ESL Program Analysis Essay
Students who have limited proficiency in the English language are known as English Language Learners (ELLs) accords to educational and literature setting. The ELL of people has been currently identified in the United States as a group of people that is rapidly growing. Most of them are school going population who are estimated to be 11 million students English language learners differ in culture behaviorism and language. It is estimated that the learners speak over four hundred languages; Spanish being the language that is spoken by over 70% of the ELLs. As these number continue grow school are facing challenges and the pressure to introduce programs for introduce English language learning in schools. This is because English is the instructional language for all subjects taught in school apart from language subjects like French and others.
Learners who become proficient in using English language have made significant progress in academic in each year of their time in school. Jefferson Parish Schools have offered GED Programs to assists adults, teams, and pupils at kindergarten to get tests in General Education Development. The schools in Louisiana that offer training in English as a Second Language as well as assistance in reading, writing and math are; West Bank Adult Learning Center, Causeway Adult Leaning Center, YMCA Teen Center, Bonnabel High School, Hispanic Resource Center, and Roosevelt Middle School.
The Theodore Roosevelt Middle School offers tutoring in basic skills and assistance in GED also offered is training in English as a Second Language. The course duration is from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m in two days of the week which are Monday and Wednesday. On the first Monday of every month, registration of the program takes place at 6:30 pm. The school is located at Maine Avenue Kenner, LA 70065. For students to be enrolled at Theodore Roosevelt Middle School, one is required to undertake an English language test after which they will be scheduled to regular and ESL education. The admission to a class is based on the student’s proficiency in English. The instructional needs also determine the assignment of an appropriate class and schedule for ESL students. Learners beginning to learn the language for the first time are scheduled to take up to 50% of their learning hours in intensive instruction of the language. The amount of time is then reduced after ELLs have internalized the basic concepts of the language.
The students are then required to undertake annual test of the English language to weigh their progress and if any more or different approaches may be required. Parents of these students are given results of the children’s progress that can be used for academic placement in the subsequent year. The promotion to the next class will only occur after students have attended the required 160 days of English Language training. Otherwise, they should have a note from their medical doctor in terms of illness and a note from the principle in case of any school absence.
The department of English Language Acquisition is in existence to ensure that all those students whose first language is not English or who have limited proficiency in the language are successfully enrolled into the educational system. The system is exclusively conducted in English. The aim of the department is to teach English language learners in the soonest possible time so that they can participate fully in academic programs offered in the institution. School buses are available to school children in need of transportation to an alternative language program.
English language learners have instructional programs which act a continuum model which is bilingual and English alone on the other end. Between these two principles, are many gradations which vary from the population and the need of each student? The English only program is basically on the English language. Student’s first language plays no role in such a program but classroom teachers offer bilingual aides to support the learning process of the students. The introduction of a bilingual model is helpful especially when there are newcomers from backgrounds that use different languages (Genesee, Lindholml leary, Saunders and Christian, 2006).
Various researches have been conducted in the recent years to assist instructors to create instructional environment that fully maximizes on opportunities that are available in learning. Such an approach assists students to develop the skills and the knowledge that is necessary for them to gain success in academics (Brown, 2001, p 56).
Communicative language teaching is an approach that is much influenced by theories of communication in language as well as the function of language. This approach emphasizes on aspects like the use of language in real life, social interaction, and in functional communication. Accuracy and fluency is addressed with consideration on the integrated components of language such as sociolinguistics, grammar and functions of the English language. In a class with English Second Language Learners, the role of the teacher is to facilitate the use of English language in social interaction (Pu, 2008, pp 253-256).
Researchers and writers have given differing opinions on the various differentiating models in the teaching of ELL. With the view of various literatures in the past decade, what is examined is a full range of difference in Ell’s instruction. Some researchers have found that instruction given with little degree of the native language is more successful in terms of the ELL outcomes than instruction that is English only (Rossell & Baker, 1996). The use of the native language in teaching English as a second language is known as dual language immersion or transitional bilingual education.
A different opinion from dual language immersion has a different conclusion by showing that students in bilingual program show positive outcomes (Greene, 1997, p 243). Recent studies have shown that mixed results (Slavian & Cheung 2005, pp 34).
Content based approach combines the subject matter and language learning. The subject matter is subject like science, biology, and math. This approach is totally different from the traditional English Second Language learning. The traditional approach dealt with teaching language skill as an isolated content from the content. This approach is, more successful as a means of information acquisition. This approach has been used by teachers in developing a learning curriculum that is appropriate to individual students in learning English (Fezz, 1998, p 46). The students taught with content based approach have become successful in both the academic knowledge and the development of English language. This approach is challenge to many teachers and has been forced to undergo more training on areas of the content.
The sheltered instruction approach is a strategic way of to teach English language learners in a way that makes concepts to be comprehensible while at the same time ensuring the development of student in academics. Resechers have conducted various empirical investigations to measures what effectively constitute to a sheltered lesson (August & Hakuta, 1997). Many scholars have agreed on the fact that the approaches used in sheltered learning helps students to understand and the content. This content include, slower speech, use of demonstration and visuals, enunciation that is clear, development of vocabulary and the use of supplementary materials (Genesee, 1999).
However, the implementation of strategies of sheltered approach is not fully sufficient in ensuring the academic success of ELLs. This calls for the need for systematic language development. The current SIOP model has come up to fill this gap. It offers a framework for the organization of instruction with important features that look into the promotion of success among the ELLs. SIOP model offers language objective inclusion in every teaching lesson. It further develops the background knowledge of each student and emphasizes on practices in academic literacy.
Schools should acknowledge the fact that student come form different backgrounds. This poses a challenge to teachers and calls them to do away with a standardized notion of instruction. Effective teachers are those who help the pupils to understand that there are better methods of learning in school. This can be done through differencing instruction as long as the training remains to be professional. Differentiating of instruction is about being sensitive to the needs of the students which will help them to be well connected to learning in the best way possible.
Brown, D. H. (2001). Teaching by principles: An interactive approach to language pedagogy.New York: Addison-Wesley Longman.
Fezz, S. (1998). Text-based syllabus design.Sydney, Australia: NationalCenter for English Teaching and Research.
Pu, C (2008) English as a Second Language (ESL) Approaches. Encyclopedia of Bilingual Education. Ed. Josué M. González. Vol. 1. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications Inc. pp 253-256.
Slavin, R and Cheung A (2005) a synthesis of research of language of reading instruction for English language learners, pp 2417-284
Genesee, F, Lindholml leary, Saunders W, and Christian, D (2006) Educating English Language Learners: A synthesis of research evidence. New York Cambridge.
August D & Hakuta K (1997) Improving Schooling for language for language –minority children: A resechers Agenda. Washington, DC national Academy Press.