The first thing I was told when I arrived in 1990 at the university in Wuhan, China, where I was going to work for one year was that I would be teaching speaking and writing courses and I could select the books I wanted to use. In 1993, the Indonesian Asian Development Bank project I was affiliated with at a university in Borneo was brand new--I and an American colleague were hired to help implement it--and I had to design all the courses I taught there, too.
|UNLAM, the university I worked at in Indonesia; source: Student body of UNLAM|
|ESL "curricula" formerly used in my district; source: Books owned by The ESL Nexus|
When I began teaching content-based ESL classes--that is, classes that taught English language development using social studies content--I had to incorporate history and geography concepts into my classes but my lessons didn't mirror the mainstream social studies because, if they did, well, what was the point of having a separate class for ELLs? So even with those constraints, I still had a lot of flexibility to teach what I thought was best for my students. I found resources written specifically for ELLs that not only covered the social studies materials but also included a lot of ESL support. My favorites are Ballard & Tighe's Ancient History and World History textbook series for teachers who need such resources and I highly recommend them.
|Ballard & Tighe ESL Social Studies textbooks; source: The ESL Nexus & Amazon|