How we teach — the Language Experience Approach

 

The Language Experience Approach (LEA) used by our tutors is a textbook-free method well suited to one-on-one teaching relationships. LEA is a whole language approach that promotes reading and writing through the use of personal experience and oral language. The method uses a learner’s existing language skills and prior experiences to create an individualized teaching text. As they work with these texts, learners relate to their tutors verbally and in their own words. They are taught grammar, spelling, pronunciation, and vocabulary from that text—a text whose content and meaning they already understand because it comes from their own life.

The LEA method allows tutors to adjust their teaching to their learners’ individual needs. The learner who co-owns a small business with her husband, for example, and is in charge of billing and payroll, learns appropriate language that applies directly to her needs as a businesswoman. Her vocabulary lists would include words like database and Quicken or to administrative terms like federal taxFICA, and deduction. Similarly, the father who juggles two jobs while supporting his family, and whose wife also works, learns words and concepts like childcareaftercare, and Headstart. Learners are immediately taught the language skills that apply to their ongoing individual needs, and in the order that their needs arise.

In short, by using the Language Experience Approach, and by training tutors to use their learners’ narratives as teaching texts, we are able to meet each learner’s requirements specifically and continually. We also avoid having to purchase expensive textbooks that all too often go quickly out of date, are sometimes inappropriate culturally, and which view English as an academic skill rather than a communicative skill for daily use.

LEA is a highly oral approach to language learning. The complexity of what is taught is determined by what a learner is able to express verbally. Learner and tutor talk regularly about what is going on in the learner’s life; these experiences are captured by a transcript which becomes the teaching text. If a learner’s speech reveals a grammar problem, the text captures it and the tutor teaches accordingly.

Finally, LEA avoids one of the larger problems in English as a second language textbook publishing. The stories textbooks include often are out of date or irrelevant, are too focused on academic mastery, or are written in English that is so simplified that it is inappropriate for an adult who has had the wherewithal, intelligence, and drive to settle in a new country.

English At Large

800 West Cummings Park, Suite 5550
Woburn, MA 01801
tel : 781.395.2374
email : info@englishatlarge.org

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Conversation Starters: News You Need to Hear from English At Large! https://t.co/0unhO6VafV

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Happening now: our annual Volunteer Appreciation Open House!

Happening now: our annual Volunteer Appreciation Open House!
Happening now: our annual Volunteer Appreciation Open House!
Happening now: our annual Volunteer Appreciation Open House!

Big thanks to our @cummingsdotcom neighbor Affinity L&B for your generous donation of a much-needed file cabinet for our office!

Big thanks to our @cummingsdotcom neighbor Affinity L&B for your generous donation of a much-needed file cabinet for our office!

NEW CHART: Christmas Vocabulary in English
(This is the non-religious version of Christmas)

More vocabulary and details about Christmas Traditions here:
https://t.co/6Y6H2uXAGZ

Try our interactive game:
https://t.co/q1u0ipoO34
Can you get 20 out of 20 correct?

NEW CHART: Christmas Vocabulary in English
(This is the non-religious version of Christmas)

More vocabulary and details about Christmas Traditions here: 
https://t.co/6Y6H2uXAGZ

Try our interactive game:
https://t.co/q1u0ipoO34
Can you get 20 out of 20 correct?

Your donation of $25 per month supports a full year of Conversation Groups. Your gift builds vocabulary, increases cultural understanding and speaking confidence for an English language learner in your community! https://t.co/AlHaD6RIFD

Your donation of $25 per month supports a full year of Conversation Groups.  Your gift builds vocabulary, increases cultural understanding and speaking confidence for an English language learner in your community! https://t.co/AlHaD6RIFD
Your donation of $25 per month supports a full year of Conversation Groups.  Your gift builds vocabulary, increases cultural understanding and speaking confidence for an English language learner in your community! https://t.co/AlHaD6RIFD
Your donation of $25 per month supports a full year of Conversation Groups.  Your gift builds vocabulary, increases cultural understanding and speaking confidence for an English language learner in your community! https://t.co/AlHaD6RIFD

“It has been life-changing to be able to communicate with other people in English after living in the U.S. for more than 10 years without speaking English."
~Maria, a learner from Lexington. Make your donation today!

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Tutor volunteers like Jane not only teach English; they share cultural knowledge and support the achievement of each learner's life goals. Our volunteers donate more than 6,000 hours of service each year, to more than double the impact of your gift! https://t.co/NzCus5seZk

Tutor volunteers like Jane not only teach English; they share cultural knowledge and support the achievement of each learner's life goals.  Our volunteers donate more than 6,000 hours of service each year, to more than double the impact of your gift! https://t.co/NzCus5seZk

Kathy and Babak came to the U.S. from Iran in 2010. "When we came here we didn’t have anything and it was hard” explains Kathy. “We didn’t know English, and it was horrible.” Support their learning today. https://t.co/EXlPleozIn

Kathy and Babak came to the U.S. from Iran in 2010. "When we came here we didn’t have anything and it was hard” explains Kathy. “We didn’t know English, and it was horrible.” Support their learning today.  https://t.co/EXlPleozIn

Support Life-Changing Services for Immigrants in Your Community! https://t.co/rVGvaB8jyD

Support Life-Changing Services for Immigrants in Your Community! https://t.co/rVGvaB8jyD

We are so thankful to have today to spend with our friends and families! Our offices will reopen Monday, November 27th at 9am.

We are so thankful to have today to spend with our friends and families!  Our offices will reopen Monday, November 27th at 9am.

Happy Thanksgiving to our wonderful English At Large family!

Happy Thanksgiving to our wonderful English At Large family!

We are also thankful for the hundreds of local immigrants who turn to EAL each year to learn English and gain the skills and knowledge they need to begin a new life in the U.S.

We are also thankful for the hundreds of local immigrants who turn to EAL each year to learn English and gain the skills and knowledge they need to begin a new life in the U.S.

We are so thankful for our wonderful volunteers, who give life to our mission!

We are so thankful for our wonderful volunteers, who give life to our mission!

Many EAL programs are delivered at your local library. We are thankful to have them as partners in our work!

Many EAL programs are delivered at your local library.  We are thankful to have them as partners in our work!

EAL has a real culture of gratitude, inspired by our amazing volunteers and our loyal supporters. We are thankful to partner with such talented, committed and caring people who share time, talents and resources to make a positive difference for others.

Why do you feel thankful?

EAL has a real culture of gratitude, inspired by our amazing volunteers and our loyal supporters.  We are thankful to partner with such talented, committed and caring people who share time, talents and resources to make a positive difference for others.

Why do you feel thankful?

Conversation Starters: News You Need to Hear from English At Large! https://t.co/W8q2RUwZOs

Conversation Starters:  News You Need to Hear from English At Large! https://t.co/W8q2RUwZOs

English Conversation Question 52
***
Have you ever broken a bone? How did it happen?
***
Let us know in the comments

English Conversation Question 52
***
Have you ever broken a bone? How did it happen?
***
Let us know in the comments

Thank you to the Temple Isaiah Lexington Sisterhood Social Action
Committee for this generous support!

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Big thanks to Razzys Baking and Catering for donating these beautiful and delicious cookies for our Holiday Volunteer Open House!

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Registration for Spring Conversation Groups is now open!

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So excited! We are ready for our Volunteer Appreciation event!

 

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Our 2016/2017 Impact Report is Now Available. Thanks to our supporters for bringing life-changing services to local immigrants! www.englishatlarge.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/EAL-2016-2017-Annual-Report.pdf ... See MoreSee Less

Our 2016/2017 Impact Report is Now Available.  Thanks to our supporters for bringing life-changing services to local immigrants! http://www.englishatlarge.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/EAL-2016-2017-Annual-Report.pdf

 

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So excited to see the increased impact that English At Large had on immigrants in our community!

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Your donation of $25 per month supports a full year of Conversation Groups.  Your gift builds vocabulary, increases cultural understanding and speaking confidence for an English language learner in your community! http://ow.ly/ImNv30gQBvH
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