ESL

In January 2008, I moved to Migual Alemán, Tamaulipas, México to teach English.  I ended up teaching both Third and Fourth grades.  What I discovered when I arrived at Eagle College (a college is an elementary school in México) was students placed in English classes based on their level of Spanish and English books from the United States on that same level.  For example, my Third Grade English students were in the Third Grade Spanish even if they had never had any English.  The books being used were A Beka which is O.K. IF the students had sufficient English to function at that level.  They didn't.  Most had a conversational English level well below the U.S. Third and Fourth Grade.  So I basically threw the books aside and began teaching basic English using my computer and English resources closer to their level of English.  When I returned to the school in August 2009, I knew I would be in the same situation.  The school still grouped the students based on their Spanish grade rather than their English ability and still expected the students to work from U.S. A Beka textbooks as if they were at that grade level in the United States.  About half of my Third Grade class had never studied English.  My Fourth Grade class was primarily my Third Grade class from the year before including the ones who had failed English.  The school  promoted them anyway.  But the majority of my Fourth Grade students had increased their English level the year before enough that I thought I could get some of them close to the U.S. Fifth Grade level by the end of the school year.  One of the projects I had both classes working on were the 500 Most Frequent Words in English.  I would have them use dictionaries to find the Spanish words equivalent to the English words.  I would then compile a "master" bilingual list.  We had finished the first 10 lists when I left on February 6, 2009.  Those 10 lists cover the first 250 words.  I intend to finish the project here and add additional English material to help those students and anyone else looking to learn English or even Spanish.  If you want to know why I left Eagle College, click here.