English Learner Essay

I think that this paper is very important for the process of course studying, because this assignment will help me to integrate all what I have learned in the class, and develop a broader and more consistent perspective on teaching, especially as it relates to English Learners. In this paper I will analyze and compare the programs which are provided to ELs at the school where I conducted my classroom observations and an additional program of my choice. In my opinion this discussing of different programs and variants of teaching will help to select, evaluate, and implement methods of teaching and learning a second language.
First of all, before the beginning of this new topic discussing I want to say thank you for the classroom observation. Due to classroom observation I received priceless experience which will help me in my future work and show me in real situation what is the structure of a lesson, which methodics are used in teaching process and other important teaching aspects.
      Returning to my classroom observation I want to pay attention on several moments. I want to use my last experience in this work, because it will help me more argued describe the most important moments of this work. In this work I want to leaned on my classroom observation and for my opinion it will be a good possibility to learn new topic in such a way. I think it will be better to say not learned, but summarized the results which were got by own experience in school, then I can add to them the information which was learned during the course studying and the information which was studied carefully under independent study.

The main purpose of assigned classroom observations was to give insights into lesson implementation and real classroom dynamics that will prepare me for creating my own lesson plan. But it was not an only purpose of my work; it was the main purpose, because among my additional purposes I had selected the next: to see different interpersonal interactions between the teacher and students, also see interactions among students in classroom and prepare myself for the programs analyze.

I believed that during my observations these complex patterns of interaction will emerge and it will help in my later work as a student teacher and a career teacher to understand in a right way what classroom dynamics exist and how to influence them in the interest of high quality instruction. All my waitings became true and I could show the teaching process from different sides.

I had a great opportunity to compare two different lessons and see their advantages and disadvantages. Of course my observation had a confidential character for students, but not for teachers. Confidential character was important for the more open student’s behavior and for the more their effective work on the lessons.

      I talked with teachers and they told me about programs and techniques what they used in their teaching process. Also I make interview on EL programs at the school where I conducted my observations.

According to my purpose I have visited two classes with EL students taught by two different teachers, observed the lessons and analyzed the plans and implementation, focusing on the teacher’s modeling and students’ cognitive and affective behaviors.

I prepared for my visit to school and read different information about classroom observation and different teaching programs; because I seriously pertain to my work and think that it will help me to make fewer mistakes in it. I wanted to see how teachers work with students and what the results of their work are.

There was an opportunity to choose the two classes for my observations, but before I do that I decided that for the best results I should visit straight opposite lessons. Frankly speaking, it was rather difficult, but than a case helped me to do my best in that situation.

I think that it has a very big importance to learn class journal and different kinds of school documentation and get acquainted with students and their characteristics in such a way. As for me, collection of information is integral part of the teaching process, due to this preliminary work teacher can knew more about his future students and adapt his course and program for the best understanding and assimilation.

We know a lot of situation, when the program seemed the ideal, but it was incomprehensible for students. First of all we should know “why?” and “what for?”  we prepare our lesson and only after collection, analyzing all important information we will have good results.  When I was learning all necessary information I saw different plans of lessons and after that I had previously classified teachers and their teaching methodics. Due to this classification I named them “innovative” and “traditionalist” based on their teaching styles and teaching programs which they used in their school practice.

It will be the best variant to visit two lessons with different teaching styles and analyze them. I understand that it will be very hard to compare two straight opposite methodics, but also I understand that my experience will be very important in my future work and I can’t loose my chance to do it then, when I had such wonderful opportunity.

Observation was important not only for me, teachers were agree to this procedure and they asked me to tell them my impressions from their lessons and maybe some recommendations for the future work. I was surprised by such attitude and it was pleasantly for me that teachers with a big practice are interesting in my opinion and want to make their work better. One more pluses to this observation procedure will be that it gives teacher “another pair of eyes”. It will help think through the problems, encourages more reflection about teaching and lesson preparation.

Compared and analyzed lessons I can say that they had an understandable goals and objectives, but they had different results. They also had right lesson structure, their plans were written for all classes of students and were written very well, but one big detail distinguished them and for my opinion this detail greatly influenced on the lesson results. The lesson of “innovative” teacher had a plan that was written for all classes, but at the lesson I saw that it have aspects which help to adopt this plan exactly for the class in what it was used. In comparison to this at the lesson of “traditionalist” teacher I saw that lesson run usually and no special adaptation technologies were not used.

For example, at the beginning of the lesson teacher check homework that was given last lesson, than told the topic of new lesson and there were no activity in a class. Students were got accustomed to such form of teaching and there were no interest in their eyes. That’s a pity to say such words, but they were bored by this lesson and during it were passive and not very attentive.

Teacher explain topic to students and was waiting for reaction, but there were no reaction, only passive listening and waiting for the lesson end. Look at this scheme and you will understand all:

  1. homework checking;
  2. new topic observation;
  3. reading the information in the book;
  4. answering the questions;
  5. new homework and the bell which mean the end of a lesson.

As for me, it is wrong that there were no moments for manifestations of the non-standard thinking only standard actions and nothing else. I agree that such lessons are important too for the best learning and understanding of new material, but had a look to students I saw that it was standard scheme for them and nothing new will not happened this day too.

Reading my words above I see that I wrote critical paragraph, but if we want to find a way how to improve the situations we should be ready to listen to true words and be thankful for them.

Let’s talk about another lesson which I had visits during my observations. It was the lesson of “innovative” teacher and it had another scheme and results of it.

I want to mention that I was in classroom before the lesson begun and saw the preparation for it. This lesson had the same topic with the lesson which I have visited first, but the situation was another. Students were waiting for it, they discussed the last topic and some of them prepare visual materials. I saw that they discussed something in groups and were waiting for the lesson beginning. It became interesting for me what made them to prepare for the lesson in such a way and what I will see in next hours.

I want to say that I had such a great respect for style of “innovative” teaching and was in awe of her lesson. I found myself wanting to be a student in her classroom and took part in a lesson. Remarkably, that she had the student’s total attention the whole time and at they want lesson to be as long as it possible. It was used several interactive methodics and preparation for the lesson was the part of them. The hometask was to prepare a little role performance which will show the main aspects of the last lesson and had a one riddle for the other student. I can say that it was a very interesting to look at the results and it was wonderful that all students took part in this task implementation. The next step of the lesson was the brainstorm technique, which help to find the most important moments of new topic and the way of best understanding process.

Frankly speaking, I have read about brainstorm methodic before this lesson decided to visit and my lesson observation showed that this technique using are very important and interesting part of the lesson, because when the way of problem solving are found in a such interactive situation it helps to remember material better and sometimes even to have new opportunities to topic learning.

During this second lesson I saw that students were very active and had a big wish to new more about the topic of lesson and they liked the little quizzes which were used in this lesson practice. Of course at the end of the lesson they had homework, but it was non-standard task, this task will help them to open their creative thinking and imagine them in a strange situation, which can’t happen in real life, but will be a step for the improvement of their relations with each other.

Analyzing my two visits I want to say that it was a good experience for me to saw the work of two straight opposite teachers and choose the own way of teaching. As for me, innovative techniques have a great future they help to make lesson non-standard and students are not the outside watchers, moreover they are active participants of the process. All this will help to better material assimilation and this active work make lessons more productive. I think that different role games and quizzes can help to this task achieving. Of course I found something that I want to incorporate into my style of teaching and something that I want to stay clear from. I felt greatly benefited by this chance to view these straight opposite teachers at work and saw the results of their work. They used different teaching programs and want to do their best in opposite ways. What were the results of this attempts I wrote in paragraphs above.

Reading my work you can say that I had denoted a big part of it to the unimportant details, but I can prove that you are wrong and it was very important part of it.

First of all, we make classroom observation with a special purpose which will help us in our further work. It is true that the process of teaching are really hard, and every day, even every minute we should learn something new for the our skills improvement and the best variant of knowledge receiving is our own experience. We can hear more than thousands times about new techniques and teaching programs, but only have a look at this process in real situation we will see the real picture. That’s why I had spared the part of my work to the topics and the results of classroom observation.

In next paragraphs I want to stop on other teaching programs which will help me in my work with students and maybe they can become important for me in practice.

Look through different information sources I found such program characteristics: “The Guiding Principles for Dual Language Education is a tool to help dual language programs (two-way immersion, heritage language, foreign language immersion, or developmental bilingual programs) with planning and ongoing implementation.

Based on the New Mexico Dual Language Program Standards and grounded in research on effective schools, the publication was developed by the Center for Applied Linguistics in 2005 with an expert panel of researchers and practitioners from across the United States, and revised in 2007” (Guiding Principles for Dual Language Education, Elizabeth R. Howard, Julie Sugarman, Donna Christian, Kathryn J. Lindholm-Leary, & David Rogers, 2007, Second Edition , Supported by the National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition at The George Washington University). I was interested in these words and decided to learn this variant of program more attentively.

Due to this source: “Staff Quality and Professional Development

ü The program recruits and retains high quality dual language staff.

ü The program has a quality professional development plan.

ü The program provides adequate resource support for professional development.

ü The program collaborates with other groups and institutions to ensure staff quality.” (Guiding Principles for Dual Language Education)

There were created different Dual Immersion Academy (DIA) and they have a wonderful results of their work. For example, I had read about one of them: “a Spanish-English dual language elementary school (K-6) chartered by the Utah State Office of Education, opened in September 2007. DIA offers an educational choice for parents who want their children to become bilingual and bi-literate at the age when their young minds have the greatest aptitude for language development. The well-researched and proven effectiveness of dual immersion schools includes data on higher performance in all academic subject areas and increased ability to acquire additional languages.” (www.rllearning.com)

This information is about children but students can be taught in such a way too and will have good results.

Dual immersion program has interesting points and I will write them in next sentences: “In dual immersion program students develop proficiency in two languages by receiving instruction in English and Spanish.  A classroom is comprised of half native speakers of English and half native speakers of Spanish. The goal is for all students to become bilingual and bi-literate in both languages.

Students learn to read in their primary language first

The Dual Language program begins in Pre-K, which is taught exclusively in Spanish.” (www.rllearning.com)

For my opinion a literature review shows that dual language programs are directed to develop enhanced second language skills in all students. Freeman (1996) suggests that “effective dual language instruction occurs when teachers define bilingualism and cultural pluralism as “resources to be developed” (p. 558). Teachers in effective dual language programs generally adopt a language as resource rather than a language as problem orientation while providing instruction. She adds that language majority and language minority students are typically combined across dual language classroom settings in an effort to promote change by socializing students in ways that differ from how they are socialized in mainstream society.

Analyzing this topic I want to take an abstract from “Asymmetry in Dual Language Practice”: Christian (1995) explains that dual language programs integrate language minority and majority students and “provide instruction in, and through, two languages” (p. 66). The (L1) language describes the primary or the first language of the student, and the (L2) language describes the second language or the language to be acquired. To achieve a maximum benefit from dual language, Christian (1995) indicates that students from the two language backgrounds are together in each class for most or all of their content instruction. She suggests that dual language classrooms are formed to promote positive attitudes for students towards both languages and cultures, and that dual language programs emphasize full bilingual proficiency for native and nonnative speakers.

“I think that native language will help to learn better another language and it is really good when for this goals are created different experimental academies and their results will be used in wide range of teachers.

Summarizing the described material I want to mention that the task of my work was also to take two programs and talk about them. I take dual immersion program and program with using non-standard techniques (I told about it in my classroom observation).

I think that the using programs should first of all be adapted to the students’ necessity and also lesson should be a balance of interactive activities, individual work, teacher-centered activities and student-centered techniques only in such proportions the results will be excellent and students will be happy that they have the best teacher in the world.

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