About these Lessons

How did I develop these lessons?
How can you use these lessons?

I developed these lessons according to the unique characteristics of the different ESL classes I have taught over the past 10 years. Many of these lessons evolved out of multi-level classes where most of my students were parents learning ESL to help their children. Some of these lessons, such as La Llorona, I created specifically to build on the cultural knowledge of a class made up entirely of Spanish speakers and predominantly Mexican. Other lessons evolved out of a unique point in the class such as the lesson on Exploring leadership which developed out of the students' determination to fight against the closing of their class. Another lesson, The neighborhoods, formed out of the geographical setting of the class, and the desire of my students, comprising some 10 different ethnicities, to learn more about the neighborhoods and ethnic diversity of San Francisco.

When teaching in a new class context, I rarely teach these lessons as is - I cut, past and adapt them to the new environment. Some of these lessons have up to 4 different versions. Others I have only implemented once and may never find the appropriate context to use again. For that reason, I don't post these lessons with the expectation that teachers will print them out and use them for their next class. But I hope that teachers might find inspiration, new ideas, new materials that they can tweak for the unique setting of their class.

These lessons were all developed in a similar way. I chose a thematic context based upon my students' interests and/or needs and then I determined how they would explore it and what my objectives would be (what they should carry out and/or be able to do afterwards). I then identified the language skills and knowledge they needed (vocabulary, grammar, competencies, cultural knowledge), and developed lessons that contextualized these skills and knowledge around the thematic context.