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Get Psyched for ESL Student Life Stories from Boston!

A snapshot of today: a Saudi Arabian student was peer editing an article with her Chinese classmate, nodding intently. A grinning Colombian was conferencing about grammar with a classmate from Japan. And at a computer, Cho from Korea was writing a response to my Ghanaian former student Harry’s article: “School Far From Family.”

Their life story articles are wonderful!

Cho left the following message for Harry, which Harry will receive all the way across the ocean in West Africa:

“Hello, Harry. I have almost same situation with you. I am learning English in the U.S. and I am far away from my family in Korea… so I know your feeling. I am inspired from you because I do not speak English very well, and so far I have not done my best at studying.

I know you have an even more difficult situation than me, however, you work so hard and you are learning. I respect you and I will challenge myself again to achieve my goals.”

And this is why being a teacher in our global world is AWESOME. International, electronically-enhanced coursework weaves together young scholars from Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and America into a joyful, lovingly connected, epiphany-filled tapestry of learning that could never have been imagined, let alone possible, a few decades ago!

Museum of Science
Saudi Arabia + Colombia + Giant Whale Poster in Boston

Since I arrived back in Boston after nine months traveling around the world, I have been teaching English as a Second Language at The Language Company of Boston. In short, I’m teaching ESL at TLC in the USA.

It has been an utter delight to teach these worldly, kind, wonderful adults and young adults, and I have been learning tons… including all the English grammar that my hippie high school failed to teach me.

Now, a major impetus for accepting this job was that TLC encouraged me to do the same Student Life Story Project with these wonderful ESL students as I did a few months ago at Youth Creating Change of Ghana! Side note: If you haven’t already browsed and left comments on the Ghana Student Life Stories, please do. They are a fascinating slice of life of what it’s like to grow up in a peaceful small town in West Africa… and they feature some great photos.

At this point you should be vibrating with so much excitement about the ESL student articles we are writing that your pants may have fallen off. Here’s a teaser of articles you can find at that link:

Boston Science Museum
The Museum of Science’s dinosaur is excited to read the articles!

– Watching “Grey’s Anatomy” in Saudi Arabia

– A shocking family realization in Colombia

– Opening a gallery in Jeddah for female artists

– Playing 20 straight hours of video games in China

– Shooting birds in an Arabian desert

– Being the “Caretaker” of an American football team in Japan

…and many more. See all the ESL student memoir mentor texts here!

Stay tuned, get your comment-leaving muscles in shape, and spread the word! Oh, and if you’re a teacher who wants to dive into this project, too, the full Life Stories Project unit plan is at this link here!


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Friday 2nd of July 2010

What an awesome project! I look forward to reading your students' stories. Um...I'm going to try not to tremble so much that my kilt comes off, though. ;)

Oh, and tell Cho that the English in the message to Harry is better than most of what I hear spoken by the native English speakers around me every day (I literally just overheard someone say "droven"). And I have now edited this message three times for grammar. :)


Friday 2nd of July 2010

I'm looking forward to reading all of these! As a traveller I enjoy sharing my stories and love reading about other people's as well. It's a great way to learn and generate ideas about where I'll go next!

What a great project! Thank you!


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