ABCD’S Summer ESOL Gardening Class

First Literacy Grants provide flexible funding to Adult Basic Education and English learning programs in Boston. We target innovative projects that are often not supported by traditional funding sources. Our goal is to give educators the resources they need to directly impact adult learners. ABCD‘s Summer ESOL Gardening Class is one example of the innovative projects supported by our grants.

Gardening As A Path To Learning English

ABCD developed a hands-on project after observing that many of their ESOL students had an interest in and experience with gardening, but did not know what plants grew in Boston and in many cases did not have enough room to garden.

“We experienced a disconnect when we brought our conversation class to City Natives for a tour. The students spent an hour and a half comparing plants in their home countries and here, learning the names of edible, medicinal, and decorative plants, and talking about the gardens that they had at home. They were excited about the topic and this engagement helped them to interact with our tour guide almost entirely in English.” – ABCD ESOL teacher

The gardening class was created as a way to use the students’ interest in the topic to strengthen their English vocabulary, speaking, listening, reading and writing skills. Projects include:

  • listening to and sharing a weather report
  • reading seed packet instructions
  • uses for different plants (medicinal, culinary, decorative)
  • filling out an application for a community garden
  • keeping a gardening journal

With few ESOL classes offered over the summer, this class is a great way to keep students engaged and encourages them to continue using their English skills over the summer.

If you have a grant project idea you would like to discuss please contact us.

August 29, 2016

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