In this narrative, Margarita Kershner engages her level three ESL class in a
reading, writing, listening and speaking activity. She presents a dialogue exercise
that introduces students to 12 new idioms. During the course of the lesson,
they incorporate the idioms into an essay, work in pairs to write and read their
own dialogues, and identify missing words/phrases in a typed dialogue.


The Sacagawea Lesson

In this lesson, Margarita’s students practice giving and interpreting explicit instructions.

Margarita tries to develop activities that enable learners to “own” the material. In the “Catching Onto Idioms” activity, students work together to construct their own dialogues.

Multilevel Classes
Margarita manages her multilevel classroom by offering students choices. She provides different dictation exercises and invites students to choose the one they want to use.

Margarita says she is constantly evaluating her lessons. She asks students to offer input on classroom activities, and she adjusts future lessons to accommodate these suggestions.

Teacher Roles
Margarita sees herself as cultural liaison; she feels it is her responsibility to acquaint students with American culture as well as teach them language skills. She also feels it is important to let students know that she doesn’t always have the answer. She sees this as an opportunity to “turn the learning process around.”