Hello! I attend a cultural appreciation course once a week to help Chinese students in ninth and tenth grade. They are here for the first time in a class that assists in understand culture in America, in the school, and also helps them understand concepts in their other classes such as writing a paper or incorporating paraphrasing into their research.
I was wondering what experiences people have had with older ESL students. All of the students I’ve been assigned to are tenth grade boys and I sometimes (understandably) find it difficult to capture their attention in class. Our discussions involve sharing cultural experiences and in this regard they seem to want to participate, but otherwise they don’t seem interested.
To an extent, I understand, they have been taught to develop academic papers in a certain way and now they are being told to unlearn everything they know. That can be difficult and sometimes boring, but I want to know if there’s a way that I can make the discussions more engaging.
I was also wondering if anyone has had experiences with ESL students where they have found it difficult to participate in the class due to cultural differences beyond language. I have a hypothesis that my students may not be comfortable working in such close quarters with a woman who is only a bit older than them and who is not their teacher. In general, the girls in the class (there are two of them) don’t associate with the boys (there are six of them).