Wednesday, December 06, 2006

WHAT DOES YOUR ESL PROGRAM DO FOR CHRISTMAS?

Season's Greetings!

We've received some wonderful ESL Christmas ideas. THANK YOU TO ALL THOSE WHO RESPONDED!! Make sure you read over all the great ideas to see how various churches are celebrating with their ESL learners. We are still in need of more ideas so hurry to send them in. We want to share even more of those great Christmas ideas!!

Here’s what Foothills Alliance Church is doing:
(thank you Patti Love, Pastor of Intercultural Ministries for submitting this)

Each class is holding its own Christmas celebration, depending on the sense of community that has developed in that class over this semester.
For example, one of the classes is holding a potluck supper at the home of the teacher.
Another class is having a potluck lunch on their last day of class.
Another ESL class is having a party in class with Christmas baking and an explanation of popular Christmas traditions.
A fourth ESL class is having a traditional turkey dinner the week before Christmas in the home of one of the teachers.

All the learners in ESL classes have been invited to attend the church Christmas Drama production. Free tickets have been brought to the classrooms for distribution. As well, an ESL-sensitive summary of the story line of the Christmas Drama has been written and distributed, including a scene-by-scene description of the story development.
The ESL class members have been encouraged to view the Christmas Drama as a large listening comprehension exercise.
Next year we hope to plan an after-production dessert party to assist in debriefing the ESL attenders of the Christmas Drama production..

A special class called "Christmas in Canada" has been planned for two Sundays early in December. This class has been advertised in the community as an informative time that will include questions and answers about common Christmas traditions, a presentation about the historical origins of Christmas, explanation and singing of Christmas Carols, and a social time including traditional Christmas desserts and beverages. Community immigrants who choose to attend one or both of these classes will be invited to begin attending the same class in January when a series of classes has been planned around the life of Jesus.

And another church in the Calgary area writes:

For Christmas this year, we have rented a bus and have invited all ESL students, teachers and helpers and their families to meet at our church at 6:30PM on December 15/06 to take a tour of Christmas lights in Calgary and Airdrie (wherever the tour takes us). We will come back to the church at 9:30PM for hot chocolate, Christmas cookies and have a Christmas carol sing.

From others...

We have planned a Christmas party at a teacher's house. At that time we have a potluck dinner, and do one ice-breaker such as 'Find someone who..." or a Christmas scavenger hunt where people go through the house and find 'a star', 'an angel', a 'nativity scene', etc. We give out little prizes for those who finish. After eating we will sing Christmas carols around the piano and give small gifts such as bibles in the person's first language, or CDs of Christian music, or writing paper with a Christmas theme.

We have planned to celebrate Christmas for two weeks this December. On our first class ESL learners will study and discuss passages from Luke 2 and Matthew 2. After the discussion learners will sing Silent Night. On the second class we’ve planned to discuss Christmas symbols by bringing visuals and objects to class. Afterwards we will enjoy desserts and hot chocolate and sing Christmas carols.

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