Ten Ways to Grow Democracy
in the ESL Classroom
Lee Chen
Palomar College
CATESL 2008 State Conference
Presentation
They Said What About
Democracy?
Johnny Carson:
Democracy means that anyone can grow up to
be president, and anyone who doesn't grow up
can be _____________.
Clement Attlee:
Democracy means government by discussion,
but it is only effective if you can stop people
______________.”
They Said What About
Democracy?
Edward Abbey:
Democracy--rule by the people--sounds
like a fine thing; we should try it sometime
in ______________.
Serious Points to Ponder
George Washington:
If the freedom of speech is taken away,
then dumb and silent we may be led, like
sheep, to the slaughter.
Serious Points to Ponder
Franklin Roosevelt:
If democracy is to survive, it is the task of
men of thoughts, as well as men of action,
to put aside pride and prejudice; with
courage and single-minded devotion—to
find the truth and teach the truth that shall
keep men free.
What does it mean to grow
democracy in the classroom?
Look for content that teaches about
democracy and deliver instruction on it
whenever possible
Allow the students to experience the
democratic ways
Ten ways to impart democratic
principles on a daily basis
1. Let students jump start the class
A question for the teacher
One-minute motivator
Language-related class opener
Brain tease
Ten ways to impart democratic
principles on a daily basis
2. Let students teach/explain back
3-step coaching
You say; you do
You say; they do
They say; they do
Cartoon recreation
Notice grammar in the newspaper, etc.
Ten ways to impart democratic
principles on a daily basis
3. Let students come up with authentic
teaching materials
Topics for discussions
Student work as text
Community Teaching Method
Ten ways to impart democratic
principles on a daily basis
4. Let students help each other
Paragraph peer review
Audience feedback on team presentations
Discussion board
Student mentors
Ten ways to impart democratic
principles on a daily basis
5. Let students manage themselves
Daily class management jobs
Classroom rules
“Round robin” reading
Ten ways to impart democratic
principles on a daily basis
6. Let students vote
Student of the week
Day or location of tests
Reading selections
Ten ways to impart democratic
principles on a daily basis
7. Let students participate in and represent
their teams
Team projects
Daily team jobs
Radio frequency clickers
Cross-word puzzle solving
Grammar review workout
Ten ways to impart democratic
principles on a daily basis
8. Let students show off
Student paper showcase
Computer station swaps
“Did you know…?”
Ten ways to impart democratic
principles on a daily basis
9. Let students speak their mind
One-minute feedback on the day’s class
Opinion polls on course-related issues
www.getfast.ca
Anonymous discussion board
Exercises for thinking independently,
critically, or creatively
Ten ways to impart democratic
principles on a daily basis
10. Let students share their insights and
experiences with the world
Weblog
“Voices of ESL”
Pedagogy of the Oppressed
Paolo Freire:
The teacher is no longer the only one who
teaches. The students, while being taught,
also teach. They become jointly
responsible for a process in which all
grow.
Democratic Ways in a Classroom
share control in class
build a community spirit
are pedagogically sound
create a dynamic environment
value and validate student voices
develop greater student-centrality
bring out humans’ cooperative nature
Democratic Ways in a Classroom
produce self-managed, independent learners
serve the students well and create raving fans
enhance a more collaborative approach to
language teaching
change the teacher mentality of having to dictate
everything in class
engage and empower the students as active
partners in the instructional process
Democratic Ways in a Classroom
teach the students to have a say and take
a stake in their immediate classes—and,
hopefully, in their outside community as
well—with the rights and responsibilities of
citizenship in a democracy
Thanks!
Presenter Contact Information:
Lee Chen
Associate Professor
ESL Dept.
Palomar College
[email protected]
http://daphne.palomar.edu/lchen/
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Ten Ways to Grow Democracy in the ESL Classroom