Sunday, July 15, 2012

Goal of ESL Programs

Note: Normally, I do not publish my blog, English Updates, on weekends. However, I publish several other blogs during the week having to do with ideas in English education that are not current, but still useful. On weekends, I will publish samples of these ideas. RayS.

 Question: What is the goal of ESL programs?
Answer/Quote: “The major goal of ESL programs is to provide students with the language skills they need to be successful in grade-level classrooms and to accomplish this in as short a period as possible.” P. 83.

“The goal seems obvious, but both the goal and the means of attaining it are exceedingly complex and have changed considerably in recent years.” P. 83.
“Communicative skills, or the ability to interact socially in English used to be considered a sufficient criterion for assigning students to grade-level classrooms. Now, we recognize that to be successful in school, students need more than social-language skills. They need academic-language skills, which involve using both receptive and productive language for thinking and reasoning in all content areas.” Pp. 83-84.

Comment: OK. I understand “social language skills.” But what exactly are the “academic classroom skills”? I’m learning all this right along with my readers. RayS.
Title: “Instructional Approaches and Teaching Procedures.” AU Chamot and JM O’Malley. Pp. 82-107. In Kids Come in All Languages: Reading Instruction for ESL Students. Eds. K Spangensberg-Urgschat and R Pritchard. Newark, DE: IRA. 1994.

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