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Content Areas in ESL – Research Guider

The paper "Content Areas in ESL" is a great example of an education research proposal. 
I will attempt to utilize state and district-based measures for the placement of ELs that function by giving relevance to the average performance of the ELs. The idea is the same as used by private English language centers abroad. Students who walk in are subjected to an assessment, and once the assessment is complete a clearer picture of their present proficiency level becomes visible (Maxom, 2010). It is on the basis of the identified proficiency level that the institution determines the level into which the student is to be inducted.

I will utilize a similar technique in order to assist in the placement of ELs so that none of the students feel like a fish out of water when the student enters the classroom. All individuals present in the classroom will possess nearly the same proficiency level and the teacher will be able to give them more stable attention.

Monitoring Student's Progress

The purpose of monitoring students’ progress in their language competence in the classroom through performance-based classroom assessments to document the growth in students’ social and academic language proficiency. In order to monitor student progress in their language competence in your classroom through performance-based classroom assessments, I will begin by determining particular for the following particulars:

  • What is the specific knowledge/skill/ability that I need to assess?
  • How much information should I give my students prior to the assessment?
  • What is the benchmark score that I should expect my students to achieve?
  • What specific knowledge type should I be focusing on: reasoning, memory, or process?

Once I have collected the answers to these questions, I will proceed by developing a documentation technique to chart the growth of my students' social and academic language proficiency. I will try to keep this as thorough as possible while ensuring that I do not make it unnecessarily complex (Carrasquillo, 2013). I will try to avoid complexity so that 'data mining' to determine inconsistencies is easier after the documentation/recording of the growth of my students' social and academic language proficiency is complete.

In addition, I will use rubrics and checklists as assessment instruments. I understand that these are perhaps the most traditional of them all but I feel that the large volume of literature and support material that is available for them will assist me significantly in ensuring effective implementation and reaching a positive outcome that is credible, reliable and sustainable.

Helping ELs become familiar with Large-Scale Testing Situations

I will try to help ELs become familiar with the characteristics and conditions of large-scale testing situations by making them run through simulations of such situations. I will put them through tests in which the very same principles, rules, and test progression techniques will be applied that are used in large-scale testing situations. In addition, I will attempt to use audio-visual aids and show my student's as many orientation videos as possible about large-scale testing situations.

Moreover, I will take the unorthodox approach of familiarizing my students with the perspective that testing centers harbor (O'Neill & Gish, 2008). For instance, consider the analogy that instead of simply telling a soldier how to run through an obstacle course, I will be educating the soldiers on the relevance of the obstacle course and what purpose lies behind each obstacle in the course. I believe that following this approach will allow my students to feel more connected to large-scale testing situations.

Using Information gained from Statewide Assessments and Classroom Assessments to determine whether a student is ready to exit ESL Support Service

The information gained from statewide and classroom assessments can prove to be extremely helpful in gauging the students' progress and comparing it to acceptable benchmarks. The use of these assessments can prove to be productive in customizing the course content with respect to the areas in which students need to give more attention (Gebhard, 2006). Comparing the classroom average to the statewide average for specific course areas can do this. The comparison will allow the instructor to identify areas where the students need more attention in order to perform adequately amongst others who have taken the course.

However, incorporating statewide assessments and classroom assessments into the loop cannot possibly be adequately complete without a discussion of the merits and shortcomings of each of the two types of assessment.

Statewide Assessments

Statewide assessments are very ineffective when considered with respect to the specific needs of students. While they are excellently designed and carefully crafted, they are essentially generic in nature and are limited in the degree to which they can assess the true depth of a particular student. As a result, considering statewide assessments would be more effective if considered while keeping the student's individual track record in perspective. Doing so will enable the development of a more accurate picture of the student's actual strengths and weaknesses.

Classroom Assessments

Classroom assessments are highly specific and students are more comfortable during classroom assessments than they are during statewide assessments. As a result, they are prone to exercise more potential. In addition, classroom assessments allow students to express the knowledge, skills, and abilities that they have acquired as best as possible; without any limitations or inhibitions. However, classroom assessments can become misleading if they begin to decline en-masse. If they are not compared to statewide assessments frequently, it will become impossible to ascertain if the scores are falling below the acceptable average.

Resources to determine whether an EL needs to be referred for Gifted and Talented or Special Education Assessment

The EL will be evaluated on a variety of perimeters. However, in order to determine if an EL is suitable to be referred for gifted and talented (or special education) assessment, the first tool used will be the EL is using any unorthodox methods and/or techniques to get the tasks done. In this case, the EL will be getting the task done while engaging peers and ensuring positive communication. However, these are only primary perimeters on which ELs will be assessed to ascertain if an EL is suitable for a referral for gifted and talented (or special education) assessment.

A more continuous approach will be one in which the supervisor will sustain a file on the EL's performance. This file will essentially be a progress-file and will track the progress of the ELs through the program. The last leaf of the file will list the proficiencies, knowledge, skills, and abilities that an EL must have in order to function in the area of gifted, talented or special education programs (Maxom, 2010). After the end of each day, the supervisor will recap through the day to identify if any of the ELs showed signs of possessing the listed prerequisites. A display of a skill will result in a check (or a +1) for the EL. By the end of the program, the EL with the most credibility and merit for a referral to the gifted (talented or special) area will stand out amongst the rest visibly.

Method to monitor students’ progress after exiting the ESL program and options if an exited student is not doing well in general education classes

Once a student exits the ESL program, exchanging frequent communication with the student will monitor the student’s progress. Setting up time-periods after which the students will be required to undergo assessments will do it. The student will be made aware of these post-program assessments at the time when the student is going through it. As a result, the student will be fully aware of the program's nature and the outcome that the program aims to achieve.

The post-program assessments will assess the student on the same perimeters that the program originally aimed to develop upon.

If an exited student is not doing well in general education classes, the assessments will indicate the student's deficiency and the student will be required to re-run through the parts of the original program that were originally intended to build those specific areas (Gebhard & Oprandy, Language Teaching Awareness: A Guide to Exploring Beliefs and Practices, 1999). However, this will not be a reactive approach, the student's performance will be tracked continuously through the student's progress reports.

The progress reports will be used to judge the student's strengths and weaknesses. Identifying the student’s primary strengths through the progress reports, and then assessing the areas in which the child seems to be functioning less than optimally will do this. Simply put, the approach is designed to take a U-turn method in which strengths are identified and then the remaining perimeters are addressed.



References

Carrasquillo, A. L. (2013). Teaching English as a Second Language: A Resource Guide. London: Routledge.

Gebhard, J. G. (2006). Teaching English as a Foreign Or Second Language, Second Edition: A Teacher Self-Development and Methodology Guide. Detroit: University of Michigan Press.

Gebhard, J. G., & Oprandy, R. (1999). Language Teaching Awareness: A Guide to Exploring Beliefs and Practices. London: Cambridge University Press.

Maxom, M. (2010). Teaching English as a Foreign Language For Dummies. New York: John Wiley & Sons.

O'Neill, S., & Gish, A. (2008). Teaching English as a second language. London: Oxford University Press.

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