Re-Imagining the Place of ESL in the Community College
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Re-Imagining the Place of ESL in the Community College Re-Imagining the Place of ESL in the Community College Presentation Transcript

  • Re-Imagining the Place of ESL in the Community College Eileen F. Kelley, Ed.D. Yulia Stone, C.A.G.S. Holyoke Community College March 27, 2010 44 th TESOL Convention Boston, MA
  • ESL Program at HCC
    • Began in 1986
    • 5 Levels - Beginning to Advanced (25-30 sections per semester)
    • All classes carry academic credit
    • Approximately 250 students per semester
    • 10 Support Services Coordinators in 24 years
  •  
  • Where do our ELLs come from? Spring 2010 survey ESL levels 4 and 5
  • ESL Student Profile Spring 2010 Survey ESL Levels 4 and 5
  •  
  • Demographic Facts of Area Surrounding HCC
    • Persons of Hispanic or Latino origin, 2008– 19%
    • Language other than English spoken at home, 2000 – 22.3%
    • Between 1990 and 2000, the Hispanic population of Massachusetts grew by 49.1%
    • (Hampden County Quick Facts from the US Census Bureau and Massachusetts State Data Center)
    • “ The number of Latinos in Springfield increased more than 50 percent from 1990 to 2000 when 27.2 percent of the city’s population identified themselves as Hispanic.” (“The Springfield Republican”, 2005)
  • The Research Project
    • CCLA (Community College Leadership Academy)
    • The Research Question
    • Why do non-ESL faculty and staff experience failure when working with ELLs? (“Why don’t your students do better?”)
  • Purpose of the Study
    • Are community colleges ‘underprepared’ for ELLs?
    • Are we in a ‘developmental’ phase?
    • Does everyone know about support services available?
    • Results from questionnaires give answers…
  • Faculty responses
  • Responses across Divisions
  • ELLs in your class?
  • Expertise with ELLs
  • Knowledge of HCC Support Services Available for ELLs
  • Findings – led us to re-imagine the place of our ESL program on campus – we’re more important than we think!
    • Many faculty members admit that they don’t have expertise in working with ELLs
    • Many faculty members are unaware of the support services that are available to their ELL students
    • Faculty are asking for help so that they may be more effective with ELLs – the data shows that they need us!
    • The traditional organizational structure of community colleges does not provide for collaboration/connections between support services and classroom – it’s up to us
    • Programs that may be beneficial to ELLs have tenuous connections, or no connection at all, to the ESL program at HCC (some grant funded)
    • Faculty need access to a resource person or department for consultation
  • Success is the responsibility of all on campus – not just ESL
    • “Increasing numbers of educators realize that it will take more than strong institutional English as a second language (ESL) programs to best serve the needs of immigrant learners . It will also require the support and commitment of non-ESL faculty and administrators to ensure successful retention, program completion, and career placement of these students.” (Johnson and Marchwick, 2006)
  • Recommendations
    • “ The administration should be aware of unprepared faculty who are openly frustrated about having ESL students in their classes, and should embark on programs to educate faculty and give them the tools necessary to improve their teaching”. (Casey, 2006)
    • The ESL program is a conduit for diversity, but it cannot single-handedly support linguistically-diverse students. That is the job of the entire college. Allocate appropriate resources – not program specific, but for the entire college to collaborate in this effort
    • ESL faculty members can provide training in SLA (Second Language Acquisition) issues that affect student performance in college classes
  • Focus on language
    • “ Without an emphasis…on the role of language in teaching and learning , teachers will be increasingly underprepared to work with the growing linguistic diversity in schools.” (Johnson and Marchwick, 2006)
  • Initiatives and Outcomes
    • Close collaboration with Nursing department – Multicultural Nursing Club
    • Learning Communities
        • Women’s Health and English
        • English 101 and ESL RW5
        • English 101 and Themes in ESL
        • RW4 and MTH 075
        • ENG 101 for ELLs
    • Close collaboration with Early Childhood department – PET, QUEST, TRACS
    • SoTL project on ELLs and Nursing
    • Intro. to Health Careers
    • ESL for Sustainable Energy Technology
  • Re-imagining your place
    • Reposition, not just re-imagine – tie in to college priorities – ESL as a conduit for diversity
    • Get involved in other divisions
    • Be innovative – add something new (SI for ESL classes)
    • Build relationships – get on committees, meet key people, offer your services, go to classes, make phone calls, let them know where you are and who to contact – teach with faculty from other disciplines
    • Review your assumptions – faculty and staff may want help but not know how/where to get it
    • Review your assumptions again – do you believe that your program deserves more status?
    • Make your successes visible to the administration – get ‘the numbers’ and use them to get what you need
  • Benefits that last…
    • Students get more support
    • Faculty get more support
      • They know where to go for help
      • They learn more about effective teaching when partnering with ESL faculty members
    • Curriculum changes reflect the needs of ELLs
    • Our ESL program gets more support and higher status