Studentspeak is a New Zealand resource and draws on the stories of 8 teenage international students to provide a basis for a range of ESOL learning activities. Students from Sri Lanka, Korea, Sudan, China, Germany, Vietnam, Afghanistan and Tonga tell in their own words about their lives before coming to a new country (New Zealand) and the positive and negative experiences they have had in the country as international students since their arrival. These writings are the basis for a range of lively, varied learning exercises in: Vocabulary, writing, speaking, listening comprehension, reading comprehension and grammar/punctuation.
While there are many resources available for ESOL students, they are not all aimed at teenagers and for the New Zealand/Australian market. Students need material they can identify with, and this resource aims to give ESOL students stories to read of others who are in some way like them. Of the eight stories, four are from International Students living and studying temporarily in New Zealand, and four are from students whose families now have permanent residency, two of these being refugees. The countries include one Pacific Island, one from Africa, one from Europe, a story from Afghanistan and four from Asia. This coverage should enable most students to find a story that in some respects reflects their own experience.
When learning a new language, it is also sometimes difficult to find material that not only helps in comprehending the language, but also in producing it. This text gives suggestions for speaking and writing activities based on previous input and preparation.
Each unit covers the skills of reading, listening, speaking and writing with grammar and vocabulary activities included. Each unit can be used on its own and it is suggested teachers choose units based on what their particular students will identify with. An overview of the different learning activities is shown so that teachers can see at a glance both the nationalities covered and the skills.
Each section of the book consists of a text and activities that explore the features and purpose of that text. Students are then able to use the knowledge gained from this analysis in their own writing. Literacy activities and scaffolded answers are used throughout to encourage student confidence. Teachers will be able to work through the book in order, or to use individual sections as a one-off or supplementary texts for other work.