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Adult Education ESL Students Express Their Views

Kathy Gardner from the U.S.

Kathy Gardner is an ESL teacher in the Adult Education Division of the Los Angeles Unified School District.

Kathy Gardner
Photo from Kathy Gardner
This year alone I have had students from Armenia, Benin, Bolivia, Chile, China, Colombia, Egypt, El Salvador, Georgia, Guatemala, Honduras, Italy, Korea, Mexico, Nepal, Peru, Slovakia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Ukraine. My classroom really is a mini version of the United Nations!

My name is Kathy Gardner, and for many years I have taught English as a Second Language in the adult education division of the Los Angeles Unified School District.

Immigrants from all over the world come to Los Angeles, and this year alone I have had students from Armenia, Benin, Bolivia, Chile, China, Colombia, Egypt, El Salvador, Georgia, Guatemala, Honduras, Italy, Korea, Mexico, Nepal, Peru, Slovakia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and the Ukraine. My classroom really is a mini version of the United Nations!

I am constantly impressed by the generosity and good will displayed by my students toward one another—they share job information, medical references, shopping tips, and even their lunches.

Just yesterday one of my students celebrated her 9th anniversary in the U.S., so she got up extra early and took two buses and one subway to a wonderful bakery where she bought pastries for all her classmates! I am taught every day about determination, hope, and resiliency.

I found out about Topics Online Magazine from a graduate school librarian, and I knew right away I wanted my class to do a project. Because of the cultural diversity in my classroom, I thought it would be interesting for my students to write about topics from the perspective of their different backgrounds. We brainstormed ideas, came up with quite a few topics, and then we narrowed those down to three: superstitions, gambling, and love across cultures.

The project was voluntary, so interested students chose a topic, wrote rough drafts at home, and then read them to me in the classroom where we reviewed grammar and style. After making revisions, the students submitted their final articles. Now they are excitedly waiting to see their work in the next issue of Topics Online Magazine!


View the student project to read what the students in this international group of students have to say about their chosen topics.

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