Five Practical Suggestions
- Invite them to your home for a game night. Pick a few easy games – UNO, Racko, etc… Set up card tables throughout your home and pair students with teachers/volunteers so that they have to interact and talk!!
- Invite them to your home to watch a sporting event – Basketball, Soccer, etc… It doesn’t matter if you are really “into” the sport or not. It’s an excuse to gather. Serve traditional American tailgating type party food. Remember to put 3×5 cards in front of each dish with the name and the ingredients on it.
- Take your students on a field trip. Does your church have a bus or big van? If not, just carpool. Go to a local museum or other historical landmark. Possibly do a little vocabulary and history/cultural lesson before you go.
- Invite them to a celebration in your home: birthday, anniversary, new baby, etc…. Explain the American traditions associated with the event.
- Invite them to your home for a covered dish dinner (make sure you explain what that is first). Ask each student to bring a favorite dish from their home country. Have them share about that dish and a memory associated with it at the dinner.
If you haven’t opened up your home to your students yet, what are you waiting for? Your house will never be perfect and your students don’t expect it to be. Push the clutter to the side and invite them in. Ask a volunteer or friend to help you. If you are the ESL Director at your church and your teachers are not practicing hospitality with their students, then you will need to model it for them!! True biblical hospitality will bless not only your students, but you too.