122.  I am enrolled in the Arkansas Non-Traditional Licensure Program, where you spoke on March 2, 2002. I regret having to miss your presentation, but the weather was too bad to attempt my 3-hour commute to Little Rock.   I teach Chemistry and Biology at a High School. We have no Hispanic population at this time. How does ESL affect me now and are there any steps I need to take now to prepare for ESL in the future?  Is there a big demand for more ESL programs and teachers in areas with a high Hispanic population?  Why are teachers expected to meet the same standards, such as reading, with students that are very English limited, when there are not enough people to first teach the language to them? I am referring to a particular person who teaches Kindergarten in a high Hispanic populated city. Most of her students are ESL and are doing the best they can to learn the language with their VERY limited time with the ESL teachers. However, the school and the state expect this teacher to have the kids reading by the end of the year. What are your suggestions for this situation?

I believe that your participation in the Arkansas Non-Traditional Licensure Program, with some emphasis on ESL at this time and the opportunity to add an ESL endorsement in the future, helps you get ready for the challenges you will experience as a teacher in the 21st Century.  Non-English speaking students are now in just about every state of the USA --I believe they
were always in every state, just we pretended not to see them!!!

What ESL preparation offers is the opportunity to develop instructional skills and teaching strategies that benefit ALL students. ALL students are in school to master content areas.  Content areas must be learned through language: learning new vocabulary to name new concepts, mastering new English language skills, developing high level thinking skills. Thus, ALL students are Limited English Proficient because ALL students, English-ONLY speakers and non-English-speakers, must master the language of the content areas.

At this time ESL offers you an introduction to successful teaching strategies to use in ALL your lessons with ALL your students. For the future, consider an endorsement to your basic teaching certification in English-As-A-Second-Language or ESL. It will open doors to you especially in areas where non-English-speaking students are very numerous and in areas where they are beginning to impact public school programs.

There is a demand just about everywhere. We need thousands of ESL teachers in California.  ESL-endorsed teachers are needed in Florida, New York, Texas, North Carolina, Arkansas, Nevada, just about every single state of the USA!!!!!

There is a high demand for ESL teachers in cities and towns with high numbers of non-English-speaking students. In most states, these students tend to be Spanish-speaking or Hispanic students. But there are students from all types of ethnic backgrounds and nationalities everywhere.

ALL students must be provided an equal educational opportunity at each and every grade level. 

ALL public school students must meet the same curricular goals. The legal underpinnings of these ideas are explained elsewhere in answers to questions in my Web Sites.

The key idea here is that the school program MUST be modified to insure that ALL students have access to the same challenging curriculum.

There can be NO exceptions to these legal requirements of equal opportunity and equal access.  The school must offer effective and efficient instructional programs that insure equality of opportunity and equality of access for ALL students. So teachers must provide the program and the instruction that help ALL students achieve, no matter where they begin.

There are MANY things a teacher can do.

First, the Kinder teacher must work in close cooperation and coordination with the ESL teacher.  The ESL program must be fully coordinated and correlated with the Kinder program's goals and objectives. While Kinder students attend the ESL class, they should continue to grow in the language proficiency and language skills needed to function effectively and efficiently in the instructional activities provided in the regular Kinder class. The Kinder and the ESL teachers are responsible for coordinating their programs to best serve ALL their students, especially their ESL students.

Now, my experience training Pre-K and Kinder teachers reveals that ENGLISH-ONLY Kinder students and their non-English-speaking Kinder classmates are ALL equally limited in their English language skills. ALL Kindergartners are limited in English language skills. Thus, ALL must meet the English goals established for the program, in reading and in all curricular areas. I honestly do not see any difference because, in Pre-K and Kinder, ALL students need incredible amounts of English language development, including the development of English literacy skills. 

The responsibility to TEACH English language skills is shared equally by the Kinder and the ESL teachers. BOTH are working together to enhance the English language skills of ALL of their students, English-Only and non- or limited-English speaking students.

What ALL students need at pre-K and Kinder is EXTENSIVE vocabulary development. On the basis of the many words these students need to master:
(1) color words,
(2) counting words,
(3) action words,
(4) feeling words,
(5) their names and
(6) the names of many other persons,
(7) things,
(8) events, etc., etc., etc.,
students can and should begin to notice similarities and differences in the ways these words are written, their initial letters (which may or may NOT coincide with their initial sounds), their final letters (which may or may not coincide with their final sounds), etc.

Students who can recognize similarities of initial and final letters, and initial and final sounds, ARE LEARNING TO READ!!!!! ALL Pre-K and Kinder students can do that!!!!! Thus, we need NOT deny any students an opportunity to learn and an opportunity to have access to all content areas.

I truly hope your Kinder-teacher-friend begins to realize that we learn to read through many different methods or approaches. The first step in learning to read is developing a very extensive vocabulary. ALL Pre-K and Kinder teachers should be ESL teachers since ALL their students are Limited English Proficient.

 


For more in-depth information, classroom demonstrations, and "coaching" of new and/or experienced teachers, Dr. CARMEN SANCHEZ SADEK offers:

1. Cognitive - Academic Language and Vocabulary Development
2. Cross Cultural Diversity - Multicultural Strategies
3. Effective Instruction for English Learners (L.E.P. students) Parts 1, 2, 3, 4
4. Promoting Academic Success in Language Minority Students
5. Cognitive - Academic Language and Vocabulary Development
6. Oral Language / Literacy Skills / Higher Order Thinking Skills
7. 50/50 Dual Language Programs: design, planning and implementation
8. The Structure of English / The Structure of Spanish
9. Transition: Introduction to English Reading

Web Site Programs for Teachers: Numbers 1, 5, 7, 8, and 9.
Web Site Programs for
Paraprofessionals: Number 3.
Web Site Programs for
New Teachers:
Enhanced Cultural Sensitivity - The Challenge of Students Diversity
Identifying / Responding to Students' Language Needs
Phonemic Awareness: Teaching English phonics to L.E.P. students
Relationship Between Reading, Writing and Spelling
Improving Reading Performance -- Building Oral Language Skills)

Write and e-mail any additional questions you may have, and Dr. CARMEN SANCHEZ SADEK will establish with you, your school or district a Technical Assistance Service Contract. Dr. CARMEN SANCHEZ SADEK will answer all your questions promptly and to your satisfaction.

 

For information and credentials please click on the link below or contact directly:

CARMEN SANCHEZ SADEK, Ph.D.

Educational Consultant, Program Evaluator

National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, Certification (12/2006)

3113 Malcolm Avenue, Los Angeles, California 90034-3406

Phone and Fax: (310) 474-5605

E-mail:  csssadek@gte.net