ESOL Presentation - Mercer University


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Mary Shallenberger- Describe Language Learners (Characteristics & Statistics)
Sharon Harmon- Laws, Programs, Positions
Carla Coppett - NCLB

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  • Federal PL 107-110, The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, Title IX, General Provisions, Part A Definitions, Section 9101(25)
  • The Education Alliance at Brown University. (2010). Retrieved October 4, 2010.
  • U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2010). The Condition of Education 2010 (NCES 2010-028), Indicator 5.
  • Capps, R., Fix, M., Murray, J., Ost, J., Passel, J., & Herwantoro, S. (2005). The new demography of America’s schools: Immigration and the No Child Left Behind Act. Washington, D.C: The Urban Institute.
  • Unites States Department of Education. (2010). Retrieved October 4, 2010.
  • ESOL. (n.d.). The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition. Retrieved October 05, 2010, from website:
  • ESOL. Georgia Department of Education (n.d.). Retrieved October 4, 2010.
  • ESOL Presentation - Mercer University

    1. 1. English Language Learners Issues & Concerns presented by Carla Coppett, Sharon Harmon, & Mary Shallenberger
    2. 2. “The responsibility for the ELLs’ whole education, both in language and academic content, is shared by regular classroom teachers and English language assistance teachers alike. English language assistance professionals may include ESOL teachers as well as other instructional staff who provide services to ELLs. Classroom teachers and ESOL teachers and other support staff should plan jointly to determine instructional modifications needed to make language and content as comprehensible as possible throughout the whole school day for ELLs. As a result, all teachers function as language teachers when ELLs are enrolled in their classes”(GA Department of Education 2009-2010).
    4. 4. English language learner refers to a person who has a first (home, primary, or native) language other than English and is in the process of acquiring English.
    5. 5. Other Terms Used to Refer to English Language Learners: • language minority students • English as a second language (ESL) • culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) • limited English proficient students (LEP)
    6. 6. (A) Children aged 3 through 21 (B) Enrolled or preparing to enroll in an elementary school or secondary school (C) (i) Not born in the United States or whose native language is a language other than English; (ii) (I) A Native American or Alaska Native, or a native resident of the outlying areas; and (II) who comes from an environment where a language other than English has had a significant impact on the individual's level of English language proficiency; or (iii) who is migratory, whose native language is a language other than English, and who comes from an environment where a language other than English is dominant; and Who Are English Language Learners (ELLs)?
    7. 7. (D) Difficulties in speaking, reading, writing, or understanding the English language may be sufficient to deny the individual-- (i) the ability to meet the state's proficient level of achievement on state assessments described in section 1111(b)(3); (ii) the ability to successfully achieve in classrooms where the language of instruction is English; or (iii) the opportunity to participate fully in society. Who Are English Language Learners (ELLs)? (cont’d)
    8. 8. English language learners are a diverse group. They differ from one another in many ways: Length of residence Some ELLs are new to the United States. Many ELLs were born in the U.S. or have been living in the U.S. for many years in households where family members and caretakers speak a language other than English. Although English may be these children's dominant language, they may not have developed the oral and written language skills or the vocabulary needed to function successfully at grade level in English academic settings. Characteristics of ELLs:
    9. 9. Literacy skills and previous schooling Young ELLs in the U.S. frequently face an enormous challenge of acquiring the initial concepts and skills of literacy through English, a language they have not mastered orally. Some ELLs have already acquired and developed literacy and academic skills in their home language(s). Once we know how to read, we can transfer our reading skills to other languages that we learn. Some ELLs have not experienced consistent schooling or appropriate instruction. This compounds the difficulties they face reading and writing English. Some ELLs already know some English when they arrive in the U.S., while others are having their first encounter with English. Characteristics of ELLs: (cont’d)
    10. 10. Primary languages Some ELLs have a primary language that resembles English in word order, sound system, and word formation patterns. Other students' languages may be very different from English in these respects. Spanish, French, and Portuguese have more in common with English than do Swahili or Vietnamese. Some ELLs have a primary language that shares commonalties with English such as the use of Roman alphabet and left-to-right print directionality (e.g., Italian and Polish). Other students' languages differ greatly from English with different alphabets (e.g., Hebrew and Russian), directionalities (e.g., Hebrew), or non-alphabetic writing systems (e.g., Chinese). Characteristics of ELLs: (cont’d)
    11. 11. Primary languages – cont’d Some ELLs have a primary language that shares cognate or sister words with English. For example, the following pairs of English and Spanish words are cognates: observe/observar, anniversary/aniversario, stomach/estómago. Similarities between learners' home languages and English tend to make initial learning of English easier, whereas differences make the process more difficult. Characteristics of ELLs: (cont’d)
    12. 12. Other differences Like all children, ELLs vary in their nutrition and care histories, family structure and stability, household composition, parental education and socioeconomic status, neighborhood and community resources, exposure to literacy, life experiences, knowledge, cultural norms, abilities, and dispositions. ELLs bring with them varied cultural experiences that have shaped their notions of appropriate adult-child interaction. ELLs differ from each other in their previous literacy experiences. For example, a chronological narration of events is highly valued in U.S. schools, while in other settings narratives are judged on imagery, poetics, word play, contextual details, or other criteria. Characteristics of ELLs: (cont’d)
    13. 13. United States ELL Statistics: Between 1979 and 2008, the number of school- age children (children ages 5-17) who spoke a language other than English at home increased from 3.8 to 10.9 million, or from 9 to 21 percent of the population in this age range. An increase (from 18 to 21 percent) was also evident during the more recent period of 2000 through 2008. After increasing from 3 to 6 percent between 1979 and 2000, the percentage of school-age children who spoke a language other than English at home and who spoke English with difficulty decreased to 5 percent in 2008.
    14. 14. More ELL Statistics:  Approximately 79 percent of ELLs nationally are from Spanish-language backgrounds  While English learners reside throughout the United States, they are heavily concentrated in the six states of Arizona, California, Texas, New York, Florida, and Illinois  These six states contain 61percent of the nation’s ELL population.  In addition, the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico accounts for another 1 percent of the U.S. ELL population.
    15. 15. Even More ELL Statistics:  Despite the high concentration in six states, other states have experienced a 300 percent or higher growth of ELLs in a ten-year period from 1995 to 2005. These states include Alabama, Indiana, Kentucky, Nebraska, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee  California educates one-third of all the nation’s ELL students – 1.6 million students  85 percent of all ELLs in California are Spanish Speaking  More ELLs in both Elementary and Secondary schools are U.S. born
    16. 16. Georgia ELL Statistics:  80,890 students in grades K – 12 were reportedly receiving language support services through English to Speakers to Other Languages (ESOL). This accounts for 4.9% of total student population.  In 1999, the enrollment of English Language Learners was 30,977, according to the U.S. Department of Education.  The United States Institute of Educational Statistics ranks Georgia’s eighth in the nation when listing the states by the number of ELLs enrolled in elementary and secondary language support programs.  Currently there are 1,962 teachers in Georgia , who teach at least one segment of ESOL.
    18. 18. Federal Law: • The Federal Bilingual Education Act of 1968 was replaced with the 2002 English Acquisition Act • Title III is a federally funded program which provides eligible Local Education Agencies (LEAs) with sub-grants to provide supplemental services for ELLs • The Federal Government does not dictate how states are to instruct ELLs, but that instruction must be provided
    19. 19. Georgia Law: • English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) is a state funded instructional program for eligible English Language Learners (ELLs) in grades K-12 (Georgia School Law Section 20- 2-156 Code 1981, Sec. 20-2-156, enacted in 1985). • In the event the LEA does not have a sufficient number of ELLs, the LEA must gain funding through Georgia Title III Consortium
    20. 20. Program Expectations: Both ESOL and Title III hold students accountable for progress in English language proficiency and evidence of attainment of English language proficiency sufficient to exit ESOL services.
    21. 21. ELL PROGRAMS
    22. 22. Definition of ESOL: ESOL - English to speakers of other languages: a field of language training including EFL and ESL. (The American Heritage Abbreviations Dictionary, 2005)
    23. 23. ESOL Program in Georgia: The ESOL Program is a standards-based curriculum emphasizing social and academic language proficiency. The curriculum is based on the integration of the WIDA Consortium English Language Proficiency Standards with the Georgia Performance Standards. This integration will enable English Language Learners (ELLs) to use English to communicate and demonstrate academic, social, and cultural proficiency. It is critical that instructional approaches, both in ESOL and general education classes, accommodate the needs of Georgia’s ELLs. To the extent practicable, it is appropriate to use the home language as a means of facilitating instruction for English language learners and parental notification.
    24. 24. Approved ESOL Program Models: • Push-in, during content block with general education teacher and ESOL specialist • Pull-out, outside of content block, “hands off” math and language arts blocks, 1 to 2 students at a time • Scheduled class period of ELL students only receiving language and/or content instruction (middle & high school) • Lab or Resource in a group setting • ESOL cluster center where students are transported to receive intensive language assistance • Alternative route with approval from the Department of Education
    25. 25. Minimum Requirements of ESOL Instruction By Grade Levels: K – 3 = 225 minutes/week; 45 minutes/day 4 – 8 = 250 minutes/week; 50 minutes/day 9 – 12 = 275 minutes/week; 55 minutes/day
    26. 26. Literacy Programs Currently Used in the United States: • English Only Instruction • English as a Second Language (ESL) – English instruction with intense tutoring in English language skills • Developmental Bilingual Education - instruction in both languages as English is acquired • Transitional – begins in native language, switching to English in 2nd or 3rd grade • Dual Language – instruction in both languages, ideally 50/50 (Karathanos, 2009)
    27. 27. OPPOSING SIDES
    28. 28. Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL): Position Statement on Language and Literacy Development for Young ELL (ages 3-8) 1. Literacy in a second language is supported by literacy in the native language 2. English literacy is an on-going process and should not be rushed 3. Materials should be designed to meet cultural and linguistic needs
    29. 29. TESOL:(cont’d) 4. Reading comprehension advances when skill instruction in an understandable language and whole text experiences are used 5. Reliable, valid, fair, on-going, and culturally responsive assessments with a variety of tools should be used 6. Professional training in linguistic and cultural diversity and principles of first and second language development for teachers
    30. 30. Teaching in English Only Supporters: “Proponents of the ballot initiatives mandating sheltered English immersion argue that bilingual education is the reason for low levels of English proficiency among immigrant students—especially Latinos, the group served by the vast majority of the bilingual programs. They claim that bilingual education slows down English acquisition, thus contributing to the high dropout rates among Latinos. Because bilingual education is the problem, getting rid of bilingual instruction is the solution” (Mora, 2009).
    32. 32. No Child Left Behind: • “Federal and state laws require that all students participate in the state-mandated assessment program, including… English language learners (ELL)... (Georgia Department of Education, 2010). • “The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) requires that all children, including English language learners (ELLs), reach high standards by demonstrating proficiency in English language arts and mathematics by 2014” (Abedi & Dietel, 2004).
    33. 33. Are ELL Students Prepared for Standardized Testing? • The challenges for English language learners are especially difficult, involving both educational and technical issues, including: – Historically low ELL performance and slow improvement. – Measurement accuracy. – Instability of the ELL student subgroup. – Factors outside of a school’s control.
    34. 34. Historically Low ELL Performance and Slow Improvement. . . • Consistently perform lower than other students. • Tests are given in English • Test measure students achievement and ability to read English. • Minimal accommodations are available to ELL students while taking standardized tests. – Accommodations offered during regular instructional time may be allowed during testing if approved by district.
    35. 35. Measurement Accuracy: Does the Test Reflect Student Knowledge or Ability to Read English? • “Modifying, oftentimes simplifying the language of the test items has consistently resulted in ELL performance improvement without reducing the rigor of the test” (Abedi & Dietel, 2004). • Tests translated into the students’ native language showed an even greater improvement in scores.
    36. 36. Instability of the ELL Student Subgroup. . . • High achieving students are removed from the ELL subgroup. • Only low achieving student test scores are reflected in the “ELL” category. • “U.S. Department of Education recently approved NCLB plans [for students to remain] in the ELL subgroup until they have reached the proficient level on the English language arts section of the state achievement test for several consecutive years” (Abedi & Dietel, 2004) – This will assist in improving reported ELL scores and achievement to meet adequate yearly progress required by NCLD
    37. 37. Factors Outside of a School’s Control. . . • Research has shown that “. . . nonschool factors, usually parent education level and socioeconomic status, outweigh school factors in their effect on student achievement” (Abedi & Dietel, 2004). • Nonschool factors increase the chance of failure for ELL students.
    38. 38. Georgia Schools not Meeting AYP Based on ELP Indicator: 2010 – 10 2009 – 4 2008 – 3 2007 – 7 2006 – 17 2005 – 5 2004 - 6
    39. 39. Suggestions for Improvement: • Focus on reading • “Closely track ELL performance. . . to identify patterns of improvement or lack of improvement. . .” (Abedi & Dietel, 2004) • Modify test language • Encourage test accommodations
    41. 41. References: Abedi, J., and Dietel, R. 2004. Challenges in the No Child Left Behind Act for English language learners. CRESST Policy Brief 7 (Winter). Retieved from Capps, R., Fix, M., Murray, J., Ost, J., Passel, J., & Herwantoro, S. (2005). The new demography of America’s schools: Immigration and the No Child Left Behind Act. Washington, D.C: The Urban Institute. Farver, J., Lonigan, C., & Epppe, S. (2009). Effective early literacy skill development for young spanish-speaking english language learners: an experimental study of two methods. Child Development 80 (3). Retrieved Ebscohost. Karathonos, K. (2009). Exploring us mainstream teachers’ perspectives on use of the native language in instruction with english language learner students. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism 12 (6) Retrieved from Ebscohost. Mora, J. (2009). From the ballot box to the classroom. Educational Leadership 66 (7). Retrieved from leadership/apr09/vol66/num07/From-the-Ballot-Box-to-the-Classroom.aspx
    42. 42. The Education Alliance at Brown University. (2010). Retrieved October 4, 2010. Federal PL 107-110, The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, Title IX, General Provisions, Part A Definitions, Section 9101(25) Georgia Department of Education, (2010). Title III ESOL Resource Guide 2010-2011. Retrieved from 2011%20Title%20III%20ESOL%20Resource%20Guide.pdf?p=6CC6799F8C1371 F674B9718A1884A8B529B06C48B9304437C2C49FC8B0DF6D5F&Type=D Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages. (2010). Position Paper on Language and Literacy Development for Young English Language Learners (ages 3 – 8). Retrieved from Unites States Department of Education. (2010). Retrieved October 4, 2010. U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2010). The Condition of Education 2010 (NCES 2010-028), Indicator 5.
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