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Posted by on Nov 25, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Immigration Reform: The Growing Improvement In Adult Education Classes In ESOL

Immigration reform is being delayed by political differences on how it should be implemented. One area of agreement is that undocumented immigrants seeking legal status should learn English.

The Past State of ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) Classes

ESOL classes for adult learners were insufficient for the number of learners who wished to learn English. Government funding for ESOL education was predominately directed toward education for immigrant children. Adults who wished to attend ESOL classes faced many hurdles which included:

  • Lack of available classes. There were not enough ESOL classes to meet the demand.
  • Instructors not trained in ESOL instruction. Since there were few full-time job opportunities in teaching ESOL in adult education, graduates with ESOL training gravitated toward K-12 education, where job opportunities were more plentiful.
  • Multi-level classes. The limited availability of classes forced adult education centers to teach learners with vastly different English skill levels in the same class. 
  • Class times and locations. Undocumented immigrants with limited or no English skills must often work long hours at low paying jobs to get by, leaving limited time to attend English classes. Travel to adult education centers that were not accessible by public transportation was difficult.

The Current Improvements In Adult ESOL Classes

As adult education centers struggle valiantly to meet the ever increasing demand for English instruction, funding must be increased to help them to achieve their goals. Even with limited funding, adult education centers have found ways to improve ESOL instruction for adult learners. These include:

  • More classes with times and locations that are convenient for adult learners.
  • More instructors trained in ESOL education. As the need grows, more potential teachers are majoring in ESOL instruction to teach an adult education center after graduation. .
  • Classes that are specifically focused on beginning or advanced English learners, rather than mixed level classes.
  • Bilingual classes that enable learners to bridge the gap between their native languages and English. 
  • Classes that are geared toward spoken English, which allow new immigrants to learn English as well as survival skills in a new country. Spoken English classes immerse the learners in the language through the use of practical words and phrases that they will encounter outside the classroom.
  • Classes that focus on written English, for immigrants that wish to study other subjects.

Adult learners want to learn English in order to assimilate into mainstream society. They want to pursue the American dream of providing a better future for their children. Adult education centers assist them in becoming productive citizens, and English is the key to open the door to all the opportunities available in America.

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Posted by on Nov 24, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

3 Characteristics That Make A Good Dance Teacher

Taking dance classes is a great way to improve your coordination, flexibility and keep you fit. Many people learn to love dance, and strive to become the best dancer possible. Part of becoming a good dancer is finding a great teacher. Here are 3 characteristics of a great dance instructor.

1. Is A Skilled Dancer

A great teacher also needs to be a good dancer. The teacher shouldn’t be asking the students to do something that they cannot do themselves. Before you hire a dance teacher it is important that you know their credentials. Usually the studio will provide some sort of biography about the dancer to let you know what qualifies them to teach.

If you are taking private lessons, where the teacher is not affiliated with a studio like Absolute Ballroom Company, you should ask for references and past accomplishments. This will help you to get a better idea of where the person has trained, awards they have won, and anything else that might help you know that they are skilled at what they do.

2. The Teacher Observes Classes

Even though the teacher could dance right along with the students, a really good teacher chooses to observe the class. This is because the class should be about helping you to succeed, rather than showing their skills. If you have already established that the teacher is skilled at dancing, then the classes should be full of observation. This way the teacher can catch things that you are doing incorrectly and address them immediately.

Observing also helps the teacher understand the level and needs of all of their students. By observing the class the teacher will know if you need more barre time, more choreography, or more focus on technique.   

3. Is Strict But Hopeful

In order to really excel at dance, you need a teacher who is not afraid to correct mistakes and expect excellence. This requires the teacher to be strict. Dance is all about appearance, the lines of the body, and technique. If you are not corrected right away, you might create bad habits that follow you for life, and compromise your ability to really excel.

Thus, a teacher should expect excellence from their students, but still be encouraging. You should walk away from your classes feeling hopeful, even if you were criticized. If a teacher is too strict without giving proper encouragement, there is a greater chance that the student will give up.

These are just three characteristics that make a good dance teacher. 

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