Teachers from the English Language Center in Boise will present in Portland this month at the TESOL 2023 International Convention & English Language Expo, the largest professional development event of its kind.
The staff will share their success in using WhatsApp to virtually teach students, many of whom don't have easy access to Wi-Fi, computers or transportation.
The English Language Center serves adults coming to Boise through refugee resettlement, and access to a computer or a vehicle is often a challenge. WhatsApp, a free and widely used smartphone messaging app, has proved to be a valuable tool even now that classes have switched to a hybrid model.
“Many of our students didn’t even have a smartphone or own their own cellphone at all before they came here,” said ELC Curriculum Coordinator Devon Jancin. “So the lack of technology access is a huge problem with online learning, and our presentation is giving direct solutions for how to bridge that gap.”
Students have given positive feedback, too.
“WhatsApp helps me learn English online because it’s good for listening," ELC student Abdul said. "I can repeat again and again.”
Will you be at the TESOL Conference? Come say hi and check out the English Language Center’s presentation!
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Author: Holly Beech
Idaho Office for Refugees Communications Manager
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