<b> Forum for elementary education ESL/EFL teachers </b>
3 posts • Page 1 of 1
While reading a case student in a required reading text, I found it interested that the teacher infused her personal background to shield an ESL student from the same persecution her immigrant parents dealt with when they came to America. Although the teacher's intention were good her method of delivering quality instruction to her ESL came with the high cost of isolating and even neglecting her other students. I began to think how much of this actually goes on in everyday classrooms across America...are bilingual teacher easier or harder on the BE students because they may have had it rough coming to the USA, or are they easy on them and pacify them through the rigorous process of learning English? I know from my personal experience that a teacher of my same race was hardier on me because they knew the challenges that faced me in my adult life and for her I am externally grateful, but I do not know if other students of a different race in my class felt isolated or negelcted. I encourage teachers to bring their personal history and family bakground into teaching; however, they cannot exclude or show favoritism to any student in doing so.
I'm sure it happens a lot more than you would expect - with a lot of the consequences you would expect. It's kind of sad because some of these kids actually will need the extra attention, sheltering, etc and either will get it at the detriment of others that also need extra time or won't get it because it was spent on someone else. Do you just try and keep spending your time evenly to keep it fair, or do you pick a couple who you think need the time the most, or could benefit most from a little extra time? Its a tough choice, and ultimately is your preference.
I am reading the same book, Negotiating Language Policies in Schools, too. In chapter 7, the general ed classroom teacher did try to teach her ELL student the English language, spending more one-on-one time with her while leaving the other students to work independently. I think it's not fair only when the teacher spent too much one-on-one time with the ELL student. However, if you spend less than 20 minutes of one-on-one instruction with this student while letting the rest of the class working on an assignment or a project which they can do on their own or with a partner, then I think it's okay. In my opinion, it works best when there's another teacher in the classroom (co-teaching) and/or a teacher's assistant who can circulate the room to make sure the students are on task and to answer any questions that the students might have.