All posts by Sarah Martinez

Fostering Equity and Engagement Through Narrative



A narrative is a series of events that can be described through words, images, performance, or a combination of these forms. Often, the manner in which the story is told can impact how it is told and how it is received. Stories can convey complex concepts and perspectives, invoke strong emotions, and leave a lasting impression on our minds. This is why using narrative to facilitate learning can be so powerful.

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Ever just chat with your students?

Video chat, virtual morning meeting. A young woman with cup of coffee is greeting and waving to multiracial team on the PC monitor. Side view
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I often hear students say they like any chance to have a casual conversation in English.  Literacy learners, however, are much more likely to avoid a conversation because they’re not confident enough to use the language yet. As ESL teachers, we prepare well-thought-out lessons that focus on grammar, composition, pronunciation, and structured activities, but we rarely foster a free flow of dialogue that encourages the students to just “use the language.”

I recently wrapped up an introductory English course with literacy learners and got some valuable feedback from my students. After three months of students learning verbs, adjectives, and nouns, and practicing sentence structure and pronunciation, during our last lesson I decided to take a break from the routine and just engage students in a casual chat.   

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Humor in the ESL Classroom

Image taken from: Big Stock Photo

Learning English (or any new language) requires student focus, repetition, and practice, so it’s easy to see why students may often feel disengaged or even bored in the classroom. This is why ESL teachers love to try off-the-wall ways to liven up their classes and infuse some enthusiasm into the topic. Continue reading