[Assessment 1118] Re: Factors affecting student advancement

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Van Heusen-Thomas, D'Andra D'Andra.VanHeusen at nycha.nyc.gov
Tue Feb 5 17:34:54 EST 2008

As discussed, often times there are factors beyond educational levels
that impede the success of a native English speaker or ELL when trying
to achieve their higher education aspirations. There has to be a
multistoried approach to working with the adult student who, although
motivated, has those added pressures of family responsibility, work
(non-working or underemployed), money, lack of social and family
support, etc to contend with. Finding the time, energy and dedication
necessary to stay the course can be daunting especially if they've
achieved limited educational success in their native language. Now the
expectations are, if they want to have the "American Dream", they must
(on some level) master a new language (both oral and written). Add to
the mix low paid teachers and/or instructors or organizations with
limited or no access to workforce resources such as job readiness
training etc and the water become even muddier.

-----Original Message-----
From: assessment-bounces at nifl.gov [mailto:assessment-bounces at nifl.gov]
On Behalf Of Marie Cora
Sent: Tuesday, February 05, 2008 2:57 PM
To: Assessment at nifl.gov
Subject: [Assessment 1111] Re: Factors affecting student advancement

Hi Gail, thanks for your post.

I think you raise some interesting issues to add to the list of items in
question. You've noted that a student's educational experience often
seems to help, that perhaps the teacher's skill level could be at play,
and that small program's face many challenges that could exacerbate the
entire situation.

It's great to know that your program does its best to help you improve
your skills Gail. At least you have that piece of the puzzle to an

How about other factors that could cause problems? Does anyone have
other things to add - and what you or your program tries to do to
address the issues?



-----Original Message-----
From: assessment-bounces at nifl.gov [mailto:assessment-bounces at nifl.gov]
On Behalf Of Gail Burnett
Sent: Monday, February 04, 2008 8:35 PM
To: The Assessment Discussion List
Subject: [Assessment 1104] {Dangerous Content?} RE: No Questions

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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.


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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