“Anna Lin started teaching English in the fifth grade. Now she has a student-run nonprofit dedicated to the practice.” By J. Osterheldt, Globe Columnist,Updated June 7, 2022,
ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key
Excerpt: How one Brookline student turned teaching English into a young, global community By Jennee Osterheldt,Globe Columnist,Updated June 7, 2022,
“As a fifth-grader Anna Lin became a teacher.
Her family would travel from Brookline to Thailand to see relatives in the summer and she was asked to help students learn English.
‘I stepped in a classroom of 30 students, all wearing their green and khaki uniforms, and I was younger than them,’ she recalls. ‘I felt like there was a wall between me and them and I thought we couldn’t connect.’
She started by using something she loved — math — to teach the language. PEMDAS: parentheses, exponents, multiplication, and division from left to right, and addition and subtraction from left to right…Summer after summer, she returned and taught. Until the pandemic gripped the world in 2020. She was a freshman at Brookline High School and she wasn’t thinking about what COVID meant for summer fun. She was thinking about teaching in Thailand. ‘I promised I would come back,’ she says. ‘I was sitting at my dinner table with my mom and thinking we don’t have to go to the country to connect with them. We can do it virtually.’ Lin began to reach out to friends at school and friends around the world who moved away, too. They could be teachers to their peers wanting to learn English.
She created a website, Language Virtual, and put out a sign-up sheet. That first year, there would be three students and three teachers.
Now, Anna Lin is finishing her junior year in high school. And she has 100 teachers her age, largely sophomores and juniors, teaching the English language. It also counts as community service hours that some students need to graduate. A lot of them are in Brookline but there are also teachers nearby in Concord, Belmont, and Revere, and as far away as Turkey…Language Virtual does not adhere to a specific teaching style. They have lesson plans around storybooks like “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” and “The Boy Who Cried Wolf.” There are exercises around family, food, and animals. And there is room for teachers to cater curriculums to students.”
Free, Online, Quality English Lessons Please Visit Language Virtual
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.
II. While Reading Activities
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.
- All 30 students were wearing their green and khaki uniforms.
- Math is universal Lin says.
- The beginning was very nerve-racking.
- After that month I began to look at them as friends.
- She was a freshman at Brookline High School.
- She was thinking about teaching in Thailand.
- Now, Anna Lin is finishing her junior year in high school.
- They have students in America who have immigrated to the United States from many countries.
- Sometimes students come by word of mouth, other times they are referred by ESL teachers.
- She and her four siblings were adopted from Ethiopia.
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 Virtualdoes/donot/knotadhere too/to a specific teaching/teach style. They has/have lesson plans around storybooks like “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” and “The Boy Who Cried Wolf.” Their/There are exercises/exercise around family, food, and animals. And their/there is room for teachers to/two cater curriculums too/to students.
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.
Lin began to ___out to ___at school and ___around the ___who moved away, too. They could be ___to their ___wanting to ___English.
She created a___, Language Virtual, and put out a sign-up sheet. That first year, there would be three ___and three teachers.
WORD LIST:website,learn, peers,teachers, world, reach, friends, students, friends,
III. Post Reading Activities
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:Discuss 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.
Directions: Place students in groups and have each group list 3 questions they would like to pursue in relation to the article. Have groups exchange questions. Each group tries to answer the questions listed. All responses are shared as a class.
Directions: With your group members think of ways you might start a global ESL learning community in your school. Write a letter to Anna Lin (in care of Language Virtual) asking for information.