While studying about markets, ESL students at the Mary D. Lang Kindergarten Center were surprised when they entered their classroom one morning to see it had been transformed into a working supermarket. Imagine the excitement for students to see vegetables, fruits, bags, boxes, and even a cash register awaiting their exploration! The sweet sounds of students singing songs about vegetables and baskets in English is only matched by the whir of the pretend cash register! Students were introduced to money, English vocabulary words surrounding a supermarket, and also using conversational phrases such as, “How may I help you?” “Did you find what you were looking for?” “How much does this cost?” In particular, students learned how to interact in a store setting. They used appropriate volume, eye contact, and dialogue.
When asked how this interactive, hands-on lesson inspires her students, ESL teacher Maryanne Heckenberger states, “Students are engaged at a higher level and they are also comfortable telling their teachers, peers, and families about their experiences at the market.”