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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. June 2011.

Special thanks to the professors from Van Buren School District , Michigan, USA: Sarita Collins and Stephanie Hallgreen who shared this workshop with teachers from Oaxaca state. We hope to see you soon.



-Stripes of paper

On stripes of paper students write down expectations, doubts, etc. and these stripes are posted on the wall. Teacher addresses one by one in certain moment of the class.

Also could be used to share likes, personal information, at the beginning of th term.

Every student writes something, eventhough it has mistakes.

-Differences between Cooperative learning and Team building.

Cooperative learning Team building
Students don't have an only role in the task There's a winner
Students need to learn together Mostly games to be finished as quick as possible
Students need to be engaged Finishing is the goal
There isn't necessarily a prize

:The main difference between Cooperative learning and Team building is that tasks are done because of different reasons: Team building is to finish the task as the main goal. Students do not necessarily need to work altogether in Team building. The problem here is that not all studetns work, in fact, the most advanced students could be the only ones to complete the task in order to win the competition.Cooperative learning is on the other hand, a task that should be done in group, always collaborating, sharing information that is valuable and necessary in order to complete the task and learn. There isn't a prize, it is done in order to learn.

-Strategies for grouping

Line up by height: Students line up from shortest to tallest and pair up with the student to the right or left.

Line up by alphabetical order: The first letter of the name, then pair up.

line up by shoes size.

-The Brochure

Use a plain white sheet of paper. Fold it into three spaces. Make a brochure to advertise something or to present a place.

Ideas for Brochures in the classroom:

A touristic city, beach, town, etc., include tne name of the travel Agency, pictures or drawings, how to get to the place, what to do and see,prices, and contact.

A map of a city with interesting places to visit: Include instructions on how to get to the places.

A brochure to promote your school: what your school offers to students, laboratories, buildings, courts, classrooms, etc.

A brochure about health and the body: suggestions, advices, information about sickness, etc.

A brochure about houses, aprtments for rent o sale: description of the house, rooms,prices, etc.

Students make a presentation about their brochure.

-Parking lot

This strategy is to stick pieces of paper on a specific place the board or wall. Students write down questions, doubts, suggestions, words or concepts that need further explanation, new words, etc., and teacher adressess it at some moment of the class, could be at the end. This helpful strategy enriches the class by taking into account students needs and expecattions.

-Word wall

The strategy is to categorize any group of words: Write a word on a piece of paper. Mingle cards and students categorize them: verbs, adverbs, nouns, fruits, sports, etc.

-4 corners

Place construction paper t each corner of the classroom. Each paper must have a title or a topic, example: at one corner write fruits, another beverages, sports, verbs, adverbs, nouns, or any topic with categories. It also could be a question, example: What do you think about wars? Divide the class into 4 teams. Each team has certain amount of time to spend on a corner and write answers. Then, the shift to another corner and so on. All teams write something on each paper.Teacher and students check answers and feed back or correct if necessary.

-High frequency words or sight words

These words are used a lot in communication.They are critical words for understanding texts. Reading effectively is linked to knowledge of these words because some of them are abstract.

High frequency words: the, it, if, but, a, and, is, so, at, or, because, them, can.

Include exercises to work on theses words, they are very important for reading.

-I like my neighbors

Everyone is seated on chairs in a circle, with one person standing in the middle as "it". The person in the middle makes a statement such as

"I like my neighbors specially those who are wearing sweaters".

All those people who are wearing sweaters must jump up from their chairs and scramble to find a new chair, the person in the middle also scrambles for a chair. The one person left standing becomes the new "it". The activity continues.

Extension: Make a pause and ask your students what kind of music, sports, pets, movies,physical description, etc. they like and include the information at the statements.

-What is in your pocket?

Ask each person to select one item from his or her wallet, backpack or purse that is significant for her or him. Items must not be showed to others. Students ask yes/no questions to try guessing which item their partners selected.

-ABC Chart

Make a chart with enough spaces for each letter of the alphabet. Fill each space with different food, beverages sports, etc. to complete the chart. Example: Foods and beverages.

















































On a plain white sheet of paper. Write the phrase "Once upon a time" in the first line and continue wrting until you leave only a word in the second line. Fold the paper in order to hide the first line. Student one continues writing the line until he o she leaves only a word in the third line. Then fold the paper in order to hide the second line. Students write until the paper is folded with many phrases. After that, unfold the paper and the writing is read aloud. This result of this writing is a funny ilogical story.

-Story board

Draw a chart with 12 spaces.

Define the theme topic for the assigment: a family trip, a fun story, past times, plans for the future.

Students draw something in each space of the chart, example: places they visited, food they ate, trasnportation they traveled by, sports they played, people they traveled with, etc. At this stage, students tell the story with their own pictures.

The next step is to tell the story by writing it. A complete sentence should be written for every drawing.

-Who am I?

Step 1: Cards placed on backs. Pictures or names are placed on students' backs with tape.

Step 2: Students mix and pair. Students walk around the room until they find a partner.

Step 3: Students question partner. Student # 1 asks his/her partner three yes/no questionswhile trying ti find out who/what is on his/her back.

Stpe 4: Reverse roles. Student # 2 asks three yes/no questions.

Step 5:Students mix and pair. Students move around the room looking for a new partner.

Step 6: Students become helpers. When students guess who they are, they can now be a helper.

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Culture, ecoturism, archaeology, beaches, legends, temples, convents, surfing, museums.