Monday, July 2, 2012


i teach advanced english at the local, catholic university here in santiago. it's a nice gig - flexible hours, good pay, air conditioning in the summer.

most of the time i like my students. sometimes i don't.
last semester i had a really excellent group of students and i was surprised by their compassion and thoughtfulness. i never, however, really gave them the chance to go further with some of the themes we'd been talkign about.

so this semester, when i got another amazing group, i wanted them to really use their english in deeper ways. i wanted them to take what we had talked about in class and create something from it.

it's the best thing about being an ESL teacher at this level. i don't teach a "subject" class, but english is just as important in that we have the opportunity to present a new point of view, to deepen conversations in an academic setting that maybe they are having in social settings.

one of the "topics" for this particular level is bullying. honestly, i never really paid too much attention to it, and focused on other parts of the unit that i felt were "more important." and then, i saw bullying really affect the family of a close friend of mine and wanted to get these students into a more meaningful conversation on how to stop it.

we talked. watched videos. read articles. more discussion.
and then i sent them home to "do something with this". really. that's what i told them.
be creative. make something. take this class and use it to send a message.
i received posters and essays and even powerpoint presentations.
and this.

this amazing video from jonathan vila, jesenia moya and dalma nunez.
such talent and insight.


Anonymous said...

Mel ,again LOVE your blogs ,my son ,Jaime's bro was touched by bullying this school year ,we home schooled for the last semester ,the police and school district just brushed everything disappointing...

melanie. said...

He's the reason we did this Elaine. P

Anonymous said...

Congratulation to your student for doing such a nice project.

Thumbs up

Ben from Canada