Introduction

I started thinking about ideas for this blog about 4-5 months ago. My intention was to create and publish ESL-centered literature lesson plans and reading guides. Since then, life has gotten in the way and I’ve been unable to publish anything. However, I am currently working on finishing up my first reading guide for this blog, and hope to publish it sometime this week!

So before that comes out, let me tell you a little about this blog. I currently teach ESL to international students at a large, American university. I’ve been teaching for about 6 years now, including student teaching time during graduate school. This year, my department hired a bunch of new teachers straight out of their graduate program, and I kept thinking back to my own first year of teaching. I had only a BA and a TEFL certificate – no pedagogy knowledge or classroom experience. I was terrified for the first month of teaching, and constantly scrambling to put lesson plans together.

Additionally, this year, I ended up taking an overload of classes, which meant a lot less time to prep for lesson plans. Teaching my reading class’ novel ended up sorting of falling by the wayside. I tried to look up teaching guides for this novel on the internet to sort of ease the lesson planning load, but the only guide I found for the novel was completely centered on the American K-12 setting – it involved common core standards and relied on a level of cultural knowledge that my ESL students just wouldn’t have. Therefore, I decided to start writing my own reading guides for ESL students and teachers.

Basically, my goal for this blog is to help those first year ESL teachers, or any ESL teachers who find themselves suddenly having to teach a novel with no prior experience. I want teachers to be able to find a ready-made reading guide to their chosen novel on this website – then, they can pretty much plug and chug!

Each guide, at the minimum contains an introduction to the book along with a suggested class level, suggested vocabulary words, comprehension questions, writing activities, and extension/research activities. You can pick and choose which parts you want to use or which parts work for your teaching style. Most comprehension questions can be turned into quiz questions, and writing assignments and extension activities can be done as homework or in the classroom, either as individual work or group work. The reading guides are just the basics – it’s up to you to decide how to use them! All the reading guides, activities, and links are free for anyone to use…I don’t believe in putting teaching materials behind a paywall. Teaching is tough enough as is without having to pay for materials!

Thank you so much for reading and using this blog! I don’t have an email for the blog just yet, but if you have questions, feel free to leave them in the comments :]

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