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Learning to register for courses

Learners complete a registration form for courses after learning how to read the adult ed course catalog.

Learning Objective
Given a course catalog and a registration form, the learner will be able to register for courses.

Communication - Read, Decision-making - Research, Lifelong Learning - Learn in new ways

English as a second language (ESL), Reading comprehension

Length of Activity
1 class session

The activity is for intermediate to advanced ESL students

The type of instruction for which the activity is suited
Individual, Small group, Whole class

Materials and Resources
Local Adult Ed course catalog
Transparency #1 - Course Catalog Table of Contents
Transparency #2 - Interpreting a Course Description (print in landscape style)
Transparency #3 - Completing a Course Registration Form (print in landscape style)
Handout #1 - Course Registration Form Worksheet

Overview - The setting or context in which this learning activity was conducted
The activity was presented to an Intermediate ESL class that met two nights a week for two hours. There were 20 students in the class.

Student needs and goals that led you to this activity
Several of the students had approached me about taking computer classes through adult ed, but did not know where to find information. They felt that some training would help them move out of their current jobs. Furthermore, they did not understand how to complete a registration form. Friends or relatives had registered them for their ESL class.

Description of the learning activity

1. Ask the class what skills they would like to learn in the future. Mention that these might be skills for work or for home. Give examples of each - computer keyboarding, accounting, painting, cooking, flower arranging, and sewing. Ask each learner to write down a specific skill to learn. Ask learners to share their choice with a partner. Walk around the room to see what some of the chosen skills are. Write some of these skills on the board.

2. Tell the class that they will learn how to read a course catalog so that in the future they may take classes to learn these skills. Also, mention that in the United States you are never too old to go to school.

3. Finding Courses - Distribute copies of the course catalog. Answer any questions that learners may have.

In preparing this lesson, make a transparency of the "table of contents" for the catalog. The lesson will be more effective if learners can work from the actual catalog. If you do not have access to a catalog, use the transparencies and worksheet provided with this learning activity plan. Some local adult education programs have their course catalogs on the Internet. For an example of this, see Fairfax County Public Schools Office of Adult Education:

Show the transparency of the "table of contents" for the catalog (Transparency #1). Ask learners under which category in the "table of contents" the skills on the board would be listed. Find the page number for the category and then turn to that section of the catalog to check the answer. Distribute the "Classes" worksheet to give learners some practice in locating courses. When the class is finished, ask them to check their answers in the catalog. Review the answers.

4. Completing the Registration Form - First, show the class the sample course description on Transparency #2 (Interpreting a Course Description). Explain how to interpret the course description. Next, show Transparency #3 (Completing the Registration Form). Show the unlabeled course description. Ask, "What is the course title?", "What is the section number?", etc. Be sure learners know how to interpret the course description. Finally, distribute Handout #1 (Course Registration Form Worksheet) and have the class complete it using the course description you have just reviewed.

5. Assign two course descriptions from the catalog and ask learners to complete the registration form for these classes. Review the completed forms with the class.

6. Give learners a different course catalog, possibly from a community college, and ask them to complete the form for a specific class.

To evaluate whether or not learners are able to complete the course evaluation form, provide them with a blank registration form and a new course description from the catalog. Learners should now be able to fill in all parts of the form accurately.

This lesson would follow other lessons on identifying skills and training needs.

Kate Silc

Program Name
Fairfax County Adult ESL

Type of program

Primary student population served Program Address
Falls Church, VA

Program Phone
(703) 714-5560

Program Fax
(703) 714-5589


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