Teaching EnglishLanguage LearnersBilingual and English asa Second Language Efforts
Readers will gain an introductory under-standing of the variety of programs avail-able to English language learners (ELLs)and their probable outcomes.
Readers will identify and describe themajor historical turns in language policyand practice in the United States.
Readers will identify their own beliefsabout English language learners.
Readers will understand the differencebetween language learning and lan-guage acquisition and how studentsacquire language.
Readers will identify the different strate-gies and aims of the major programstypes.
Readers will gain an awareness of thestrategies and challenges in assessment,identiﬁcation, and placement of ELLs inschool programs.
Readers will understand the complexitiesand challenges that ELLs face related totheir identities in schools.
Success Story: Vicki and Ruben’s Sixth-Grade Year
uben and Vicki were phenomenal students, but I didn’t know it theﬁrst week of my ﬁrst year teaching in San Jose, California. “This is justlike
!”(a 1995 movie about a white teacher who en-counters challenges in an urban classroom) announced Vicki, a talland outgoing student, to her fellow sixth-graders. I was struggling to gain theattention of the energetic class that was now skillfully taking advantage of mylack of authority. It was English Day, when everyone was to do their best tospeak English in speciﬁc subjects. Some students were quiet, struggling tomake sense of the unstructured classroom banter in English. Other studentswere speaking Spanish to their friends. As I later learned, students speakingSpanish during English time were usually not misbehaving but, rather,translating for a peer who had just arrived from Mexico or another Spanish-speaking country.I noticed Ruben, normally an intensely focused boy, asleep with his headon his desk as I passed out materials and described a math activity. I wasshocked and paralyzed into inaction. I couldn’t imagine why a child would fallasleep in the middle of a fun math game. At the end of the day, I rememberedto ask Ruben why he was sleeping in class. He explained matter-of-factly thathe wasn’t sleeping much because his aunt’s family had moved into his fami-ly’s small apartment. His space to sleep was the kitchen ﬂoor, and that wasn’tvery comfortable. Soon thereafter, I came to understand that Ruben’s Spanishwas much stronger than his English, so this, on top of his new sleeping difﬁ-culties, made English Day quite taxing for him.As Ruben continued to work hard in acquiring English, Vicki struggled to re-claim her Spanish. Just like Ruben, Vicki was born a native speaker of Spanish,but she had been placed in English-only classrooms in the primary grades andhad not sufﬁciently developed her reading and writing skills in Spanish. Her
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9/19/07 4:32:02 PM