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Creating An ESL Program For Church

 
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church_lady



Joined: 27 Feb 2012
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 2:11 pm    Post subject: Creating An ESL Program For Church Reply with quote

Thanks for signing me up. I'm not a teacher, but I have a BA in
English (Lit). I've taught ESL in the past, and have been invited to
help design a program at a church. The problem? Well, the truth is, as
well intentioned as they are, what they're doing now is mostly holding
a conversational cafe, which is good, but there's no real structure to
build upon. I'd really like to try and create something more solid.

Can you help me or direct me to books or sites? I want to better
understand how classes are set up, short, medium and long range goals,
etc., so as to not overwhelm the student or the assistant teacher(s).
I'll be posting this message on the board as well, if that's okay!

While we're on the subject, are there schools in the U.S. where someone can get certified to teach ESL/EFL/TOEFL and not pay an arm or a leg? I'm 56 years old, and I do not want to invest in any more school loans. I see there are online programs and oversea programs. Any insight on the credibility of these programs?

Thanks,
Johanna (church_lady)
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Sally Olsen



Joined: 08 Apr 2004
Posts: 1304
Location: Canada,France, Brazil, Japan, Mongolia, Greenland, Canada, Mongolia, Ethiopia next

PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 3:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Johanna:
There are all sorts of free programs supplied by religious organizations. You just have to Google your own faith and see what is available. You could probably get several and compare how they are put together and which parts you like.

The Bah'ai faith has an excellent series of educational materials and a particular philosophy of teaching that I found very useful. You might not agree with the content but be interested in the methods. It is small group discussion as you mentioned with a program of reading, questions, discussion and writing as I remember. I found it excellent and it used for teaching literacy skills.

One of the advantages of a church based ESL program is the community it develops and the personal help you can give attendees in settlement and personal procedures.

If you can keep class sizes small or at least part of the lessons small, it helps a lot because then you can tailor the classes to the levels of the students. That usually requires more volunteers but the more people who get to know each other the better. There are often retired teachers in the area of the church (usually quite a few nuns I have found and even though they might not members of your church have the same basic faith and love to help others).

You can learn a great deal on the Internet. There are a massive number of papers on Google Scholar on how to teach ESL and there are many sites. Dave's is one of the best. You just have to read one person's input over time and it gives you a good idea of things to do and goals to pursue. I recommend Lorikeet's because she has been doing classes for years and has many good ideas but any of the regular contributors in the Adult Education section of the board will give you great ideas. Don't forget the Cook Book ideas as well on Dave's.

If you have the time, you can drop in on your local Adult Education classes and get ideas from the teachers. They would be glad of a little extra help for students who need individual attention and in return, will recommend materials.

Your local library will probably have a good selection of books and materials - tapes and CD's and if they don't you can ask them to order some. It is good to take your students to the library so they can expand their reading materials. They often have reading materials in the student's own languages which makes them feel good and helps them to feel more self-confident. It is often humiliating to feel like a child again in learning the language and if they can show you they can read and think in another language, it boosts their self-esteem and you learn something too.

Make sure that the students know that the lessons are part of a church-run project by getting someone in their language to explain why you are teaching them. You may not be recruiting them to your church but you are presenting a specific orientation to life and they should know that.

Have tea and coffee and goodies. It makes the atmosphere so much better.

56 is nothing. This could be a whole career for you. There are schools the world over looking for teachers like you. It is wonderful retirement occupation, you get to travel, you meet really wonderful people and you get paid (sometimes not a lot but enough to live on and you could never afford the vacation for that long and with such adventures). Programs are not all that expensive and sometimes train you while you are teaching. Again, Dave's job board will give you an idea of what is available. I used to take the first job on the top of the list and have been many wonderful places.
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church_lady



Joined: 27 Feb 2012
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 9:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks so much, Sally~

Wonderful information, and I'm excited about the prospects! I'll just start reading preparing a plan that will be easy for everyone. Maybe only 12 people per class to allow for 1 on 1 interaction?

I just need to figure out the best time. At the other church, people were coming back after 1pm to take the class, but that church had a plan where each person paid 25.00 up front and if they attended every class and did the assignments they'd get the 20.00 back, minus 5.00 for the materials. I don't think we can/should do that, because the group we're working with needs every dime they get. Making snacks available is always nice, but do I want to make snacks available before class? Usually it's been done after the first 1 1/2 hour of class, but they're thinking of doing the ESL immediately after church.

People are hungry after service!lol Anyway, those are some of the things I get to think about over the next few weeks.

I'm so glad this site is here, and I hope you guys won't mind me asking silly questions from time to time.

Johanna
I'm really excited about get the certificate in ESL, but as inexpensive and exciting as it is to travel to another country, I'm going to have to put that one hold till next year. This year, I want to focus on get the certification. I also saw an ONLINE course. Is that legit? Can that really be done??

Sally Olsen wrote:
Hi Johanna:
There are all sorts of free programs supplied by religious organizations. You just have to Google your own faith and see what is available. You could probably get several and compare how they are put together and which parts you like.

The Bah'ai faith has an excellent series of educational materials and a particular philosophy of teaching that I found very useful. You might not agree with the content but be interested in the methods. It is small group discussion as you mentioned with a program of reading, questions, discussion and writing as I remember. I found it excellent and it used for teaching literacy skills.

One of the advantages of a church based ESL program is the community it develops and the personal help you can give attendees in settlement and personal procedures.

If you can keep class sizes small or at least part of the lessons small, it helps a lot because then you can tailor the classes to the levels of the students. That usually requires more volunteers but the more people who get to know each other the better. There are often retired teachers in the area of the church (usually quite a few nuns I have found and even though they might not members of your church have the same basic faith and love to help others).

You can learn a great deal on the Internet. There are a massive number of papers on Google Scholar on how to teach ESL and there are many sites. Dave's is one of the best. You just have to read one person's input over time and it gives you a good idea of things to do and goals to pursue. I recommend Lorikeet's because she has been doing classes for years and has many good ideas but any of the regular contributors in the Adult Education section of the board will give you great ideas. Don't forget the Cook Book ideas as well on Dave's.

If you have the time, you can drop in on your local Adult Education classes and get ideas from the teachers. They would be glad of a little extra help for students who need individual attention and in return, will recommend materials.

Your local library will probably have a good selection of books and materials - tapes and CD's and if they don't you can ask them to order some. It is good to take your students to the library so they can expand their reading materials. They often have reading materials in the student's own languages which makes them feel good and helps them to feel more self-confident. It is often humiliating to feel like a child again in learning the language and if they can show you they can read and think in another language, it boosts their self-esteem and you learn something too.

Make sure that the students know that the lessons are part of a church-run project by getting someone in their language to explain why you are teaching them. You may not be recruiting them to your church but you are presenting a specific orientation to life and they should know that.

Have tea and coffee and goodies. It makes the atmosphere so much better.

56 is nothing. This could be a whole career for you. There are schools the world over looking for teachers like you. It is wonderful retirement occupation, you get to travel, you meet really wonderful people and you get paid (sometimes not a lot but enough to live on and you could never afford the vacation for that long and with such adventures). Programs are not all that expensive and sometimes train you while you are teaching. Again, Dave's job board will give you an idea of what is available. I used to take the first job on the top of the list and have been many wonderful places.
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Sally Olsen



Joined: 08 Apr 2004
Posts: 1304
Location: Canada,France, Brazil, Japan, Mongolia, Greenland, Canada, Mongolia, Ethiopia next

PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 1:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ask away.

If you are worried about the cost of taking a course, just make up your own course. There are so many scholarly papers on Google Scholar and although they are scholarly, there are always practical hints in them.

I am sure the library has a few books on how to teach ESL as well or you could ask them order some or the student workbooks will have teacher's manuals.

I would give them food first if they sat through a whole service. You could use parts of the service they didn't understand to help them learn English.

We had a missionary who took them out after the opening hymns (when the children were going to Sunday School) and gave them a service in their own language. Then she went over the hymns to explain what they said and so on. That way they could mingle with the coffee crowd and get to know people after the service. Of course, we had one language group and someone who could speak the language.

It is fun. I know you will enjoy it.
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church_lady



Joined: 27 Feb 2012
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That sounds great. Now I just have to get the Pastor on board for it. Sunday works best for me as I am quite a distance from church. There's a program here called,"Linguaedge" and I'm thinking of taking that certification course. It's only 149.00 and it'll give me the basics that I can apply while setting up the class. I don't know how valued such a certification is, but I feel at this point, if it'll teach me the essentials of starting, developing and maintaining a class, then it's a good investment.

Johanna (Church Lady)

Sally Olsen wrote:
Ask away.

If you are worried about the cost of taking a course, just make up your own course. There are so many scholarly papers on Google Scholar and although they are scholarly, there are always practical hints in them.

I am sure the library has a few books on how to teach ESL as well or you could ask them order some or the student workbooks will have teacher's manuals.

I would give them food first if they sat through a whole service. You could use parts of the service they didn't understand to help them learn English.

We had a missionary who took them out after the opening hymns (when the children were going to Sunday School) and gave them a service in their own language. Then she went over the hymns to explain what they said and so on. That way they could mingle with the coffee crowd and get to know people after the service. Of course, we had one language group and someone who could speak the language.

It is fun. I know you will enjoy it.
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View user's profile Send private message
Sally Olsen



Joined: 08 Apr 2004
Posts: 1304
Location: Canada,France, Brazil, Japan, Mongolia, Greenland, Canada, Mongolia, Ethiopia next

PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 6:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know anything about courses and who accepts what. Sorry. Can't be too far wrong at that price I guess. You already have teaching experience so that is invaluable and you will know what works or not. You have hands on experience with adults as well. Gives you a good foundation.

I guess I love going to university and having a year or two experience to get your Master's will give you more flexibility. I just took a course a semester and stretched it out over two years. It gave me a really good network of people combing staff and students.
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church_lady



Joined: 27 Feb 2012
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 6:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How funny that you just responded to my post. I just spoke with the people over at that Linguaedge program and totally decided against it. I wanted something quick that I could put under my belt and then build while working, but that place isn't it.
I'm now looking at "SeriousTeacher.com" and I think they've got the program I'm after. I can't afford to do the MA thing, and I just refuse to hang another school loan around my neck. If Ican do this, then by next year I'll be able to invest money into an MA program, and I'll have the experience creating and running a program to boot!


Sally Olsen wrote:
I don't know anything about courses and who accepts what. Sorry. Can't be too far wrong at that price I guess. You already have teaching experience so that is invaluable and you will know what works or not. You have hands on experience with adults as well. Gives you a good foundation.

I guess I love going to university and having a year or two experience to get your Master's will give you more flexibility. I just took a course a semester and stretched it out over two years. It gave me a really good network of people combing staff and students.
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View user's profile Send private message
Sally Olsen



Joined: 08 Apr 2004
Posts: 1304
Location: Canada,France, Brazil, Japan, Mongolia, Greenland, Canada, Mongolia, Ethiopia next

PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 12:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you have ordered the free language packages from your faith, they will give you tons of ideas. Also look at the teachers manuals from the ESL books at the library and they will give you good ideas.

Do you have a TESOL organization where you live? Most cities have a conference once or twice a year and it will give you contacts in the area plus they usually have books on display and if you wait until the last day, they usually give out free samples or reduce the price.

Do you have a program for refugees or stay-at-homes to learn English in your area? They usually have a ton of resources and give workshops to help you learn what to do. We have something called ELTOC but it might be called something else there because the OC is the name of our city. It means English Language Training of Ottawa Carleton.

Check with the government for free materials - they might even have materials on how to set up a program.

Check at the Thrift store for inexpensive textbooks as well and ask the staff to save you books for the ESL program.

Can you cook at your program in the church kitchen? That is a wonderful activity to learn English, learn prices of items to make cheap meals, and for them to demonstrate their cuisine while you explain what they are doing in English and you all get to eat.

Here is one article to get your started - I just typed in "How to Start an ESL program" on Google.
http://www.cal.org/caela/esl_resources/digests/SHANK.html
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church_lady



Joined: 27 Feb 2012
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 12:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good Morning!

Yes, I've been researching these things as well. I have a meeting with two other people next week to discuss what this will look like, so we can present an official proposal to our pastor.

There is a class here, but I'm not excited about the costs. I want the three of us to go through the certification process to give more legitimacy to the program. I also want to beef up my degree, so that next year I can seriously look at traveling.

If you have any suggestions on good books, pass them on!Smile

Johanna (church_lady)
Sally Olsen wrote:
If you have ordered the free language packages from your faith, they will give you tons of ideas. Also look at the teachers manuals from the ESL books at the library and they will give you good ideas.

Do you have a TESOL organization where you live? Most cities have a conference once or twice a year and it will give you contacts in the area plus they usually have books on display and if you wait until the last day, they usually give out free samples or reduce the price.

Do you have a program for refugees or stay-at-homes to learn English in your area? They usually have a ton of resources and give workshops to help you learn what to do. We have something called ELTOC but it might be called something else there because the OC is the name of our city. It means English Language Training of Ottawa Carleton.

Check with the government for free materials - they might even have materials on how to set up a program.

Check at the Thrift store for inexpensive textbooks as well and ask the staff to save you books for the ESL program.

Can you cook at your program in the church kitchen? That is a wonderful activity to learn English, learn prices of items to make cheap meals, and for them to demonstrate their cuisine while you explain what they are doing in English and you all get to eat.
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View user's profile Send private message
Sally Olsen



Joined: 08 Apr 2004
Posts: 1304
Location: Canada,France, Brazil, Japan, Mongolia, Greenland, Canada, Mongolia, Ethiopia next

PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 9:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I particularly like Jill Bell and Auerbach but the Florida one sounds great.


Alexander, D. (1993). The ESL classroom as community: How self assessment can work. Adventures in Assessment: Learner-Centered Approaches to Assessment and Evaluation in Adult Literacy, 4, 34-37.
Auerbach, E.R. (1992). Making meaning, making change: Participatory curriculum development for adult ESL literacy. Washington, DC and McHenry, IL: Center for Applied Linguistics and Delta Systems. Available from Delta Systems at 800-323-8270.
Bell, J. (1991). Teaching multilevel classes in ESL. San Diego, CA: Dominie Press.
Bell, J. & Burnaby, B. (1984). A handbook for ESL literacy. Toronto, Ontario: Ontario Institute for Studies in Education Press.
Berry, E. & Williams, M.S. (1992). Multilevel ESL curriculum guide. Salem, OR: Oregon State Department of Education. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 351 889)
Boyd, J.R. & Boyd, M.A. (1989). Input-output teacher's manual. Normal, IL: Abaca Books.
Guglielmino, L.M. & Burrichter, A.W. (1987). Adult ESL instruction: A challenge and a pleasure: An orientation guide for adult ESL teachers. Tallahassee, FL: Florida State Department of Education. (EDRS No. ED 288 074)
Holt, G.M. (1995). Teaching low-level adult ESL learners. ERIC Digest. Washington, DC: National Center for ESL Literacy Education.
Isserlis, J. (1992). What you see: Ongoing assessment in the ESL/literacy classroom. Adventures in Assessment: Learner-Centered Approaches to Assessment and Evaluation in Adult Literacy, 2, 41 48.
Santopietro, K. (1991). Multi-level ESL classroom instruction module. Denver, CO: Colorado Department of Education.
Shank, C. (1993). Teaching in the multi-level adult ESL classroom: Module for ESL teacher training. Arlington, VA: Arlington Education and Employment Program (REEP).
Taylor, M. (1992). The language experience approach and adult learners. ERIC Digest. Washington, DC: National Center for ESL Literacy Education. (EDRS No. ED 350 887)
Wrigley, H.S. & Guth, G. (1992). Bringing literacy to life: Issues and options in adult ESL literacy. San Mateo, CA: Aguirre International. (EDRS No. ED 348 896). Available from Dominie Press at 800-232-4570
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