Category Archives: Language

Searching For The Perfect Accent In The U.S.? There’s No Such Thing!

“I have an accent. So do you. I am an immigrant who has spent nearly as much time in the United States as I have in my home country, Spain. I am also the director of Dartmouth’s language programs in Spanish and Portuguese. Both facts explain, but only partly, why I feel a special fondness for the FX drama The Americans, in which Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys play Elizabeth and Philip Jennings, a husband-and-wife team of undercover K.G.B. agents living in suburban Washington…What interests me as a linguist is that the Jenningses are, as the pilot tells us, ‘supersecret spies  who ‘speak better English than we do.’ Even their neighbor, an F.B.I. agent on the counterintelligence beat, suspects nothing.” R. R. Agudo, The New York Times

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Photo-alamy

Excerpt: Everyone Has An Accent, by Roberto R. Agudo, The New York Times

“Living as I do, deeply immersed in the work of teaching and learning second languages, it was fun to watch a TV series in which the main characters’ aptitude for them was so central to the plot. Nonetheless, the premise that you can speak a language without any accent at all is a loaded one. You can’t actually do this.

Worse, when we fetishize certain accents and disdain others, it can lead to real discrimination in job interviews, performance evaluations and access to housing, to name just a few of the areas where having or not having a certain accent has profound consequences. Too often, at the hospital or the bank, in the office or at a restaurant — even in the classroom — we embrace the idea that there is a right way for our words to sound and that the perfect accent is one that is not just inaudible, but also invisible.

Image-uk-edu.co.kr

There is no such thing as perfect, neutral or unaccented English — or Spanish, for that matter, or any other language. To say that someone does not have an accent is as believable as saying that someone does not have any facial features… The standard accent is not necessarily the same as the highest-status accent. It is simply the dominant accent, the one you are most likely to hear in the media, the one that is considered neutral. Such judgments are purely social — to linguists, the distinctions are arbitrary. However, the notion of the neutral, perfect accent is so pervasive that speakers with stigmatized accents often internalize the prejudice they face. The recent re-evaluation of the ‘Simpsons’ character Apu provides an important example of how the media and popular culture use accents to make easy — and uneasy — jokes.

When you are learning a language, a marked accent is usually also accompanied by other features, like limited vocabulary or grammatical mistakes. In the classroom, we understand that this is a normal stage in the development of proficiency.

It’s certainly true that a marked accent can get in the way of making yourself understood. E.S.L. learners and others are well advised to work on their pronunciation… English is a global language with many native and nonnative varieties. Worldwide, nonnative speakers of English outnumber natives by a ratio of three to one. Even in the United States, which has the largest population of native English speakers, there are, according to one estimate, nearly 50 million speakers of English as a second language.  What does it even mean to sound native when so many English speakers are second-language speakers? Unless you are an embedded spy like the Jenningses, it is counterproductive to hold nativelike pronunciation as the bar you have to clear.

Accent by itself is a shallow measure of language proficiency, the linguistic equivalent of judging people by their looks. Instead, we should become aware of our linguistic biases and learn to listen more deeply before forming judgments.”

 

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post

Lesson Plan Everyone Has An Accent

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 2 hours.


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 learning new vocabulary. At the end of the lesson students will express their personal views on the topic through group work and writing.

I. Pre-Reading Activities

Stimulating background knowledge: Brainstorming

Directions: Place students in groups, ask students to think about what they already know about  the topic.  Next, have students look at the pictures in the text and generate ideas or words that may be connected to the article.  Regroup as a class and list these ideas on the board. Students can use a brainstorming chart for assistance.

II. While Reading Activities

Word Inference

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

  1. Some people fetishize certain accents.
  2. Other people  disdain many accents.
  3. This behavior can lead to discrimination.
  4. The author is an immigrant.
  5. The author is deeply immersed in teaching second languages.
  6. The premise that you can speak a language without any accent at all is a loaded one.
  7. Having certain accents can have profound consequences.
  8. We often embrace the idea that there is a right way for our words to sound.
  9. Many feel that the perfect accent is one that is inaudible.
  10. There is no such thing as perfect, neutral or unaccented English.

Word chart: Learnnc.org

 

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.

If you look at the___ from a ___point of view, having no ___is plainly impossible. An___is simply a way of ___shaped by a combination of ___ social class, education, ethnicity and first language. I have one; you have one; ___has one.

WORD LIST: sociolinguistic ,everybody, accent, question, geography, speaking, accent,

 

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.

To say/said that someone does knot/not have an ascent/accent is as believable as saying/say that someone does not/no have any facial features. We no/know this, but even so, at a time when the percentage of foreign-born  residents in the United States is at its highest point in a centaur/century, the distinction/distinct between ‘native’ and ‘nonnative’ has grown vicious/vivacious, and it is worth reminding ourselves of it again and again: No one speak/speaks without an accent.

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 for Comprehension /Writing

Directions: Place students in groups and have them answer and discuss the following questions. Afterwards, have the groups share their thoughts as a class. To reinforce the ideas, students can write an essay on one of the topics mentioned.

  1. Why are you studying English? (e.g., school, job or social  reasons).
  2. Do you think accents are important in language study? Explain why?
  3. When studying English in class do you find it easy to understand your teacher?
  4. Do you understand  native English speakers outside of the classroom?
  5. The author states, It’s certainly true that a marked accent can get in the way of making yourself understood. E.S.L. learners and others are well advised to work on their pronunciation…  My point is not that we need to forget the aim of easily comprehensible communication — obviously, that remains the goal. But we do need to set aside the illusion that there is a single true and authentic way to speak.” First, explain the statement in your own words. Next, do you agree or disagree with the statement? Why or why not?

 

3-2-1-Writing

Directions: Allow students 5 minutes to write down three new ideas they’ve learned about the topic from the reading,  two things they did not understand in the reading, and one thing they would like to know that the article did not mention. Review the responses as a class.

ANSWER KEY

Category: Language | Tags:

Um, Uh, Huh Could Be Keys To Understanding Human Language

“Has anyone — a parent, teacher, or boss — told you to purge the words ‘um’ and ‘uh’ from your conversation? When these words creep into our narrative as we tell a story at home, school, or work, it’s natural to feel that we can do better with our speech fluency. In How We Talk: The Inner Workings of Conversation, hitting shelves Tuesday, University of Sydney linguist Nick Enfield rescues those words (and everyone who uses them) from censure.” B. J. King, NPR

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Image-tesolcourse.edu.vn

Excerpt: Um, Uh, Huh? Are These Words Clues To Understanding Human Language? By Barbara J. King, NPR

“In so doing, he exposes the fascinating and intricate workings of what he calls the human conversation machine: ‘a set of powerful social and interpretive abilities of individuals in tandem with a set of features of communicative situations — such as the unstoppable passage of time — that puts constraints on how we talk.’

Using cross-cultural data, Enfield shows how rapid is the turn-taking aspect of human conversation. Across 10 languages (from Italy, Namibia, Mexico, Laos, Denmark, Korea, the U.S., the Netherlands, Japan and Papua New Guinea) the rule is clear: Speakers offer an answer to a question posed to them within 207 milliseconds, on average. The range goes from 7 milliseconds in Japanese to close to a half-second in Danish.

Based on speech cues, we anticipate rather than wait for the moment when it’s our turn to speak. We risk losing our turn, or seeming hesitant, if we don’t jump right into the flow. What happens, though, if we’re experiencing some kind of processing delay as we ready ourselves to speak? Perhaps we can’t think of the right term, or we’re struggling to process an unfamiliar word we just heard. After 600 milliseconds, “social attribution” kicks in — that is, the delay becomes a matter of concern for the community of speakers. We may, at this point, utter ‘um’ or  ‘uh’ as a signal that we are working toward producing speech.

The evidence shows we also may use these words intentionally as buffers before offering what are called dispreferred responses, or answers our conversation partners may not welcome. Let’s say a friend asks you to an event that don’t wish to attend, and you’re about to decline. If you slightly delay that bad news by starting out with ‘uh’ or ‘um,’ that’s the conversation machine at work.

Enfield’s overall point here is that these tiny words, far from just being ‘noise’ for scholars to ignore, deserve linguistic study. ‘Huh?’ plays a key role, too, because, judging again from cross-cultural research, it is a human linguistic universal. When we ask ‘Huh?’ in conversation, it can be a mark of cooperation rather than confusion a point that Enfield elaborated on via email (Email responses in this post have been edited for length.):

‘It’s true that ‘Huh?’ can be a sign of confusion. On the other hand, ‘Huh?’ does much more than simply signal a problem. The usual effect of ‘Huh?’ is to get the other person to repeat, confirm, or rephrase what they just said. This is only possible in the highly cooperative context of conversation.’

In How We Talk, Enfield aims to set apart our behavior and language from the behavior and communication of all other animals.”

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 2 hours.


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 learning new vocabulary. At the end of the lesson students will express their personal views on the topic through group work and writing.

I. Pre-Reading Activities

Stimulating background knowledge: Brainstorming

Directions: Place students in groups and ask them to think about what they already know about  human language.  Next, have students look at the pictures in the text and generate ideas or words that may be connected to the article.  Regroup as a class and list these ideas on the board. Students can use a brainstorming chart for assistance.

G. Cluster Brainstorming-workshopexercises

 

II. While Reading Activities

Word Inference

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

  1. We were taught to purge certain words from our conversation.
  2. Some people are very fluent when speaking.
  3. Enfield exposes the intricate workings of human conversation.
  4. Using cross-cultural data, Enfield shows how rapid is the turn-taking aspect of human conversation.
  5. Based on speech cues, we anticipate when it’s our turn to speak.
  6. The evidence shows we also may use these words intentionally as buffers.
  7. “Huh?” in conversation,  can be a mark of cooperation rather than confusion.
  8. Language arguably supports a uniquely human form of social accountability.
  9. Speakers may sometimes delay bad news by starting out with “uh” or “um,” .
  10. ‘Huh?’ can also be a sign of confusion.

Vocabulary Cluster By Learnnc.org

 

Reading Comprehension

Fill-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.

“Some 7,000 ___are spoken in the___ today, each a ___system made up of many thousands of sounds, words, ___structures and rules. Infants ___these systems natively, without ___insruction, within the first few years of life. Animals do not have___ in this sense. In linguistics, this has ___the search to define what makes this possible across our___, and only in our species.”

WORD LIST: world, species, formal, languages, grammatical, massive,acquire,motivated, 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.

Language/Linagearguably supposes/supports a uniquely human/humaneform of special/socialaccountability/accountable: with language, we can name/noun or describe a piece of behavior, drawing/draw public attention to it, then characterizing it (as good, bad, not allowed, wrong, great, or what have you)

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 for Comprehension /Writing

Directions: Place students in groups and have them  discuss the meanings of the  following statements in their own words. Ask students to provide examples. Afterwards, have the groups share their thoughts as a class.

In his book How We Talk: The Inner Workings of Conversation, Enfield  states:

“Based on speech cues, we anticipate rather than wait for the moment when it’s our turn to speak. We risk losing our turn, or seeming hesitant, if we don’t jump right into the flow.”

When we talk, we agree to be accountable to each other for doing our respective parts in order to achieve a common goal, that of mutual understanding. Saying ‘Huh?’ draws attention to a possible failing in keeping up with that commitment, one which needs to be redressed on the spot, and we respond to it by helping the other, redressing the possible failing, so that we can move on.”

3-2-1-Writing

Directions: Allow students 5 minutes to write down three new ideas they’ve learned about the topic from the reading,  two things they did not understand in the reading, and one thing they would like to know that the article did not mention. Review the responses as a class.

ANSWER KEY

Category: Language

My Deaf Son: “I see his voice. I hear his face.”

“I watched my toddler wade into the Gulf and launch a fistful of pebbles in flight. They glistened, tiny sparks of light, before I realized he was up to his chin in cold water. And I realized that if I called his name, if I screamed it, the word would sink like stone.”  E. Engelman, The New York Times

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Credit Giselle Potter, The New York Times

Excerpt: My Deaf Son Fought Speech. Sign Language Let Him Bloom  By Elizabeth Engelman The New York Times

“When Micah turned 2 we had learned that he was profoundly deaf. In the audiologist’s office, an auditory brain response concluded he couldn’t hear a helicopter. ‘You’re taking this well,’ the doctor had said. But later, as I watched Micah step deeper into the Gulf water, I wanted to rage. I was so angry, I could have torn the beach apart. We celebrated his third birthday, and the audiologist turned his cochlear implants on for the first time.

Cochlear Implants | Brain Computer

I said, ‘Hi Micah, can you hear mommy?’ His hazel eyes widened and he screamed in terror, his body trembling. Shock. In American Sign Language, the sign for cochlear implant is similar to the sign for vampire. Vampire is signed with two fingers like teeth to the throat. Cochlear implant is signed with two fingers like teeth behind the ears.

Photo of 3 young children with cochlear implants. photo-hearingsearch

The audiologist told me not to sign at all. She said sign language was a crutch that would hinder his speech. When he heard my voice for the first time, his cry was guttural, a stab wound. He was bitten by sound…He refused to wear the $18,000 sound processors, and his defiance was feral: head butts to my face, kicks, bites. The back of his head smacked against my jaw, and for a moment everything went black. The implant surgery alone had cost $50,000. Auditory verbal therapy was out of pocket, the doctors were out of network. What choice did I have but to force him?

Cochlear Implant and Rehabilitation at Johns Hopkins Listening Center. Photo- John Hopkins

When Helen Keller wouldn’t cooperate, her teacher Annie Sullivan used brute force. In The Story of My Life, Sullivan described how teaching obedience to the deaf and blind girl had to precede teaching language. Each week, I dragged him to speech therapy. He didn’t resist.

In public, his meltdowns drew unwanted attention on playgrounds and in grocery stores. How had I become the dejected mother in the fruit aisle, helpless as Micah bucked and cried, dangerously hitting his head on the linoleum floor?… I was no Annie Sullivan. I couldn’t break him, and instead, he was breaking me.

I gave up on spoken English, and enrolled in American Sign Language classes at the local community college.

Sign Language for children with Autism. photo- shieldhealthcare

Micah’s first sign was flower. To sign flower, the right hand grasps an imaginary stem and holds it first against the right nostril and then against the left, and like a flower, Micah blossomed one new sign at a time and took his implants off his head for good.

The Benefits of Using Sign Language with Your Child | .Intellidanceiff

Nine-week-old Aria, pictured right, was filmed concentrating closely as she was tenderly shown the gesture for ‘grandma’ by her grandmother Pamela, pictured left. photo- The Daily Mail

The first time he told me a story, he was 6. In the dark, his hand reaches up to speak, and I shine a flashlight on his fingers. They make rapid shadow puppets onto the bedroom wall, and I understand his story like a hieroglyph. I see his voice. I hear his face. His pristine silence fills a room far more than sound.”

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 2 hours.


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 learning new vocabulary. 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:  Have students  examine the titles of the post and of the actual article. After they examine the photos, ask students to create a list of  words and  ideas  that they think might be related to this article. 

II. While Reading Activities

Word Inference

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

  1. The audiologist turned his cochlear implants on for the first time.
  2. The audiologist told me not to sign at all.
  3. When he heard my voice for the first time, his cry was guttural.
  4. Helen Keller wouldn’t cooperate at the start of her training.
  5. When she took  him to speech therapy he didn’t resist.
  6. I woke up paralyzed on the right side of my face.
  7. The doctor said it was trauma to the nerve.
  8. She gave up on talking English.
  9. They enrolled in American Sign Language classes.
  10. His pristine silence fills a room far more than sound.

ELLteaching 2.0 vocabualry chart

 

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.

Micah’s first___ was___. To sign flower, the right hand grasps an___stem and holds it first against the right___and then against the left, and like a flower, Micah___ one new sign at a time and took his___off his head for good.

WORD LIST: implants, imaginary, sign, blossomed, flower, nostril,

 Grammar Focus

Using Adjectives  to describe pictures    

Directions: Have students choose a picture from the article  and write a descriptive paragraph using adjectives.

For a review of Adjectives visit ESL Voices Grammar

III. Post Reading Activities

Graphic Organizers: Finding the main idea

Directions:  Have students use this advanced organizer to assist them with  discussing  or writing about  the main points from the article.

Discussion for Comprehension /Writing

Directions: Place students in groups  and  have each group compose a letter or note to a  person mentioned in the article telling her/him their thoughts on the topic. Share the letters as a class.

3-2-1-Writing

Directions: Allow students 5 minutes to write down three new ideas they’ve learned about the topic from the reading,  two things they did not understand in the reading, and one thing they would like to know that the article did not mention. Review the responses as a class.

ANSWER KEY

Category: Language, Social Issues

Create Your Own Language for College Credit

What do you say to embarrass a polar bear? How might an underwater society write? Can a creature without teeth say “tooth”? How many verbs for “to pray” does an angel need? These are some of the questions students have pondered in ‘Invented Languages’  at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Tex., as they create languages of their own.” A. Winchester NewYork Times

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Photo credit-Credit Ron Barrett

Photo credit-Credit Ron Barrett

Excerpt: Create Your Own Language, for Credit by Ashley Winchester NewYork Times

“The tongue spoken by the nomadic Dothraki warriors of HBO’s hit series Game of Thrones has entered the pop-culture lexicon, and so sparked new interest in constructed languages, or conlangs.

Inventor of Game of Thrones' Dothraki has released a book on how to create your own language. telegraph

Inventor of Game of Thrones’ Dothraki has released a book on how to create your own language. telegraph

Avatar language based on Maori.

Avatar language based on Maori.

Thanks to the popularity of G.O.T., Avatar, etc., more people the world over know what language creation is, says David J. Peterson, the linguist behind spoken Dothraki and alien-speak on the Syfy network’s Defiance.

Kindzi in SyFy's Defiance.huffingtonpost.com

Kindzi in SyFy’s Defiance.huffingtonpost.com

At schools like S.F.A., Wellesley College in Massachusetts and Truman State in Missouri, students take apart the words, sounds, writing and patterns of such conlangs as Dothraki, Na’vi (Avatar), Elvish (Lord of the Rings) and Klingon (Star Trek) to get a sense of how languages evolve to meet the needs of their speakers. Coursework marries the principles of linguistics with the creativity of speculative fiction genres and pop culture.

Eleves from Lord of the Rings had their own language. wikia.com

Eleves from Lord of the Rings had their own language. wikia.com

So how do you create a language? First, think about your speaker’s anatomy, and therefore what sounds he can create, says Jessica Sams, whose conlang course at S.F.A. has grown from minimum to maximum capacity.

Can you speak Vulcan? wikipedia

Can you speak Vulcan? wikipedia

Klingon became a universal language. mashable.com

Klingon became a universal language. mashable.com

Then, she says, build on elements of grammar, culture and habits (and, in the case of bears, growling patterns).

xkcd-Language Nerd. xkcd.com

xkcd-Language Nerd. xkcd.com

Hash yer tihoe jin, hash yer shili Dothraki (translation: If you understand this, you know Dothraki).”

To Those we lost in 2016:

REST IN PEACE

Umberto Eco January 5, 1932- February 19, 2016

~Umberto Eco~January 5, 1932- February 19, 2016

 

Harper Lee April 28 1926-February 19, 2016

~Harper Lee~April 28 1926-February 19, 2016

“It was times like these when I thought my father, who hated guns had never been to any wars, was the bravest man who ever lived.” Harper Lee

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 2 hours.


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 learning new vocabulary. 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:  Have students  examine the titles of the post and of the actual article. After they examine the photos, ask students to create a list of  words and  ideas  that they think might be related to this article. 

II. While Reading Tasks

Word Inference

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

  1. This is the tongue spoken by the nomadic Dothraki.
  2. The series has sparked new interest in constructed languages.
  3. Thanks to the popularity of  these shows new languages are created.
  4. Coursework marries the principles of linguistics.
  5. Students take apart the words, sounds, writing and patterns.
  6. Students  learn how languages evolve.
  7. Students can create new fiction genres.
  8. First, think about your speaker’s anatomy.
  9. Next, think about their culture.
  10. A savvy bear might hide its snout to blend in with snow.
Vocabulary Cluster By Learnnc.org

Vocabulary Cluster By Learnnc.org

Reading Comprehension

Word -Recognition

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

At schools like/look S.F.A., Wellesley College in Massachusetts and Truman State in Missouri, studies/students take apart/part the words, signs/sounds, writing and patterns of such/songs conlangs as Dothraki, Na’vi (“Avatar”), Elvish (“Lord of the Rings”) and Klingon (“Star Trek”) to get a sense/cents of how languages evolve to meat/meet the needs of their/there speakers. Coursework marries the principles of linguistics with the creativity/create of speculative fiction genres and pop/pip culture.

 Grammar Focus: Prepositions

Prepositions:  in, for, of, with, by,  on, at, to, as, into, across, around, over,  through, from, during, up, off, with,

Directions: The following sentences are from the news article.  For each sentence choose the correct preposition from the choices listed above. Note that not all prepositions listed are in the article.

The tongue spoken___ the nomadic Dothraki warriors___ HBO’s hit series “Game of Thrones.

Students need___ get a sense___how languages evolve___ meet the needs___their speakers.

A savvy bear might hide its snout___blend___   ___snow when hunting.

Eight verbs are needed___Brandi Woodstock’s New Jeruslanic, including one___ ask___ something, one___intercede___someone’s behalf and one___plead.

III. Post Reading Tasks

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/Writing Exercise

Directions: Place students in groups and have them restate the following statement in their own words. Afterwards, have the groups share their thoughts as a class. 

“So how do you create a language? First, think about your speaker’s anatomy, and therefore what sounds he can create… Then build on elements of grammar, culture and habits (and, in the case of bears, growling patterns).”

Group Activity: Create Your Own Language

Directions: In groups, have students reread the instructions from the article for how to begin creating a language. After, groups will share their new languages with the class!

1-Minute Free Writing Exercise

Directions: Allow students 1 minute to write down one new idea they’ve learned from the reading. Ask them to write down one thing they did not understand in the reading.  Review the responses as a class. Note: For the lower levels allow more time for this writing activity.

ANSWER KEY

Category: Language

Receipe for Language: English +Cooking!

“For many immigrants, coming to America is full of the unfamiliar — from the language to the food. In Philadelphia, a program aims to help these arrivals settle into their new country by folding English lessons into a cooking class. On a recent Wednesday afternoon, 20 recent immigrants and refugees to the United States streamed into a shiny commercial-size kitchen on the fourth floor of the Free Library of Philadelphia’s central branch. They were here to partake in the library’s take on teaching English as a second language.” N. Roshania, NPR

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Photo- npr.org

Photo- npr.org

Excerpt: A Cooking Class…For English  By Neema Roshania, NPR

“The program, dubbed Edible Alphabet, is run through the library and Nationalities Service Center, an organization that helps settle refugees when they arrive in Philadelphia. By offering English instruction in the form of a cooking lesson, organizers hope to provide a familiar setting for the students — who hail from over 10 different countries — to connect to each other.

Photo- smapan.org

Photo- smapan.org

It’s been great for us to sort of connect over, Here’s a can of chickpeas. What do you use chickpeas for in your meals? How would you do this differently at home?  says the library’s program administrator, Liz Fitzgerald.

Each class is helmed by both a chef and an English-as-a-second-language instructor. The class starts off with an English lesson focusing on the day’s ingredients. Today, the students are spelling and sounding out words like onion, garlic, tomato and jalapeno.

Photo- yahoo.com

Photo- yahoo.com

After the language lesson is over, they’ll set out to make chana masala and roti together…This is about welcoming new Philadelphians to the city…”There is no better way to do that than to share a meal together.”

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post

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

Level:  Low Intermediate- High Intermediate


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


Time: Approximately 2 hours.


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 learning new vocabulary. At the end of the lesson students will express their personal views on the topic through group work and writing.

Pre-Reading Task

 Predictions: Using a Pre-reading Organizer

Directions:  Ask students to examine the title of the post and of the actual article they are about to read. Then, have them  examine the photos. Ask students to write a paragraph describing what they think this article will discuss. Students can use a Pre-reading organizer for assistance.

Pre-reading chart by J. Swann

Pre-reading chart by J. Swann

 

 While Reading Tasks

Word Inference

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

  1. The program is  dubbed Edible Alphabet.
  2. The program helps settle refugees.
  3. Each class is helmed by both a chef and an ESL teacher.
  4. The program helps people adjust to life in America.
  5. Some students rolled out roti and chopped vegetables.
  6. Saleh was carefully documenting each step.
  7. Many students are sociable.
  8. All the recipes used in the class are pulled from the cookbook.
  9. Learning how to  shop in an American grocery store on limited means is important.
  10. One students says he savors the choices  of foods.
Vocabulary Cluster By Learnnc.org

Vocabulary Cluster By Learnnc.org

Reading Comprehension

Word -Recognition

Directions: Students are to circle or underline the correct word or phrases from the article. This exercise reinforces students’ attention on words that have been introduced in the reading. Have them skim the article to check  their responses. Students should also find the meanings for any  unknown words.

“It’s the third/bird time the class has been caught/taught. And along the way, the instructors/instruct say they’ve learned/leaned some lessons of their own. For instance, Fitzgerald says in the first round of classes, they stated/started off by teaching recipes like quinoa salad. But, they quickly realized the students weren’t dig/digging the flavors. That’s when they started teaching/teach recipes that used flavors and ingredients more familiar to the students, who mostly come from Southeast Asia, Africa and the Middle East.”

 Grammar Focus

Using Adjectives  to describe pictures    

Directions: Have students choose a picture from the article  and write a descriptive paragraph using adjectives.

Click here for a review of Adjectives

III. Post Reading Tasks

Discussion/Writing Exercise

Directions: Place students in groups and have them restate the following two  statements. Afterwards, have the groups share their thoughts as a class. To reinforce the ideas, students can write an essay on one of the following discussion topics.

  1. “Each class is helmed by both a chef and an English-as-a-second-language instructor. The class starts off with an English lesson focusing on the day’s ingredients. Today, the students are spelling and sounding out words like onion, garlic, tomato and jalapeno. After the language lesson is over, they’ll set out to make chana masala and roti together.”
  2. “…the class is about much more than just learning English…learning how to navigate an American grocery store on limited means is an important part of the class. Strawberries, for example, are available in America year-round, but will cost more and won’t taste as good in January.”

Extra: Web Search

Directions: In groups/partners have students “google” the topic and see what additional information they can find. Students can either have further discussions or write an essay about the subject.

ANSWER KEY

Category: Language