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Monday, June 30, 2014

Parents Learn English in Summer ESL Program

The Department for English Language Learners (ELL) and Bilingual Education provided a unique summer English language learning program for parents whose children attended the MISD Pre-K/K summer school program at Erma Nash Elementary.

The idea came from Cindy Adkison, ELL/Math Improvement teacher. Adkison, pictured above, who believed the success our district has had in providing a quality English as a Second Language (ESL) program that turns our English Language Learners into fluent English speakers would work for adults.

“Why not provide an opportunity for the parents,” noted Adkinson. “Logistically, it was easy, since the parents could take their children to Erma Nash and then simply walk over to RL Anderson for their own class.”

They registered 50 students, which was their target number, and approximately 45 attended regularly. The class was divided into two sessions in the morning and afternoon to accommodate schedules. The adults came from El Salvador, Ecuador, Honduras, Mexico, China, Pakistan, Iraq, and Vietnam. Many of them were professionals in their home countries – an attorney, a high school teacher, a middle school teacher, an accountant, a graphic designer, and licensed daycare worker among others.

The curriculum used is written specifically for adult language learners and covers topics that are relevant to them: personal information, school, work, friends and family, health, shopping, and community. The students practiced reading, writing, listening, and speaking during teacher-directed activities in the classroom and computer lab. Students also learned basic computer skills as they accessed a web-based program coinciding with the lessons.