[Assessment 1129] Re: {Dangerous Content?} RE: No Questions or Comments?!

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andresmuro at aol.com andresmuro at aol.com
Wed Feb 6 08:28:29 EST 2008



Problem is that in many ESL people are placed in ESL classes based on an English placement multiple choice test. A student with advanced education in L1 and one with little education in L1 may know very little English and they may both be placed in the same level. The student with advance education will progress much faster than the one with little education. The advanced L1 student will understand concepts like sentence, paragraph, verb, subject, direct object, adjective, composition and essay readily. The one with with little education will need to understand these concepts. It takes a while for people to master these concepts. A highly educated L2? learner will likely progress faster academically in a second language than a fluent native speaker of that? language with limited academic education, for the same reason. This is observed regularly in universities all over the US. highly educated foreign students who acquired English as L2 recently will do better than their English speaking counterparts in academic tasks in English. Jim Cummins has articulated this clearly with his BICS and CALPS.

In our program at El Paso Community College we have found evidence of this. We stopped doing literacy ESL a while back for this reason. The college has an academic ESL program. Instead of doing ESL literacy we started offering Spanish Literacy and GED many years ago since the vast majority of our students are Spanish speakers. Once our students acquire their Spanish GED they transition into the ESL program and do better than those students who don't have L1 academic skills. Even if takes them a while to acquire the L1 literacy, they will do better. Those with no L1 literacy often stay in ESL forever and they drop out, start again in another program, drop out and continue the same pattern. I think that this happens because of the mixture of academically ready students and those that are not ready, since most ESL programs focus on traditional academics. For L1 low literacy students to be able to progress in L2 there has to be a program specifically designed for them that teaches skills in L2 in new and innovative ways without interference from academically skilled L1 students. Right now we don't have a system that systematically does this, and the WIA/NRS system prevents this form happening.

Hope that this makes sense,

Andres









-----Original Message-----
From: Jackie Coelho <jackie.coelho at gmail.com>
To: The Assessment Discussion List <assessment at nifl.gov>
Sent: Wed, 6 Feb 2008 5:01 am
Subject: [Assessment 1128] Re: {Dangerous Content?} RE: No Questions or Comments?!










Forrest,


?? I like the idea of separate classes for those with a literacy background and those without. These two groups have such different needs. Having both in the class make it difficult for a teacher to meet the needs of either group well and I find that often the stronger students dominate the class, and their drive push the teacher forward. If the instructor does not keep up with the students who are learning at a faster rate, they often become frustrated and leave or mentally check out. However, if the instructor keeps up with those students, the others are unable to keep up and they get frustrated.



? I think that literacy could perhaps be separated out. And regardless of how you do it, well-trained instructors are essential.


Jackie

?


On 2/5/08, Forrest Chisman <forrest at crosslink.net> wrote:







To all of you who commented on level of prior education as a factor in student performance:


?


Everyone with whom Jodi Crandall and I talked believes that more highly educated students do better in terms of ?persistence, learning gains, and transitions. And learning theory would lead us to expect this. Regrettably we found very little hard data about how much difference prior education makes, because too few programs track the level of prior education of their students and correlate it with outcomes. DO any of you do this? That is, do you have any data on HOW MUCH difference level of prior education makes? Or any strong impressions? And are there "cut points" in prior education that seem to make a difference -- e.g. students who are completely illiterate, students who at least reached high school, high school graduates, college graduates, etc. -- ?or is level of prior education pretty much of a continuum?



?


More importantly, what can programs DO to narrow the gap between highly educated students and those with less prior education? Presumably students with very low levels of education are more likely end up in the lower level ESL courses (Literacy or Low-Beginning levels) why are (almost by definition) ?in the business of teaching basic literacy and sometimes math. Why isn't this enough? In your experience, does the "gap" exist at these levels too, or mainly at higher levels? At any levels, would it be desirable to place less highly educated students in separate classes from those with more education and adjust the curriculum/support systems for them accordingly? Some programs have tried "native language literacy" or the Spanish GED. What has been the experience of any of you with these approaches? Any other ideas? IS there an adult ESL equivalent of "bi-lingual education" that should be tried?



?


It seems to me that we need to come up with better ideas. Because the people who study immigration tell us that the level of education of immigrants has been falling. And if Immigration Reform mandates large numbers of undocumented people to "learn English" (whatever that means), ESL programs may be swamped with students who have very little education in their native countries and too little money to serve them. ?So anyone who has any ideas about how to bridge this "education gap" could help us a lot by posting ideas about how to close it on this discussion list.



?


Forrest Chisman


Vice President


CAAL


?


??


?




From: assessment-bounces at nifl.gov [mailto:assessment-bounces at nifl.gov] On Behalf Of Tina_Luffman at yc.edu

Sent: Tuesday, February 05, 2008 1:32 PM
To: The Assessment Discussion List
Subject: [Assessment 1109] Re: {Dangerous Content?} RE: No Questions or Comments?!






?



Hi Jackie,

Thank you for this information. I believe this research must be what my former Spanish teacher was basing her argument on for bilingual education in the K-12 school system.


Tina

Tina Luffman
Coordinator, Developmental Education
Verde Valley Campus
928-634-6544
tina_luffman at yc.edu













"Jackie Coelho" <jackie.coelho at gmail.com>

Sent by: assessment-bounces at nifl.gov


02/05/2008 11:13 AM










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[Assessment 1108] Re: {Dangerous Content?} RE: No Questions or ? ? ? ?Comments?!






?


























Hi Tina,

This has been researched already and is the basis for the arguement in
favor of bilingual education, a good idea that was not implemented in

the best way. For many years people have known that a good foundation
in literacy in the first language will facilitate learning in a second
or third language.

Another interesting twist is the existence of languages that are not written.


Jackie


On 2/5/08, Tina_Luffman at yc.edu <Tina_Luffman at yc.edu> wrote:


> Hi list members,

>

> My experience teaching ELAA students in the GED class is similar to that of

> Gail. If the student has a solid educational background in the country they



> came from in their native language, they tend to advance rather quickly and

> get their GED. Those coming with 6th grade educations from their country or

> lower tend to stay in the GED class for years and do not make much



> advancement.

>

> This experience relates well to research done among Native American tribes

> teaching them English. Those Native Americans who were first taught literacy



> skills in their own tongue learned English much quicker than those who tried

> to learn literacy skills in English without that background in their own

> tongue. I also found similar problems when I was learning Spanish. The



> concepts I could mentally translate from English to Spanish were much easier

> to grasp and learn than those I didn't know in English. Perhaps this is

> something deserving more research.



>

> Tina

> Tina Luffman

> Coordinator, Developmental Education

> Verde Valley Campus

> 928-634-6544

> tina_luffman at yc.edu



>

> -----assessment-bounces at nifl.gov wrote: -----

>

> To: "The Assessment Discussion List" <assessment at nifl.gov>



> From: "Gail Burnett" <gburnett at sanford.org>

> Sent by: assessment-bounces at nifl.gov



> Date: 02/04/2008 06:34PM

> Subject: [Assessment 1104] {Dangerous Content?} RE: No Questions or

> Comments?!

>

>

> Warning: This message has had one or more attachments removed



> Warning: (not named).

> Warning: Please read the "AttachmentWarning.txt" attachment(s) for more

> information.

>

> In our small adult education program, my experience (just about three years)



> is that students with solid educational backgrounds advance, particularly if

> they're not working too many hours. Those who advance the slowest, if at

> all, are immigrants who are barely literate in their first language. I would



> say that lack of education is a bigger factor than lack of time; a student

> who works full-time and is exhausted often will still succeed because he/she

> is familiar with academic work, and is goal-oriented. What we do is try to



> get our low-level students to come up with goals, but that's a hard concept

> in a second language.

>

> This does not mean that the factors mentioned in the research don't play a



> part, though. I'm one of those barely-trained teachers (transitioned from

> another career, got trained mainly through workshops rather than classes).

> My skill level very well may contribute to students' slow advancement. It's



> hard for small adult education programs to get highly skilled ESL teachers.

> The pay is low and there are no benefits. But my program is encouraging me

> to get extra training and has me on a plan of improvement. I think we're



> making some progress.

>

> Does this address any of the issues? And am I submitting it right?

>

> ________________________________

>



> From: assessment-bounces at nifl.gov on behalf of Marie Cora

> Sent: Mon 2/4/2008 6:50 PM



> To: Assessment at nifl.gov

> Subject: [Assessment 1103] No Questions or Comments?!



>

>

> Hello everyone,

>

> I'm so surprised! ?No one has anything to comment on regarding your

> program's effectiveness at helping ESL students advance?? ?I was very



> curious to know if subscribers experience the same types of issues that Dr.

> Chisman and Dr. Crandall found in their research: ?a lack of intensity of

> instruction/few protocols for transitioning students/few opportunities for



> professional development.

>

> What are the issues in your program that you feel inhibit the ESL student

> from advancing? ?What do you try to do about that?

>



> Please post your questions and comments now.

>

> Thanks!

>

> Marie Cora

> Assessment Discussion List Moderator

>

>



> Marie Cora

> marie.cora at hotspurpartners.com

> <mailto:marie.cora at hotspurpartners.com>



> NIFL Assessment Discussion List Moderator

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