Why does Graceland write its own ESL curriculum?
Not long after arriving in Poland, Colette and Jay realized that because they were running a school where students moved from one level to the next and just continued to stay on at Graceland, they needed more material. Wanting to stay true to their commitment to use Bible-based ESL and God-honouring texts and materials, they went in search of more curriculum. What they found was some great Bible studies in lower level English or some biblically themed grammar books in King James Version. Now there’s nothing wrong with the King James Version of the Bible or simple Bible studies, however, it just isn’t practical for helping someone with limited access to native English speakers learn how to speak in modern contemporary language and have lots of grammar practice along the way. And so, feeling completely inadequate for the job, the two set out on the adventure of a lifetime . . . studying, writing and rewriting texts that would be suitable for their students. The materials you see listed below aren’t on any curriculum best seller lists, but they have proven to be very effective for the 700 ++ students who have used them to focus on the areas where they and most foreigners struggle the most learning English.
If you, your church, school or ministry could be helped by any of the Bible themed ESL materials below, please contact us and we’d be happy to give you more information.
Each curriculum costs $70 USD and is presented in a PDF electronic copy with a set of teacher's notes where available. This material is intended for use by one teacher in a classroom and may not be given away or used for an entire school. Directors wishing to use this material for their entire school should contact: Jay Bowyer
Graceland Materials are currently being used in China, Mexico, Poland, Russia, Canada (AB, NS and PEI) and the USA.
Christian ESL Curriculum
This curriculum takes the advanced beginner student to a new level. The classic story of the prince becoming the common man has been rewritten for the lower level student to enjoy. Spiritual content is worked into the discussion questions in a natural way.
The grammar at this level helps to focus the students on some of the basics such as verbs, pronouns and basic sentence building.
This curriculum is intended to give the student a fun overview of Canada, its history, famous places and a few key individuals. The students enjoy seeing a side of Canada that they might otherwise be unaware of.
The grammar is centred on verb tenses and usage.
The spiritual content is not as overt in this program, however, Bible passages are quoted with pertinent discussion questions, related to the topic of the unit.
This practical course helps the Adult student work on the basic skills of: making an appointment by telephone, taking a job interview, going to the doctor and ordering in a restaurant. The focus is on vocabulary in use and dialogues. Students will practice pre-written dialogues easing into ad lib conversations.
For each unit there is a short Bible story and related discussion and comprehension activities.
This curriculum takes the student to the next level grammatically by showing various verb tenses and usage of adjectives and adverbs. The intermediate student will enjoy following the biography of a great man of God. Practical applications for vocabulary acquisition and retention, grammar and writing and easy flowing discussions are a part of every unit. The use of puzzles and word games also make this curriculum fun and challenging. Additionally, the student workbook contains 3 progress tests to help students see their improvement along the way.
Spiritually, the student sees very clearly that the hardships Joseph faced were used for good in his life. In fact, the students will watch “the soap opera” of Joseph's life unfold and see him go from favoured son to prisoner and back to man of power and position.
(Note: This curriculum is written in such a way as to be used either in the classroom, complete with grammar, or simply as a book for a discussion group.)
This classic story has been rewritten at the next intermediate level to allow students the joy of reading a classic novel. Students get a good workout in verb tenses and have plenty of practice determining when to use which tense. The student is often put in the position of reporter to describe what is happening in Crusoe's life.
Spiritually, the student hears the full gospel presented from the main character of the book. Having a 3rd party share the message of love and grace gives the teacher the vantage point of asking questions about Crusoe's spiritual journey and helps the student draw personal life conclusions.
The Challenge is this: In the real world, is it possible to live a life of faith and service to God? The text follows the life of Daniel from teen to senior citizen. Students will follow the dramatic highs and lows of Daniel's life and will see that he never wavered in his devotion to God. Students will talk about Daniel's life and draw conclusions and make practical applications to their own lives.
This curriculum focuses on vocabulary usage and is a course designed for students who like to think, talk and be creative in the classroom.
This curriculum gives the student the opportunity to explore Canada in ways they have never imagined. From wild and crazy critters to unsolved mysteries to the great minds of Canada, the student will always be experiencing something intriguing about the Great White North! Each unit not only has its focal text, but also highlights a place to visit, a trivia fact or a famous Canadian brand.
The grammar is tackled in a “natural” format, with greater emphasis on the specifics of usage and practice to go with it.
The spiritual content of this material occurs primarily in thematic discussion in each unit.
This curriculum steps into the lives of successful Christ-followers. The students follow the journeys of these believers, their victories and their failures, their struggles and their faith. The lives of the individuals studied make it easy to discuss God’s involvement in our lives and our relationship with Him.
The grammar focus continues not so much in learning new things but rather on perfecting skills such as the perfect tenses, modal verbs, gerunds and conditionals.
This curriculum is focused on the business student who wants to increase vocabulary and discuss aspects of business pertaining to leadership. Short, real-life stories highlight and emphasize business qualities such as integrity, generosity, creativity and the golden rule. A/B partner activities have students working through various business related scenarios. The natural progression of grammar takes the student into phrasal verbs and modals. The students also have 3 tests within the text to help monitor their progress.
Spiritually this curriculum is subtler than some of the others, as it was originally written to be used on a secular university campus. However, being true to our calling, Bible passages are used, Bible characters are quoted and the text ends using Jesus as the example of the ultimate leader.
This course was designed for people who might think the Bible is boring. It is filled with the whacky, off-the-wall and downright gruesome stories of the Bible. The prevailing spiritual content centers around: disobedience, suffering, remorse, repentance and blessing.
Grammar is not for the faint of heart with emphasis on conditionals, perfect tenses, gerunds and passive voice.
The dramatic life of Michael Franzese, former Mafia boss turned Christ-follower gives the student an inside look at growing up in the Mafia. The students get involved in a love/hate relationship with Michael's father Sonny and engage in the drama of his family, both biological and Mafia. Students are encouraged to pinpoint the TURNING POINTS in Michael's life and to examine their own life's turning points and consider the consequences of those turns.
Lively discussions surrounding moral behaviour, ethical decisions and faith keep the classroom alive and growing.
Students increase not just their vocabulary, but the subtleties of usage.
Continuing with the idea that moments can change and mould people, the class will follow the life of Mosab Hassan Yousef. Growing up in the war-torn Palestinian Territories, Mosab describes his journey from aspiring university grad to terrorist and then describes his dramatic TURNING POINT when he became a follower of Jesus Christ.
Students engage in current, real-world discussion about terrorism and the Middle-East conflict. Exploring the foundations of Islam, Judaism and Christianity and their values, students are given an opportunity to examine and compare the 3 major world religions.
Vocabulary building and usage is the primary grammar focus.
Over the years, Graceland has had a variety of book clubs where students read a novel together and then discuss it, practice vocabulary usage and grammar in conjunction with the text. If you are interested in the materials that we have developed for the following books, please let us know.
- The Homelanders Series by Andrew Klavan: Advanced Adult, Teen 2 semesters.
Students follow the life of a young man who wakes up in the worst possible nightmare: not being able to remember the last year of his life and why he’s running for his life. Important themes such as faith, integrity, patriotism, evil, family and honour are discussed. The student workbook focuses on comprehension and discussion from the first two books of the series. A significant amount of time is devoted to activities to help retain new vocabulary. While new grammar points are not “taught”, there is significant reference and usage of perfect tenses, questions and conditionals. Full teacher guidebook with suggested activities and puzzles available.
- Nightmare Academy by Frank Peretti: Advanced Teen, Young Adult 2 semesters.
Students read and discuss the adventure of 2 teens who go undercover to solve the mystery surrounding the haunting behaviour of a young runaway. The book naturally lends itself to discussions about faith, loyalty, bravery, evil, bullying, convictions and truth. Lots of games, puzzles and activities help with new vocabulary and slang retention. Full teacher guidebook with suggested additional activities and puzzles available.
- CyberQuest by Sigmund Brouwer: Intermediate Jr and Sr High teens 2 semesters.
Books 1-6 will be covered in 2 semesters as students follow the adventures of a futuristic time-traveller in search of the Galilee Man. Comprehension, vocabulary activities and discussion on themes such as decision making, discernment, the Golden Rule, deception, the future and faith will keep the student actively engaged. Teacher’s notes available.
- Theodore Boone-Kid Lawyer by John Grisham (Advanced Teen and Adult)
Students who are interested in learning about the American court system will love this story. As Theo Boone explains to his Government high school class what will happen with the upcoming murder trial, the only one in the town’s history, he explains to the reader all of the roles of rules of courtroom staff and procedures. The student gleans a lot of new vocabulary, and discussion focuses on themes of loyalty, family relationships, right and wrong, legal procedures and faith.
- Red Rock Mysteries: Haunted Waters (Intermediate Youth)
- The Shack
- The Biography of Walt Disney
TV and Movie Materials
Graceland students have always enjoyed watching TV shows and films in English. If you are interested in the way we have used film and television in the classroom, please contact us for more info.