36. How much time should a Kindergarten, Level 1 (Pre-Production Level) student spend outside a mainstream classroom for ESL help? For a student at this age and English level, how can the acquisition of English be accelerated? How do the Kindergarten/Level 1 childs needs compare to a 5th grade/Level 1 (Pre-Production Level) students needs?
Research has shown that "pull-out" ESL (English-As-A-Second Language) Programs are the least effective programs in promoting the academic achievement of English Learners. A child who is sent to another class misses what takes place in (h)is/er classroom, especially if the ESL "pull-out" teacher and the mainstream classroom teacher do NOT coordinate their programs. Unfortunately, most ESL "pull-out" programs lack coordination with the mainstream or regular educational program, and ESL teachers constantly lament how little cooperation they get from the mainstream classroom teachers.
At the Kindergarten level, most students --whether English-only speakers or speakers of a language other than English-- ARE LIMITED ENGLISH PROFICIENCY. They are in Kindergarten to learn all kinds of concepts, language, vocabulary, expressions, and knowledge. At this level, ALL students need English Language Development (whether it is called English-As-A-Second Language or just English instruction). At this level, ALL students learn language in exactly the same way: through experiences within the classroom that are accompanied by language, through "hand-on" experiences, that is, through "doing" and "talking" about what we are doing.
Because the language and concept development needs of ALL Kindergarten children are the same, whether they speak only English or speak a language other than English, the ESL program should and could take place within the mainstream classroom. The ESL teacher, in perfect coordination with the regular classroom or mainstream teacher, could conduct a two-group lesson. In one group, all English Learners would work together with the ESL teacher, and in another group, all English-only students would work together with the mainstream teacher, both teachers doing essentially the very same language development lesson, with lots of hands-on, active language use instructional activities. As the English Learners and the English-only students develop and grow in English language fluency, both the ESL teacher and the mainstream teacher could and should implement the same lessons with mixed groups of English Learners and English-only students.
What accelerates language acquisition FOR ALL STUDENTS? Language use!!! To acquire words, ALL students need:
(1) to see, observe, perceive what the word means, that is, they need the actual object, or pictures, realia or visual/situational representations of the meaning of each word;
(2) to hear spoken language models in which the new words are used in talking about the objects or pictures, realia or representations; and, most importantly,
(3) to speak the words in meaningful statements that communicate the real meaning of each word and are understood by the listener.
To accelerate language acquisition ALL students need to be provided opportunities for authentic language use!!! Language use requires SEEING, HEARING, and SPEAKING in real communication situations. And SEEING, HEARING and SPEAKING in real communication situations promote language acquisition in ALL students at ALL grade levels!!!!
Whether in Kindergarten or 5th grade, ALL students are learning new concepts, new language, vocabulary, expressions and knowledge, as well as high order thinking skills. The difference between a Pre-Production Level Kindergarten students needs and a Pre-Production Level 5th grade students needs is a matter of amount, quantity. A 5th grader needs to be able to perceive, see, observe, understand and speak about a very large number of concepts, many inter-related concepts. The 5th grader has, also, a larger range of life experiences than the Kindergartener. In (h)is/er primary language (L1) the 5th grader may have a very strong and well- developed L1 vocabulary, or a very poor and limited L1 vocabulary. The quantity of L1 vocabulary (which represents acquired concepts through L1) is a very significant factor in the development of a second language. Research shows that students with highly developed L1 language skills usually successfully develop L2 language skills and achieve academically.
"Pull-out" ESL programs, at any grade level, have been shown by research to be a great deal less successful than other types of programs. Whether at the Kindergarten Level or at the 5th grade level, "pull-out" ESL programs cause English Learners to miss part or all of a lesson in the mainstream or regular class. Coordination between the ESL and mainstream teachers is essential. Team-teaching may accomplish more than "pull-out."
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