Learning English Through Cooking


Ilisha Strassler, Staff Writer

Learning a new language can be challenging, especially when you need that new language to navigate a new country. Fortunately, making a soup for teachers is making it easier.

As part of the English Language Learners (ELL) program on campus, about 25 students participated in selling soup by planning, marketing, making and delivering it. Through this assignment, students learn English as part of a Project Based Learning (PBL). PBL has been at Santaluces for two years, but this is the first time students have had such an hands-on experience.

“It’s a concept where we put real life situations and allow them to better understand English,” said Mrs. Koff, one of the teachers who helped out with the event. “They can [learn] English better when they interact with others and have conversations with the teachers [they’re delivering the soup to].

ELL students made pasta fagioli for teachers, participating in hands-on learning to help gain social and math experience in English. This PBL lesson allows cross-curriculum to take place; in one class, students picked what they wanted to make. In science, they looked up the nutritional value, and in math they broke it down and came up with a price to sell it at a profit.

PBL is a national program that was created as way for students to learn by talking, planning and doing events.

“The event was a success,” said ELL Coordinator Ms. Lipten. “They learned in a creative way that they normally don’t get to.”

Early childhood students participated by setting up stations with volunteers who speak the native languages of ELL students. Those volunteers helped the ELL them understand the directions.

“It was a lot of fun and helped a lot,” said freshman Serni Morales, who helped make the soup. “It was really great to work with everyone.”

PBL will continue and ELL students are already discussing future plans. The project was such a success that the students will tackle chicken caesar salad next.

“It was delicious and arrived on time,” said science teacher Ms. Conklin, a teacher who bought soup. “I definitely plan on ordering the next meal they make.”