Instructor: Julie Belmore
Columbia Gorge Community College
Hood River Center, Room 316
Time: Mon. and Wed. 8:00 – 11:00 a.m.
Class: Intermediate/ Advanced integrated skills
Civic Objective #10: Community Resources – Directory
1. Make a map of the local neighborhood or city that includes important places in the community.
3. Research important places in the community, the state, and / or the country in order to report on visitor information (i.e., location, fees, hours, services provided, transportation, etc.) and cultural and historical information.
5. Name important places in the community, their locations and the importance of the location or services provided, if applicable.
6. Ask and answer questions about locations and hours of community agencies or other important places in the community.
7. Identify/ name services available at selected community agencies or other important places in the community.
8. Find important places/ community agencies on a map.
Resources and Materials: Internet searches, personal contact with agencies
Class 1: Our first class was a brain-storming session. The students were first asked to think of problems that someone might have in our local community, such as lack of food, a violent spouse, poor housing, etc. We compiled a large list of problems on the whiteboard. Next, if the students or teacher knew the name of a local agency that addressed a particular problem, the agency name was written next to the issue. The teacher also directed the students to websites that had lists of local community non-profit organizations. Each student then chose one problem to conduct some research on. They were to try to find the address, telephone number and hours of operation of a specific local agency, using internet resources. The class moved to the computer lab and the students spent some time searching for this information and making note of the results in their notebooks.
Class 2: The next class, the students were asked to continue their research on the organization they had selected and to start to prepare a presentation to share with their classmates as well as the lower level ESL class at the college
Class 3: On the last day of the quarter, the students made their oral presentations to a combination of the two classes of ESL students. A map of the town was drawn on the whiteboard and each student added the location of their agency to the map. The students conveyed a great deal of information about each of their organizations, going well beyond the required scope of the assignment. Some of them had gone and had a tour of their location or made phone calls, gathering more information. Community resources included the library, the women’s shelter, the food bank, the public health clinic, etc.
Student Response: These students loved the chance to prepare an oral presentation and have a chance to work on their speaking skills to convey important information. They contacted the community agencies on their own, gaining confidence in their ability to interact with the English speakers. Also, the lower level students who came to listen asked appropriate questions and participated in discussion after each presentation. It was a satisfying way to close out the term.
Suggested follow-up: It would be ideal to follow the oral presentation with a class project of creating a simple written hand-out of the information they had gathered. This list of resources could continue to be updated each term and shared with other ESL students who are new to the community.