Field Trips for English Language Learners

Field trips are a wonderful way for Newcomers to connect with their community and to learn new skills. Whenever you make learning real, students will acquire new vocabulary and understanding. Below are just a few ideas.
If you are studying food or money make arrangements with a local grocery or farmers market to visit. Give students list of items to look for and find the prices. Have them look for aisles and signs. Encourage students to look for food they love to eat.
Are you studying time and transportation? Teach about making transfers and connections. Practice using local schedules, choose a destination and take a class trip on the local bus, train, or subway.
Visit your local library and get library cards. Let the librarian give your group a tour and check out books to read. Libraries offer many items which are helpful for ESL students and their families.
Take a field trip a local factory and discuss how a product is made, transported and sold. My class learned about Michigan agriculture and how the Jiffy plant makes its mixes. Then we toured the factory and made corn muffins the next day.
Visit a local government building or meeting. I live in the state capital so we visit the capitol building and see the Senate and House of Representatives at work. Sometimes we meet our representative and the governor. We also visit the state Supreme Court chambers. Many of my students seek citizenship and are excited to learn about how government works.
Visit a historical place or reenactment and learn about local history. Take a tour of a famous home or farm. Visit a native American center. Listen to a docent tell about the people, event. or place.
No matter where you go or what you see, your students will learn new vocabulary and skills. Field trips are fun and educational.

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