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Binational Program.
Strategies to promote the learning of English as a foreign language in the state of Oaxaca, Mexico.
Oaxaca, Oax. July 2010.

Special thanks to the professors from School District 32, Gadsden, San Luis Arizona: Jose Luis Reynoso, Lance Chebultz and Laura Couret who shared this workshop with teachers from Oaxaca state. We hope to see you soon.

Tips and strategies

-Reinforce positive attitude in classroom, behavior problems should be treated quietly in order to not distract attention of the whole group; if a student needs attention, approach and quietly touch his or her shoulder. Less physical distance between teacher and students means less distractions.

-Constantly vary teaching: group, pairs, teams, so each one has the opportunity to speak.

-Before planning classes, make a diagnostic test to figure out what students already know.

-In your class, make students classified words: verbs, nouns, adjectives, articles, adverbs.

-When teaching idioms, a good activity is inventing a story incuding certain number of idioms seen in class. After writing it down on their notebooks, stories can be presented to the whole group on a wall paper.

-Always try to establish clearly the objective of the lesson by writing it down either on wall papers or on the board. This is related to meaningful learning.

-At the beginning of the class, put a small activity to do meanwhile others are entering or during roll call. Example: write the date, three things I like, etc.

-In order to improve students level of writing sentences, do next: write "I like" and wh questions what, where, when, why, how. Students make sentences by answering the wh questions.

-A good activity to learn past tense verbs is to write biographies about people displayed on coins and bills.

Attention getters

-While students are working and activity time is about to end, count with your fingers in order to not distract students by counting aloud.

-Teacher says aloud "one, two" and students response "eyes on you". This means that attention has to be paid.

-Teacher says aloud: "Show me you are ready" when students are ready to go on onto the next activity and they could make a sign with a hand.

-When a student is not focussed on the class, there is an expression to ask him to be quiet: "zip it, lock it and put it in your pocket".



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