ESL Curriculum For Beginners: Best Resources For Building A Killer Curriculum
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I was thinking last night. What are the best resources someone could use to build a killer curriculum?
It is overwhelming to plan out an entire curriculum but you want to make sure you’re not missing anything. You need to include sight words, grammar, word families, phonics, reading, writing, speaking time, math, songs, and some rhyme.
You want to make sure you have repetition but that it is not boring. Add some music to your curriculum. This is excellent article on how music therapy has helped ESL kindergarten students in the US.
An example, you are teaching apple but instead of having an apple on a slide add an apple pie. It makes it more interesting plus creates conversation.
You can ask your student: Do you like apples or apple pie? Do you like candy apples? Do you like red or green apples? You can go in many directions. Remember to relate the slides to the student’s life.
Which sight word lists are best for beginner ESL students?
A dolch word study has concluded, “These findings are consistent with previous literature and offer further insight into the learning of sight words by this population. Interactive games proved effective with children; they learned quickly over a relatively short time exposure.” This would be great for homework before a lesson.
I use the Fry sight word lists for the reading sections. Also, I use both lists when creating general content for the curriculum. It creates a good balance for the curriculum.
The Dolch Sight Words list includes 220 words and 95 high frequency used nouns. It contains 80% of words in children’s books and 50% of words found in adults writing.
Pre-K Dolch Sight Words: a, and, away, big, blue, can, come, down, find, for, funny, go, help, here, I, in, is, it, jump, little, look, make, me, my, not, one, play, red, run, said, see, the, three, to, two, up, we, where, yellow, you
Kindergarten Dolch Sight Words: all, am, are, at, ate, be, black, brown, but, came, did, do, eat, four, get, good, have, he, into, like, must, new, no, now, on, our, out, please, pretty, ran, ride, saw, say, she, so, soon, that, there, they, this, too, under, want, was, well, went, what, white, who, will, with, yes
First Grade Dolch Sight Words : after, again, an, any, as, ask, by, could, every, fly, from, give, going, had, has, her, him, his, how, just, know, let, live, may, of, old, once, open, over, put, round, some, stop, take, thank, them, then, think, walk, were, when
The Fry Sight Words is a more present-day list. It is the most common 1,000 words to appear in reading material for Grades 3-9. It would equip a kid to read 90% of words in a typical book.
Fry Word List (1st 100 words) : a, about, all, an, and, are, as, at, be, been, but, by, called, can, come, could, day, did, do, down, each, find, first, for, from, get, go, had, has, have, he, her, him, his, how, I, if, in, into, is, it, like, long, look, made, make, many, may, more, my, no, not, now, number, of, oil, on, one, or, other, out, part, people, said, see, she, sit, so, some, than, that, the, their, them, then, there, these, they, this, time, to, two, up, use, was, water, way, we, were, what, when, which, who, will, with, words, would, write, you, your
Fry Word List (2nd 100 words) : after, again, air, also, America, animal, another, answer, any, around, ask, away, back, because, before, big, boy, came, change, different, does, end, even, follow, form, found, give, good, great, hand, help, here, home, house, just, kind, know, land, large, learn, letter, line, little, live, man, me, means, men, most, mother, move, much, must, name, need, new, off, old, only, our, over, page, picture, place, play, point, put, read, right, same, say, sentence, set, should, show, small, sound, spell, still, study, such, take, tell, things, think, three, through, too, try, turn, us, very, want, well, went, where, why, work, world, years
Which grammar points do ESL students need to learn?
Below is a list of grammar points that you can teach. Go to Amazon.com. Type in “Grammar for Kids”. Take a look at some of the book’s table of contents. This will give you a good idea of what to teach I would buy a few books that you can download and this will give you a starting point for your grammar lessons.
Simple Present – Be
Singular & Plural Nouns
Subject-Verb Agreement 1
Simple Present & Present Progressive
Simple Present Vs. Present Progressive
Parts of Speech
Adverbs of Frequency
Prepositions of Time
Prepositions of Place
Count Vs. Non-Count Nouns
Quantifiers – Many & Much
Quantifiers – Some & Any
Adverbs of Manner
Subject-Verb Agreement 2
Gerunds & Infinitives
Modals of Advice
Equative, Comparative & Superlative Adjectives
Comparative & Superlatives – Adjectives & Adverbs
Present Perfect Progressive
Modals of Necessity & Obligation
Verb Tense Review 1 – The Simple Tenses
Past Tense Modals
Direct & Reported Speech
Adverb Clauses of Time
Adverb Clauses of Contrast
Past Perfect Progressive
Future Perfect Progressive
Verb Tense Review 2 – The Perfect Tenses
What word families are best?
Here is a list of the most common word families. Enchanted Learning has a great list of the most common word families.
The 37 most common word families in English (according to Wylie and Durrell) are: ack, ain, ake, ale, all, ame, an, ank, ap, ash, at, ate, aw ay, eat, ell, est, ice, ick, ide, ight, ill, in, ine, ing, ink, ip, it, ock, oke, op, ore, ot, uck ,ug, ump, unk.
Look at some material about word families on Teachers Pay Teachers. Th e free resource above might be enough.
I cross-reference Enchanted Learning and two other reference books. Next, I look at the word family lists and pick the words that are best for my students. Here is an example of a word family lesson I have created for my ESL curriculum.
Don’t forget about phonics.
An excellent resource for phonics is readingbear.org. I use it and Youtube to review phonics material before I start creating each phonic lesson. Here is the phonic lesson I have created for my ESL curriculum for beginners.
Also, Jolly Phonics is great because it shows a picture and how to create each sound. An example, it shows a snake for the letter S. Action: weave your hand like a snake making an S shape saying sssssssss. Set 1: s, a, t, p, i, nSet 2: ck, e, h, r, m, dSet 3: g, o, u, l, f, bSet 4: ai, j, oa, ie, ee, orSet 5: z, w, ng, v, oo, ooSet 6: y, x, ch, sh, th, thSet r: qu, ou, oi, ue, er, ar
Reading is king.
Reading is so important. I use reading during the warm via a song. I have a reading session in each lesson. Also, I have an ending song or poem. I have increased the reading section of the curriculum.
Finally, I created two lessons per unit that are reading lessons. Here are two examples: one is reading in a normal lesson and the second is a stand-alone reading lesson. I will post my full reading lesson below. This should give you a good starting point for your reading lessons.
Don’t forget the Rhyme or Spicy!
Look at your lessons and after you teach them. Are your lessons flat or boring?
You need to spice them up a bit with some rhyme. You can use Rhyme Zone to add a little bit to your lessons. I add a little rhyme to the beginning and end reading sections of each lesson.
Elementary student lessons need to have a strong foundation but they also need to be fun. Bring your teaching touch and flair to each lesson. Put your own spin on your ESL curriculum for beginners.
How to put your spin on the curriculum to make a “Killer Curriculum”?
Your teaching experience and your teaching style are why students pick you to teach them. I chit chat students to fluency. I use the talking sections to learn more about my students. I bring in the vocabulary they have learned into the speaking sections. I make each lesson about them and their life.
This is why my curriculum is different from others. I bring my passion to the curriculum. You need to bring your passion to create the curriculum for your students.
Many teachers create their own curriculum. We are doing the same thing. Bring your personality and excitement to your curriculum.
Helping online ESL teachers is my passion.
Daniel Anthony DiDio Happy Teaching