Speaker

Holly Olson

Holly Olson

Western Washington University - AUAP Program

Holly Olson is originally from Montana and grew up very near Yellowstone National Park. She has taught in Japan for 12 years. Holly taught TEFL for most of that time. However, most of Holly’s students in Japan were more like TESOL students. She had numerous students who worked towards studying in the U.S., the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. In addition, Holly has worked with working professionals for business English and little children (3yrs – 6yrs). Holly has also worked in administrative roles in The U.S. Holly currently teaches at Western Washington University with the Asia University America Program.

Area of Expertise

  • Humanities & Social Sciences
  • Information & Communications Technology
  • Region & Country

Topics

  • Building Community in the Classroom
  • team building
  • leadership

Building Community in the Classroom

When we are teaching ESL, we are not just teaching English. We as teachers are showing them the tools that they need to function in English speaking society. In society, having a sense of community is very important. Community building in a classroom with new students who don’t know each other is always difficult. Just as important as community, getting practical experience in leadership and team-building is vital for the workplace. Although teaching team-building and leadership skills can be draining, I have found a way to build communities within classrooms, give students leadership experience and team-building opportunities. It gives the students responsibility for their education as well as building that community and giving those highly prized professional attributes needed in the workplace. This can be accomplished using the classroom management techniques presented. Students take turns being the leader for their group and the students are sorted into their groups on the first day of class. In the groups, they are helping each other with smaller group projects, and their larger research project that is required. I have successfully used this method for the past two and a half years. Examples of text, audio, and video will be presented along with Student produced text and video. All examples, and samples from students will be available in materials to be shared.

Holly Olson

Western Washington University - AUAP Program