn’t feel like he made much progress and that he wouldn’t want to come back to future classes.

SB postAfter working with the students individually, we got together to work on a group activity. I really enjoyed the group activity. Each student drew a slip of paper that gave him or her a certain situation and asked him or her to leave a voicemail. We used cell phones and one by one each student got to practice leaving a message. Everyone in the class was super supportive of each other and clapped and complimented each other after each turn. We then let the students listen to their messages so that they could hear what they sounded like and what they could improve on.

Overall, the best part of the week was to see the new student be the first student to walk into the classroom on Thursday evening for class. It made me really happy that he came back for another class. It showed me that he felt as though he was getting something out of the class.

Sarah Beth Watson ’16