Class 2 - Assignment
“Bridging the L.E.P. Gap”
Some individuals migrate to the United States for a better way of life. This could encompass
opportunities such as work, housing and education. For many of the recent immigrants that I
teach on a daily basis, these are the essential elements that drive and keep them here.
Imagine if you will, arriving in a new country with perhaps only one parent and staying with a
relative or in a make-shift camping environment until your parent retains work. “Being a
Limited English Proficient (L.E.P.) student, you may or may not have a grasp on Basic
Interpersonal Communication Skills (B.I.C.S.) in English (L2) and your Cognitive Academic
Language Proficiency (C.A.L.P.) skills in Spanish (L1) are below grade level because school
was not as important in your home country as working to help support your family” (Holling,
E.S.L. Academy 2008). “Further complicating the issue is the fact that your new school’s
E.S.L. (English as a Second Language) environment is not necessarily able to support your
L1 verbally. Texas law states, E.S.L. instructors are not required by to be fluent in the
student’s home language (L1)” (M.Guerra, E.S.L. training 2008). Considering these barriers
to education, what should all teachers recognize about recent immigrant’s affective filters?
More effectively, how can we best serve the students with the given parameters?
One avenue to lowering those filters has been the pursuit and research (via regulations of No
Child Left Behind - N.C.L.B.) as it relates to the “efficacy of technology in the classroom that
provides scientifically based software that supports the content area subject matter (TEKS
based)” (TEA - N.C.L.B. - Title III, Part A). Congruent to N.C.L.B. goals for L.E.P. students,
the “Essential Linguistics Proficiency Standards (E.L.P.S.) promote the “how” of learning
through the use of listening, speaking, reading and writing” (Holling, E.L.P.S. training 2009).
“Ideally, both the law and the standards are reflected through this electronic world which is L1
supportive, non-judgmental in a multi-sensory setting. When enhanced, the programs(s)
combine text, pictures, auditory and speaking functions which are individualized per a
student’s rate of knowledge growth” (www.successmaker.com). “Mutually, this helps to
scaffold (i.e. bridge the L2 gap) between social and academic English language which is the
major hurdle as it relates to standardized testing for L.E.P. student s” (Holling, E.L.P.S.
Despite cultural, financial and legal barriers to successful navigation of standardized testing in
the United States, “L.E.P. students (in Texas) have electronic support now in the areas of
Computer Assisted Instruction. From appearances, the effect of C.A.I. on end-of-course
academic achievement is positive. In general, C.A.I. appears to be most effective when
used with either low-achieving or high-achieving groups” (P. Dunkel, 1987 p367-372).
Ultimately, it is important to keep in mind the individual students to ensure that specific needs
are met. This paper provides a snap-shot of several broad topics necessary to highlight some
essential areas of concern as it relates L.E.P. acclamation and successful navigation through
U.S. schools, specifically in Texas.
Dr. Holling, P.I.S.D. - E.S.L. Academy 3-day course 2008
M.Guerra, P.I.S.D. E.S.L. training 2008
P. Dunkel, TESOL Quarterly, 1987, Vol. 21 Issue 2, p367-372
Dr. Holling, P.I.S.D. - E.L.P.S. training presentation 2009
Cuil references include:
T.E.A. – N.C.L.B. - Title III, Part A