Professionalizing TESOL Volunteerism, Service Learning, and ...


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Professionalizing TESOL Volunteerism, Service Learning, and ...

  1. 1. Professionalizing TESOL Volunteerism, Service Learning, and Internships Lynn Henrichsen, Haley Wiggins, and Maryruth Bracy Farnsworth TESOL 2004, Long Beach
  2. 2. Abstract Volunteers have long been part of TESOL, but service learning and internships are relatively new in TESOL teacher education. Professionalism is a concern when volunteers, service learners, and/or interns teach ESL/EFL. In this session, we will present experience-based suggestions for professionalizing these activities.
  3. 3. Key Concepts and Terminology <ul><li>Volunteers , volunteerism, and service </li></ul><ul><li>Professionals and professionalism </li></ul><ul><li>Interns , internships , and academic interns </li></ul><ul><li>Service-learning </li></ul>
  4. 4. I. Volunteers <ul><li>People who, of their own free will, intentionally choose to do something, without being compelled to do so. </li></ul><ul><li>Volunteers may or may not receive compensation, i.e., they may be paid or unpaid. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Volunteer Service at BYU <ul><li>Natural for Brigham Young University to have a strong volunteer service orientation. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Volunteer Service at BYU <ul><li>Aims of a BYU education: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“Educate the minds and spirits of students within a learning environment that is spiritually strengthening, intellectually enlarging, and character building, and that leads to a life of learning and service.” </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Service and Learning at BYU <ul><li>Encouraged and promoted (at the highest levels). </li></ul><ul><li>Support mechanisms institutionalized (Center for Service & Learning, grants, course designations, etc.). </li></ul>
  8. 8. Many Service-Oriented Programs & Activities (A few examples) Teach for America: College graduates commit to teach in low income communities for two years. Service to the World : Students serve by making leper bandages, etc. Operation Smile: Students help medical professionals mitigate the pain and isolation suffered by children born with correctable facial deformities.
  9. 9. Service-Oriented Volunteer Activities in K-12 Education TOPS (Tutor Outreach to Provo Schools) : Volunteers serve as tutors or mentors for 1-2 hours per week at elementary, middle, and high schools throughout Provo School District.
  10. 10. Why Serve? ( Daily Universe ) “ During these college years, it is easy to think only of yourself; service counteracts this natural tendency in all of us.” “ Sometimes,…when you get everything pressing down on you, you just have to serve to put things back into perspective.”
  11. 11. Why? Because it feels good! BYU’s Center for Service and Learning
  12. 12. Volunteers in TESOL: The Needs <ul><li>Large numbers of immigrants and refugees in English-speaking countries who have very limited financial resources and can’t afford many ESL courses but need English to survive. </li></ul><ul><li>Millions of people abroad who need basic English skills to improve their lives (education, employment) but can’t afford commercial English courses. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Volunteers: Promises and Perils <ul><li>Pros </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Enthusiasm </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dedication </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Minimal operating and personnel costs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Help for those who can least afford it </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Cons </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Zeal without knowledge </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lack of professionalism </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. II. Professional <ul><li>Engaged in, or worthy of the high standards of a profession. </li></ul><ul><li>Profession: A vocation or occupation requiring advanced education and training, and involving intellectual skills, such as medicine, law, theology, engineering, teaching, etc. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Is it possible for volunteers to be professional ? In TESOL? In other fields?
  16. 16. A Scary Example of Nonprofessional Volunteer Service Business management student with no training in medicine who “creates his own adventures to help the less fortunate.” At medical clinics in Central America, he “had the opportunity to do what he had seen on television…” vaccinating children, suturing wounds, delivering babies. — The Daily Universe , 29 April 2003, p. 3
  17. 17. Professionalism in the Practice of Medicine <ul><li>Unauthorized Florida doctor fired </li></ul><ul><li>“ New York—A man posing as a licensed doctor worked more than three years in emergency rooms and performed dozens of complicated procedures, including opening up a chest and massaging a heart, authorities said. Timothy C. McNamee, 34, graduated from medical school and completed a residency at Brooklyn Hospital but never passed the U.S. Medical License Examination, state Attorney General Dennis Vacco said Wednesday. McNamee, who surrendered Wednesday, could face four years in prison if convicted of unauthorized practice of a profession .” </li></ul><ul><li>— The Daily Universe , March 27, 1998, p. 2 </li></ul>
  18. 18. Volunteer Service in Other Professions <ul><li>Literacy development </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Literacy Volunteers of America (volunteers teach ESL after twelve hours of training) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Verizon Literacy University (National Center for Family Literacy, ProLiteracy Worldwide) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Role of volunteers in TESOL??? </li></ul>
  19. 19. Professionalism in TESOL <ul><li>A topic of considerable discussion over the years. </li></ul><ul><li>Harold B. Allen. (1981). What it means to be a professional in TESOL. In J. McConochie, E. Block, G. Brookes, & B. Gonzales (Eds.). IDIOMatically speaking: Selected articles from IDIOM, volumes 1-10. New York: NYS ESOL BEA. </li></ul><ul><li>Joan Morley. (1993/94). The challenges and rewards of being an ESOL professional. TESOL Matters , December/January, 18. </li></ul><ul><li>David Nunan. (1999). So you think that language teaching is a profession (part 1 and part 2). TESOL Matters, August/September and October/November, 3. </li></ul>
  20. 20. Important Aspects of Professionalism <ul><li>High standards </li></ul><ul><li>Intellectual skills </li></ul><ul><li>Advanced education </li></ul>
  21. 21. Another Important Aspect of Professionalism <ul><li>Division and specification of duties according to training . People performing tasks that they have been adequately prepared to perform. </li></ul><ul><li>Doctor’s office analogy: MD not required for all tasks. Physician’s assistant, nurse practitioner, registered nurse, medical assistants, receptionists, practical radiology technician, etc. </li></ul>
  22. 22. Volunteers and Professionalism in TESOL <ul><li>It is possible to divide, specify, and assign appropriate teaching duties to interns or service-learning volunteers according to the preparation or training they have received (and with appropriate supervision). </li></ul><ul><li>Applying the doctor’s office analogy: TESOL MA required for some but not all teaching activities— e.g., planning a curriculum for a program, deciding on instructional strategies vs. serving as conversation partners, literacy tutors, etc. </li></ul>
  23. 23. Volunteers in TESOL: Three Key Questions <ul><li>How can ESL/EFL programs utilizing volunteers be professional? </li></ul><ul><li>What TESOL functions can volunteers perform? What functions should they not perform? </li></ul><ul><li>What types and levels of preparation do they need for the functions they can perform? </li></ul>
  24. 24. Our Solution <ul><li>Use service-oriented TESOL volunteers appropriately (in targeted, restricted roles). </li></ul><ul><li>Appreciate their enthusiasm, dedication. </li></ul><ul><li>Add professionally sound, targeted, short-term training (in the specific TESOL skills that they will need in a particular situation). </li></ul><ul><li>Provide ongoing mentoring and support. </li></ul>
  25. 25. III. Internship <ul><li>An educational process that integrates classroom study with planned and supervised practical experiences in vocational, educational, or cultural settings. An internship is an extension of regular school programs that allows students to acquire practical skills while applying classroom theory and principles . </li></ul>
  26. 26. Academic Interns in TESOL at BYU <ul><li>Graduate or undergraduate students who are enrolled in one of our degree programs and who are doing an internship as a regular part of their TESOL academic program . They receive academic training and credit for this internship, as well as in-service support and supervision while they are doing it. These students are characterized by a long-term commitment to the field and broad preparation for their internship and future career-related activities in TESOL. </li></ul>
  27. 27. IV. Service-Learning <ul><li>“ Service-learning means a method under which students learn and develop through thoughtfully organized service that: is conducted in and meets the needs of a community and is coordinated with an institution of higher education , and with the community; helps foster civic responsibility; is integrated into and enhances the academic curriculum of the students enrolled; and includes structured time for students to reflect on the service experience.” —American Association for Higher Education (AAHE): Series on Service-Learning in the Disciplines (adapted from the National and Community Service Trust Act of 1993) </li></ul>
  28. 28. Service-Learning <ul><li>“ Service-learning seeks to engage individuals in activities that combine both community service and academic learning . Because service-learning programs are typically rooted in formal courses (core academic, elective, or vocational), the service activities are usually based on particular curricular concepts that are being taught .” —Andrew Furco, “Is Service-Learning Really Better than Community Serivce?” in Furco, Andres and Shelley H. Billig, eds., Service-Learning: The Essence of the Pedagogy. Greenwich, CT: Information Age Publishing, Inc. 2002, p. 25 </li></ul>
  29. 29. Characteristics of Effective Service-Learning Programs <ul><li>Placement Quality. Establishment of connections that provide productive learning situations for students as well as genuine resources to the community. </li></ul><ul><li>Application. Students can link what they do in the classroom with what they experience in the community, and vice versa. </li></ul><ul><li>Reflection. Leads to deeper understanding and better application, and to greater use of subject matter knowledge in analyzing and solving a problem. </li></ul><ul><li>Community Voice. A predictor of tolerance, cultural appreciation, reward in service, valuing a career in service, better understanding of the community, and identifying with community partners. </li></ul><ul><li>— Excerpted from Eyler, Janet and Dwight Giles, Where’s the Learning in Service-Learning? San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1999 </li></ul>
  30. 30. Criteria for Service-Learning Courses at BYU <ul><li>The service provided by the students is needed by the community. </li></ul><ul><li>The course promotes student reflection on the relationship between the service they render and the academic content of the course. </li></ul><ul><li>The service experience enhances and in no way undermines the realization of the Aims of a BYU Education. </li></ul><ul><li>The service experience is based on principles derived from the academic discipline. </li></ul><ul><li>Academic credit is awarded for learning related to the academic content of the course, and not for service alone. </li></ul><ul><li>Service recipients participate in the evaluation of the service provided. </li></ul>
  31. 31. Brigham Young University’s Center for Service and Learning <ul><li>“ Learn to serve well. Serve to learn better.” </li></ul><ul><li>Similar centers at other universities: the Lowell Bennion Community Service Center for Service-Learning and Student Service Programs at the University of Utah; the Service-Learning Clearinghouse at UCLA (see references and Website URLs at end of presentation) </li></ul>
  32. 32. BYU Center for Service-Learning: Video Examples
  33. 33. International TESOL Service-Learning Volunteers <ul><li>A program that offers students interested in teaching English to speakers of other languages the placements, tools, skills, and supervision they need to have a successful experience and truly be of service. </li></ul>
  34. 34. International TESOL Service Volunteers <ul><li>Sites in </li></ul><ul><li>Mexico </li></ul><ul><li>Guatemala </li></ul><ul><li>Taiwan </li></ul><ul><li>Mozambique </li></ul><ul><li>Ecuador </li></ul><ul><li>???? </li></ul>
  35. 35. TESOL Service Volunteers at BYU <ul><li>Students in non-TESOL degree programs (e.g., public health, business, Spanish) who, out of feelings of good will and a desire to serve others , engage in activities intended to help speakers of other languages learn English. They are not pursuing a degree in TESOL although they may have previous experience teaching English. Their commitment to English language teaching is usually short-term in nature, and their involvement in it may be due to the circumstances that they find (or will soon find) themselves in (e.g., living abroad). The training they need for their volunteer experience is narrow and focuses on giving them the skills they will need for specific, limited, structured teaching activities in a particular setting or with a particular set of English-teaching materials. </li></ul>
  36. 36. More Detailed Information TESOL Interns (Haley Wiggins) TESOL Service-Learning Volunteers (Maryruth Bracy Farnsworth)
  37. 37. Overview of Internship Programs Department of Linguistics and English Language Brigham Young University Haley Wiggins
  38. 38. Three Internship Programs <ul><li>Linguistics—Graduate and Undergraduate </li></ul><ul><li>Editing—Undergraduate </li></ul><ul><li>TESOL—Graduate and Undergraduate </li></ul>
  39. 39. Focus on TESOL interns <ul><li>Undergraduate students enrolled in our TESOL minor program (not TESOL K-12, which has its own student-teaching practicum) </li></ul><ul><li>New requirement for TESOL minor </li></ul><ul><li>Purposes, preparation, locations, supervision, and funding </li></ul>
  40. 40. Purposes <ul><li>To help students in the BYU TESOL minor program connect knowledge and skills learned in the classroom to real world settings </li></ul>
  41. 41. Purposes <ul><li>To increase ties between BYU and participating ESOL providers (locally and around the world) by providing professional service </li></ul>
  42. 42. Purposes <ul><li>To assist English language learners </li></ul>
  43. 43. Preparation of Interns TESOL Minor Coursework <ul><li>Introduction to the English Language </li></ul><ul><li>Language Acquisition </li></ul><ul><li>Methods and Strategies </li></ul><ul><li>Literacy Development </li></ul><ul><li>Academic Internship (International, Domestic, or Local) </li></ul><ul><li>Language Testing </li></ul><ul><li>Elective: English Grammar or </li></ul><ul><li>Computers and teaching </li></ul>
  44. 44. Locations for Internships <ul><li>International (Mexico, Ecuador, Guatemala, Taiwan, China, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Domestic (California, Utah) </li></ul><ul><li>Local (Utah Valley) </li></ul>
  45. 45. Supervision of Interns <ul><li>International/Domestic: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>On-site facilitators </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>On-line connections between students and BYU faculty mentors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Periodic site visits by BYU faculty </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Local: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Students take on-campus courses at same time they do internship </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Faculty supervisors/mentors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>On-site facilitators </li></ul></ul>
  46. 46. Four Stages of Highly Effective Funding <ul><li>Begin </li></ul><ul><li>Develop </li></ul><ul><li>Expand </li></ul><ul><li>Secure </li></ul>
  47. 47. Four Stages of Highly Effective Funding <ul><li>SCALE (Student Coalition for Action in Literacy Education) ( </li></ul><ul><li>BYU Academic Internship Grant </li></ul><ul><li>BYU Mentored Learning Environment Grant </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Scholarship for travel/tuition assistance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Site development and maintenance </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Donor/Endowment </li></ul>
  48. 48. Overview Of TESOL Community Connection (Local internship program) <ul><li>What are the student requirements? </li></ul><ul><li>How are students placed? (ESOL Providers Network) </li></ul>
  49. 49. What are the local internship requirements? <ul><li>50 hours of internship work per credit hour (most take 3 credit hours=150 service and training hours) </li></ul><ul><li>Monthly log of hours (signed by ESOL Provider) </li></ul><ul><li>Regular class throughout the semester </li></ul><ul><li>Reflection exercises ( </li></ul><ul><li>Summary paper </li></ul>
  50. 50. How are local interns placed? <ul><li>Interns view site descriptions on our internship Website </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Interns indicate top 3 choices </li></ul><ul><li>Coordinator assigns internships based on preference and availability. </li></ul>
  51. 51. ESOL Providers Network Adult ESL programs in local school districts, commercial & university intensive English programs
  52. 52. Feedback from Interns
  53. 53. International TESOL Service-Learning Volunteers Maryruth Bracy Farnsworth
  54. 54. “ Service-learning is a form of pedagogy coupled with experiential opportunities for students to focus their intelligence and ideals on real and significant needs which exist in the community and have real consequences.” —Kevin Burr
  55. 55. “ Service-learning is by design an ongoing effort to break down the barriers and build bridges—to create a lasting connection between the constantly changing needs of the community and the educational effort to address them.” —Kevin Burr
  56. 56. Service + Learning: The Right Combination <ul><li>Remember: Not all service is service learning. It is the combination of service-oriented activities and academic learning within a designated course (e.g., Ling 377R Basic Training in TESOL ) that makes English-teaching volunteer service become service learning. This satisfies the requirement that the nature of the service performed must be connected with the academic purpose of the course and the department that offers it. </li></ul>
  57. 57. Rationale for International TESOL Service-Learning Volunteers <ul><li>Growing interest among service-oriented students on campus (non-departmental) </li></ul><ul><li>Growing worldwide demand for English skills </li></ul><ul><li>Students are going to go abroad and teach English anyway! </li></ul>
  58. 58. Aspects Requiring Attention <ul><li>Program approval and funding </li></ul><ul><li>Identification and preparation of international sites </li></ul><ul><li>Preparation of students </li></ul><ul><li>Administration of sites and supervision of students, online and in person </li></ul>
  59. 59. Approval and Funding <ul><li>Approval by department, college, university, international center, and service-learning center </li></ul><ul><li>Funding for travel, tuition, etc.; from departmental strategic planning, college discretionary funds, university grants, donors, eventual endowment </li></ul>
  60. 60. Sites <ul><li>Identification (contacts, student interest) </li></ul><ul><li>Preparation (investigation, personnel, standards, and approval) </li></ul>
  61. 61. Preparation of Students <ul><li>From outside our TESOL programs </li></ul><ul><li>Ling 377R Basic Training in TESOL </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Site-specific training </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cultural information </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Goal: One section for each site </li></ul>
  62. 62. Teaching Topics Addressed <ul><li>Needs assessment </li></ul><ul><li>Situation analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Lesson planning </li></ul><ul><li>Teacher talk </li></ul><ul><li>Classroom management </li></ul><ul><li>Methodology: Language skills/features </li></ul><ul><li>Cross-cultural rules of behavior </li></ul><ul><li>Assessing learners’ skills (OPIs) </li></ul><ul><li>Understanding and responding to students’ errors </li></ul><ul><li>Creating, collecting, and adapting materials for teaching </li></ul>
  63. 63. Major Learning Activities <ul><li>Observations of ESL/EFL classes (live and through videos of classes in volunteers’ target setting) </li></ul><ul><li>Readings and follow-up discussions </li></ul><ul><li>Creation of a teaching resource materials file </li></ul><ul><li>Lesson plan creation, sharing, and simulated in-class teaching </li></ul><ul><li>Reflection journal and exercises </li></ul>
  64. 64. Feedback from Students <ul><li>“This has been a good crash-course on teaching and I feel a lot more prepared than before.” </li></ul><ul><li>“We learned some valuable information about what to expect in Mexico and how to have good lesson plans. I’m glad I had this preparation.” </li></ul>
  65. 65. International TESOL Service Volunteers in Guadalajara, Mexico
  66. 67. Conclusions <ul><li>Professionalism and volunteerism are not necessarily mutually exclusive. </li></ul><ul><li>TESOL interns and volunteers need appropriate training, supervision, and funding, if professional quality is to be maintained. </li></ul><ul><li>TESOL service-learning can benefit academic programs, faculty, TESOL students, communities, and English language learners. </li></ul>
  67. 68. Myths Dispelled <ul><li>Anyone who speaks English can teach it. </li></ul><ul><li>Everyone who teaches English to speakers of other languages needs at least a master’s degree in TESOL. (cf. International School of English Communication at </li></ul><ul><li>One size fits all. If you’ve seen (or taught in) one program, you’ve seen (or can teach in) them all. </li></ul>
  68. 69. The Best Service <ul><li>“ We do the best service when we do what we know how to do.” —Sandra Rogers, International Vice-President, Brigham Young University </li></ul>
  69. 70. Questions (from the audience) and Answers (from the panel) <ul><li>? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? </li></ul>
  70. 71. Additional Resources <ul><li>The Big Dummy’s Guide to Service-Learning </li></ul><ul><li>The Colorado Service-Learning Home Page </li></ul><ul><li>UCLA Service-Learning Clearinghouse Project </li></ul><ul><li>The National Service-Learning Clearinghouse </li></ul><ul><li>The BYU Center for Service and Learning http:// centerforservice . byu . edu </li></ul><ul><li>Learn and Serve (Corporation for National and Community Service) </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul>
  71. 72. Presenter Contact Information <ul><li>Dept. of Linguistics and English Language 2129 JKHB, BYU, Provo, UT 84602 </li></ul><ul><li>Lynn Henrichsen <> </li></ul><ul><li>Haley Wiggins <> </li></ul><ul><li>Maryruth Bracy Farnsworth <> </li></ul>