Serving ELLs at Oakland Technical High School


Published on

Program recommendations for Oakland Tech to serve their ELL population better. For class at HGSE (T210V).

  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide
  • Academies: computer, engineering, paideia (humanities), health and biotechnology
  • With the fact that a number of the ELL students at Tech are likely to be long-term ELL students, I wanted to make sure that my recommendations are relevant to this portion of the student body as well as other newcomer, immigrant, or recently-arrived ELL students.
  • Serving ELLs at Oakland Technical High School

    1. 1. Serving ELLs at<br />Oakland Technical High School<br />Sarah Fuchs<br />T210V<br />April 22, 2010<br />
    2. 2. OverviewOakland Tech in context<br />Oakland Technical High School is a comprehensive urban high school with a student body of 1,714<br />Located in Oakland, California, which has a population of 404,155 (U.S. Census bureau, 2000)<br />Oakland was among the highest ranked most dangerous cities in the U.S. last year (CQ, 2009)<br />64% of Oakland Tech students feel safe at their school<br />28% of the Oakland population is foreign born, 48% born in California (U.S. Census bureau, 2000)<br />In addition to a comprehensive curriculum, Oakland Tech provides students with options to concentrate in a particular field of interest through its academy system<br />1<br />
    3. 3. Student Body Demographics<br />Free or reduced price lunch: 59.0%<br />English Language Learners: 9.2%<br />Special Education: 10.3%<br />2<br />
    4. 4. Who are the ELLs at Oakland Tech?<br /><ul><li>Cohort of English language learners at Oakland Tech is large and diverse, representing almost 10% (about 170 students) of the school’s student population (Oakland Tech Scorecard)
    5. 5. They are both native-born and foreign-born (Oakland Tech, 2010)
    6. 6. Among the languages represented are: Spanish, Cantonese, Vietnamese, and Amharic (Ethiopian) (Oakland Tech, 2010)</li></ul>OUSD reports 37% growth in student achievement over the past year (Oakland Tech Scorecard)<br />I imagine a significant portion of the ELL student population at Oakland Tech are long-term ELLs because Oakland is also served by an International High School, a comprehensive high school specifically for newcomers, which is located in the same neighborhood as Oakland Tech<br />3<br />
    7. 7. Oakland Tech’s ELD program<br />Oakland Tech’s English Language Development (ELD )program consists of SEI content classes and leveled ELD classes (Oakland Tech, 2010)<br />Bilingual teaching aides for SEI classes (Oakland Tech, 2010)<br />District support for ELD teachers, professional development (OUSD English Learner Programs, 2009)<br />District-wide goals, expectations, and program for ELLs<br />ELD teaching faculty from Oakland Tech helped develop these plans <br />No indication of amount of collaboration between ELD department, content-area departments, and various academies at Oakland Tech; it is also unclear if district ELD supports are available to content teachers<br />4<br />
    8. 8. Goals of recommendations<br />Decrease isolation of ELL students<br />Rationale: Long-term ELLs remain in system for years and tend to have little exposure to native English speakers (Horwitz et al., 2009); Olsen (1997) depicts separation among ELL students and between ELLs and mainstream students as a result of ethnic, cultural and linguistic barriers; Effective English instruction allows for ample opportunities to use English in meaningful situations (Goldenberg, 2009)<br />5<br />
    9. 9. Goals, con’t<br />Allow ELL students access to the greater curriculum outside of the ELD department and SEI classes<br />Rationale: Provide flexible pathways for ELL students to earn course credit toward graduation and college requirements (Short & Fitzsimmons, 2007); Promote a culture of collaboration between the school and district ELD departments and other academic departments at Oakland Tech in (Horwitz et al., 2009); Create a space for shared accountability for ELL student success among all educators, rather than fragmentation of departments and programs and silo mentality among educators (Horwitz et al., 2009)<br />Build on the existing district and school ELD infrastructure to lessen the demands on an already limited budget<br />6<br />
    10. 10. Peer Mentoring Initiative<br />Recommendation 1<br />Each ELL paired with a volunteer native English-speaking peer; for students with very low English skills, perhaps pair them with a student who has already been mainstreamed or a native speaker that shares a linguistic or cultural background (if possible)<br />Peer mentors provide academic and social support<br />Incentives of receiving course credits, participating in activities or events with peer mentors<br />Reduce ethnic or linguistic isolation of ELL students by providing access to peer networks, opportunities to use English in meaningful, natural setting (Olsen, 1997; Goldenberg, 2006)<br />Offer additional “flexible pathways” for ELL students to earn academic credit towards graduation (Short & Fitzsimmons, 2007)<br />Reduce tensions between English-speaking and nonEnglish-speaking students<br />Reported fights between English-speaking Tech students and OIHS students (Kessler, 2009)<br />7<br />
    11. 11. Bilingual aides in Content classes<br />Recommendation 2<br />Bilingual aides provide in-classroom support to students in content-area classes and instructional support to content-area teachers<br />Reassign bilingual aides to accompany students in other classes<br />Depends on the language level or number of students in the class<br />In conjunction with content-area teacher’s SIOP<br />Give ELL students access to academies, other programs at Oakland Tech through providing more freedom and flexibility in curriculum options available to ELLs and “flexible pathways” into mainstream curriculum for ELLs (Short & Fitzsimmons, 2007)<br />Help meet ELL students’ need for additional support in mainstream academic classes; Continued coordination between ELD department and content-area departments (Francis et al., 2006)<br />Enable coordination and collaboration between with ELD department and other academic departments(Francis et al., 2006)<br />8<br />
    12. 12. ELD-focused Professional Development for content teachers<br />Recommendation 3<br />Work with OUSD and Tech’s ELD departments to design ELD-focused professional development <br />SIOP for content/technical teachers<br />Teachers learn to incorporate language objectives, develop/activate students’ topic-relevant background knowledge, focus on content-related vocabulary, promote oral interaction, and emphasize academic literacy in content-specific genres and texts (Short & Fitzsimmons, 2007; Francis et al., 2006)<br />Address needs of students from multiple language backgrounds, skill levels (Horwitz et al., 2009)<br />9<br />
    13. 13. PD, con’t<br />Recommendation 3<br />Give students broader and fuller access to the curriculum of the school<br />Collaboration between academic, ELD departments<br />Makes content-area teachers accountable for ELL student progress and reduces the potential for silo-like environment (Horwitz et al., 2009)<br />Promotes continued coordination with ELD department (Francis et al., 2006)<br />Continued language support for students outside ELD program<br />In lieu of and/or in addition to bilingual aide<br />Develop capacity of other teachers to help ELL students develop literacy in English (Short & Fitzsimmons, 2007)<br />Equip all faculty for future demographic changes of school (Short & Fitzsimmons, 2007)<br />10<br />
    14. 14. Summary<br />Provide opportunities for ELL students to integrate with the rest of the student body to promote education and understanding of the entire learning community.<br />Provide students with access and opportunities to engage and participate in broader, rich curriculum provided by the school.<br />Increase collaboration between ELD professionals and other content area professionals so that ELL progress becomes a concern, and hopefully a priority, for everyone.<br />11<br />
    15. 15. References<br />CQ Press (2009). City crime rankings. Retrieved from:<br />Francis, D., Rivera, M., Lesaux N., Kieffer, M., & Rivera, H. (2006). Practical Guidelines for English Language Learners, Research-Based Recommendations for Serving Adolescent Newcomers. Portsmouth, NH: RMC Research Corporation, Center on Instruction.<br />Goldenberg, C. (2008). Teaching English language learners: What the research does – and does not – say. American Educator, (Summer 2008), 8-44.<br />Horwitz, A.R., Uro, G., Price-Baugh, R., Simon, C., Uzzell, R., Lewis, S. & Casserly, M. (2009). Succeeding with English language learners: Lessons learned from the great city schools. Washington, DC: Council of the Great City Schools.<br />Kessler, J. (2009). Oakland Unified School District case study: OIHS. Stanford, CA: School Redesign Network at Stanford University.<br />Oakland Technical High School (2010). Retrieved from:<br />Oakland Unified School District (2009). English Learner Programs. Retrieved from:<br />Oakland Unified School District (OUSD). Oakland Technical High 2008-2009 annual score card. Retrieved from:<br />Olsen, L. (1997). Made in America: Immigrant students in our public schools. New York: The New Press.<br />Short, D., & Fitzsimmons, S. (2007). Double the work: Challenges and solutions to acquiring language and academic literacy for adolescent English language learners – A report to Carnegie Corporation of New York. Washington, DC: Alliance for Excellent Education.<br />U.S. Census Bureau (2000). Factsheet: Oakland, California. Retrieved from:<br />12<br />