New ways to think about differentiating your teaching for ESL students: Some reflections in VIPKid’s latest Webinar

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On January 29, VIPKid hosted a webinar on EdWeb.net titled “Differentiate Your Teaching for ESL Students: Sensory Instruction for Motivation” with Dr Alex Monceaux. Dr Monceux is the associate director of the Lamar Pathway Program at Lamar University, where he also teaches courses in the English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) concentration, the ESL Pathways Programs, and courses at the Lamar Institute of Technology.

Having taught and trained educators in teaching English in over 10 countries, we were excited to hear what Dr Monceaux was planning to share about differentiating instruction. As any educator knows, each student is unique. What they like to learn. How they learn. What they struggle with. What they pick-up in a flash. With only a quick look at the title, some folks were expecting Dr Monceaux to touch upon the difference between visual and auditory learners, for example. In that some students like to be able to see things to be able to learn. Some like to be able to hear. Many friends claim they self-identify as visual learners. And one can see how knowing this information about your students could be incredibly helpful. Rather than repeat a new vocabulary word 20 times, maybe this student would be able to grasp it more quickly, or more deeply, if they see it, or if they practice writing is as a kinesthetic learner.

However, Dr Monceaux, in the tagline to the webinar, “sensory instruction for motivation”, went a step further and introduced some new ways to understand, or rather, recognize, differentiation. Have you ever thought about how students different reactions to emotional stimuli, stress factors, etc., affect their learning? This revelation brought back a whole flash of memories for us as teachers as well as learners: how certain educational experiences may stick with us as they pull on our heartstrings also. Dr Monceaux cleverly illustrated this point through a video example too.

We’re probably just hitting on the tip of the iceberg here of the key take-aways and learning points from the webinar. To dive into it more deeply, or interpret some of the points for yourself, you can watch a recording (and still earn PD hours in many States and School Districts with edWeb’s Certificate of Completion) via edweb.net here.

VIPKid partners with EdWeb.net to sponsor the Helping ELL/ESL Students Succeed community on the EdWeb platform, providing a forum where educators and experts can share best practices and innovative ideas in real time.  Lisa Schmucki, the founder and CEO of edWeb.net, commented, “We receive so many requests from educators asking for more programs to help them support their ELL and ESL students, so we are thrilled to launch this program with VIPKid. VIPKid has so much enthusiasm and expertise, and will bring a high level of support for educators looking for help in this area.” Join the community for free for more and more opportunities to learn!