Category Archives: Education

Knowing Multiple Languages Can Make You a Spelling Champ!

“A ‘woefully confused polyglot’ discovers which non-English words have become common enough to count toward her Spelling Bee score.” L. Thuy Vo, The New York Times, March 7, 2022

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post  with Answer Key

Illustration by Alison Zai New York Times

Excerpt:How My Multilingual Upbringing Helps Me Solve Spelling Bee, By Lam Thuy Vo, The New York Times, March 7, 2022

“As a child born to Vietnamese immigrants in Germany, I was sometimes asked to translate documents into German, some of which were much more important than I had realized. Growing up in this kind of household also meant being somewhat linguistically agile. From an early age, I made acrobatic leaps between grammatically and tonally disparate languages without thinking much about it…Experiencing the world in multiple languages has made me experiment with how I approach finding words in puzzles that were constructed by people who do not know the languages I do. (However, I’d love to one day solve a Spelling Bee written by a native speaker of Vietnamese, German and English who also dabbles in French.)

Because I learned French in middle school, not too long after I started learning English, the word croissant is distinctly French to me. Even if you ask me about this fluffy, buttery pastry in English, I will be that endlessly pretentious person who uses the Vietnamese French pronunciation, ‘cruh-ah-suuh-nt.’ In my mind, that’s where the word belongs.

But many words, like croissant, have crossed the globe and exist independent of their origins. A Starbucks customer in America might order a ‘cruh-sant,’ familiar with it because of her American upbringing… I think of these words as the manifestation of different cultures in the place I now call home, the United States.”

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 First Guest Podcast for ESL-Voices!

We are happy to introduce this great ESL learning Podcast: “English as a Simple Language” from Don La Bonte:

“Here is a free 40 hour self-directed, progressive video lesson plan focusing on the basic English conversation patterns for beginners helping them to express their emotions. Patterns introduced to students are subsequently reinforced by multiple reviews encouraging them to speak rather than just passively listen or read.  They learn to speak by speaking. All videos are also available in a free podcast format for easy access anywhere.” Don La Bonte www.labonteesl.com

 

Also visit: LA BONTE’S Top 100 English Conversation Patterns

“Language is the art of communication of your feelings and feelings are conveyed through very common conversation patterns.” Don La Bonte https://www.labonteesl.com/patterns

NOTE: Mr. La Bonte has graciously allowed ESL-Voices to add his Podcast  to our Resources section. You can find his work here:

~ Thanks Don, we appreciate your hard work and willingness to share~  ESLV

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ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post

Knowing Multiple Languages Can Make You a Spelling Champ!

NOTE: Lessons can also be used with native English speakers.

Level: Intermediate – Advanced


Language Skills: Reading, writing, and speaking. Vocabulary and grammar activities are included.


Time: Approximately 60 minutes.


Materials: Student handout (from this lesson) and access to news article.


Objective: Students will read and discuss the article
with a focus on improving reading comprehension and improving oral skills. At the end of the lesson students will express their personal views on the topic through group work and writing.

I. Pre-Reading Activities

 Predictions: Analyzing headings and photos

Directions: Examine the titles of the post and of the actual article.  Examine any photos, then create a list of  words and  ideas  that you  and your group members think might be related to this article. 

II. While Reading Activities

Word Inference

Directions: Try to infer the meanings of the words in bold taken from the article. You use a dictionary, thesaurus, and Word Chart for assistance.

  1. The author is very proud of her Spelling Bee score.
  2. In the U.S. many children are multilingual.
  3. The author describes herself as a woefully confused polyglot.
  4. The author was born to Vietnamese immigrants in Germany.
  5. Growing up in this kind of household also meant being somewhat linguistically agile.
  6. I made acrobatic leaps between grammatically and tonally disparate languages without thinking much about it.
  7. That’s roughly 60 million people who seesaw between at least two languages.
  8. Experiencing the world in multiple languages has made me experiment with how I approach finding words in puzzles.
  9. I’d love to one day solve a puzzle written by a native speaker of Vietnamese and English who also dabbles in French.
  10. Crossword puzzles may describe a term in a clue and ask for the answer to be in a foreign language.

 

Grammar Focus: Word -Recognition

Directions: Students choose the correct word to complete the sentences taken from the article. They are to choose from the options presented.

Finding word/words in the/an honey comblike grid has/have also re-emphasized to/two me that English, likes/like most languages in/on this globalized age, is already something/somewhat multilingual in nature. Sometime/Sometimes we just forgot/forget that many in/of the words/word we use came to/too us from elsewhere.

 

Reading ComprehensionFill-ins

Directions: Place students in groups and after they have read the entire article, have them complete the following sentencestaken from the article. They can use the words and terms from the list provided, or provide their own terms. They are to find the meanings of any new vocabulary.

But many___, like___,have crossed the ___and exist ___of their origins. A ___customer in ___might order a “cruh-sant,” familiar with it because of___American upbringing.

With this in___, it’s been a___ to discover what ___terms are now part of everyday ___life.

WORD LIST: American foreign, joy, mind, her, Starbucks independent, globe, words, croissant, America,

III. Post Reading Activities

WH-How Questions

Directions: Have students use the  WH-question format to discuss or to write the main points from the article.

Who or What is the article about?

Where does the action/event take place?

When does the action/event take place?

Why did the action/event occur?

How did the action/event occur?

Discussion Questions for Comprehension /Writing

Directions: Have  students discuss the following questions/statements. Afterwards,  students share their thoughts as a class. To reinforce the ideas, students can write an essay on one of the topics mentioned.

  1. Do you speak a language other than English? If yes, how has it helped you?  If no, has it hindered you in any way?
  2. What are the advantages of knowing more than one language? Are there any disadvantages?
  3. In the United States, how many people speak a language besides English?
  4. What type of Spelling Bee does the author hope to solve one day?
  5. Throughout the article, which languages does the author use as examples of words English speakers may or may not know?
  6. If you only speak English after reading this article would you like to learn another language? Why or why not?
  7. List three new ideas  that you’ve learned about the topic from the reading,  two things that you did not understand in the reading, and one thing you  would like to know that the article did not mention.  Share your responses with your class.

ANSWER KEY

Category: Education, Language

Warning: COVID-19 Is Not Over Yet

“In a now-viral video, hundreds of students and teachers gathered to welcome two Ukrainian children, refugees of war, on their first day of school in Naples, Italy…But there was also this sign that their well-being will be paramount in their new school — every student, teacher, and staff member wore a face mask. So did the two children.” R. Graham, The Boston Globe, March 19, 2022

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Omicron BA.2 Variant Represents Rising Share of U.S. Covid-19 Cases -WSJ-MARCH 22, 2022

Excerpt: No, COVID Isn’t Over, By Renee Graham, The Boston Globe, March 19, 2022

“This was an unintentional but pointed reminder: The COVID-19 pandemic is not over…Businesses nationwide have dropped proof-of-vaccination requirements for customers. Those home COVID tests that were impossible to find in December (and were exorbitantly expensivewhen available) are plentiful again on drugstore shelves.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the White House’s chief medical adviser, hasn’t been a regular on TV in weeks. And with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s vicious invasion of Ukraine dominating headlines, cable news stations’ once-daily parade of medical professionals has been supplanted by retired generals and foreign policy experts…Americans moving on from COVID doesn’t mean COVID has moved on from us… Waning vaccine immunity remains a concern. Pfizer and BioNTech are seeking emergency authorization from the Food and Drug Administration for a second booster shot for those 65 and older…What other countries are enduring will find its way here. We’ve seen this pattern before, and the CDC is already reporting an uptick of COVID-19 in wastewater samples nationwide.

‘Everybody wants to return to normal, everybody wants to put the virus behind us in the rearview mirror, which is, I think, what we should aspire to,’ Fauci said recently. Even if the virus seems to be subsiding here, he warned, ‘we have gone in the right direction in four other variants’ only to have COVID come roaring back again with horrific results.’

COVID is still here, but what seems to be all but gone is the leadership on every level to do everything possible to eradicate it.”

RELATED ARTICLE:

The BA.2 subvariant of Omicron accounts for over half of new U.S. coronavirus cases, the C.D.C. estimates. By Adeel Hassan, The New York Times, March 30, 2022

“The highly contagious Omicron subvariant known as BA.2, which led to a surge of coronavirus cases in Europe, is now the dominant version of the virus in new U.S. cases, according to estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday.”

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post

NOTE: Lessons can also be used with native English speakers.

Level: Intermediate – Advanced


Language Skills: Reading, writing, and speaking. Vocabulary and grammar activities are included.


Time: Approximately 60 minutes.


Materials: Student handout (from this lesson) and access to news article.


Objective: Students will read and discuss the article
with a focus on improving reading comprehension and improving oral skills. At the end of the lesson students will express their personal views on the topic through group work and writing.

I. Pre-Reading Activities

 Predictions: Analyzing headings and photos

Directions: Examine the titles of the post and of the actual article.  Examine any photos, then create a list of  words and  ideas  that you  and your group members think might be related to this article. 

II. While Reading Activities

Word Inference

Directions: Try to infer the meanings of the words in bold taken from the article. You use a dictionary, thesaurus, and Word Chart for assistance.

  1. Hundreds of students and teachers gathered to welcome two Ukrainian children, refugees of war.
  2. It was a stirring moment to watch this brother and sister, who had lost so much in their homeland, being embraced in a new country.
  3. But there was also this sign that their well-being will be paramount in their new school as every person present  wore a face mask. So did the two children.
  4. This was an unintentional but pointed reminder: The COVID-19 pandemic is not over.
  5. When Hawaii ends its indoor mask mandate on March 26, it will be the last state to do so.
  6. Those home COVID tests that were impossible to find in December (and were exorbitantly expensive  when available) are plentiful again.
  7. With the invasion of the Ukraine the daily  feedback by medical professionals has been supplanted by retired generals and foreign policy experts.
  8. At his recent State of the Union speech where most in attendance were unmasked, President Biden took a cautious victory lap. 
  9. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 66 percent of Americans are fully vaccinated.
  10. Vaccination rates have flatlined.

Vocabulary Cluster By Learnnc.org

Grammar Focus: Word -Recognition

Directions: Students choose the correct word to complete the sentences taken from the article. They are to choose from the options presented.

Yet what we keeping/keep hearing is/are that we’re/were getting back to normally/normal. And this is what ‘normal’ looks like — at less/least 1,000 people a day/days perishing from COVID; American vaccine/vaccinated interest that has/have fallen off a cliff; and persistent vaccine inequality/equality and lack of access around the world.

Reading Comprehension Fill-ins

Directions: Place students in groups and after they have read the entire article, have them complete the following sentences  taken from the article. They can use the words and terms from the list provided, or provide their own terms. They are to find the meanings of any new vocabulary.

Waning___ immunity remains a___. Pfizer and ___are seeking emergency___ from the ___Administration for a second___ shot for those ___and older. That recommendation will probably extend to ___people as well, because existing ___protection was not as___ when ___became the dominant___.

WORD LIST: Omicron, robust, vaccine, younger, 65, Food and Drug, authorization, booster, vaccine, concern, BioNTech,  variant

III. Post Reading Activities

WH-How Questions

Directions: Have students use the  WH-question format to discuss or to write the main points from the article.

Who or What is the article about?

Where does the action/event take place?

When does the action/event take place?

Why did the action/event occur?

How did the action/event occur?

Discussion Questions for Comprehension /Writing

Directions: Have  students discuss the following questions/statements. Afterwards,  students share their thoughts as a class. To reinforce the ideas, students can write an essay on one of the topics mentioned.

  1. Were you or someone you know affected by COVID-19?
  2. Do you believe that COVID-19 and the variants are gone and we can now get back to a normal life?
  3. What does  a “normal” life means to you?
  4. In Naples, Italy how did everyone know that COVID-19 was still present?
  5. According to the article which state will be the last to  end its indoor mask mandate?
  6. What other signs are there that people feel that the COVID-19  pandemic is over?
  7. Who is Dr. Anthony Fauci? Why is he important to the U.S.?
  8. Who made the following statement and why? Thanks to the progress we’ve made in the past year, COVID-19 no longer need control our lives,.”
  9. Approximately how many people have died from the virus world wide? According to the article, how many Americans will have died by the end of April 2022?
  10. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approximately what percentage of Americans have been vaccinated?
  11. What is the name of the newest subvariant? Why is the variant considered more dangerous than the others?
  12. After reading this article, have any of your views about COVID-19 changed? Have your ideas about what is “normal” changed? Why or why not?
  13. List three new ideas  that you’ve learned about the topic from the reading,  two things that you did not understand in the reading, and one thing you  would like to know that the article did not mention.  Share your responses with your class.

ANSWER KEY

The Negative Effects of Permanent Daylight Savings Time!

“The U.S. tried permanent daylight saving time in the 1970s — then quickly rejected it.” S. Davis, NPR March 19, 2022

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Permanent Daylight Savings Time would have Negative effects on everyone.

 

Excerpt: — By Susan Davis, NPR March 19, 2022

The Senate gave itself a pat on the back earlier this week when senators voted without objection to make daylight saving time permanent… However, America tried this before — and the country hated it. In the early 1970s, America was facing an energy crisis so the government tried an experiment. Congress passed a law to make daylight saving time permanent year round, but just for two years...It didn’t work, said David Prerau, one of the nation’s foremost experts on the issue. ‘It became very unpopular very quickly,’ he told NPR.

DST is unhealthy

Americans do not like changing their clocks, but they disliked even more going to work and school in the dark for months…It also didn’t reduce energy consumption as intended. In 1974, Congress repealed the law — before the two-year experiment was even up. Nearly 50 years later, Congress is back at it… Dr. Beth Malow, a neurologist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, also testified…She thinks permanent Standard Time is a better choice.

“Zombies? No, IT’S THE FIRST MORNING OF DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME.” Scholastic Scope

‘It’s called Standard Time because ST lines up with our natural, biological rhythms,” she said. Permanent standard time with sunnier mornings and darker evenings would be healthier, especially for front-line workers and school students with early waking hours.”

Related Articles:

5 Deadly Reasons Why Daylight Saving Time Is Bad for You, By Richard E. Cytowic M.D., Psychology Today, March 6. 2020 “The shift disrupts circadian rhythm and raises the risk of stroke and depression.”

Why Daylight Saving Time is unhealthy. A Neurologist explains-By Beth Daley, The Conversation

The Dark Side of Daylight Saving Time, By  Maham Javaid, The Boston Globe, March 19, 2022

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post

NOTE: Lessons can also be used with native English speakers.

Level: Intermediate – Advanced


Language Skills: Reading, writing, and speaking. Vocabulary and grammar activities are included.


Time: Approximately 60 minutes.


Materials: Student handout (from this lesson) and access to news article.


Objective: Students will read and discuss the article
with a focus on improving reading comprehension and improving oral skills. At the end of the lesson students will express their personal views on the topic through group work and writing.

I. Pre-Reading Activities

KWL Chart

The K-W-L chart is used to activate students’ background knowledge of a topic in order to enhance their comprehension skills.

Directions: Have students use the KWL chart to list the information they already know about daylight saving time. Next, have students list the information they would like to learnLater in the Post- Reading segment of the lesson, students can fill in what they’ve learned about the topic.

II. While Reading Activities

Word Inference

Directions: Try to infer the meanings of the words in bold taken from the article. You use a dictionary, thesaurus, and Word Chart for assistance.

  1. The U.S. tried permanent Daylight Saving Time (DST) in the 1970s and failed.
  2. In 1974, Congress repealed the law — before the two-year experiment was even up.
  3. Although the Senate voted for permanent DST, many Americans are against it.
  4. The Senate gave itself a pat on the back earlier this week.
  5. The senators voted without objection to make daylight saving time permanent.
  6. Rubio,said  his legislation to end the need to annually change the clocks in March and November was a good one.
  7. The thinking was more sunlight in the evening would reduce the nation’s energy consumption.
  8. In the 1970s the idea of Permanent DST became very unpopular very quickly.
  9. The U.S. tried permanent DST in the 1970s — then quickly rejected it.
  10. Some people are hoping for a compromise between the Senate and the House.

Grammar Focus: Identifying Prepositions

Directions: The following sentences are from the news article.  For each sentence choose the correct preposition from the choices listed. Note that not all prepositions listed are in the article.  Some Examples of Prepositions:  at,  as, across, around,  by, during,  for, from, in, into,  of, on,  over,  off, to, through,  up,  with, since,

Additional Prepositions:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_English_prepositions

However, America tried this before — and the country hated it. In the early 1970s, America was facing an energy crisis so the government tried an experiment. Congress passed a law to make daylight saving time permanent year round, but just for two years. The thinking was more sunlight in the evening would reduce the nation’s energy consumption. The House has no immediate plans to take up the Senate-passed bill, but there is bipartisan support for it. The Biden administration hasn’t taken a position on it yet.

Reading Comprehension: Identify The  Speakers

image cosmopolitan.com

Directions: Read the following quotes from the speakers in the article. Then identify the speakers.

  1. “It didn’t work… It became very unpopular very quickly.”
  2. “Today the Senate has finally delivered on something Americans all over the country want: to never have to change their clocks again.”
  3. “It’s called standard time because ST lines up with our natural, biological rhythms. Permanent standard time with sunnier mornings and darker evenings would be healthier, especially for front-line workers and school students with early waking hours.”
  4. “I don’t have a specific position from the administration at this point in time.”

 

Discussion Questions for Comprehension /Writing

Directions: Have  students discuss the following questions/statements. Afterwards,  students share their thoughts as a class. To reinforce the ideas, students can write an essay on one of the topics mentioned.

  1. Do you like the idea of making Daylight Savings Time permanent? Why or why not?
  2. In your opinion, should we keep Standard Time or continue turning the clocks back and forth during the year? Explain your reasons.
  3. According to some senators what is the good news about making daylight savings time permanent?
  4. When was the last time Americans attempted to make daylight saving time  (DST) permanent?
  5. What was the thinking behind this idea at the time?
  6. What were some of the problems with making DST permanent?
  7. According to Americans who experienced DST permanently what was the worst part for them?
  8. Was energy consumption reduced during this time?
  9. When did Congress repeal the law?
  10. What important information did Dr. Beth Malow provide about our health need for  permanent Standard Time?
  11. According to Prerau, what is the best solution?
  12. What opinion does President Joe Biden have about the change?
  13. Make a list of the advantages and disadvantages of permanent DST.
  14. List three new ideas  that you’ve learned about the topic from the reading,  two things that you did not understand in the reading, and one thing you  would like to know that the article did not mention.  Share your responses with your class.

ANSWER KEY

Climate Change: We’re Running Out of Ways to Adapt

“Delay means death’: We’re running out of ways to adapt to the climate crisis new report shows. Here are the key takeaways.” R. Ramirez, CNN

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Dead almond trees lie in an open field after they were removed by a farmer because of a lack of water to irrigate them, in Huron, California, in July 2021. The authors say drought has put a hard limit on adaptation for almond growing. CNN

Excerpt: Delay Means Death By Rachel Ramirez, CNN February 28, 2022

“Climate change is on course to transform life on Earth as we know it, and unless global warming is dramatically slowed, billions of people and other species will reach points where they can no longer adapt to the new normal, according to a major report published Monday.

The UN-backed report, based on years of research from hundreds of scientists, found that the impacts from human-caused climate change were larger than previously thought. The report’s authors say these impacts are happening much faster and are more disruptive and widespread than scientists expected 20 years ago.

Bleaching of the coral reefs around French Polynesia in 2019 CNN

The authors point to enormous inequities in the climate crisis, finding that those who contribute the least to the problem are the worst affected, and warn of irreversible impacts if the world exceeds 1.5 degrees Celsius of global warming.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres called the report ‘an atlas of human suffering and a damning indictment of failed climate leadership,’ and he warned that ‘delay means death.’

A flood defense wall being constructed on the east side of Manhattan in New York City on December 11, 2021.

He also said that “current events” showed the world was too reliant of fossil fuels, calling them ‘a dead end,’ in an apparent reference to the Ukraine conflict and energy crisis…Warming beyond 1.5 degrees could have irreversible consequences…And some changes may be permanent, even if the planet cools back down…With every extreme event, ecosystems are being pushed more toward so-called tipping points beyond which irreversible changes can happen, according to the report…And although the natural world has adapted to changing climates over millions of years, the pace of human-caused global warming is pushing many of the planet’s most critical systems — like rainforests, coral reefs and the Arctic — to the brink. More extreme weather doesn’t just affect humans, it is causing mass die-offs in plants and animals.

A man works in the Swiss Alps at the Rhone Glacier in October 2021, which is partially covered with insulating foam to prevent it from melting due to global warming. CNN

‘What we really wanted to show is that ecosystems and all sectors of human society and human well-being fundamentally depends on water,’ Tabea Lissner, a scientist at Climate Analytics and an author on the report, told CNN… Decision makers also need to be intentional in helping the most disadvantaged communities and countries, so no one gets left behind in the process.”

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post

NOTE: Lessons can also be used with native English speakers.

Level: Intermediate – Advanced


Language Skills: Reading, writing, and speaking. Vocabulary and grammar activities are included.


Time: Approximately 60 minutes.


Materials: Student handout (from this lesson) and access to news article.


Objective: Students will read and discuss the article
with a focus on improving reading comprehension and improving oral skills. At the end of the lesson students will express their personal views on the topic through group work and writing.

I. Pre-Reading Activities

 Predictions: Analyzing headings and photos

Directions: Examine the titles of the post and of the actual article.  Examine any photos, then create a list of  words and  ideas  that you  and your group members think might be related to this article. 

II. While Reading Activities

Word Inference

Directions: Try to infer the meanings of the words in bold taken from the article. You use a dictionary, thesaurus, and Word Chart for assistance.

  1. Unless global warming is slowed, billions of people and other species will die.
  2. Scientists, found that the impacts of climate change were larger than previously thought.
  3. Scientists  say these impacts are happening much faster and are more disruptive and widespread than 20 years ago.
  4. The facts are undeniable.
  5. This abdication of leadership is criminal.
  6. The world’s biggest polluters are guilty of arson of our only home.
  7. Warming beyond 1.5 degrees could have irreversible consequences.
  8. Scientists have warned for decades warming needs to  stay below 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels.
  9. Greenhouse gas emissions will push warming to 1.5ºC.
  10. With every extreme event, ecosystems are being pushed more toward tipping points.

 

 Grammar Focus: Structure and Usage

Directions: The following groups of sentences are from the article. One of the sentences in each group contains a grammatical  error.  Identify the sentence (1, 2, or 3 ) from each group that contains the grammatical error.

I

  1. At warming of 2 degrees, as many as 18% of all land species will be at high risk of extinction.
  2. Coral reefs in much locations are already beyond tipping points.
  3. We’re running out of ways to adapt.

II

  1. Adaptation are finding ways to live with the change.
  2. A lot of the world’s resources goes toward reducing greenhouse emissions.
  3. The report focuses on the interconnectedness between the Earth’s ecosystems and humans.

III

  1. Humans fundamentally depend on water.
  2. The people who is least responsible are the most affected.
  3. As the climate crisis advances, more people will be forced to relocate.

Reading Comprehension: Identify The  Speakers

Directions: Read the following quotes from the speakers in the article. Then identify the speakers.

  1. This person called the report “an atlas of human suffering and a damning indictment of failed climate leadership,” and he warned that “delay means death.”
  2. “At warming of 2 degrees, for example, as many as 18% of all land species will be at high risk of extinction, according to the report. At 4 degrees, 50% of species are threatened.”
  3. We have seen that the vast majority of climate finance goes towards mitigation rather than adaptation…So although adaptation is taking place, there is not enough funding, and it is not a high priority, which are then leading to these limits.”
  4. “What we really wanted to show is that ecosystems and all sectors of human society and human well-being fundamentally depends on water.”
  5. “We live in an unequal world…The losses are inequitably distributed among communities, especially those communities that have historically been disadvantaged from decision-making, and now we’re seeing some of that inequality manifest as well in the choices we make to adapt.”
  6. “as climate change worsens, more indigenous people will lose the land, water and biodiversity they depend on.
  7. “When the Earth doesn’t become farmable, the dependence in the livelihood that communities have on farming and on production of food, not only will the incomes be lost, but that food security will be lost.”

WH-How Questions

Directions: Have students use the  WH-question format to discuss or to write the main points from the article.

Who or What is the article about?

Where does the action/event take place?

When does the action/event take place?

Why did the action/event occur?

How did the action/event occur?

Discussion Questions for Comprehension /Writing

Directions: Have  students discuss the following questions/statements. Afterwards,  students share their thoughts as a class. To reinforce the ideas, students can write an essay on one of the topics mentioned.

  1. The following article is about the climate change crisis we are currently experiencing.Have you noticed any changes in the weather in your area in the past two years? For example, does it seem warmer or colder than usual? Does it snow more or less? Are the days getting warmer? Has there been any change in the plant or animal life in your area?
  2. What will happen to the earth if warming goes above 1.5 degrees Celsius?
  3. According to scientists, even if the planet cooled down can the damage be undone?
  4. Explain the ‘lowest emission scenario’.
  5. Provide examples of what will happen if ecosystems are pushed more toward so-called tipping points.
  6. What are researchers saying about coral reefs?
  7. According to the article not only does extreme weather affect humans, what other damage does it cause?
  8. Which people are the most affected by drastic climate change?
  9. Where in the U.S. is water shortage at dangerous levels?
  10. As the climate crisis advances, what happens to the people who depend on farming for survival?
  11. List three new ideas  that you’ve learned about the topic from the reading,  two things that you did not understand in the reading, and one thing you  would like to know that the article did not mention.  Share your responses with your class.

ANSWER KEY

This Student Gave Up English for Lent!

“Last year, I gave up English for Lent. For 40 days, with the exception of conversations, my own activities — the books I read, the television I watched, the podcasts I heard — had to be in one of the non-English languages I could understand, which included Spanish, Portuguese, Korean and Chinese…” J. Kang, The New York Times, March 1, 2022 

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Credit- Paige Vickers, NYT

 

Excerpt: I Gave Up English for Lent, By Jimin Kang, The New York Times, March 1, 2022

“As a college senior living in New Jersey at the time, I also made an exception for school; I had to graduate, after all, from a university in a country where English is a necessary part of getting by. This was a challenge that had been years in the making. Although I speak Korean with my parents at home, English — which I first learned at the age of 4 — is my strongest language. Growing up in Hong Kong, I spent 14 years at international schools with many classmates who, like me, spoke better English than they did their parents’ native tongues. I knew Korean, Chinese and English by the age of 10, but I couldn’t speak all of these languages in the breezy, cosmopolitan way I wanted…As someone who was approaching Lent after a long hiatus from faith, I wanted to give up a precious thing whose absence would make room for something revelatory. I wondered: What if I gave up language?At first, the idea terrified me. But my apprehension convinced me that this would be a good test both of who I was and what I could do… I challenged myself to broach difficult topics with my parents for the first time: What it meant to be a person of color in America, how it felt to endure heartbreak and how I had returned to a faith that they, having moved back to Korea, had begun to relinquish...All of us, no matter what languages we are born speaking and which ones we later adopt, are constantly coming to terms with parts of our identities that simultaneously define and confound us.”

* Ms. Kang is a graduate student in comparative literature and critical translation at the University of Oxford

To Learn More about Jimin and her experience, Visit Her beautiful website

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post

NOTE: Lessons can also be used with native English speakers.

Level: Intermediate – Advanced


Language Skills: Reading, writing, and speaking. Vocabulary and grammar activities are included.


Time: Approximately 60 minutes.


Materials: Student handout (from this lesson) and access to news article.


Objective: Students will read and discuss the article
with a focus on improving reading comprehension and improving oral skills. At the end of the lesson students will express their personal views on the topic through group work and writing.

 Predictions: Using a Pre-reading Organizer

Directions: Examine the title of the post and of the actual article. Next examine  any photos. Write a paragraph describing what you think this article will discuss. A pre-reading organizer may be used.

Pre-reading chart by J. Swann

Word Inference

Directions: Try to infer the meanings of the words in bold taken from the article. You use a dictionary, thesaurus, and Word Chart for assistance.

  1. Last year, I gave up English for Lent.
  2. The books I read, the television I watched, the podcasts I heard — had to be in one of the non-English languages.
  3. I made an exception for school.
  4. This was a challenge that had been years in the making.
  5. The three languages asserted a hierarchy in which English became dominant.
  6. This was a challenge to my relationships with people and traditions closest to my heart.
  7. By combining intentional sacrifices with prayer and reflection, Lent offers a consistent space to inspect one’s life.
  8. Sacrifices can range from giving up common indulgences to adopting new habits.
  9. Nonbelievers too, have increasingly adopted the secular elements of Lenten practice.
  10. This student had taken a long hiatus from faith.

Vocabulary Cluster By Learnnc.org

 

Grammar Focus: Structure and Usage

Directions: The following groups of sentences are from the article. One of the sentences in each group contains a grammatical  error.  Identify the sentence (1, 2, or 3 ) from each group that contains the grammatical error.

I

  1. Sacrifices can range from giving up common indulgences to adopting new habits.
  2. At first, the idea terrified mine.
  3. And so the 40 days began.

II

  1. In lieu of podcasts, I would wake up and listen to 10-minute newsreels from Brazil.
  2. The  frigid New Jersey winter slowly turned to spring.
  3. I would make my way threw Spanish-language Netflix shows.

III

  1. One morning, I wrote in my journal about a dream I’d had.
  2. Writing in a  foreign language can be frustrate.
  3. You could listen to music from another country, even if it is in a language you do not understand.

Reading ComprehensionFill-ins

Directions: Place students in groups and after they have read the entire article, have them complete the following sentences taken from the article. They can use the words and terms from the list provided, or provide their own terms. They are to find the meanings of any new vocabulary.

I ___myself to broach difficult___with my ___for the first time: What it meant to be a person of___in America, how it felt to endure ___and how I had returned to a___ that they, having moved back to___, had begun to___. In the process, I became a better___, writer, friend and a___of faith, if faith is ___linked to the___that one is but a small part in a greater ___of things.

WORD LIST: cosmos, intrinsically, person, daughter, relinquish, topics, heartbreak, Korea, faith, color, parents, challenged, belief,

Discussion Questions for Comprehension /Writing

Directions: Have  students discuss the following questions/statements. Afterwards,  students share their thoughts as a class. To reinforce the ideas, students can write an essay on one of the topics mentioned.

  1. After reading the article, why did the author decide to give up English for Lent?
  2. What is the author’s native language?
  3. What did the author learn after this experience? How was the knowledge helpful to her?
  4. How many languages can you speak?
  5. Which language would you choose to give up for Lent? Why?
  6. List three new ideas  that you’ve learned about the topic from the reading,  two things that you did not understand in the reading, and one thing you  would like to know that the article did not mention.  Share your responses with your class.

ANSWER KEY

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