When we use the repeating technique like she suggests about five times, I think back to when we learned about Recasting. I’m starting to see in my daily practices as well as the Bible studies that recasting is going to help me big time as a future ELL teacher.
After the lesson was done, we offered an alternative Bible study in which we meet the ELL at his/her home to teach them the Word in English if they would prefer that. This meeting can be for any time during the week, preferably what will work best for the ELL. We have found that our students also enjoy this substitute because they feel comfortable in their own home learning something rather than around their peers. Sometimes they even end up inviting friends and relatives to this study and we can help them learn as well! I learned from class and from writing my research paper that students have fears of messing up in front of people their age and they also don’t want to be called out. I’m glad we have this option to implement! I can use something like this when I become a teacher, such as providing feedback individually or meeting them for a tutoring session. As the students leave, we have a table set up by the door that has free materials for them to take home so they can continue their practices. Lastly, we conclude our meetings by asking for specific prayer requests from the ELLs. As our students’ needs become known, our church is able to hear them and start taking actions by whatever means. We were able to help one family out with signing a lease for an apartment because they didn’t know what they were signing for exactly, since it was still difficult to read English.
After completing a couple of Bible studies, I have noticed that the students begin to improve in many ways socially, too. Their English is improving, they are making friendships, and they are learning and making connections with real stories. I have also loved the relationships I have made with these students and look forward to the future relationships I will make as I continue to volunteer! Overall, this is experience is super unique and special. We had one student’s mom communicate to us through an email that she is very grateful that we are doing something like this for young ELLs. She had always wondered why we would spend our Friday nights helping someone for free when we could be home relaxing and spending time with our friends and family. Hearing her say that was life changing and eye opening. It really goes to show that we have been making an impact for our young students. All I could think about as a response for her is that we are doing it out of love because Jesus loves them and we do too.