Hillcroft LRC

Posts Tagged ‘esol

It’s easy to think that it’s other people who are the movers and shakers, those who change history and the world. Yet one way we are all agents of change and creativity is in our use of language. According to David Crystal in a blog post Speaking Shakespeare Today:

Conversation is “unpredictable in its subject-matter, and keeps us on our toes. It is unpredictable in its participation: in a group we never quite know who is going to talk next. It is interactive, and therefore unpredictable in the reactions we encounter. It requires us to read between the lines, as people bring their individual backgrounds, presuppositions, and assumptions to bear.”

We could all learn a thing or two about communicating using better presentation skills and interesting words. We could take David’s suggestion and look at what Shakespeare does with words – such as turning a noun into a verb like I did with this blog post title. Tips straight from the Southwark wordsmith.

If you are interested in linguistics and language we have a number of books in the reference collection including the fascinating: From bonbon to cha-cha: Oxford dictionary of foreign words and phrases.

 

 

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Baby at the Beach Cafe by Lucy DiamondWe decided to run our World Book Night on Friday 29 April so we could maximise the attendance of our Next Level learners although officially World Book Night is 23 April.

This year we were giving out copies of Lucy Diamond’s Baby at the Beach Cafe which is one of the 2016 Quick Reads based around the main character Evie who has inherited a cafe from her aunt in Cornwall (in a previous Lucy Diamond novel called The Beach Cafe)and is now expecting a baby and needs a maternity leave stand in to cover her absence. Her husband finds Helen who has escaped from the stresses of city life. But unfortunately the two women do not get on.

As a result all of activities and display were around the beach themes. Our LRC Assistant Debbie selected poems with a sea theme to inspire the Next Level learners and other attendees from Pre Access, English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL): Preparation for Work, Access to Higher Education: Humanities and Social Sciences and Access to Higher Education: Health and Human Sciences to write their own poems. Our LRC Facilitator Philippa made a beach-themed banner and we had a games table going so the participants could go around the tables:

  • making their own sunglasses
  • doing a word search
  • putting sections from three different stories together  from a Quick Read and graded readers (Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson and Clare West, Tinker’s Island by Stephen Rabley and Michael Salter and A Sea Change by Veronica Henry)
  • working out which photo of a beach taken from Britannica ImageQuest matched the pins on a world map
  • identifying famous beaches from around the United Kingdom on an interactive map of the British Isles.

Debbie also made a lucky dip sand box with free prizes.

The refreshments followed the beach theme with popcorn,  savoury fish-shaped snacks and ice pops!

Many thanks to the students from Next Level and the tutors who gave us feedback requesting more events like this during the year! Read more about our activities and what our students thought on our Sway.

 

ESOL Summer school artworkThis week has been the ESOL summer school. We used iPads to explore art apps on Monday. These apps are:

We had some wonderful student presentations comparing two pieces of artwork through browsing the apps for striking images. The advantage of these apps is that you don’t need to create an account to browse artwork. You can mark your favourite pictures with a heart (Wikiart) or a star (Landscape Art). You can also download pictures from the Landscape Art app to the iPad. What’s more, they are both free! Wikiart is related to Wikipedia so you can find out more about artists from around the world.

On Wednesday was a trip to London, ESOL students were tour guides to iconic buildings such as Westminster Abbey, the Houses of Parliament, the London Eye, Trafalgar Square and St. James’ Park. We learnt a lot and everyone enjoyed the freedom to roam. The videos from the trip can be found on the ‘video’ section on Office 365.

Two students using Kindles with their course tutorThis week we were delighted to receive our certificates for our entries that came 2nd and 3rd in the Council for Learning Resources in Colleges (CoLRiC) Best Practice Awards. An extra surprise was the fact that our entry into the Reader Development category had come out Highly Commended. This entry Kickstart the Six Book Challenge with Ebooks looked at how we’ve been getting students and teaching staff using Kindle ebooks which included Quick Reads and graded readers with Future Proof and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) learners.

Future Proof students have been reading the 2015 Quick Read Street Cat Bob. Whereas ESOL students have been reading:

Tales of the Supernatural
The Fruitcake Special and Other Stories
Sherlock Holmes Short Stories
One Way Ticket Short Stories

We’ve just been look at Whispercast which Amazon have running currently in the United States allowing schools, colleges, universities and workplaces to get Kindle books includes etextbooks and lend them out to pupils, students and staff on any device. Having had a look on the UK site it’s not here yet but no doubt it’ll be a future development

Jane Eyre Graphic Novel

Jane Eyre – graphic novel adapted by Amy Corzine

A new acquisition for the LRC is Jane Eyre, a classic of English literature by Charlotte Brontë. This book can be a daunting prospect to read. The Penguin paperback edition has over 500 pages. However, this edition is adapted as a graphic novel.

Graphic novels are closely linked with comic books with the story mainly told in pictures. Unlike comic books, graphic novels tell the story in one volume rather than over separate issues. Don’t just think they about superheros either! They cover all genres of fiction and non-fiction. Many graphic novels have serious, adult themes such as war, love and belonging. They can be sophisticated and engrossing as they bring together two artistic forms – illustration and writing.

Graphic novels can be more a accessible format especially for visual learners. It can be a good medium for those people who don’t like reading but want to be immersed in a story. The artwork kick-starts the imagination and helps you engage with times, characters and places far away from your everyday experience. It can make a nice change to read something less dense in words, particularly for ESOL learners (English for Speakers of Other Languages).

It takes some adjustment to read a graphic novel, but the basic principle is the same as all books: left to right and from the top to bottom of the page.

One of the most widely-known graphic novels is Marjane Satrapi’s autobiography Persepolis which tells her story of growing up in Iran and emigrating to France. This has been made into a film too. Either the book or DVD forms you can borrow from the LRC.

We also have a number of other graphic novels available for example:

  • Fables: Rose Red – tells the story of Snow White’s sister but it is not the fairy tale as you might be familiar with.
  • Adamtine – a horror story involving a group of strangers who vanish on a train journey.

Please tell us what you think of graphic novels by email, in person or leave us a comment below. We are hoping to start a shelf to promote graphic novels. Which adapted books would you like the LRC to add to our graphic novel shelf?

LLinoit Natural Remedies by Debbie Greenast week the Learning Resources team worked with tutors on the English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Summer School. As well as signing up students to use the graded readers over their course the LRC Assistant used Linoit to get the students to research herbs and spices they might use in a recipe or as an alternative remedy as part of their course. As well as exploring words that described them they also discovered where and how they grew.

Linoit enables you to share photos and sticky notes for free. And you can download it onto a tablet, PC or smartphone.

Our LRC Assistant Debbie Green discovered Linoit at Martin Compton’s presentation Less Teaching and More Learning at Efactor 2014 It’s All About Learning and Teaching organised by RSC London. Having successfully used Blendspace with another one of courses Debbie decided to try out Linoit and linked it into the ESOL Summer School course page on the Virtual Learning Environment. Take a look at Debbie’s effort on her ESOL Natural Remedies 2 Linoit. You can see Debbie’s Blendspace one on our previous blogpost Through the Blender. The LRC team increasingly use etechnology and eresources to hone the Information Technology (IT) skills of students and staff.

For a taste of the graded readers the students borrowed during their Summer School view our catalogue search. You’ll find our graded readers begin at starter level and rise to level 6.

 

Six Book Challenge promotional material

Back in October the Learning Resources Centre (LRC) team submitted their work with the literacy and English as a Second and Other Language (ESOL) lead tutors and their learners around literacy and the Six Book Challenge (6BC)  for a Council for Learning Resources in Colleges (CoLRiC) Best Practice Award. This week we heard that CoLRIC had received a large number of LRC entries and we were fortunate enough to gain a Commendation.

The awards were running for the first time  and were open to COLRiC members around the United Kingdom which the team discovered at the Northampton College roadshow. The team had worked with tutors and learners in selecting graded readers and fiction that learners could vote on and suggest which the team then ordered for use as part of the 6BC programme.

The selection was informed from research the team did before the autumn term began visiting London bookshops for graded readers, graphic novels and fiction. The Learning Resources Assistant had created a 6BC scrapbook to help learners on these course understand what type and level of reading could contribute to the six items which 6BC participants could read and review in their reading diaries. Our main focus was to encourage reading and not to put learners off by the level of the material.

Through the challenge the LRC team discussed the reading diary reviews with the learners and found out valuable feedback from them which they could use for future stock selection and how the students rated the material. We introduced stickers to add to the reviews to encourage learners to take part. The feedback from the learners showed how much the programme boosted their reading and one of the learners enjoyed it so much she bought stickers for the students to place in their diaries.

The team also worked closely with the ESOL learners in looking at themes in the plots and characters in the books.


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