Our first international student was plugged into a mainstream Bible class designed for his grade level. It was a disaster. The kid had no idea which end was up. The teacher, who understandably, taught the class for the experience level of the majority and this left our international student in a daze.
By second semester we had a second international student and I began designing an introduction to Christianity specifically for E.L.L.s. They were so relieved. They could understand the content, ask questions without feeling stupid, and were in a "safe" environment with other non-Christian kids.
Our school has continued the class and added an introduction to world religions. The aim is to allow our international students 2 years of ELL Bible classes before we try plunking them into our mainstream classes (although one of my students asked if she could do Intro to Christianity a second time. For her it was a good choice.)
I had a beautiful EFL lesson plan ready to go: vocabulary, reading samples, practice activities, conversational practice...
Somehow, I can't explain how, there was a coup. They refused to do the lesson. All they wanted to do was learn how to write in cursive! It looks so much more beautiful than print, they all argued.
From a practical standpoint, I believe there is a lot of value in teaching ELLs cursive. Many teachers still write in cursive, or a half-breed of cursive and print. This can be almost impossible for my students to read. (All caps is also a great challenge.)
So I threw out the lesson for the day and we learned cursive. (A moment of silence, please, for the death of my beautiful lesson plan.)
My first day as an online blogger!
I have been teaching foreign language for 12 years. In the last three I have developed and International Student Program at my private school in St. Petersburg, FL.
I hope to share my day to day experiences and connect with some of you out there.