[Assessment 1167] Re: {Dangerous Content?} RE: No Questions or Comments?!

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Forrest Chisman forrest at crosslink.net
Thu Feb 7 20:26:26 EST 2008


Jodi:



Just so other people can see how we get misunderstand each other and still
work together...



Really, my question was whether, given the importance of prior education, do
any programs provide separate classes for students with higher prior
education (by any definition)?



Overall, in the research we conducted together, I was struck by how much the
colleges we visited talked about the importance of prior education, and how
little they did about it in designing their programs. For example, most of
them did not include level of prior education in their student records. Thus
teachers may or may not have known what the prior education of particular
students was. Likewise, I'm quite sure that CCSF has no idea what the prior
education of students in their two-level courses are. Anyone can take these
courses, and the college says students are sometimes encouraged to do so if
they have an interest in credit studies or in advancing rapidly for some
other reason - which may or may not indicate level of prior education.
Likewise, the Lake County intensive transition program is open to any
intermediate level student who wants to enroll - although when we studied it
there weren't enough slots for everyone who wanted to enter it.



So, I guess my question stands. Recognizing the importance of prior
education, do any of you do anything (other than Spanish literacy/GED) to
compensate for it by making progress easier for both more highly educated
and less highly educated students?



Forrest





From: Jodi Crandall [mailto:crandall at umbc.edu]
Sent: Thursday, February 07, 2008 5:23 PM
To: Forrest Chisman
Cc: 'The Assessment Discussion List'
Subject: Re: [Assessment 1139] Re: {Dangerous Content?} RE: No Questions or
Comments?!



Forrest,



I'm not sure yet that I know the question, but here goes ...



I don't know of community college programs now that continue to separate out
literacy level students after the actual literacy class. Does anyone else>



When I mentioned higher levels of prior education, in this context, I didn't
mean college-educated students, but those with closer to a high school
education n their own countries. These are the students that we used to
believe were the main students that we served, not the literacy level
students who are increasingly being enrolled in our classes.



For highly educated individuals, those with college degrees in their own
countries, most of the programs that I know seek to transition these
students into more academic ESL programs at the intermediate levels. In
fact, some community colleges, like the English for Academic Purposes
College of Lake County, that we studied, created a seamless transition from
noncredit to credit academic ESL courses by working backwards from the
credit expectations and then aligning the intermediate level noncredit ESL
to them.



City College, as you know, provides accelerated ESL classes (two terms in
one) for more educated students, since they are likely to be able to make
faster progress.





Jodi



On Feb 6, 2008, at 5:52 PM, Forrest Chisman wrote:





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?!





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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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JoAnn (Jodi) Crandall

Professor and Director

Language, Literacy and Culture Ph.D. Program

Director, Peace Corps Master's Intl Program in ESOL/Bilingual Education

University of Maryland Baltimore County

1000 Hilltop Circle

Baltimore, MD 21250

tel: 410-455-2313

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eml: crandall at umbc.edu











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