How to Use the Curriculum Guide

The whole curriculum is intended to be a living resource, with additions made as instructors discover appropriate new web sites or prepare activities to share. To facilitate such a document, the nine Domains of the curriculum may be printed and kept in separate loose leaf notebooks, allowing sufficient space to include (1) printed copies of the recommended internet materials after each lesson and (2) other additions written or found by users of the materials. Taken together, these curriculum notebooks will function as a primary reference for teachers to use in preparing their individual lessons for any specific class.

The lessons in the Curriculum Guide provide instructors with a range of design elements, from simple to advanced. The lessons are not leveled. In meeting class needs, a teacher may extend one curriculum lesson across several class periods and skim another lesson. Each teacher, knowing the abilities of a particular class, can use and adapt the curriculum lessons as befits those learners.

Flexibility allowing teachers to use the curriculum domains in any order lets instructors address first the most immediate interests of a class. This approach, however, means that instructors must add clearly stated language objectives to the civic living competencies for each lesson. To provide some assistance toward that end, a list of English competencies to be achieved is included later in this Introduction for reference.

Instructors may use any good ESL text as a basis for teaching language competencies. A recommended approach consists of interspersing Skills Drills sessions on specific language topics with Civic Living assignments. To do a Skills Drill class or segment of a class, teachers may use a textbook or website of their choice to teach a chosen language skill. Follow the Skills Drill with Civic Living content by using Curriculum Guide suggestions to reflect the language skill just covered. Resources and suggestions are included in the Guide, but the design and development of an exact plan for each class meeting is open to the expertise and creativity of instructors.

Modifying civic learning for different class competence levels can be done in a variety of ways. Some suggestions are given below:

Above all, remember that limited language ability does not mean limited thinking ability.