The Development of Two Units for Basic Training and Resources for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages: Understanding and Adapting in a New Culture and Teaching Culture

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The Development of Two Units for Basic Training and Resources for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages: “Understanding and Adapting in a New Culture” Monty Colver Department of Linguistics and English Language Master of Arts A team of Brigham Young University graduate students working under the supervision of Dr. Lynn Henrichsen, collaborated on the creation of a book as well as a website, Basic Training and Resources for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (BTR-TESOL). The project, which will be developed in phases over the coming years, is intended to provide novice English as a Second Language (ESL) teachers with some introductory material on nearly fifty different topics related to the field. Each unit is not intended to be a comprehensive source and is not to be seen as a replacement for formal training. Rather the units should be used by those who would like formal training, but cannot afford the time or money it requires. With its minimalist, connectivist approach, BTR-TESOL will help them to “get their feet wet” and help them to develop the motivation and dedication needed to teach ESL until such time that they can receive formal instruction of some kind. This master’s project describes the creation of two BTR-TESOL units on culture, titled “Understanding and Adapting in a New Culture” and “Teaching Culture.” The first unit, “Understanding and Adapting in a New Culture,” educates novice teachers about the importance of the differences that one faces when entering a new culture and guides them as they help their students (or themselves) to overcome culture shock. In the second unit, “Teaching Culture,” novice teachers are educated on the importance of culture and are also given sample ideas and activities for teaching culture in a language classroom. Both units include a short introduction to the content, an opening scenario, a video segment related to the theme of each unit as well as reflection questions, objectives, explanatory text, and a section that directs readers to places they can go to learn more about the subject.