Teacher Talk: ESL and Bitstrips with Brandon Zoras

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Each month we like to feature teachers who are making a difference and using Bitstrips for Schools as a teaching tool. This month our feature is on Brandon Zoras.

For 10 months during the year Brandon Zoras is a science teacher for the Toronto District School Board. However, in the summer, he travels to Taiwan to teach English as a part of the AYJ Global Interactive English Program. Although teaching science to teenagers in Ontario is quite a different experience than teaching English to students in Taiwan, Zoras enthusiastically uses Bitstrips for Schools in both classrooms: “Even though I am into Science I have always loved Art.  So being able to bring an arts based activity in my classes is amazing.  I also wanted the students to be able to express themselves in different ways.”

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Zoras uses Bitstrips for School as a fun way to help his ESL students demonstrate conversation skills. Zoras decided to use Bitstrips for Schools in this unique teaching setting as “it allows students to show understanding in a non-traditional way.  Students get bored of the same old “make a brochure” assignments so why not combine technology, art and whatever concept you want the students to understand.  The biggest benefit is the ease at which the students pick it up and want to continue using it.”  Additionally, students who may have been too shy to participate in class used the comics as a way to express themselves and further develop their skills.

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While the activities assigned by Zoras in his Ontario science class versus his Taiwan English class mark the biggest difference between the two classes, he found that both groups of students are able to reap the learning benefits of Bitstrips for Schools. In regards to his ESL class he told us that “the students love using Bitstrips… [They] asked to go back and make more comics and many logged in from home and started making comics for fun using English.  Many parents at the parent teacher interviews saw the comics and were impressed that they could learn English through comics. ”

We are very excited to see that Bitstrips for Schools is helping teachers like Brandon Zoras make a difference in global and diverse settings. How are you using Bitstrips for Schools in your classroom? If you have found a fun or unique way to teach your lessons using Bitstrips for Schools, send us a tweet at twitter.com/bitstrip4school

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