Thursday, June 24, 2010

Video lessons online

You don't need to be a technology wiz to bring multimedia into your language lessons. CRESL teacher Katie Collins recommended a Website that has a good collection of free ESL video lessons online.

The site, English Media Lab, presents a series of very simple speaking and listening lessons in either Flash or MP3 format. the site is best using the Internet Explorer browser, and not Firefox.

Simply choose a lesson from the list, and it will launch automatically. Students can study on their own if the have a computer (with speakers). there does not appear to be a way to save the videos to your computer.

The site has a distincltly British accent, but this should not cause any misunderstandings for the students.

This site also includes many ESL games, matching activities, and interactive lessons that will be beneficial for both the students and their teachers. Scroll down, click around, and check it out.

Happy viewing!

Monday, June 21, 2010

More from the Denver Post

Tina Griego recently wrote another Denver Post column following the resettlement of one of Denver's refugees. It is both encouraging and heartbreaking.

Deg Adhikari now approaches his ninth month of resettlement in the United States. He is not sure how time passed so quickly, though he is grateful it did. It means he has been busy, and busy is the friend of all settlers. A stranger in a strange land faced with empty time is likely to fill it with memory and longing. How can you explain yearning for a refugee camp, for walls covered by newspaper and meals of rice, rice and more rice? So, it is best to say none of these things but to speak of that which all humans understand. I miss my family. I miss my friends. I miss what is familiar, and almost nothing here is.

Yes, it is best to stay busy.

Click here to read the entire article.

What are you doing early on Saturdays?

We could really use some help with our Saturday's women's class at Grace Apartments. The class meets on Saturday mornings at 8:30 and finishes at about 10:00. It's a large class, but it's a hybrid class/tutoring situation.

The students meet in one room, but work individually or in small groups with the tutors. There is a lead teacher who presents the main lesson, and everyone follows up from there.

the class is lively, fun, not at all intimidating, and there is plenty of mutual support--for both students and teachers.

If you're interested, please send an email to Soon.

Get out and have some fun!

It's summer, and even if you're on a budget, there's plenty you can plan for yourself and your student. Many of Denver's cultural attractions offer free days to Colorado residents. Get your ID ready and take a trip right here in town!

1. Denver Art Museum
100 West 14th Avenue Parkway
Denver, CO

•January 2, 2010
•February 6, 2010
•March 6, 2010
•April 3, 2010
•May 1, 2010
•June 5, 2010
•July 3, 2010
•August 7, 2010
•September 4, 2010
•October 2, 2010
•November 6, 2010
•December 4, 2010

2. Denver Botanic Gardens
1007 York St.
Denver, CO

•January 18, 2010
•February 15, 2010
•April 22, 2010
•July 22, 2010
•August 25, 2010
•September 26, 2010
•October 28, 2010

3. Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield
8500 Deer Creek Canyon Rd.
Littleton, CO

•January 1, 2010
•February 5, 2010
•March 5, 2010
•April 2, 2010
•May 7, 2010
•June 4, 2010
•August 6, 2010
•November 5, 2010
•December 3, 2010

4. Denver Museum of Nature & Science
2001 Colorado Blvd.
Denver, CO

•January 11, 2010
•February 21, 2010
•March 1, 2010
•April 18, 2010
•August 8, 2010
•August 30, 2010
•September 13, 2010
•September 19, 2010
•October 3, 2010
•October 18, 2010
•November 14, 2010
•December 6, 2010

5. Denver Zoo
2300 Steele St.
Denver, CO

•January 9, 2010
•January 18, 2010
•February 7, 2010
•February 16, 2010
•October 13, 2010
•October 21, 2010
•November 7, 2010
•November 13, 2010

6. Denver Center for the Peforming ArtsThe Denver Center for the Performing Arts offers free tickets to performances through a lottery system. To enter the drawing for free tickets, fill out the online form.

7. OK, not free but maybe worth a splurge. Swallow Hill Music Association offers an outdoor concert series in Glendale's Four Mile Park throughout the summer. The Shady Grove Picnic Series continues every Wednesday at 6:30 p.m., from June 23 to August 25, presenting traditionally American folk & roots artists. Come with your family, your student, and a basket of yummy goodies, sit on the grass and enjoy a relaxing summer evening.

Tickets at the door: $10/$7 members; $2 for children 12 & under. Bicyclists get in for member pricing throughout the 2010 season! Click here for the lineup and more information.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Illustrating your point

When you create a lesson for your student, it's an excellent idea to use pictures when you can. Pictures are also good for making flashcards or using as part of a vocabulary lesson.

Microsoft clip art (included with MS Office or available online) has good collection of everyday themes. Click here to access the library online. Use the search feature at the top of the page to enter specific keywords, or look on the right side of the screen and click on a category to search by topic.

Another free and very helpful site comes courtesy of Florida's Educational Technology Clearninghouse. Click here to see more than 58,000 pieces of free clip art collected specifically for teachers. In fact, go to the FETC home page, scroll down, and explore the many free resources available in content area and ESL instruction. Great ideas here!

Do a Google search "free clipart" and see what else you can find. Many school districts and state educational systems have put together excellent resources, as have many homeschoolers.

To copy a picture quickly and paste it into a document,
  • right click on the picture with your mouse
  • select "copy"
  • return to your document and click where you want to place the picture
  • push the CTRL and V buttons together on your keyboard

To save a picture, right click on it and choose "save picture as."

That was easy!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

From the Denver Post

Recently, the way refugee resettlement is funded has changed in Colorado and most other states. One result of this change is that less emphasis may be placed on the perceived value of refugees spending time attending English classes.

Kevin Mohatt, who has worked with refugees both at a resettlement agency and in an educational setting, wrote a guest Op-Ed piece that was published in today's edition of the Denver Post.

Please take a few moments to read this commentary. We encourage you to share your comments on the Post's Website.

A better lesson in English

By Kevin Mohatt
Posted: 06/03/2010 01:00:00 AM MDT

I work with refugees at the Emily Griffith Opportunity School in Denver. Last year, more than 2,000 of them made Colorado their new home.

They come from places like Iraq, Somalia and Bhutan, and look for a way to communicate at the Language Learning Center. When I greet them, most return my smile with a blank look, offering a crumpled piece of paper with a referral. Weakly, some will murmur: "Englesh."

Oumy came from Senegal. Though she spoke few words, she was eager to learn more. She studied every day and quickly learned enough English to find a job in a local ice cream factory. But Oumy yearned for more. She was able to pass the GED. After that, Oumy was accepted to study in an aircraft maintenance program on scholarship (she was the only woman enrolled in the program at the time). Throughout school, she kept her job at the ice cream factory.

Now, as a trained aircraft mechanic, Oumy will be able to comfortably provide for herself and her family.

Oumy's path to success in the U.S. started with learning English. For all foreigners, learning the language is the most important skill to obtain employment and support a family. Without adequate English, refugees would struggle for jobs and rely on cash assistance for longer periods of time.

Unfortunately, helping refugees like Oumy learn English may soon prove to be more difficult.

Click here to continue reading this article