Content-Based Instruction: English for Child Care at Mission College

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CBI at the Community College Level: Is it Feasible?
Content-based instruction (CBI) refers to the teaching of language through exposure to content that is interesting and relevant to learners. This content serves several purposes. First, it provides a rich context for the language classroom, allowing the teacher to present and explain specific language features. Additionally, it addresses the learners’ need for cognitively challenging input that can both facilitate language acquisition and help foster critical thinking skills.
In her contribution to the six-person panel, Marsha Chan describes on the English for Child Care program at Mission College. She joins panelists in discussing successes and challenges in implementing CBI at the community college with respect to a variety of issues, including the selection of content or discipline areas, program design, funding, and administrative concerns.

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  • CBI at the Community College Level: Is it Feasible? Content-based instruction (CBI) refers to the teaching of language through exposure to content that is interesting and relevant to learners. This content serves several purposes. First, it provides a rich context for the language classroom, allowing the teacher to present and explain specific language features. Additionally, it addresses the learners’ need for cognitively challenging input that can both facilitate language acquisition and help foster critical thinking skills.  In their pioneering volume on CBI (1989), Brinton, Snow, and Wesche identified three prototype models of CBI—theme-based, sheltered, and adjunct—documenting their implementation in a variety of ESL/EFL contexts. Additional “hybrid” models of these three prototypes have continued to evolve as institutional experiences with CBI expand. Although many agree with the teaching/learning concepts that underlie CBI as an approach to second language instruction, numerous factors can impede its successful implementation. In this 90-minute workshop, panelists explore the question of whether CBI is feasible in the California community college context. Following a brief orientation to CBI, presenters from five California community college programs provide details on existing CBI programs at their community colleges. They then discuss successes and challenges in implementing CBI at the community college with respect to a variety of issues, including the selection of content or discipline areas, program design, funding, and administrative concerns. Audience members are encouraged to ask questions and share their own experiences. Panelists:Donna M. BrintonUniversity of Southern CaliforniaLos Angeles, CAdbrinton@usc.edu Nancy SanderWest Los Angeles CollegeCulver City, CA Sharon JaffeSanta Monica CollegeSanta Monica, CA Patricia KellySouthwestern CollegeChula Vista, CA Marsha ChanMission CollegeSanta Clara, Californiamarsha@sunburstmedia.com Barbara LutherSaddleback CollegeMission Viejo, CA
  • Content-Based Instruction: English for Child Care at Mission College

    1. 1. Content-Based Instruction: English for Child Care at Mission CollegeSanta Clara, CA<br />Marsha ChanPanelist<br />CBI at the Community College Level: <br />Is it Feasible?<br />Organized by Donna Brinton<br />
    2. 2. ESL curriculum overview<br />Over 23 courses at 7 levels:<br />970 Advanced<br />960 High intermediate<br />950 Intermediate<br />940 Low Intermediate<br />930 High Beginning<br />920 Beginning<br />910 Fundamental<br />
    3. 3. ESL for Child Care/Child Development<br />940CC English for Students of Child Development<br />930CC English for Child Care II<br />920CC English for Child Care I<br />
    4. 4. Child Care Providers approach Mission College<br />Spring 2000: San José community group Asociación de Proveedores del Cuidado de Niños de San José approaches Mission College Child Development (CHD) Department requesting English language class for Child Care Providers. <br />
    5. 5. ESL and CHD Deptsbegin collaboration<br />Fall 2000 – Fall 2004Mission College CHD dept’s request that ESL dept write a content-based ESL course results in ESL 920CC ESL for Child Care. <br />Note: No published ESL course materials for this content area, and no ESL faculty has CHD experience.<br />
    6. 6. Funding for curriculum development<br />Collaboration and curriculum development is supported by<br />Workplace Learning Resource Center<br />VATEA: Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Applied Technology Education Act<br />$$<br />
    7. 7. Classes offered in the community<br />ESL 920CC is offered at Choices for Children in downtown San José.<br />ESL 920CC is offered at PTRAC: Provider Training, Resource & Activity Center in San José.<br />
    8. 8. Classes offered on campus<br />Spring 2005: ESL 920CC English for Child Care begins to be taught at Mission College, Santa Clara. <br />ESL 920CC off-campus ends when ESL dept cannot find instructor willing to teach content-based English without a textbook or content-specific expertise.<br />
    9. 9. Second ESL for CC course<br />Fall 2005: ESL for Child Care students request second level class. <br />ESL 940CC ESL for Students of Child Development is written, with support & input from ESL and CHD, and funding from the Bay Area Community College Consortium.<br />$$<br />
    10. 10. Second course is offered<br />Fall 2006-Spring 2009ESL 920CC English for Child Care and ESL 940CC English for Students of Child Development are taught on campus at Mission in alternate semesters. <br />Still a dearth of content-based course materials. Instructor builds expertise through connections with CHD professionals & self-study.<br />
    11. 11. Third course fills a gap<br />Fall 2009: ESL 930CC English for Child Care II focuses on English language to discuss ages and stages of child development.<br />ESL 920CC, revised as English for Child Care I, focuses on English language to communicate about children, health and safety.<br />
    12. 12. Learning community<br />ESL 940CC English for Students of Child Development and CHD 1 Child Growth and Development are paired in a learning community. Faculty supported by Basic Skills Initiative funding.<br />$$<br />
    13. 13. Pathway from ESL to Child Care certification?<br />Mission ESL and CHD faculty, with guidance from WpLRC Director, collaborate on grant to create a pathway for non-native speakers of English to Child Care certification.<br />Perkins VATEA proposal not accepted<br />$$<br />
    14. 14. Continued community need for content-based instruction<br />Spring 2010: Smart Start San José Family Child Care Training Program seeks CHD and ESL classes from Mission College.<br />Center for Employment Training (CET) San José seeks expertise of Mission College ESL for Child Care curriculum and materials.<br />
    15. 15. Solutions 2010-11 <br />Smart Start San José receives grant, contracts with Mission College to provide CHD and ESL by Spanish-English bilingual instructors.<br />English for Child Care: Language Skills for Parents and Providers is published (Brems, Chan, & RosnerSunburst Media).<br />CET San José adopts English for Child Care for courses taught by own instructors.<br />
    16. 16. Viability of program: Challenges<br />Loss of support & advocacy at college<br />WorkPlace Learning Resource Center defunded<br />Contract Education Dept defunded<br />ESL Dept funds only 1 course per semester<br />CA State restricts courses to 6 courses below English 1A<br />
    17. 17. ESL credit course losses<br />970 Advanced<br />960 High intermediate<br />950 Intermediate<br />940 Low Intermediate<br />930 High Beginning<br />920 Beginning<br />910 Fundamental<br />Revise as<br />951CC<br />941CC?<br />931CC?<br />In jeopardy<br />940CC<br />930CC<br />920CC?<br />
    18. 18. Viability of program: Assets<br />Continued need for English language training of child care providers<br />ESL–CHD collaborations, connections<br />Mission College–community org partnerships <br />3 courses in curriculum<br />2 FT faculty teach courses<br />A course book for the first 2 courses<br />Continued enrollment <br />

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