[Assessment 1143] Re: {Dangerous Content?} RE: No Questions or Comments?!

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Forrest Chisman forrest at crosslink.net
Wed Feb 6 17:52:38 EST 2008


Jodi,

I think you misunderstood me (as usual) :-). My question wasn't about
separating out literacy level students. I agree most programs do that. My
question was about the other practice from the 1980's you mention --
separate classes for students with higher levels of prior education ABOVE
the literacy level.

Forrest

-----Original Message-----
From: assessment-bounces at nifl.gov [mailto:assessment-bounces at nifl.gov] On
Behalf Of JoAnn (Jodi) Crandall
Sent: Wednesday, February 06, 2008 3:10 PM
To: The Assessment Discussion List
Subject: [Assessment 1139] Re: {Dangerous Content?} RE: No Questions or
Comments?!

Jackie and Forrest,

I think most large programs separate literacy level students from others
who are at a beginning level. I know that back in the 1980s when there
were large refugee ESL programs, several community colleges created
parallel ESL classes for the beginning levels and even into intermediate
levels, with one set of classes for students with limited literacy or
prior schooling and another for more educated students. The reason was
that the students with less education made slower progress. Some of this
is undoubtedly due to the way in which we teach English (requiring
literacy), but it is also because students need to become accustomed to
attending classes, learning to hold and use a pen or pencil, and a wide
range of basic skills that come with being a student in a class.

Those of you who have separate classes for those who need literacy: Can
you tell us what kind of classes or program you provide?

Those who teach both literacy and more educated learners in the same
class: Can you let us know how you manage? What are some ways in which
you accommodate both sets of needs?

Jodi

> 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

>>

>> Please respond to

>> The Assessment Discussion List <assessment at nifl.gov>

>>

>> To

>>

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

>>

>> cc

>>

>> Subject

>>

>> [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

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

>> http://www.nifl.gov/mailman/listinfo/assessment

>> >

>> >

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--
JoAnn (Jodi) Crandall
Professor, Education Department
Director, Ph.D. Program in Language, Literacy & Culture
Coordinator, Peace Corps Master's International Program in ESOL/Bilingual
Education
University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC)
1000 Hilltop Circle, Baltimore, MD 21250
ph: 410-455-2313/2376 fax: 410-455-8947/1880
email: crandall at umbc.edu
www.umbc.edu/llc/
www.umbc.edu/esol/
www.umbc.edu/esol/peacecorps.html



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