Immigrants’ Top 10 Language Learning Needs: One Size Does Not Fit All

globe on desk

There are over 43 million immigrants in the U.S., and more than 20 million are adults who are what’s called “Limited English Proficient,” or LEP. This means that on top of all the struggles they face to provide for themselves and their families, they have a huge and staggering additional barrier–not understanding English. Yet our ESL programs often don’t address the multitude of needs of this population in solving the real-world problems they face in their daily lives.

Why Authentic Content Is Important

man ordering at coffee shop

Authentic content gives learners exposure to the kind of language that they ultimately want to understand and create for themselves. If you don’t use authentic content, and teach learners with scripted dialogs or simplified materials written by language teachers, you’re not giving them models for how to produce or understand the language they’ll encounter in the wild. Not only is this ineffective, it’s also inefficient.

Five English Lesson Ideas Based on Authentic, Real-World Content

lightbulbs in a line

We know that using authentic content is important in English language instruction, and there are dozens of ways to do it, from having students write Yelp reviews to watching YouTube videos. However, the bigger question is how to use authentic content in a way that is needs-based, personalized, and relevant.

Eliminating the Foreign Language Requirement

In the U.S., we force students to sit through mind-numbing grammar lessons and stilted dialogues, leaving them unable to order coffee at a French bistro. But that doesn’t mean we should eliminate language instruction. It’s incredibly important for everyone to speak more than one language in today’s interconnected world.

Evaluating Translation in Language Learning

By Dr. Katharine B. Nielson – A couple of months ago, I pointed out that translation is an ineffective methodology for language teaching. That piece was then published on the ELTJam site, where it has generated a lively discussion on the merits of pedagogic translation as well as some more colorful exchanges–it’s been a long …

Implementing Technology Programs in Workforce Language Training [Webinar]

man at desk on tablet

Workforce development is the ideal place to implement a task-based language training program as learners have clear, real-world goals and because language instruction can be incorporated into training for other skills. In this post, an in-depth webinar on developing a strategy, designing effective language instruction, and measuring learner and course outcomes.