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A Continuum Of Activities In Esl

By Author: allan
Total Articles: 367

Collaboration is defined as people working together. In education, we can add that collaboration includes working together to have a positive effect on student learning. Teacher collaboration can take on a variety of forms and might best be viewed as a continuum of activities ranging from informal and unstructured to highly formal and structured. At the least formal level, collaboration can simply be a discussion about shared students. Moving along the continuum, teachers could share lesson plans, jointly select material (such as which novel or poetry or work of art to teach in a given unit), consult with each other to determine some appropriate support activities that could occur in the ESL classroom, or observe each other's classes. At the most formal, it can involve joint planning, co-teaching, and interdisciplinary team meetings. Thomas Sabo Charms

In its possible manifestations, the goal of teacher collaboration is to increase achievement among students. Since most ELLs spend most of their day in mainstream classrooms, ESL-ELA collaboration could be critical for them. In addition, while ESL teachers are required to engage in Content Based Instruction (CBI), they are frequently in the position of determining the content on their own rather than selecting content that is being taught in the ELLs' mainstream English classes. ESL and English teachers working together to support ELLs enriches the experiences of these students in both their English and ESL classrooms.

Unfortunately, collaboration between teachers of different disciplines does not occur frequently at the secondary level. Teaching in isolation is the norm in US secondary schools. This is a shame; ELLs benefit when the curriculum

Collaboration does not happen naturally in most secondary schools is integrated and they see the interconnectedness between material and skills presented in different classes. Thomas Sabo Earrings

In 1996 Dorit Kaufman and Jacqueline Grennon Brooks made the following statement: "Collaboration between ESOL teachers and teachers of other subject areas is imperative. Teacher education programs must reevaluate current pedagogical orientations and reorganize to prepare teacher candidates of all disciplines for coordinated interdisciplinary education for all students". Unfortunately, in the twelve years that have passed, more collaboration has not occurred. When and if collaboration does occur, it is usually not interdisciplinary in nature or occurs between special education and mainstream teachers. While the positive benefits of teacher collaboration at the secondary level have been documented (Achinstein; Manouchehri), actual change in middle school and high schools in terms of the amount of teacher collaboration that actually occurs has not taken place (Memory, Yoder, and Williams).

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