Free Citizenship Resources for Teachers and ProgramsAndrea Echelberger, ESL Training Coordinator
Currently in the U.S., there are 8.8 million people eligible to become American citizens. The number of applications for naturalization has continued to increase, and many adult ESL programs have reported an uptick in inquiries about citizenship classes and test preparation.
The Minnesota Literacy Council website offers a number of free resources to programs that are interesting in starting to offer citizenship classes at their site, whether classes are led by professional teachers or volunteers, in a formal classroom setting or one-on-one tutoring, or anything else in between.
Curricula and Teaching Materials
Teachers and citizenship volunteers can download two free citizenship curricula on the Instructional Resources for Teachers page. One curricula is leveled for high-beginning to low-intermediate level ESL learners, and the other is leveled for high-intermediate level and above ESL learners. The instructional resources page also contains numerous links to free online resources around the topics of the naturalization process, American history, government, and integrated civics, as well as links to self-study resources for citizenship students.
Citizenship Volunteer Resources
Programs can find free materials to help support the development of a new citizenship class on the Citizenship Volunteer Resources page. These include a link to a free online citizenship volunteer training class, task ideas for citizenship volunteers, administrative tools for managing citizenship volunteers, and citizenship volunteer position descriptions. In addition, find links to online guides for starting a citizenship program.
Citizenship Instructional Support Kit
In order to successfully prepare for and pass the citizenship class, learners need to practice a wide variety of skills, including conversational English, interviewing, the 100 civics questions, and reading and writing civics sentences. Many learners need more assistance than a teacher is able to provide in a citizenship class, especially in the last couple of months before their interview. The Citizenship Instructional Support Kit is a free downloadable PDF that provides tutors with all of the materials that necessary to help learners prepare for all portions of the citizenship interview, as well as activity ideas to challenge learners and keep them engaged as they study one-on-one with a tutor.
Sample of Citizenship Instructional Support Kit activity
N-400: Correcting Mistakes
This activity helps to build learners familiarity with the information on the N-400 form and gives them practice correcting errors during an interview.
Materials Needed: a copy of the learner/s’ N-400 form (ask learner or classroom teacher to make you a copy)
- Look over the learner/s’ N-400 form.
- Ask them questions off of the form, changing the information slightly so that it is incorrect.
- Have the learner/s respond with a polite correction.
- Ask some questions correctly and some incorrectly so that the learner has to focus on the questions.
“Your name is spelled M-O-H-A-M-M-E-D?”
“No, my name is spelled “M-O-H-A-M-E-D.”
“You were married in 2009?”
“No, I was married in 2011.”
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