223.  I'd like your opinion on Jane Greene's Language! for ELLs levels 3-5.  Any data supporting your opinion would be greatly appreciated.   Thanks

ANSWER:

Thank you for valuing my opinion on educational materials.

However, I make it my policy NOT to evaluate or comment or recommend educational materials, except to point out errors or other inconsistencies.

My position: what is important is for the teacher to have
(1) a clear understanding of the language the students need to acquire, develop, and master, including the language of the content areas where students must reach academic goals;
(2) a clear understanding of the students' language needs (which in many cases are based on the similarities and differences between the students' L1's and English);
(3) a clear understanding of students' interest and motivation factors, including age, current trends, career choices, vocations or avocations, talents, etc.

Thus, to me, any one set of instructional materials MAY work if the teacher uses it to meet the needs of students.

I do NOT favor "canned" instructional programs, nor the use of ONE instructional program to the exclusion of everything else. I strongly recommend that teachers develop their VERY OWN lesson plans, based on clearly defined goals and objectives, rather than blindly following a prescribed lesson plan developed by strangers miles and miles away from the students facing the teacher. Hope my answer helps you. Glad to help in any other way I can. 

COMMENT by person submitting question:

Thanks for your response. Unfortunately, my district has decided to utilize Language! as the LA curriculum for EL Level 1-2 students and as ELD for levels 3-5. Heinle and Heinle will be used as ELD for level 1-2. Assessments will be required at the
end of each Language! section. 

What I've told teachers to do is imbed language development strategies within this program, that way meaning is created within the context. Otherwise they'll be teaching isolated phonemic skills that will confuse kids even more, even the ones with literacy in their L1. I believe it is important to teach these skills to students, just not in the way it's been mandated.  It's interesting how it appears we are choosing certain indicators from ELD state standards instead of incorporating the three main standards that align with ELA: Listening & Speaking, Reading, Writing - which also are the three main areas of the CELDT.

REPLY:

Thanks for keeping me informed about what is happening with the ELL's in your district.

I agree that instructional decisions NOT made by the teachers who face the students every day SHALL, in the end, prove less effective and efficient than instructional decisions made at the classroom level.

"Canned" instructional programs do NOT meet the needs of any one particular group of students.

Can teachers develop the effective and efficient strategies to help ALL students in their classes? So long as "ready-made" instructional programs are mandated from above the classroom, teachers cannot be held accountable nor can students demonstrate mastery of academic area language, concepts, or key ideas.

 

 

 


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