Filling out a form seems like it’s not that big of a deal. But imagine it looked like this one (without the English cue words) or this one. Even with the English part of it, I still kind of wonder what I’m missing in the fine print.
It can be a cultural landmine. Or just something that feels really unintelligible.
Does anyone ever teach this explicitly to new English learners? It’s part of our curriculum. And we do it day after day after day.
It’s not an easy task. Many students have not memorized their addresses. Some don’t even have a phone at home. And email address? Even though students are assigned one through the school, we have first-hand knowledge that HAVING an email address is totally different from USING an email address. Our first month was spent just trying to get them to log on daily to check their email.
We taught them what unread email looks like. We taught them how to check their grades online. And we taught them to fill out forms. Again and again and again.
It’s so important, the skill of filling out forms, and yet so overlooked.
Want a job? Fill out a form.
Want a library card? Fill out a form.
Want to order something online? Want cable? A loan? Credit card? Cell phone?
You get the picture.
Though I taught English 1 last year, I didn’t teach this. Because the focus is to get them to be writers in that class, not to teach life skills. All these essential pieces of knowledge that are ignored. It must have been someone else’s job to teach that.
But now, there’s a class for that!
Want to teach this too? Find the form above, and others like it, at this link.