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Here’s My Tentative Plan For A Support Class For Long-Term English Language Learners – Tell Me How I Can Make It Better

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I may – or may not – be teaching one class period of support for Long-Term English Language Learners (who will be in ninth-grade) next year. It would be a pilot class and, depending on a number of factors, could be expanded in future years.

Here’s my tentative plan for it (I’m sharing portions of working draft that is being circulated at our school now).  I’m also including some related links. Let me know what you think and how I can improve it.

The idea is that they would be in a “cohort” and be together in their English class and possibly other content courses, as well.

I’ll be adding this post to The Best Resources On Supporting Long-Term English Language Learners:

 

Content Of The Class:

* Many of these LTELLs may have not “shined” in previous classes because of their language challenges.  One way to begin to change that perception is for Larry to become familiar with the curriculum and sequence of the Science classes (he already knows the Geography and  English curriculum since he’s taught it in the past or is teaching it now) and emphasize engaging texts and writing activities designed to help students develop more prior knowledge about the topics being covered in those other classes.   Prior knowledge is a key to academic success, and this could create opportunities for them to “shine” in those content classes as knowing more than their peers in some situations – perhaps for the first time in the academic careers.  Of course, this prior knowledge will also facilitate their comprehension of lessons being taught in the content classes.

* Coordinating the reading of those texts with writing instruction focusing on sentences and paragraphs – less so on longer writing,which will be taking place in their content classes.

* Explicit teaching of academic vocabulary – both in writing and in verbal discussion.

* Using a number of Larry’s lessons and activities designed to help promote student intrinsic motivation, both focused on becoming fluent in a new language and for academic learning in general.

 

Evaluation:

A control group of a roughly similar demographic group (and number) of LTELLs not in the support class would be chosen.   To make the comparative process not too time-consuming,  it would be ideal if the control group could be composed of students from two-or-three other classes.  The evaluation instruments would include:

* CELDT tests (really, the new state language tests) comparison from students’ eighth grade to the results from the tests given at Burbank in the spring of the school year they would be in the support class.

* The regular schoolwide writing assessments comparing the fall and spring essays.

* Both the LTEEL support class and the control group would take a series of online assessments lasting one or two class periods  assessing reading comprehension, vocabulary development and listening comprehension.

 

What do you think?

Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.

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