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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)
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)
“ 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
“ 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)
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