Helping ESL Students Transition into Mainstream English

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  • 7/31/2019 Helping ESL Students Transition into Mainstream English

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    Its Like Climbing a Big Mountain.

    --Gavilan College ESL Student, Fall 2010

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    DeterminedExcitedHappyComfortableConfidentHopefulEmotionalLooking ForwardOpportunityQuestCurious

    ChallengingFunProudStrong

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    NervousScared

    Insecure

    HardEmbarrassed

    Confused

    Emotional

    Separation

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    In those classes, there are English speakers

    and the teachers think that everybody can talk

    and understand.

    Maybe it will be difficult to make friends.

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    If I dont understand something, the students

    will laugh at me.

    I dont think they (teachers) will be as patient

    with me as ESL teachers.

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    Dont have the opportunity to speak English athome or at work

    Intimidated by interaction with native speakers

    (being asked to repeat, puzzled looks, eyerolls, shrugged shoulders, etc.) while trying to

    negotiate meaning

    Self-Consciousness

    Feeling of marginalization

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    I like to share my opinions and get toknow other students. They can knowme more, so they will not judge mejust because I dont speak perfect

    English.--Gavilan ESL student (Spring 2010)

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    Paw Savang is a Laotian woman taking classesin an American college.

    Observations about Paw (Tip of the Iceberg):Shy, Struggling to engage with peers,

    Struggling with comprehension of texts

    and assignments, falling behind.

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    Without exploring beneath the waterline, hereis what you would never know about Paw:

    a) Paw was separated from her father, who was placedin a refugee camp; upon his return, he was verballyabusive.

    b) Paw was taught that girls dont question authority.

    c) Paw wasnt literate in her native language.

    d) Paw did not know how to ask questions in class.She was unsure about classroom protocol (e.g. how

    long she should keep her hand raised).e) Paw did not have the same reference points as her

    peers.

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    Misunderstanding based on lack of knowledgeof the social and academic cultures of the

    students

    Struggling to communicate effectivelyinside

    and outside of the classroom

    Confusing second language learning withremediation

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    Support and help outside of class

    Getting texts ahead of time in order to read

    and prepare

    Opportunities to practice what they are

    learning.

    ESL Panels

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    Second Language Acquisition

    Understanding of Whole Student: StudentCulture (Older Immigrant, 1.5 Generation,Refugee, First Generation, etc.)

    Effective Methods of Text Correction

    Effective Methods of Dialoguing in the Classroom

    Creating Effective Student Work Groups

    Creating Opportunities for students to demonstratestrengths/expertise.

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    Offers a safe learning environment

    Encourages Risk Taking Allows sharing areas of difficulty

    Makes the reading process visible

    Emphasizes metacognition (self-awareness/self-

    monitoring) Develops Peer Connections

    Develops Problem-Solving strategies

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    I want to have some native speakers asfriends. Im sure that they can learn from me,

    and I can learn a lot from them too!