ICAL's English and ESOL Course Summaries
Level 1Me and My Neighborhood (Novice Low)
The first course of the series takes students on an adventure discovering their own neighborhoods while they learn the basic 10 content categories in the context of familiar places and things.
The basic 10 content categories are colors, basic objects, clothing, telling time, year, numerical dates, months, weekdays, weather and family members. Students are introduced to and explore these concepts in the context of themselves and their environment.
First, students delve into activities about themselves – establishing a classroom persona, learning names, professions, body parts, likes and dislikes, social greetings, emotions, clothing, actions, weather etc in real life situations. Simultaneously, students are introduced to simple texts, grammar and language constructs, all embedded within the theme and seamless to the students.
Then the theme expands to family and friends where students learn the basic 10 content categories in a different yet familiar context, in different modalities and using all learning styles. New skills such as telling time, following more complex commands, using additional language structures such as descriptive adjectives, prepositions, rhyming, and questioning are acquired naturally through the extension of the theme.
Going a step beyond their immediate selves and family, students then explore everyday things, again working through the basic 10 content categories at a deeper level. With each unit, more and more language structures and grammatical features are introduced but subtly embedded in the theme so that students naturally acquire the language.
By the second half of the course, students are ready to broaden their horizons and take explorations of their own neighborhoods. By then, students plan for a trip and they visit major English speaking places around the world: New York, London, Sydney and Atlanta. Again, the basic 10 content categories are revisited but within the cultural context of these places. On the surface, it may appear to be a lesson in social studies to visit London, but the activities include math (maps, money, time and transport), English grammar (commands, social greetings, superlatives, question and answer constructs, functional dialogs, contractions), language arts (emotions, countries, cities, shopping, personal interests, transportation) and expressive arts (songs, art, drama).
This course concludes with extensive student reviews of their experiences and goal setting for future endeavors.