Follow the research!
The first time I heard/read about Virginia P. Collier’s research on second language acquisition was during my first English as a Second Language course in college.
I was blown away by the research that language, culture, and academic development MUST be supported SIMULTANEOUSLY not in isolation.
Read “Promoting Academic Success for ESL Students” book to learn more about this research and more.
As soon as I began working as an ESL teacher, I began practicing this research & sharing it with my colleagues.
I came to realize that to practice this research, collaboration with mainstream educators was IMPERATIVE.
My first co-teaching experience was intimidating but wonderful. We even ended up looping from 4th grade to 5th grade with our students — The best co-teaching years I've ever had at the elementary level with Ms. Culbreth.
Today, during a webinar (which I highly recommend) I was reminded of this important research— just look at the data in the image below. And though this well-known research across the US is on dual language education, I can't help but be drawn to the ESL pull-out services and its results.
Pulling students out of their mainstream classroom, beyond second-grade, to provide ESL services is detrimental & IT DOESN’T WORK.
I worked with elementary school children and from Kindergarten grades to 2nd grade, students didn't complain about coming to my ESL classroom. However, students in 3rd grade through 5th grade, would prefer staying in the classroom and working in small groups with me. They felt part of the classroom community. They knew they belonged and were different than their peers.
As my co-teachers and I planned our small group instructions, we intentionally grouped our ESL students mixed in with all students. Our book clubs and group services were so much fun.
So, here're some of the strategies that have worked as I worked with ESL students in mainstream classrooms:
This is just my 11th year teaching ESL so I am still learning and practicing. I'd LOVE to hear from you! What are your thoughts? Are you familiar with this research? How are you practicing this research? What services do you find more effective and why?
Please, share your answers in the comments below and I'll be happy to reply to you.
Thank you so much for reading!