Word Processing Skills

Student on Computer

Students need word processing skills. These days, professors at any rate expect essays to be typed. However a lot of ESL programs don’t include typing lessons, let alone word processing skills. And from what I have seen, international students don’t always get it at home. I have seen essays typed up in emails because students didn’t know anything about word processing. And I have seen students literally retype a final draft from scratch because they didn’t know how to save! I was lucky enough to work for a school that had a technology class and a couple of times I ran a typing/word processing lesson. Here are some of the resources I used:

  • Mystery Message teaches students to select, move, delete, cut, copy and paste text.
  • My Thanksgiving Day Word Processing Worksheet is similar but it adds some review questions and it’s adapted for Thanksgiving because I plan to use it in the next couple of weeks.
  • Not a worksheet but just an idea. Do something similar to the Mystery Message but with bolding and italicizing and underlining. Tell students to write a message on the computer and then direct them to bold a certain word, underline another word, change the font of another word, change the font size. Cover centering and right aligning and maybe margins and double spacing so they can learn to format essays.
  • If you don’t have big expensive Word on your computers, you can use this Web Editor with commands to practice and teach. But don’t let your students type essays in that box either!
  • Also, in reference to the expense of Microsoft Office:
    • Remember you can download Open Office for free.
    • Or check if you and your students are eligible for any student discounts. I got Office Student Edition for $40 through my host university!
  • A real basic tutorial on Word Processing functions. I run my students through these functions on the computer so this is a nice take-home reminder!
  • My essay formatting activity. I give students a Model Essay with Rules that I make myself. You can do one for your class. I do warn them that every teacher has their own expectations and I usually add at the bottom my rules about late essays and how they will be graded and so on. I go over the formatting with them and show them how to do it–may with a Mystery Message Activity? Then I give them the  Unformatted Essay and make them transform it to look like the Model Essay.

How do you guys teach word processing?

UPDATE: I totally forgot about my earlier post about the Microsoft Office teaching game, Ribbon Hero 2.

Krashen's Hypotheses

Really nice summary of Krashen’s hypothesis and how to apply them to the classroom in brief. This really shored up my understanding of Krashen’s ideas as they relate to how we teach. Krashen's Hypotheses.

Overall the website looks quite thorough on the topic of applying theory to teaching.

Goal 11: Build a Teacher's Survival Kit

So I’m pretty much only doing the fun ones!

No seriously. This was a good one. Goal 11: Build a Teacher’s Survival Kit. One part of my teacher survival kit I blogged about earlier: A Key Ring of Holding which could be in almost any format. It could be a computer file for that matter. Or your own personal stand-by book.

The other part is all the goodies I keep in my bag. Without further ado, here they are. If I still kept my bag organized, I would have photographed my actual book bag with everything in its little pockets!

My flash drive full of worksheets and lesson plans and audio and video files organized by book and/or grammar point
My flash drive full of worksheets and lesson plans and audio and video files organized by book and/or grammar point
My mini-stapler to staple homework.
My mini-stapler to staple homework.
Blue books or a pad of paper to write stuff down including homework assignments, notes on how to change lesson plans, and things like students who will be absent next time or unanswered questions
Blue books or a pad of paper to write stuff down including homework assignments, notes on how to change lesson plans, and things like students who will be absent next time or unanswered questions
How English Works by Michael Swan and Catherine Walter. Really good and authentic explanations. Good exercises.
How English Works by Michael Swan and Catherine Walter. Really good and authentic explanations. Good exercises.
I only have one index card left but I keep these for flashcards, to put stuff up on walls, for guessing games, notes. I love index cards!
I only have one index card left but I keep these for flashcards, to put stuff up on walls, for guessing games, notes. I love index cards!
Post-it Notes are also great for taking notes and putting stuff on the wall, not to mention marking pages in books.
Post-it Notes are also great for taking notes and putting stuff on the wall, not to mention marking pages in books.

All sorts of ways to write and mark and attach--markers,highlighters, pens, pencils, tape, scissors, eraser. Glue stuck not shown
All sorts of ways to write and mark and attach–markers,highlighters, pens, pencils, tape, scissors, eraser. Glue stuck not shown

So I’ve shown you mine–now you show me yours!

Classroom Deliberations

This is a really cool resource: CSPAN’s Classroom Deliberations. I did a CSPAN lesson on the elections last October that involved students researching the candidates and where they stood on different issues. It went really well. The lessons on this page are all about current events and they seem to be in the same vein. Give students lots of sources to read and let them work out a position. Good for advanced, highly motivated students. Also looks like they might be nice resources when students ask you your opinion on these topics: There’s a new lesson up on “What Should the US Do in Syria?”

By the way, these resource sharings are completely unpaid and unsolicited. I just really like the site!

 

New York Times Lesson Plans for September 11th

The New York Times has a nice set of lesson plans on 9/11 including social effects and the war in Afghanistan. I really liked the first lesson. These are mostly for advanced students and are pretty heavily biased toward reading and analyzing readings, obviously.