What does an afternoon garden tour of 4 learner gardens give?
It gives honour to learners, increased conversation opportunity and inspires all – learners and teacher alike!
This garden tour was organised as part of our ESOL Lit study topic of gardening. We found 4 learners willing to allow our class to visit their garden and ask questions (some questions discussed and written in class the day before).
The class talked (in English and first languages) about plants and gardening techniques with enthusiasm and with fun attempts at English plant names. There was even the joke about which part of the garden was the ‘wife’s garden’ and which was strictly ‘the husband’s pride and joy’. But the biggest buzz for the teacher was the sense of honour and pride observed as each ‘gardener’ shared informally. They appreciated others looking at their garden efforts and everyone appreciated learning from each other. Many learners have amazing gardens (having learned gardening skills in their home countries) and they are especially skilled in vegetable growing.
A garden tour is a learning experience worth repeating in future years.
By Liz Wharton, ESOL Literacy class teacher