Articles for Teachers

Presentations & Topics for ESL Students
By:Christine Lebednik

Learning or teaching English as a second language provides an array of topic areas that you can apply to a research project, such as a term paper. While some instruction techniques are suitable only for intermediate ESL learners or above, some techniques apply even at the most elementary levels of language learning.

Innovative Instruction
Innovative instructional techniques, while not necessarily suitable to beginning English speakers, can benefit intermediate level ESL students. Roleplaying and skits, for example, are good ways for intermediate students to practice their English speaking skills. Additionally, dialogues, short presentations and readings can help intermediate students to master English, as indicated at the Howard Community College website.

Conversing with others provides opportunities for ESL learners to advance their mastery of English. Starting with the elementary level of ESL learning, students benefit from a variety of courses and programs that let them practice conversing in English. A research or term paper could delve into the dynamics of conversational English and how this aids and motivates ESL learners.

Connecting English words and grammar to their cultural context is a task to challenge intermediate or advanced ESL learners. For example, visits to historic or picturesque sites can further ESL students' work toward mastery of English. Any academic institution providing ESL instruction can devise a program similar to the Travel & Learn I and Travel & Learn II series offered at Howard Community College by tailoring the site visits to its area. For example, a Massachusetts ESL contingent might take a bus to Concord and Lexington to visit the Old North Bridge and hear about Revolutionary War history. Also, they could visit literarily important sites such as Orchard House, where Louisa May Alcott wrote, and the Old Manse that over time hosted many authors, such as Hawthorne. A school in Tucson might visit Old Tucson or Colossal Cave and give the students opportunities to apply their cultural learning toward mastery of English.

An important dimension of ESL learning involves preparing students to function in a business context. ESL students could research a term paper on English communication in the business world.

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