The Traveling Classroom ~
ESL Students Give Back

Overview How can bilingual high school students give back to their school community? ESL 11th and 12th graders who develop and present mini-workshops on survival skills can impact the lives of beginning ESL 9th and 10th graders. Using the Internet, newspapers, and other reference materials, these tutors learn to prepare teaching materials and lesson plans for their hands-on presentations. Computer slide shows illustrate context-related situations like post office trips and check cashing tips to help new immigrants negotiate every day basics. As students travel to their younger peer's classrooms, they sharpen their own communication skills and role model career opportunities in the real world.

Classroom Activities
Community Activities
Career Activities
Organize teams to brainstorm real life situations.
Develop action plans to research & display information.
Use technology to obtain, use, & present information.
Record process in journals.
Write step-by-step directions for business transactions.
Create computer slide show (or download, 345 KB) of steps for writing a check.
Write scripts for scenarios.
Practice & critique each team's scenario.
Research flyers, brochures, fact sheets on community resources.
Collect career articles & advertisements in newspapers, magazines & on the Internet.
Organize & prepare boards for schoolwide learning festival.
Contact ESL classes & explain project.
Discuss daily activities that challenge students.
Share scenarios & role play survival skills (banking, shopping, eating out, etc.).
Role play & present computer slide show (or download, 138 KB) of post office tour.
Share community resource materials.
Introduce local newspapers & magazines highlighting career opportunities.
Show slide shows & answer questions about project highlighting student potential at learning festival.
Observe & gain teaching experience through preparation & presentations.
Reflect on teaching careers.
Visit stores, restaurants, banks, & government & health agencies.
Prepare fact sheets on opportunities in retail sales, medicine, government service, banking & hospitality.
Share fact sheets with ESL students.
Understand the importance of planning, organizing & presenting workshops & learning festival.
Reflect on value of technology in school & at work.

Learning Standards English Language Art

Use technology to obtain, use & present information effectively.
Understand & use the writing process effectively.
Make effective presentations.
Collaborate on projects that apply learning to educate others.
Obtain information from a variety of sources.
Engage in and facilitate group discussions.

School to Career Competencies

Develop Communication & Literacy Skills.
Solve Problems.
Organize & Analyze Information.
Complete Entire Activities.

Assessment Scripts & computer slide texts are evaluated by teacher. Regular journal reviews allow students and teacher to assess projects' effectiveness. Workshop & computer slide critiques occur before each on-the-road presentation. Scheduled discussions with the mentored students' teacher allow for another point of view. Reactions from teachers, administrators and guests at learning festival provide additional feedback.

Software or Materials Used For resource materials: brochures, flyers, fact sheets from banks, restaurants, stores, health centers and government agencies. For media presentations: Microsoft Office and digital camera photos; for Learning Festival: display: boards, construction paper, and art supplies.

Web Sites Dave's ESL Cafe; ESL/EFL Career Guide; English on the Run

Keywords Service Learning, Mentoring, School to Career, ESL Skills, Bilingual Students

Final Words When older ESL students use English Language Skills in a meaningful service project, they blossom. At the same time, younger students struggling to learn English make positive adjustments to their new environment.

Teacher Tip At first, 9th and 10th graders were uncomfortable in the large group. When we broke up into small instructional teams, the younger students were less intimidated and more responsive. Each presentation group received the younger students' respect and attention. They appreciated their role models' efforts and treasured the valuable information.

E-mail contact E-mail contact:

Teacher Bio Valerie Wong teaches ESL at Charlestown High, a School to Career School. As a BPS Lead Teacher, she welcomes and mentors newcomers to the profession. Currently, she is developing several ESL curriculum guides that incorporate technology. Her goal is to prepare students for college and successful careers. She believes a strong commitment to technology combined with academic excellence is the way to go.

Subject Areas English as a Second Language (ESL)

Grade Levels 9-12

Students Bilingual/ESL high school students

Return To Index Page