English as second language – Сustom Literature essay

ENGLISH AS SECOND LANGUAGE. ENGLISH AS SECOND LANGUAGE.  Term Paper ID:21976 Essay Subject: Technical, practical & critical analysis of ESL in classroom. Technology, effectiveness, politics, funding.... 8 Pages / 1800 Words 6 sources, 16 Citations, APA Format 32.00 Paper Abstract: Technical, practical & critical analysis of ESL in classroom.

Technology, effectiveness, politics, funding.Paper Introduction: A reflective ESL teacher will look at teaching English as a second language from several perspectives in order to draw conclusions which better help students with limited English proficiency. A reflective ESL teacher will consider the technical, practical, and critical concerns surrounding the topic of ESL. This "three-sided" approach offers an objective view of the topic of ESL, a topic which too many times has become a political football.

After much debate, often to the detriment of students, educators and administrators are still debating the best way to teach those students whose native language is other than English. An article in the Society section of Newsweek, "Classrooms of Babel," asks the following questions regarding ESL: "How much?," and "What kind?

" (1991, p. 56). ESL teachers know that their ESL programs overtaxed. Foreign language textbooks have traditionally had the obligatorytrip to a French art gallery, for example.

Mohr (1994) has also reflected on technology in the ESL classroom. She is in favor of it, both in terms of using it to instruct her students, as well as for self-instructional purposes. 57) It is apparent that America seems to be at the breaking point when itcomes to accommodating a growing number of foreign language demands.

However, to be numerically fair, if not universally fair, public schoolsshould accommodate the greatest number of those students who need ESLinstruction. ("Society," 1991, p.

A reflective ESL teacher will look at teaching English as a secondlanguage from several perspectives in order to draw conclusions whichbetter help students with limited English proficiency. We know, for instance, that students should receive thorough instruction in their native languagein their initial school years, but do we also take care to carefully repeatkey concepts, avoid talking too fast, and avoid talking while writing onthe board? Newsweek, pp. Such is the liberal point of view, in capsule form. (1994, May).

Education Digest, pp. With 1 4 of Hearne's 97 students speaking one of 23 languages, principal Judith Miller has encouraged all of her teachers to take ESL training so that immigrant youngsters can remain in classes with their native-born English peers. 45) Technology can be used to great advantage in the ESL classroom. 63).

ESL teachersknow that their students need ESL instruction, but educators and, morepredominantly, those who administer funding, have grappled with the bestway to approach second language instruction. 56). The literalmeanings of English statements when interpreted without a native speaker'sinside knowledge of the language may prove distracting, or, at worst, confusing. . Bilingual education.

ESLstudents can be "artificially immersed, in a non-threatening manner, inAmerican life and pop culture. 22-23."Research Spotlight." (1994, May). economy.

She advises that ESL teachersoccasionally tape record or videotape a class "to monitor the teachingstyle for clarity and effectiveness. Thus far, it has been apparent that theoretical studies of the mannerin which to best reach ESL students must be melded with practical concernssuch as the elicitation of frequent class feedback. As the above Newsweek article indicates, "Since a 1974 Supreme Courtdecision, immigrant children have had the right to special help in publicschools" (1991, p. Perhaps itis not, yet ESL teachers should expect the fastest growing ethnic group inAmerica, Hispanics, to yield the greatest degree of political clout in ESLclassroom today, if we are to be guided by the principle, "Do the greatestamount of good for the greatest number of people.

" Other minority studentswill need to be reached by parent-support groups, community volunteers, andteachers who happen to speak the language in question. The future of the ESL classroom is nevertheless in jeopardy. ReferencesMohr, K.

However, the cry for immersion still continues. schools, and many have had quite limited schooling in their country of origin. 45). At least native-Spanish speakers should be taughtin a nurturing ESL environment. Multimediapresentations in the ESL classroom can, and should, focus on American popculture, but they should additionally serve a higher cultural purpose thanTV.

Hispanic students constitute the fastest growing group of ESLstudents in the country. Everyone gets too much America on American TV!

56-57."Washington News." (1991, January). It can be argued that ESL students get plenty of American culture onTV.

Traditionally, the teaching profession has reliedupon a critical body of research that has indicated the need for childrento learn the basics in their native language before gradually being weanedfrom ESL. 56).

She considers her students to beenthusiastic learners, which is essential for sound instruction: My classes are usually 8 to 12 students, which offers almost a "home base" for these enthusiastic learners, and allows me to take special interest in these very special students. EducationDigest, p.

AnEducational Digest article in 1991 reported that William Bennett, thenSecretary of Education, was against bilingual education. Instructional materials in all media--interactive CD-ROM, audiotapes, videotapes, and laser disks can be used ina multimedia approach to ESL instruction. The other language groups should berepresented to the degree that their numbers dictate. EducationDigest, p.

Mohr (1994) cautions ESL teachers to especially avoiddigressions that may be indicated by tone of voice or inflection (p. . A reflective ESLteacher will consider the technical, practical, and critical concernssurrounding the topic of ESL. In the "News Front" section, the president of the VancouverChinese Parents' Association says that ESL programs receive a low level ofrespect in the education system, and "as a consequence, are, at times, relegated low on the scale of priorities.

" (1994, p. J. At any rate, showing ESL students the most desireable purposes for learning English--money being one of them--has not been lost on the Vancouver Chinesecommunity and other ESL groups in that vicinity. Mutual understanding in English isthe test by which successful verbal interaction of ESL students may bejudged (Mohr, 1994, p. A.

(p. After much debate, often to the detriment of students, educators andadministrators are still debating the best way to teach those studentswhose native language is other than English. 44) Mohr goes on to observe that ESL teachers should empatheticallyconsider their charges' mindsets as they are exposed to a barrage of newlanguage experiences. (2) [ESL students] are the most under-represented group of students in the United States.

Chinatown News, pp. An article in the Societysection of Newsweek, "Classrooms of Babel," asks the following questionsregarding ESL: "How much?," and "What kind?

" (1991, p. She is careful to assume nothing when it comes toestimating what her students know and don't know. Making a case for foreign students inclass. Many educators have "responded by expanding thebilingual-education programs they've been using for the past two decades"(Newsweek, 1991, p. 45).

Proponents say that even with bilingual education it takes between four and seven years for a non-native to reach national norms on standardized tests of most subject material. Therefore, frequentclass feedback is essential (Mohr, 1994, p. BC funds ESL. The following excerpt from the same Newsweek article in 1991 gave thepublic a good summary of the state of ESL in terms of current pedagogy: In [traditional] ESL classes, students are taught classes like social studies, science, and math in their native language on the theory that children must develop a firm foundation in their mother tongue before they can learn academic subjects in a new language.

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