Monday, June 04, 2007
I'm a math teacher, not an English or an ESL teacher but when one of my AP students told me she was worried about passing the English regents as she has only been in this country one year, I decided to help. We've finished the AP curriculum and are just wasting time until the last days of class anyways, so I figured I would try to make the time productive. First we did some reading aloud and I helped her with her critical lenses and essays. She told me the vocabulary and the listening is the hardest part. I asked an ESL teacher for advise to help her and he recommended television. I then hit on a great idea. I brought in my little DVD player and a Three Stooges video. I figured the Three Stooges would introduce her to some pop culture and entertain while teaching. I didn't realize until I started watching with her how much of a teaching aid this video would be. The Three Stooges were big on language play, one of the things foreign born kids have trouble with. When Curly had to "take the chair" as a witness in a trial, he literally picked the chair up and took it. I stopped the video and we talked about what was going on. When the judge told him to stop using vernacular, we got into a good discussion of current slang. Along with the girl who must pass the regents, I had 4 other ESL kids watching. They are all going to write a paragraph about the video for homework. WShe also picked up some good vocabulary words.
I once had a discussion with an English teacher about how math teachers can do it all. She got quite upset with me for even implying that I could teach someone English. I know I won't do as good a job at it as she does, but I am doing it the same. And, my way is entertaining.