Teaching ESL to students who speak English already

<b> Forum for ESL/EFL teachers working with secondary school students </b>

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Teaching ESL to students who speak English already

Post by carlyg » Wed Jan 09, 2013 1:57 pm

Hello everyone. I recently became certified to teach ESL, and am working for a school district in PA. My experience so far has been very different from what I expected. The ESL population here is very small, I only have 7 students in the entire district, and all but one of my students speak English as their primary language. Most of them know very little of their parents' native language. They qualify for ESL services because their parents speak something other than English, and as a result, the children have some issues with grammar mostly. It's nice in a way, because I can communicate very easily with my students, but the students (and their teachers) have a difficult time understanding why they are being pulled out of the regular classroom for ESL. I'm just wondering if my situation is unique, or if others have experienced this also.

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Post by MsRookieTeach » Fri Mar 14, 2014 9:44 pm

I have a similar situation with a student. I'm not sure what the classification criteria is in PA, but I know that in NY, despite fairly obvious protocols, students get misclassified as ESL. Worse yet, some students remain ELLs well into their later years. I have a student who is a 9 year ELL (in 9th grade now) who was utterly furious when she discovered that I would be pulling her out here and there, especially because of the stigma attached.

You might have to tell your student the same thing I told mine: "We'll get you to pass the test, be declared proficient, and then you don't have to worry about it anymore."

As for their teachers, they should be well aware of the "why," but if they take issue with it, they may look up the child's previous proficiency test scores themselves.

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Post by chibbard » Wed Nov 04, 2015 3:53 am

That sounds quite frustrating for both the students, teachers, and yourself.

I teach high-level ESL students and focus a lot on grammar, un-fossilizing errors they have normalized, and increasing academic language.

I don't know the age of your students, but you may also want to focus on different writing and reading strategies. If a students can't read in their first language (which it seems that your students can't), then it is really important to directly teach reading and writing strategies.

Best of luck!

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