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My K-5 Principal is against clustering ESL kids into 1 class

 
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Elizabeth Valentine



Joined: 05 Dec 2003
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2003 3:41 pm    Post subject: My K-5 Principal is against clustering ESL kids into 1 class Reply with quote

Hi All,
I'm trying to find research that supports the idea of clustering ESL students together in mainstream classrooms, instead of isolating them among native English peers. If anyone has an opinion regarding this, I would enjoy hearing from you. E.
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jdanner



Joined: 30 Jan 2004
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2004 5:31 pm    Post subject: shelter ELL in elementary Reply with quote

I teach second grade ELLs in Nashville Tennessee in a sheltered classroom. Let me run down some pluses and minuses.

Pros ---
I'm well-trained on language acquisition from K-2, so I can handle kids anywhere from no English experience to working at second grade level.

My class is geared towards teaching to each student's developmental level, so there is not a lot of time that a kid is completely lost.

Cons ---
My kids only have their Specials time to interact with native English speakers. This defintiely hampers their language development.

My highest proficiency kids are not in an environment where it is assumed everyone will be working at or above the second grade level. Because they are the top of the class, I think there is a tendency for them to relax too much. If they were the bottom or middle of a regular class, I think many of them would push harder.

In sum, sheltered classrooms definitely work better for low proficiency students and probably many middle proficiency. I think they hurt most high proficiency students. In addition, I think 90% of the outcome for a student is based on the teacher quality. I have seen in our district that many more of the ELL teachers are brand new. Experience counts for a lot with ELL kids, so it is likely that many of the regular Ed teachers would do a better job with them even in a mixed classroom.
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dona



Joined: 10 Mar 2004
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2004 12:35 am    Post subject: it works for me Reply with quote

Just this year I asked the principal to put ESL kids on the same team -we are in a middle school. I got lucky. 2 students in the 6th grade are on the same team and also are about at the same level of learning English (even though one is Korean and one is . When they come to see me we can work on their classroom work. I can go over readings, or vocabulary that they will encounter in their classrooms. I can also instruct them together - better use of my time - and they are becoming good friends.
Another couple of kids are in a different grade on the same team. One of their "core" teachers speaks their language also.

These kids feel better about themselves that they are not alone. I can use my time much more wisely.
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