Christy Tripp-Arkema – ESL teacher, Byron Center High School and Middle School, Byron Center, MI
Christy is another one of our contest winners who will be traveling to Ecuador this month. Christy describes the value of incorporating international and cultural awareness into her ESL classes. Discussing the impact of poverty on access to education, and how access to education impacts the quality of life for many around the world brings context and meaning to English lessons for these children.
“Because I teach ESL, I have a lot of freedom in what I can teach in my classes. I loved teaching the lessons on poverty and education in my higher-skills ESL class this year because of this essay competition. My students were able to learn so much about poverty around the world, and we all shared stories with each other about the poverty we have seen or experienced throughout our own lives. Next year I want to incorporate the same lessons into that same class (I will have different students), and also into my beginning ESL class. Sharing stories about poverty and education, especially personal stories, is a great way to incorporate speaking and writing into ESL classes. We learned a lot about research as we searched for stories about others who rose out of poverty due to access to education. And the essay-writing process itself was a wonderful teaching tool that helped my students better prepare for writing essays in all of their general education classes.”