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Unformatted text preview: IL 1041 Dr. Arlotta-Guerrero 10/19/11 Stephanie Wright Video/Teacher Assessment It has been said that language is the core of everything and that it is inseparable from learning, yet while the number of English Language Learners continues to increase in United States public schools, only thirteen percent of mainstream teachers have any ELL experience. Too few teachers in America’s classrooms are prepared to engage ELL students in purposeful activities, let alone know how to offer them explicit instruction. In previous generations Universities failed to offer future teachers a multicultural curriculum and while today we recognize what culturally relevant pedagogy is and that it is an essential part of language acquisition, few schools are equipped to offer it. Watching ELLs interact with their teachers in the Vanderbilt , Thalia and First Steps videos really helped to highlight some of the best and worst approaches to teaching in an English Language Learning classroom. In the Vanderbilt video Jimenez said that people don’t expect ELLs to perform as well in school as their native speaking counterparts, but if the goal is for all children to succeed we need to change this expectation. Many times teachers present their English Language Learning students with a watered down version of the curriculum because they assume ELLs are not capable of understanding concepts on the same level as their native speakers but “students are only as smart as the curriculum” and if the teacher can learn to view their knowledge of a second language as a strength rather than a weakness, the child will too. Good ELL teachers know how to use kid’s literature so that the stories they read in class are relatable to the lives of their students. Stories that are relatable have themes that are consistent with the culture of the class and the milestones that the children have likely shared. Bilingual books allow children to become familiar with the stories they are reading first in their native language so that it may become easier to make word connections and build vocabulary when they read the same story in English. Jimenez suggests that teachers should encourage students to bring in pictures and share IL 1041 Dr. Arlotta-GuerreroIL 1041 Dr....
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- Fall '11
- Stephanie Wright