"Tell me and I'll forget; show me and I may remember;

involve me and I'll understand." Chinese Proverb

ESL with Melvin.png
In addition to my Master's program, I earned an English as a Second Language add-on licensing endorsement through the College of William and Mary's inaugural ESL Summer Institute in summer 2011. This endorsement was achieved through graduate classwork as well as 150 instructional hours working with ESL students in grades K - 12.

Demographics clearly indicate that more students are entering our classrooms with limited
English proficiency. I believe that it is important to learn ESL instructional strategies in order to best serve all students in my classroom. This pedagogy will also augment my existing Language Arts skill set thus providing an additional means to engage my English-speaking students. I aim to be an effective classroom teacher with a predisposition to think globally rather than nationally. I intend on providing meaningful instruction for all of my students no matter their native language. I believe that an education in ESL will help me achieve these goals.

High schoolers reinforced their body and clothing word knowledge with full size posters

My high school student teaching in Henrico County focused on Language Arts and History, highlighted by a Reader's Theater production of "Stone Soup." The class of older teenagers and young adults were highly engaged in this language-rich kinesthetic and dramatic activity and were successful in internalizing many important phrases. In teaching basic vocabulary, I shifted instruction from direct lecture with students seated at desks taking notes to hands-on student involvement. For example, students applied and practiced their knowledge of food and meal vocabulary by creating real-size labeled (paper) meals and table settings in the classroom.

I then returned to Matoaka Elementary to teach first graders in a small group setting that focused exclusively on Language Arts skills. My oral instruction and interaction with our young students included Words Their Way word study as well as language immersion and activity that drew heavily on my learning-through-play preschool experience. Engaging with students of all ages is crucial but is even more critical when introducing young children to the routines and expectations of school. With engagement and connection as a goal, I applied a class teaching module about prepositions of place (at, in, and on) to a hide and seek game using real household objects and toys. Structuring my lesson around an appealing read-aloud, I then asked students questions about the location of items. They were given the option of first using a response card before building enough confidence to answer verbally. Students were encouraged to ask questions, physically move objects, and state if they had found the object. As my young students asked if the block was "on the grey pot," "under the white dog," or "behind the green book," they were playfully repeating common phrases, nouns, adjectives, and prepositions while gaining fluency in oral expression and competence in listening comprehension.
Teaching prepositions to first graders through play