Setting Goals and Some Great Teaching Tips

Much of the research on student persistence and our own conversations with successful instructors emphasize the importance of helping adult learners define their goals, setting realistic goals, and then demonstrating progress towards goals. The same research talks about the importance of frequently reviewing student goals and making revisions based on student progress and interests. Jayne and I were fortunate to visit Ron Fujihara's ESL class at Long Beach Adult School. Ron is well known and highly respected for his impressive work in integrating technology with instruction. He continues to push the possibilites of what students can do. Be sure to visit Ron's impressive website at When you go, click "ENTER" and then click on the FALL, 2005 folder. You will see many interesting student projects. When you see the website and know about his expertise, you might expect to find him working in one of the high tech Smart Rooms like we have at the CLC or at least using the most up-to-date computers and software. Surprise, surprise - Ron teaches in a trailer and the computers are very old. He is a wonderful example of making the most with less. We expected to be learning more about technology, but we actually learned a lot about good teaching. Ron is a master at empowering students and facilitating student success. Student after student told us about not knowing anything about computers until they took this class. Now they do email, transfer files, develop webpages, and more. All around the modest classroom were student pictures and goal statements. Ron says that every student completes the form during the first days of class and reviews their progress towards the goals with him throughout the semester. He gave me permission to share his Goal Activity Handout. It looks like a great form to begin 2006. He also shared his instructions for using word to create forms. So enjoy, and thanks again to Ron. If you are ever in Long Beach, visit Ron and prepare to see excellence in action!

Goal Introduction

Goal Sheet

Sample - Student Goal Form

Sample - Review of Student Goals

How To Make Interactive Forms Using Word

Creative Teaching Tips from Chris Smith and Zakia Farouq

Chris was in Von's Grocery Store and saw a notepad of $50 bills. The money looked so realistic, and she knew she had a great lesson idea. She gave a $50 note to students. The students were asked to write about "how I spent the $50 from my teacher". Here is a writing sample from two of her students. Students had so much fun, and they demonstrated good problem solving skillls. Students didn't even seem to mind that the money wasn't real. Thanks for sharing Chris.

Estela's Writing Sample

Juana's Writing Sample


Zakia is a new instructor working for both the credit and noncredit ESL program. During Fall, Terms I and II, she taught advanced ESL students. This spring she will teach ESL 899. Her writing goal for her students was to teach her students how to write a solid paragraph. However, she also wanted to help them prepare for essay writing. Therefore she asked her students to write five paragraphs, and as a final project, put them together as an autobiographical essay. Her five topics were

When you read the student sample, I'm sure you will agree that Zakia achieved her writing goals, and her students gained more confidence in writing essays. Mark Stephens adopted the idea during Term II, and he has been equally pleased with the students' writing. What a great idea, Zakia!

Ana's Sample Essay