[PD 4612] Re: Discrimination and diversity in the teachingprofession

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Melinda Hefner mhefner at cccti.edu
Tue May 18 09:58:42 EDT 2010


Thank you, Jackie, for following up on this. The TESOL site was also
down yesterday or at least I couldn't access it from either my work or
my home computer.

Again, thanks for following up on this.

Melinda


Melinda M. Hefner
Director, Literacy Support Services

Basic Skills Department
Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute
2855 Hickory Blvd.
Hudson, North Carolina 28638
Office: 828.726.2245
FAX: 828.726.2266



>>> On 5/18/2010 at 9:24 am, in message

<AFA9A7AAD2C74893AAB9BD5EC7F3AF88 at dell2>, "Jackie A. Taylor"
<jackie at jataylor.net> wrote:

Hello Melinda and All,

I have asked TESOL to respond to your question and I will let you know
what they say. In the meantime, I did a quick Google search and found
several news articles, including this one:

ArizonaGrades Teachers on Fluency
- The Wall Street Journal
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703572504575213883276427528.html


>From the above article you may find this quote particularly relevant:


“Arizona's enforcement of fluency standards is based on an
interpretation of the federal No Child Left Behind Act. That law states
that for a school to receive federal funds, students learning English
must be instructed by teachers fluent in the language. Defining fluency
is left to each state, a spokesman for the U.S. Department of Education
said.”

The TESOL/AZ-TESOL statement is also linked to TESOL’s website, under
News:http://www.tesol.org/News (The site appears down at the moment but
check back. The statement was posted to their site on Friday.)

Jackie Taylor


From:professionaldevelopment-bounces at nifl.gov
[mailto:professionaldevelopment-bounces at nifl.gov] On Behalf Of Melinda
Hefner
Sent: Monday, May 17, 2010 2:47 PM
To: professionaldevelopment at nifl.gov
Subject: [PD 4602] Re: Discrimination and diversity in the
teachingprofession







The joint statement begins with, "According to recent media
reports...." Jackie or others, what is the original source of the
information on which the statement is based?



Thanks,

Melinda





Melinda M. Hefner
Director, Literacy Support Services

Basic Skills Department
Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute
2855 Hickory Blvd.
Hudson, North Carolina 28638
Office: 828.726.2245

FAX: 828.726.2266


Melinda M. Hefner
Director, Literacy Support Services

Basic Skills Department
Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute
2855 Hickory Blvd.
Hudson, North Carolina 28638
Office: 828.726.2245

FAX: 828.726.2266



>>> On 5/14/2010 at 12:57 pm, in message

<CF496474774E482EB0ED295AC50F94E1 at dell2>, "Jackie A. Taylor"
<jackie at jataylor.net> wrote:

Dear PD List Colleagues:

TESOL released a joint statement with its AZ affiliate, AZ-TESOL, today
regarding the initiative by the AZ Department of Education mandating
teachers with accents be removed from classes with English language
learners. The statement is below.

Since the COABE/ProLiteracy Conference, this PD List seems to have
become more of an announcement venue. We are a discussion list, too, so
I encourage us all to discuss issues pertaining to teaching and
professional development as they arise. Here is one opportunity.

What questions does the article below raise for you?

What do you think the impact of discrimination against nonnative
English speakers who teach English has on adult learners in the
classroom?

Is our own teaching profession is as diverse as the learners we teach?
What benefits does a diverse teaching profession bring to the
classrooms? To staff development? How important is having a diverse
teaching profession?

I welcome your thoughts on these or related PD issues.

Jackie Taylor
PD List Facilitator
jackie at jataylor.net



Joint Statement on the Teacher English Fluency Initiative in Arizona
May 2010

According to recent media reports, the Arizona Department of Education
has mandated that teachers whose spoken English
it deems to be heavily
accented or ungrammatical must be removed from classes for students
still learning English. It is reported the intent of this initiative is
to ensure that students with limited English have teachers who speak the
language flawlessly.

For decades the field of English language teaching has suffered from
the myth that one only needs to be a native English speaker in order to
teach the English language. The myth further implicates that native
English speakers make better English as a second language (ESL) or
English as a foreign language (EFL) teachers than nonnative English
speakers because native English speakers are perceived to speak
“unaccented” English and understand and use idiomatic expressions
fluently. The distinction between native and nonnative speakers of
English presents an oversimplified, either/or classification system that
is not only misleading, but also ignores the formal education,
linguistic expertise, teaching experience, and professional preparation
of educators in the field of English language teaching.

TESOL has long opposed discrimination against nonnative English
speakers in the field of English language teaching. All English language
educators should be proficient in English regardless of their native
languages, but English language proficiency should be viewed as only one
criterion in evaluating a teacher’s qualifications. English language
proficiency, teaching experience, and professionalism should be assessed
along a continuum of professional preparation; pedagogical skills,
teaching experience, and professional preparation should be given as
much weight as language proficiency.

TESOL and its Arizona affiliate AZ-TESOL have great concerns about this
teacher English fluency evaluation initiative and its impact upon
English language learners. Nonnative English-speaking educators should
not be singled out because of their native language, nor evaluated based
on arbitrary standards of language fluency. All educators should be
evaluated in a transparent manner along the same criteria based on
clearly articulated and valid standards. The TESOL-NCATE Standards for
P–12 Teacher Preparation Programs, which provide standards and
rubrics designed to help teacher education programs identify evidence of
teacher performance, can be useful resources for institutions.

With the recent state legislation targeting undocumented immigrants in
Arizona (SB 1070) and other legislation banning ethnic studies in
Arizona (HB 2281), TESOL and AZ-TESOL are deeply troubled by what
appears to be an environment of fear and xenophobia being fostered by
lawmakers in the state without consideration of the consequences upon
student learning and achievement. This impacts all educators and
students, including U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents who
speak a language other than English. The right of undocumented students
to a K–12 public education has long been protected under U.S. law. TESOL
and Arizona TESOL strongly urge lawmakers and education officials in
Arizona to ensure that the education of all Arizona schoolchildren is
not harmed by these developments, and that the right of all educators to
be treated fairly and equally is protected.

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