For the past couple weeks, I have been volunteering with two ESL classes in a local highschool. It has been an extremely interesting experience because I have learned about new teaching methods. The difference between these two classes is that one of the classes the ESL students have a basic knoweldge of English and can carry on simple conversations. The reason that they are in this class is to assist them to integrating into the classrooms. The other class though is a completely different setting and provides completely different challenges. The 2nd class has students that have just moved to Canada and have little or no English. This can make for a difficult process because the students need to learn but as teachers it is our job to help them to learn English.

In each of class, there are unique lessons which each teacher has for the students to gain a better understanding of English. In the first ESL class, where the students have basic English, lessons have been centered around helping them in writing English and learning things such as history, social studies and sciences. Though it is important for the students to learn English so they can work their way into regular classes, some lessons revolve around the students language. One lesson that was done during the class was when the students were learning about different rhymes. The twist to the lesson was that each student was asked if they wanted to share a rhyme in their own language and teach it to the entire class. This is important because it promotes students to keep their traditional languages and not lose them completely.

In the 2nd ESL class, the students are learning the simple basics that will assist them in life. This proved to be a somewhat difficult process because many of the students were confused about the concepts that were trying to be taught. The lesson that they were trying to learn was how to read calendars. Each student was given a work booklet which consisted of work sheets which broke down how understand the days of the week. This was a difficult for the students because many of them were not sure how to distinguish between weekdays and weekends. Also for the teacher, teacher assistant and I it was hard to try and explain to the students what the difference was and why it is important to know the days of the week.

As a soon to be teacher, this experience is very valuable because it prepares me for when I do go out into the real world and may have ESL students in my class. It is important as a teacher that we understand the importance of helping students to retian their first language without completely forgetting it. Also that it may seem difficult and frustrating to try and teach an individual about the days of the week, it is important that they recieve help and attention from the teacher.

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