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Renewed enthusiasm in classes

2-minute ESL Teaching Survey!

In the past few weeks, there has been a lot of renewed activity at ASPECT. Here are a few of the highlights:

In Jeff Immel's proficiency-level skills class, students did research on the Internet, prepared thesis statements, constructed arguments and are now making 25-minute presentations, on a wide range of topics each of them chose, including: feminism, Korean unification, divorce, gay marriage, human cloning and music censorship. "This is what would be expected of them in many college classes," says Jeff. "Students in our top level need to know what that experience is like."

Marion Belcher's high-intermediate grammar/writing students recently wore themselves out running back and forth to a sheet of paper with a poem on it, taped to the white board. Students worked in pairs, with one student running to the poem, committing the first line to memory, running back to the partner, dictating the line, then running back and forth as often as necessary to check for accuracy and to get the rest of the lines. There was friendly competition to see which team finished first.

Cheyenne Adams is using blackboard.com to offer his students extra examples, assignments and activities such as chats, to complement the classroom lessons in his elective conversation class.

Christine Wilhelm's advanced skills students became familiar with Oprah Winfrey's T.V. show as part of a lesson last week. "This is an important part of American culture," Christine explained.

Students in the afternoon electives signed up in large numbers for a class called "Understanding the World Trade Disaster" and another "International Trade and Relations."

Charles Fernando initiated a "free-conversation" group, which meets every Monday and Wednesday from 2:45 to 3:45 in Room 407 De La Salle. "We wanted students to have a place to express their feelings in the aftermath of the World Trade Center attacks," said Charles, "but they can talk about anything they want."