Tuesday, April 15, 2008

English Language Learners (English as a Second Language)

The purpose of this blog is to share interesting ideas I have found in American professional publications dealing with the teaching of English at all levels, elementary, secondary and college.

Topic: Research Recommendations for Effective English Language Learners’ Instruction. “English Language Learners = ELLs, formerly known as students who are learning English as a Second Language (ESL).

Summary: A series of generalized statements that will be good for thinking about, but not very helpful in specifics. [I’ve read the specifics that accompanied the statements. They aren’t. RayS.]

Title: “English Language Learners,” James B Squire Office for Policy Research. Council Chronicle [of the National Council of Teachers of English] (March 2008), 18-19.

1. “Present ELLs with challenging curricular content.”
2. “Set high expectations for ELLs.”
3. “Use technology effectively.”
4. “Recognize socio-cultural factors.”
5. “Use native languages and home environments as resources.”
6. “Teach ELLs in grades K-8 the basics of academic literacy.”
7. “Teach ELLs in secondary schools, like their K-8 peers, to simultaneously develop their skill with academic English and learn content in a variety of disciplines.” [Easier said than done. RayS.]
8. “Recognize the difference between ELLs and under-prepared students in higher education.”

[Although I am critical of the generalized nature of these statements, each IS worth thinking about. RayS.]

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