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It’s been so long I must have gotten lost

November 2, 2007

It is past the midterm of the semester.  I have struggled this semester since I took on a new course out of necessity, an upper intermediate ESL reading class.  The existing materials are overhead transparencies, so I have been putting together PowerPoint files for the different chapters.  Put this into the mix with a heavy dose of filming my students in two communication classes, and teaching a writing class with little help from the textbook, plus a load of administrative duties, and I sometimes feel like the approximate title of a book I used to notice on bookshelves in the sixties and seventies “I’m so far down it looks like up to me.”

I teach in a program that is part of the developmental program at our community college.  This puts me into contact with development textbooks.  In fact we use developmental books instead of ESL books for several classes.  I like them better.  I know there are outstanding ESL textbook writers, but I don’t find much we can use in reading and writing.  What we are doing seems to be outside the ken of ESL publishers or their ESL departments.  The developmental writing books we use or plan to use separate grammar and writing which I like because it allows me to match student needs to grammar topics instead of having them integrated into a writing chapter.


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