142. ESL, of course, stands for English as a Second Language. Are there any programs that you are aware of to help students whose first language is English, but whose dialect or register places them at a disadvantage? How do we help the student who is conversationally adept in English, but who lacks the background to prepare her for the formal register used by textbook authors, novelists, etc.?
Now, that is an EXTRAORDINARY question and I will send you, under a separate e-mail, a recent article I wrote which addresses this issue. Basically, I believe that specific classes to develop listening / speaking "standard" English language skills are needed by ALL students. In some states, like in North Carolina, race is not an issue: ALL students in North Carolina (black, while, brown and red) need classes to master listening and speaking "standard" English language skills. These students need NOT lose their ways of expressing themselves. I love to hear North Carolinians speaking!!!!! However, in some states race is an issue. Arkansas may be one of those states.
I try very hard in the school where I am ( a K-12 Learning Center with 4,000 students, 75% Hispanic, 25% African American, all poor) to insist in listening and speaking IN MY CLASS in "standard" English. A student who does not understand or speak in "standard" English will have incredible difficulties in reading and writing, reading textbooks and writing compositions.
I am trying to bring this issue to the attention of everyone. Meantime, I am insisting that ALL textbooks must have AUDIO tapes for students to accompany their readings with audio cassettes and be able to listen to what they are reading. You will see in my classroom posted expressions that I require students to use (or that I will NOT accept). Modeling "standard" English is essential for ALL students (however many teachers do not do so!!!)
As long as this issues is misinterpreted as a "politically incorrect" issue, thousands of our best students will fail to develop, as you say, the necessary oral language skills to allow them to successfully read a textbook or write a composition in "standard" English.
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