First Draft

by Nasim Khawaja 9 months, 4 weeks ago

Lesson – First Draft

Nasim Khawaja

I work as a professor of English as a Second Language (ESL) in Northern Virginia Community College at Annandale Campus. I normally teach lower (ESL-21 and ESL-22) and lower-intermediate levels (ESL-31 and ESL-32) of reading and writing (including English grammar) classes. 

Initially, I plan to include OER in my ESL-21 (grammar) class. This lesson will provide a safe and culturally diverse learning environment for students to reach their individual potential.


This lesson plan incorporates strategies to create a positive learning environment in my classroom to make it more inclusive and welcoming. I plan to implement five culturally responsive teaching strategies in the classroom. These are (1) Activate students’ prior knowledge; (2) Make learning contextual; (3) Encourage students to leverage their cultural capital; (4) Reconsider your classroom setup; and (5) Build relationships. It will strengthen students’ sense of identity and promote equity and inclusiveness in the classroom. Students will be more engaged in the course material and develop critical thinking skills.


I have found the following resources.


Merlot has a wide collection of links to different ESL resources. I reviewed the material available through Merlot and found that most of the material is geared towards K-12. However, one resource – South Seattle College – has a set of “Academic ESL Grammar Books” Level 1 – 5 by Don Bissonnette. I believe it can be a very useful resource for my students.

South Seattle College

Long Term Goals:

Although, full-time faculty members have some flexibility, I cannot switch to OER unilaterally. The ESL discipline has a coordinator for each level of course at the Annandale campus. I must discuss this matter with the coordinator of ESL-21 and get her consent before switching to OER textbooks or material. As a discipline, we prefer to use same textbooks for each level (all sections) at one campus. I would share what I have searched and learned with the coordinator of ESL-21 and discuss with her how we can incorporate OER grammar textbooks available at South Seattle College.

If adopting the OER textbook is not possible, then I may include some of the exercises and assignments from the above referred OER material.

I would also like to create some grammar material in the future to share at Creative Commons website. (

Some Practical Issues:

There are some practical issues which may impede the implementation of OER in our courses. The college bookstore, Barnes and Noble (B&N), is a commercial entity. They pay money to the college to operate their business. We, as faculty members, are not allowed to explicitly suggest to our students to buy textbooks online (because the college bookstore prices are usually higher than Amazon). How is B&N going to react if greater number of courses adopt OER material? That’s an uncharted territory.



Sophie Rondeau 9 months, 4 weeks ago

Nasim -

Thank you for sharing your plan and the Academic ESL Grammar Books you found on Merlot. I have added them to VIVA Open and you can find them here. I understand that you are unable to make a decision about switching to OER unliaterally and this is an obstacle many instructors report. It may be helpful to frame it to the coordinator as a pilot. VIVA has an adopt grant program that may be of interest if your coordinator is agreeable to the switch. The details can be found through this link.

NVCC provides a  "Course Attributes" filter on their schedule that enables students to choose classes with $0 or < $40 materials cost, so it seems the institution does support no/low cost course material options even if it means less revenue for the bookstore.