Creating presence vs language struggles

December 1, 2015

 One of the biggest challenges at CU was that some of my students struggle with spoken English and/or do not seem to understand verbal explanations or the written in-class hand-outs. I recently took a workshop entitled “Creating a Presence in the Learning Environment" with Sonia Ritter and the tips I got there allowed me to modify my module delivery. I started speaking more slowly, allowing some time before soliciting answer to my questions, breaking sentences into simpler phrases and avoiding jargon.

I also think it is necessary for students to develop their language skills and so I encourage them to do so whenever working in groups. I also noticed that the teaching material needs to be available before the sessions. Therefore, I always put it Moodle a week before the session and allow students to familiarize themselves with the content and if necessary to translate the unclear parts.

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