All posts by Natalee Martinez

Using Creative Ways to Learn Vocabulary in a Beginner English Language Acquisition Class

These are some of the collages they created and the sentences they came up with:

 The river sounds relaxing.

 The orange feels smooth.

The landscape looks beautiful.

As English Language Acquisition (ELA) instructors, we are always looking for ways to engage our English Language Learners (ELLs) to learn new vocabulary words and also to express their creativity, especially when they are learning new words and trying to gain confidence to express themselves. One of the techniques that we have been using with our students is to create collages to express their ideas and to learn English while they are having fun. For that reason, this past Wednesday the teacher encourage students to create a collage to learn about about sensory words and how to describe things. Each student was assigned one of the senses to make a collage.Then the students had to write a sentence about each picture. The instructor wrote the sentences on the board and the whole class helped to edit the sentences.The target vocabulary were the sensory verbs: it looks, sounds, feels, etc. At first the students were skeptical about the activity as making collages was something they used to do when they were kids. However, they had a blast during the process and with the results of the activity. They  learned new words, and practiced all the English skills in one activity.


Building Foundations

“Education is a human right with immense power to transform. On its foundation rest the cornerstones of freedom, democracy and sustainable human development.”

      –Kofi Annan, Nobel Peace Prize recipient and secretary-general of the UN 1997-2006


This week was transformational. New and returning students walked through Taos Education and Career Center’s doors and began connecting with each other in preparation for the important coursework ahead.

Through a hands-on workshop we uncovered personal preferences for various career paths. We explored how brain research can inform effective practices in learning and teaching. We began creating awareness around the factors in our learning environment that cause us both comfort and stress. Some of us even decided math can be fun and relevant!

All of the work on behalf of the students and staff at Taos Educational and Career Center is so appreciated. Through hands-on activities like the engineering exercise above, students are creating a safe, supportive community for achieving that which we have not achieved until this point. Looking forward!