Where are we from? (15 minutes)
To illustrate that the United States is a nation of immigrants, ask the participants what country
they or their forebears came from. Have each person place a colored pin in the map of the
world showing this information. What countries or parts of the world have the greatest
Ask participants to name the countries their ESOL students are from. This time, using a
different color pin, have them place pins in the world map to indicate their students' countries of
origin. What differences are there in the immigration patterns?
Communicating with a Partner (25 minutes)
1) Each participant works with a partner.
2) Give them a list of questions each must find out about the other. One of the partners gets
the other gets
. Make sure partners are not able to see each other's
3) Set the timer. For five minutes, partners must communicate without words, written or spoken.
They may only use gestures or draw pictures to communicate. At the end of five minutes,
partners should separately write down what they learned about each other.
4) Set the timer again for five minutes. Partners can now communicate using words, but may
not use English. They may use another language they speak, a language they studied in the
past, or even choose to try and make-up a new language. Again, they should write down the
answers they obtain.
5) Set the timer for another five minutes. This time, participants can communicate using English
or whatever language is most comfortable for them.
1) Compare your answers from the nonverbal communication with the final, English
communication. What differences are there?
2) How did it feel during the first time period, not to be able to communicate verbally? Was it
easier the next time? What issues came up for you?
3) What would it be like to always have to communicate using pictures or gestures?
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