We know that, to truly meet our students’ diverse needs, we often need to pull multiple curricula and resources into the classroom. However, this can be a tricky task to accomplish. Today we wanted to spend a little time discussing how to use English Forward alongside other classroom resources.
When Justin DeBrosse, Director of Instructional Quality, first started working at the Literacy Coalition, he felt it was important to teach using the English Forward curriculum since he would be considered the expert on the entire English Forward Training System, curriculum included, and he needed firsthand experience to really know how it worked in the classroom. He taught at a local nonprofit as part of a small team of instructors, and in his class they used English Forward alongside Ventures, a popular traditional ESL curriculum. What the team decided to do was to use Ventures as the text that guided the content of the class and English Forward lessons were used to complement the content being taught in Ventures. For example, during a Ventures unit on Jobs and Careers, Justin taught the English Forward unit on English for Work. The English Forward lessons do not have to be taught in sequence, and so Justin was able to pull the lesson that was most relevant to the content being covered in Ventures in each class. Justin also brought in Timely Lessons that were relevant to the fall, which was when the class was being held. Justin taught Timely Lessons on Fall Vegetables, Thanksgiving, Daylight Saving Time, and New Year’s Day.
The flexibility of the English Forward curriculum allows it to be integrated with almost any other curriculum that may be used in class. For Justin and his students, it was a great opportunity to take what they learned in Ventures and apply it in a new way that was closer to how language is used in real life (i.e. not just following along in a textbook).