Welcome to this series of videos to help you prepare for your time in the Kalahari. My name is Paul Shoebottom and I have over 25 years of experience teaching ESL students at Frankfurt International School. The reason that you have been asked to watch these videos is because you too will be working with ESL students as a teacher in the Kalahari classroom.
Although you will only be there for a limited period, you can play your own small part in helping the Kalahari students achieve academic success and thereby make better lives for themselves and their families. But in order to maximize the benefits that the Kalahari students get from your teaching, it is necessary for you to know some of the most important things that successful teachers of ESL students know and do. And that is the purpose of these videos.
Before we discuss ESL teaching strategies, it is helpful to have a look at this table contrasting the situation of ESL students at FIS with that of students in the Kalahari. Just a couple of things to note before we do so, however. Firstly, the points on this chart are generalizations. It is certainly generally true that both FIS ESL students and Kalahari ESL students are highly motivated to learn, but it does not apply to all of them. Similarly, not all FIS ESL students have wealthy parents or come from an intact family. But for the most part, what you see here is true. And secondly, I will not discuss everything shown here, so you will need to stop the video if you want to read all the differences.
I think the general point is that FIS ESL students have all the advantages, such as well-qualified teachers and access to all resources and technologies; whereas, on the other hand, Kalahari students are at a disadvantage. For example, because they are in classes too large to get much individual help from their teachers, and their parents are unable for various reasons to fully support their education.
What this means in practice is that you need to have realistic expectations of the Kalahari students you will teach. Some of them may come to class tired, hungry or worried; they may have very little English, and they may not have experienced much academic success or support for their studies. All this means they will need a little patience while they get comfortable with you being their teacher-helper.
Ok, here you see an overview of the main content of the remaining videos in this course. Firstly, we are going to take a look at what makes for a good teacher of ESL students like those you will be working with in the Kalahari. And then we will be focusing on aspects of the English language that are difficult for ESL students, and finally on what you can do to maximise the chances that the Kalahari students will learn from you.