We hope you had a very happy 3 Day Weekend to those of you celebrating Labor Day stateside...and to everyone else, Happy September! So many new and exciting goings on here at Bilingual Learner this month, that we don't even know quite where to begin! Since it is September and the beginning of a new school year for many of you, we will share our latest best practice ESL/EFL teaching strategy that you can use to kick off your classes. On the counseling front, we have lots of great resources and techniques to share about individual counseling (finally!). So, let's get this party started, but first a few noticias:
- As always, we've included a lot of blue links as helpful resources- just click on them and we'll take you right to an article, video, or product you can use! Some of the links access our free downloadables through Google Docs- please leave a comment below and we'll send you access to the Goog Doc straightaway!
- We are super excited to announce that we just put up the first chapter of ESL for Beginners Vol.3 Lessons Guide and Cope Into Hope Grief Counseling Guide for FREE download @ http://bilinguallearner.com/. Head on over and get your free download today! Also, look for the free first chapters of The Complete ESL for Beginners Lessons Guide AND Girl World Group Counseling Sessions Guide coming soon!
- Our newest teaching guide, The Complete ESL for Beginners Lessons Guide just went up on our website yesterday- it is huge (60 lesson plans!), it is gorgeous, and it is ready for download @ http://bilinguallearner.com/Products. More on this with some free downloadables from this guide below...
While writing our latest teaching guide over the summer, we came across some very cool, very cutting edge ESL/EFL techniques. We thought we'd highlight one of them here in this post and provide a link so you can start using it with your own students! Last May, while researching new activities for our lessons, we found this Busyteacher.org article on using listening activities with adult learners in ESL classes. After reading tip four in this article, we were inspired to develop a few new games of our own, specifically geared towards adult learners who need games that are more intellectually stimulating and challenging. Incidentally, these games are perfectly appropriate for young learners as well. Click on this link for some of the ESL/EFL vocab games we created! You can also find them our newest lessons guide, The Complete ESL for Beginners!
And a few other ESL/EFL goodies that we found while researching our latest lessons guide:
- Playing Games with Adult Learners
- Reinforcing the "Th" sound
- Learning English as an adult
- And just in case you wanted to know... what students say @ What Makes a Great Teacher?
And, in honor of the three day weekend us American teachers are celebrating, here's some advice for Monday morning....
And just so you boys out there don't feel left out...here's one for you!
Now switching gears here to talk a bit about counseling resources, we'd like to first start by showing our #reachhigher photo of Counselor Stephanie. Her reach higher goal (which is very hard to see in the photo, unfortunately) is, "My #reachhigher goal is to help my chronically failing 8th graders pass their classes." Reach Higher is the First Lady's initiative that encourages young people to complete their education & own their future. School counselors have a special stake in this which we are showing through pics like these. Check out #SCCrowd to see other counselor goals and initiatives!
So! Onto individual counseling...if you are in the counseling profession, you undoubtedly have had some experience with individual sessions. For new counselors, there are so many questions running through our heads- How often? What do we talk about? How to get the kiddo to open up? How many sessions? How to handle breakdowns? and so on and so on. Let us preface all this by saying that here at Bilingual Learner, we are very partial to goal focused counseling because our time (like so many PSCs nowadays) in working with students is super limited due huge caseloads. Therefore, we try to accomplish a lot in about 4 sessions or less, meeting with the student at a set, scheduled time every 2 weeks (just answered the How often? and How many? questions). For some other answers and helpful tips on effective goal focused individual counseling, read on below:
- Start with some ice breaker activities if you don't know the student well. Have these ice breakers lead into determining what goal the student (and you) want to accomplish in your time together. Here's a link to a good ice breaker if you need one.
- After deciding on a goal with the student, write it down together (index cards work great here) and make photocopies, so (if you are in a school setting) you can send it to them weekly or (if you are in a non-school setting) you can give the student/client a copy each time you meet with them. This weekly goal reminder is crucial is helping the student/client to remember, revise, and achieve their goal.
- If you have an unresponsive student/client, try one of the many engaging board games to get them to open up a bit. Our personal fav is The Talking, Feeling, and Doing Game. This same strategy works really well in getting students/clients calmed after a breakdown.
- If you work in a school setting (or even if you don't), its really helpful to get feedback from teachers as they spend the majority of the day with your student/client. Additionally, if the student is referred to you by a teacher, we find that it really builds teacher-counselor rapport if you send the teacher a general followup note after your meeting with the student. Here's a link to the teacher feedback form we use.
Obviously, with individual counseling, the ideas above are just the tip of the iceberg. If you need more resources, check out our individual counseling sessions guide, Where There's a Goal, There's a Way (or ¡Gol! if you need the Spanish bilingual version) which you can find at this link.
So, that's it for our September post. Hope to see you back here the first Saturday in October! Since we will have wrapped up our first month of 2014-15 teaching and counseling by then, our October post will detail our first month adventures. Lots of pics and resources coming about getting back into the swing of things. Please leave a comment about your individual counseling experiences or favorite ESL/EFL teaching technique. Let's all share the wealth! Remember, just click on the blue links above and we'll take you right to an article, video, or product you can use (after you leave a comment, of course;) In the meantime, you can find out about our latest promotions, free stuff, or our counseling/ESL adventures by following us on our Facebook Page or Twitter Page.