Instructor: Michelle Anderson

Mount Hood Community College


Class: ESL 88 A Listening/Speaking—a beginning level class which focuses on improving students’ listening and speaking skills. CASAS SPLs 2-3.


CA Objective: #22 Community Resources-Recreation

1.      Consult newspapers or other media; identify performances to attend and facilities to visit.


Resources and Materials Used

Oregonian newspaper--Arts and Entertainment section (one for each student), poster-sized paper, and colored markers.


CASAS Competencies

0.2.4 Converse about daily and leisure activities and personal interests

1.2.1 Interpret advertisements, labels, charts, and price tags in selecting goods and services

2.6.1 Interpret information about recreational and entertainment facilities and activities
2.6.2 Locate information in TV, movie, and other recreational listings
2.6.3 Interpret information in order to plan for outings and vacations

7.2.1 Identify and paraphrase pertinent information



  1. Consult newspaper and identify performances to attend or facilities to visit.
  2. Properly use newspaper index to narrow search, skim and scan for information.
  3. Find hours of operation, location, and cost of activities.
  4. Give an oral presentation about one possible activity to the class and identify opportunities for practicing English outside the classroom.
  5. Respond appropriately and ask questions of other students about their presentations.



 I gave each student a copy of Friday’s Oregonian. We sat in a circle and talked in turn about newspapers that we read and similarities between newspapers we know about and The Oregonian. We talked about the kinds of things one finds in a paper, and specifically how we can use the paper to find out about opportunities to practice English in the community. We identified the Index, and found the Arts and Entertainment section. We found the A&E index inside the front page, and students told each other which parts of the A&E they were most interested in. I then asked the students to turn to the movie listings and skim for theaters that were playing the movie “300” featured on the front of the A&E section.

 Next I gave students time to read and scan the paper for an activity that interested them. I asked them to identify what the activity was, when it started, how often it happened, where it was located, how much it cost, who might enjoy it, and how we could practice English there. I gave each student a large piece of white paper and told the students that during the last part of class, we would present posters that we made for our chosen activities.

Students became engrossed in their papers, and a few asked questions about vocabulary in advertisements and listings. They seemed to really enjoy exploring the paper, and all the students successfully found activities that interested them. The posters they came up with were surprisingly well-crafted, colorful, and used relevant vocabulary from the paper. I had time to talk to each student and help with pronunciation and phrasing to prepare for giving a presentation. I allowed about 3 minutes per student for presentation, but because many of my students’ ability to speak extemporaneously is limited, about half simply read their posters and we had lots of time to ask questions and discuss the possibilities for practicing English at the activity presented.

I feel that we met our objectives, and the lesson was a success because every student was able to participate at his or her own level. There was a mixture of reading, writing, listening, speaking, and even drawing! Students could shine and express themselves using the strengths they possess while still being required to try something new.