Field trips are integral to education, and they can be especially meaningful for English language learners! Visiting a new place and learning in an immersive environment can be a great way to learn and practice English. Check out a few meaningful tips to make field trips meaningful for English language learner students:
- Do Your Research
It’s important to do research beforehand – both about the destination of the trip, as well as any potential challenges you may face with your students. Having this information ahead of time can help you prepare more adequately for the trip and ensure that everyone has a safe and successful experience.
- Build Some Background to Prepare Your Students
Be sure to plan ahead so that your students know what to expect on the trip. Give them enough time to get comfortable with the itinerary and activities that will take place during the field trip. Provide lessons that include maps, new vocabulary, and discussion questions ahead of time so that your students have an opportunity to process what they’ll experience at the destination site (without giving away every fun surprise, of course). This will also help your students feel more prepared and confident when they arrive at their destination.
- Create Opportunities for Engagement
Once you and your students arrive, create opportunities for engagement and exploration. Encourage your English language learner students to ask questions, interact with staff and tour guides, and to really take advantage of exploring this new place that they wouldn’t normally have a chance to experience in their day-to-day lives! Additionally, if possible, create group activities or tasks where students must work together in order to complete something successfully – all while using English! This will give them additional chances to practice their speaking skills in a fun and immersive setting outside of the normal classroom routine.
Field trips can provide invaluable learning experiences for ELLs – providing opportunities to learn outside of the classroom, explore new places, ask questions, engage with others, practice their English-speaking skills, and ultimately become better communicators in real-world settings! With careful planning and preparation before the trip itself – as well as plenty of opportunities for engagement once onsite – you have the power to make YOUR class’s upcoming field trip truly impactful.
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